December 31, 2009


This year Big Sister bought a box of osechi from Isetan, a department store. It served two people. She bought it so we could sample some fancy side dishes. She ordered it several days ahead and then picked it up on the 31st (osechi is eaten the first three days of the new year including dinner on the 31st.) The osechi box was wrapped in a furoshiki and was packed in a cardboard box.

We had other traditional side dishes. Like walnuts and small dried fish.

Stewed vegetables that include lotus root, sato imo, mushrooms, carrots, gingko nuts, burdock, bamboo root, and konnyaku.

And datemaki, spongy sweet egg cooked with fish broth. It is served at room temperature.
Check this post for more pictures of osechi. I didn't take pictures of everything this year.

Check Kids Web Japan-- New Year's Day and New Year's Cards

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December 22, 2009

Winter Solstice

We float yuzu in the bath on the winter solstice. This year we're drinking it in our green tea, too. It is from Lupicia. Tea can be ordered in the United States here. The labels on the cans are different. Check the label below for other posts about yuzu.
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December 06, 2009

Birds Eye View

Early morning view of Mt. Fuji.
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Early Morning View

The moon over Mt. Fuji in the morning.
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December 05, 2009

The Nutcracker

Big Sister and I went to see "The Nutcracker" again this year. Little Brother went only once with us. A long time ago. He wasn't interested. Check this old post.

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December 04, 2009

Ordering Christmas Cake

Starting in late November, you can order the traditional Japanese Christmas cake, strawberry shortcake, at some cake shops, grocery stores and department store food sections. You can also just drop by and buy one, but it's best to order, especially when buying from a small neighborhood cake shop.

Here's a post about other Christmas cakes.

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Mt Fuji in the Afternoon

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December 02, 2009


Persimmon tree across the taro field.

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November 30, 2009

Setting Up

Yesterday, a workman set up a tent and then tables and chairs on the spot where the new house will be built beside the vegetable stand. Today, a Shinto priest performed the ceremony for blessing the ground. The family sat in chairs and watched. Then they went up one by one to put a leaf branch on a table of offerings. We did the same thing 11 years ago when our new house was built. The same is done for companies and commercial buildings, too.

P.S. Though it was out in the open, it was a private ceremony so I didn't take photos.

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November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving in a Box

First, sorry this photo is so blurry!

I ordered the turkey late this year so we had our Thanksgiving dinner today. We had to wait for the turkey to thaw!

I order everything from the Foreign Buyers' Club. I have seen turkeys in some grocery stores here in the past, but I didn't see any this year. Next year I'll order earlier.

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November 26, 2009

Filming the Field

I've been following the vegetable stand man around and taking photos. Today, there was a film crew filming the field for a commercial about the area. At one end of the field, they filmed. At the other end, I was taking photos of the vegetable stand man storing his sato imo for the winter. I'll post a photo later.

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Autumn Field Work

Those guys missed all the action. That's our vegetable stand man working in the fields. He's moving sato imo to store them for the winter. Those are sakura, cherry blossom trees on the right.
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November 24, 2009

Back to Work

It was the day after Labor Thanksgiving, the day to be thankful to workers. Today was busy day for workers. This worker dug a hole next to the vegetable stand, put a pole in it, piled dirt around it and stood back to see if it was standing straight. It will be the power source for workers when they are building the new house.

Then he wired the pole. Note: I took these photos from our kitchen window.

Down the street, this worker is unloading boards and stacking them in a storage shed.

This worker is delivering lunch boxes to an office. I took these last two photos from the roof garden.
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November 23, 2009

Busy Even Today

Even though it was labor Thanksgiving in Japan today, our vegetable stand man and his wife were busy. He cut the stems of yatsugashira. He biked them over to the stand where his wife stripped the outer skin off them. She put them on top of the stand to dry. Click here to see how they used to dry it.

This is yatsugashira in the field. It looks like sato imo (taro) but it has red stalks. Click here for a post about the root of the yatsugashira.

Kids Web Japan--Labor Thanksgiving

November 21, 2009

Vegetable Stand Loses a Wall

Workers tore down the house, the garden wall and the trees next to the vegetable stand. The vegetable stand lost its side wall.

Doors from the old house were salvaged. The vegetable stand man nailed them on the side of the stand.

Now the stand has a wooden wall. Click here to see its old wall.

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November 20, 2009

Tearing Down the House part 2

Usually workmen hang a heavy curtain around the property line before they tear down a house. That keeps the dust from spreading. These workmen put the poles but didn't put a curtain. We can see the laundry hanging from the line on the balcony of a neighboring apartment.

Also, note how thin the walls of this house were. That is an outside wall of the house. There was a piece of wood on the outside of that slatted piece. Then plywood with wall paper on the inside of the house.

The machine that broke the house also loaded the pieces onto the back of a truck. In this photo, pieces of the tin roof are being loaded. See the man standing in the bed of the truck? Click to enlarge the picture and you can see the vegetable stand man standing by. Dangerous!

The pieces of tin were crushed with the crane and then wood from the house was stacked on top.

They tore down the fence and the trees, too.
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