December 26, 2011

In Memoriam

We lost our friend Ivy Terasaka and her young family at Phuket, Thailand in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. That Grecian horse was a housewarming gift from her.

The tragedy of that tsunami was far-reaching. We made 1000 cranes to deal with the sadness and grief and had them blessed at a shrine. The cranes hung in our house for many years. We hoped to take them somewhere.

After the March 11, 2011 East Japan tsunami, Students Rebuild offered to donate money to Japan for every crane mailed to them. They made their quota early but continued to accept cranes.

I cut a string of 100 cranes from the 1000. Then we made 100 new cranes for Japan and strung it with the rest of the cranes that honored the Indian Ocean victims. I had to separate the string of 1000 cranes to fit them in two boxes. Big Sister and I mailed them to Students Rebuild. At the time it made sense. We are united in grief.

Students Rebuild-- Japan Challenge


100,000 cranes came to Japan! Check here.

P.S. I will add photos later.

December 24, 2011

Motorcycle Santas in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Papa saw 100 Santas on motorcycles in Shinjuku Tokyo tonight!

Click on the labels below for more posts about Christmas in Japan.
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Christmas at Isetan Fuchu 2011

The view from Starbucks.

Christmas 2011 ad campaign.

Amazing mural on the floor. It's like a big sticker, I'm sure, but it doesn't look like it at all. It looks like part of the floor.

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December 23, 2011

Yuzu Treats

This freeze-dried yuzu tea has been available all month. Just add hot water. The steamed cake has pieces of sweetened dried yuzu peel on top. I don't have them together, but I could. The tea is sweeter than the cake.

I make my own yuzu tea from scratch, too.

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December 22, 2011

This Year's Yuzu Options for the Winter Solstice

Three yuzu fruit are placed in the bath on the winter solstice. The cloth bag of yuzu and the packaged bag of yuzu peel is from Tokyu department store. It was sold in the vegetable section of their basement food department.

The net bag of yuzu is from our neighborhood grocery store. It was sold in the fruit section along with the paper of explanation. Kabocha or Japanese pumpkin is eaten on the winter solstice.

Here are the displays at Tokyu Department Store:

Yuzu bath products. Sorry, fuzzy photo.


Yuzu in cloth bags for the bath.

Cut kabocha. I have never seen it sold like this. I like it! Kabocha is very hard to cut. Kabocha is rock hard!

Sample of a recipe with kabocha and adzuki beans.

Click on the labels below for more posts. Especially yuzu.

University of California--yuzu

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December 21, 2011

My First Fugu

On the right is sushi made with fugu or blow fish. It is topped with red radish and a green stem. Sushi chefs have to have a license to cut and serve fugu . It can be poisonous if cut incorrectly. On the left is a mound of pickled ginger called gari. During the pickling process, dye is usually added to gari to make it pinker.
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December 18, 2011

Store-bought Dried Persimmon

Click here for a post about drying persimmons.
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December 17, 2011

This Hakusai Gets a Chair of its Own

150 yen for a full head of Chinese cabbage! Direct from the field.

Click to enlarge the photo and you'll see another, bigger hakusai on the bottom shelf. Can you see the farmer in the shadows? He's minding the store while his wife is home cooking lunch. She left earlier with a cabbage in her bicycle basket. He's in the fields all day except at lunch time and late afternoon when his wife is making dinner. He is 86!

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Wall and Fence

Most garden walls in our neighborhood are made of concrete. There are exceptions like these.

These fences let air pass through. Click to here to see some vents in concrete garden walls.
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The Littlest Sakura Tree

I took photos of this little sakura tree in the spring when it was in full bloom. I pointed out the mark on the wall. It was made from a dirt speck on my camera lens. I took these photos with a different camera.

Look! There is a mark on the wall now! Sakura trees are spectacular any time of the year, aren't they? Click to enlarge the photos. Click here for the old post.
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December 14, 2011

At the Entrance of a Family Restaurant

It's not unusual to see sinks at the entrances of restaurants. Some convenience stores have them, too. This was at a family restaurant in our neighborhood called Royal Host.

Emergency Number for Children

Children are on their own a lot here. They walk to and from school and after-school activities. If they run into trouble they should call 110. This was posted at a family restaurant entrance in our area. It could be seen from the inside and outside of the restaurant.

December 13, 2011

Late Afternoon at Nogawa Koen

Fall colors continue into December in Tokyo.

Maple leaves,

mostly gingko leaves,

and sunlight in evergreens.

More sunlight.

Click on the photos to enlarge them. Click here for information about Nogawa Koen (Park).
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December 10, 2011

The Lunar Eclipse from Our Rooftop

The moon's light moving across our rooftop.

The earth's shadow moving across the moon.

Click on the photos to enlarge them. The first photo was taken with a small Panasonic Lumix. The second and third photos were taken with the Canon SLR. A stronger lens and a better light adjustment would have given more detail of the moon.

This was taken with the Panasonic Lumix. The shadow was moving away from the moon.

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December 09, 2011

Neighborhood Trees

Sakura tree in the park.

Maple tree in a field.

Not sure what this tree is.
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