Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shidax Please!

Let's go karaoke :). This is my friend's favorite place to spend her time singing.
I like its interior, though it's only decorated with some printed paintings, or poster like in the image below.
With 600 Yen/person, you can start singing from 10AM-8PM.
I went there only once, and felt a little bit weird to hear my own voice :). They have quite a big collection, but just a few are my favorite.
Yuri San: Donna uta ga suki desuka? (What songs do you like?)
Hiro San: Iro-iro (Anything)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

When is it over?

Again it's raining today, not knowing when it's over. Now that I have found a good way to protect my camera from raindrops, I'm a little obsessed with dark skies.

Another view in front of my apaato. Do you remember the mansion in the background?

On my way home from communication corner this afternoon, I just couldn't believe to see this flower in the ditch. Ok, let me admit it's not in the direction of my house. Have a nice weekend :).
Hiro San: Ame ga futte iru (It's raining)
Yuri San: Suki desu (Love it)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Where to park?

Don't forget to pay your parking space every month, says the sign on the garden fence made by a parking service company. Parking space is limited, some are located side by side with home garden or paddy field.

I live in downtown Saijo where apartment buildings grow rapidly as such requires parking lot for the residents.

Yuri San: Kuruma ga takusan (so many cars)
Hiro San: Watashi no wa doko desuka? (where's my car?)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shining in the rain

A typical street lamp found in sake houses area. This one is unlucky to be attached on a messy electrical pole.

How's your day? It's rainy here, I just snapped this photo from my window an hour ago. Instead of making me sing in the rain, I feel like dozing off, but have to go within 15 minutes to my Japanese class. Jya matta.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


From the same street with my previous post, this a photo of JA bank building I took  a couple of months ago, when I found myself sitting on the bench of a parking lot across from this building. A month later it was covered completely for restoration, oh well, that's what I thought.
Two days ago when I came back there, the building was being pulled down. I was lucky to have captured it :).
For a not-so-big street, this is the busiest street these past days, not to mention the fact that in this intersection we have to wait a long time for the green-blue light.
Yuri San: Nemutai (I'm sleepy)
Hiro San: Oyasuminasai (good night)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Night at Angkor

One of my favorite streets. The street is narrow but has wide pedestrian for walker and biker. It's not too crowded, and we can cross it anytime. There are some benches in front of a parking lot on this street on which people like to sit to either finish food bought from a small supermarket behind where I stood to capture this photo, or just to meet friend. Though this street is not long, it offers several services such as banks, post office, beauty salons, barber shop,  store, flower shop, music school, fitness center, large parking lot, computer store, craft shop, offices, bus stop, etc.
Can you see pachinko (パチンコ) or Japanese casino at the end of this street? That is the biggest Angkor pachinko  among several pachinkos in town. I'll post more photos of pachinko in the future.

Hiro San: Pachinko ikimashoo (Let's go to pachinko)
Yuri San: Chotto, okane ga arimasen (mmm, I don't have money)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keesatsu (Police Office)

Saijo Police headquarter on Boulevard street. I have not entered the office yet, chances are they are not gonna be pleased seeing me around with a camera :). 
In case there's a traffic accident (Kootsuu jiko), please call 110.

Yuri San: Omawari San, Konnichiwa (Good day, Mr.Policeman)
Hiro San: Konnichiwa! (Good day!)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What's playing today?

Some movies in the cinema today at T.Joy Entertainment Complex in Saijo. Been more than a year living in Saijo, I'm so left behind with the latest movies. It feels different to watch an English spoken movie which is dubbed into another language. I can guess one movie only, Angel and Demon, please correct me if I'm mistaken.
Yuri San: Senshuu watashi ga mita eiga wa tsumanarakatta (The movie I saw last week was boring)
Hiro San: Donna eiga? (What movie?)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Anything Tea

As the temperature is getting higher, please have some tea. Happy weekend, Everyone :).
* Yuri San and Hiro San are heading to Tokyo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New and Old

Asahi drinks today can be bought from this vending machine. It's the most succesfull way to promote your product, isn't it? Apart from the year these ads were made, beer is not originally from Japan, it's probably why they were and are trying to bring or to introduce Western lifestyle impression in the ad.
Let me copy paste some of Gary's comment on my previous post:
"The “beer lady” looks like a moga (“modern girl”) from the Taisho Period (1912-1936) モガ(モダンガール)。Any earlier and she’d be wearing a kimono and look like someone in this beer ad from the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912)."
In today's post, does the "beer gentleman" look like a moma ("modern man")? :).

Hiro San: Biiru ga suki desuka? (Do you like beer?)
Yuri San: Uun, chotto (Umm, not really)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An old advertisement

Asahi Beer long time ago. The yellow writing is Katakana for Asahi Biiru. Brown writing in the left means Ebisu Biiru and in the right means Sapporo Biiru. So, do you think each Asahi beer is named after a city in Japan? I can't tell you more, but being there looking at the ads was like  being in the old times. I found this on the outside of a traditional restaurant along with other old Asahi ads.
Yuri San: Oishi biiru desu ne (Nice beer)
Hiro San: Kirei na onna no hito (Pretty lady)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


O machi kudasai, please wait (before the light turns green). That's written in red.
I learn a lot about patience here :). Something to ponder, here people call green light "aoi" which in fact means blue. One  more thing, I did want to cross the street when I pressed the button.
Hiro San: Hayaku (Hurry up)
Yuri San: O machi kudasai, aoi mada desu (Wait please, it's not green yet)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coco! and 7-Eleven

My last post for Konbini theme photos. Coco! convenient store looks rather pinky than other konbinis. It's probably the only Coco! in Saijo. 

