August 31, 2009

End of Summer Sale--Shiso Pepsi

I posted about shiso and shiso Pepsi here. Today, I found some on a sale table at the grocery store. We had it with lunch. Though it's not one of our favorites, it is refreshing. Like the cucumber Pepsi in the summer of 2007.

Today is cold and rainy. A typhoon is supposed to hit Tokyo this afternoon. It is a day for drinking hot green tea.

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August 29, 2009


I never noticed these hanging on the side of our neighborhood vegetable stand.

They are silk braids used as borders on tatami mats.

Our vegetable stand man used them to build and reinforce his vegetable stand.

He tied this pole to a tree.

His stand is closed for lunch.

Check out this post to see the braids on tatami.

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August 28, 2009

Birds? Planes?

Look closely or scroll down to the next picture.

Actually, they are butterflies at the end of a butterfly dance. These florescent turquoise butterflies started here in this field. They fluttered around each other before one started flying up into the air. The other one flew circles around it before flying away in the opposite direction.

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August 26, 2009

Train Crossing

The sign warns that there is a train crossing ahead. That is an overpass for cars in the background. Click on the labels below for more about trains.

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August 25, 2009

Tokyo Disney Sea & Disneyland

This is a postcard from the Mediterranean Harbor at Tokyo Disney Sea. It is an amazing place!

Last week, Little Brother and his friends, all age 13, arranged a 2-day trip to Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. They went (with parental permission) to a travel agent and made plans by themselves. They paid for the hotel and the tickets at the travel agent. They went by train and spent the first day at Tokyo Disney Sea. Papa met them at closing time and stayed overnight at one of the hotels with them. Papa dropped them off at Disneyland the next day and went to work. He picked them up and drove them home.

They had a great time. They weren't able to go on the new Monsters Inc. ride because it was so crowded. Little Brother especially liked the current show at Tokyo Disneyland. The castle showers water on the spectators!

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Little Jam Jars?

No, they're jars of sorbet. Little Brother's friend's grandmother gave us this box of sorbet as a thank you gift for Papa's help with the trip to Disneyland.

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August 23, 2009

Cold Green Tea

When I first came to Japan over 20 years ago, I wanted to put sugar in my green tea. Papa was horrified.

"We don't do that," he said.

Over the years, things have changed. Green tea latte with milk and sugar is now served in restaurants and sold in cartons and individual cups at convenience stores.

Here is a carton of cold green tea (no milk, no sugar). Usually, we drink cold mugicha in the summer. We also drink cold oolong tea or milk tea or lemon tea. Milk tea is black (western) tea with sugar and milk. Lemon tea is black tea with sugar and lemon.

This was the first time I had tried cold green tea. It was good!
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August 22, 2009

Moon Flower

Our moon flower bloomed yesterday evening. Moon flowers bloom at night.

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August 21, 2009


It was a bright and sunny day at Jindai Botanical Gardens. Click on the pictures to enlarge them!

These lotus buds have not bloomed yet. That is a seed pod near the base of one of the buds. The seed pod is located in the center of the lotus flower. The petals have fallen away from this one. Click on the label below to see more photos of lotus. You'll see that I have only gotten one photo of a lotus in bloom. I've been missing their bloom time!

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August 20, 2009

Summer Gourds at Jindai Botanical Gardens

This gourd is so heavy it needs a sling!

This is the name plate for the gourd in the photo above. The first symbol is kanji for dai, tai or ookii which means "big". The rest of the name is written in hiragana and can be transcribed as daruma hyotan (long o).

The name plate says that these gourds are called tsuru kubi hyotan (long o).

Kids Web Japan-- hiragana
Kids Web Japan-- kanji

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August 19, 2009

Another Gourd

This was big.

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August 18, 2009


I saw this at Jindai Botanical Gardens today.

You can't tell how big it is

until someone sits in it! Click to enlarge the photo.

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August 16, 2009

Coming Soon-- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

This movie may already be showing in the United States, but it's coming to our theater September 19th. It is based on one of Little Brother and Big Sister's favorite books. It will be in 3D.

The top word in red is kumori,"cloud". The word in white is toki doki, "sometimes". Underneath it, the word "meatball" is written in katakana, the script for foreign words.


Kids Web Japan-- katakana

Little Brother and I picked up this ad when we went to see Night Museum 2. We enjoyed the movie. It was pretty crowded. It was in English with Japanese subtitles. People laughed a lot especially at the scene with the guard, Brandon, and the scenes with Hank Zakaria.

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August 15, 2009

The Neighbor's Grapes

This photo was taken at sunset in low light. That's why it's blurry. I'll try to go a bit earlier to take another one. If it's too bright, it'll be too hot and there will be glare. I'll try.

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August 13, 2009

More Sun Needed

Morning glories are an important part of summer in Japan. Ours are not doing well this year. The sun came out today but we've had many cloudy or rainy days this summer. The typhoon missed us but hit Taiwan. We wish them well. They are having a hard time.

Check the label below for more information about morning glories and typhoons.

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August 12, 2009

Summer Planting

The truck farmer is planting leeks in the field behind our house. Deep rows are needed fro leeks. Click on the label below to see Japanese leeks.

P.S. I didn't feel any earthquakes today. The typhoon passed us by.

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