Tabako and sake plus ATM, though I never come to 7-Eleven for these services, sometimes I feel the urge to get the freshest bread at 4 am in the morning from this konbini. It takes less than a minute from my place, across from it. I presume there are five -7Elevens around my neighborhood.
Common sight in the afternoon, when high school students stop by.

Yuri San: Ohayo gozaimasu (Good morning)
Hiro San: Oden onegaisimasu (I'd like some oden, please)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lawson and Family Mart

The second largest Konbini in Japan is  Lawson.  There is a similarity in all convenient stores I see. Each of its name board is always attached with Sake and Tabako signs (neon box in the middle). 
ATM Saabisu (saabisu is written in Katakana), or ATM Service is also commonly available in every Konbini. No reason for running out of money :). 
The blue square with red and yellow stripes is the logo of Hiroshima Ginko/Bank. The first two Kanji is Hiro and Shima, the last two Kanji is Gi-n and Ko
Talking about money, a couple of months ago, Lawson on the Boulevard street was robbed. Rumor has it, it was a foreigner. The robber took about 40.000Yen cash, probably US$ 400.  Not a big money they say, but  it's enough to buy the latest point and shoot camera :).

Took this photo at Family Mart, the third largest convenient stores in Japan, this afternoon after rain had stopped :). This is located in the corner of a very busy intersection in Saijo. I did some illegal snapshots in the inside, but I bought a cup of mocca latte, too. 

"... ... no sofuto (soft) wa famirii maato (family mart)", a very good combination to show Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana altogether. Sorry, I can't read those Kanjis in the beginning sentence. Besides DVDs (mostly dubbed in Japanese), magazine section is one main attraction in a konbini. They sell a wide range of magazines and adult contents even sold free. In the morning it is jammed packed with people going to work and school to have a quick breakfast and reading magazines.

Yuri San: Nani o benkyo simasuka? (What are you learning?)
Hiro San: Kanji to Katakana to Hiragana. Taihen musukasi desu ne (Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana. It's totally difficult)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Popura, or Popular convenient store is located not far from a large rice paddy field in Saijo suburb. It is one of more than tens convenient stores in Saijo. I took this photo last week when visiting friends who live in the apartment behind this store. Convenient store or "konbini" in Japanese pronunciation is my theme today.
In the image on the left, the three Japanese main scripts are used: Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji. The first one (red box) on the top is written in Katakana, a set of symbols (syllabary) used for foreign borrowed words. It consists of three letters: Po-Pu-Ra, the name of the store, since as you can guess its original word is "Popular". The second neon box (below left) is Ta-ba-ko, written in Hiragana symbols which are used for Japanese original words. There is an exception here, we know that "Tabako" isn't Japanese word, but it's now very common word and one of the most goods sold in either Konbinis and vending machines. The neon box in the right is carrying Kanji, ideographs from Chinese characters. That Kanji character symbolizes  Sake. 
Hope my English doesn't make you lost in translation :). For a better understanding about Japanese writing system, you can read this.

Now, walk again in less than ten minutes, you'll find another Konbini.
Well, not this one :). is right next to the station. 

Hiro San: Onaka ga peko-peko (I'm starving)
Yuri San: Daijobu, Konbini wa chikai desu (No worry, there's a konbini near by)

Friday, May 15, 2009

35th Anniversary

7 Eleven and Hello Kitty are  celebrating their 35th anniversary together. 35 years old of Hello Kitty's first product, and 35 years old 7 Eleven of its first store in Japan. I spotted this sign outside "konbini" across from my place today.
Something I didn't know before coming to Japan was that Hello Kitty was called Kitty Chan.
This pictured leads me to my next theme for tomorrow, "konbini" in Saijo.

Yuri San: O tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu, Kitty Chan (Happy birthday, Kitty Girl)
Hiro San: Chigau. Kitty Kun desu (No. I'm Kitty Boy)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hiroshima FF 09, The End

A-Bomb Dome illuminated

Yuri San: Tsukaremashita desga tanoshikatta (Tired yet interesting)
Hiro San: Hayaku, kore wa saigono densha da yo (Hurry up, we have to catch the last train)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hiroshima FF 09, People

Some more photos of people taking part in the festival.

Today I got tagged by Vogon Poet. Thank you.

The rules are simple: Tag and link back to the person who tagged you. List six (un)important things that make you happy. Tag six bloggers and let them know they're "it". We all feel this blogging community to be one of inclusion and friendship.
Some happy things pop up in my mind first:
- old-jeans camera bag (got it done today)
- young coconut juice in my home country
- dreaming of Istanbul
- to have an old film, or pinhole, or polaroid camera
- to know what to write and not have problem with English
- to visit new places and meet nice people
And here are my six tagged bloggers :
I'll see you tomorrow :).

Hiro San: Owarimasuka? (Is it done?)
Yuri San: Ie, mada desu (Not yet)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hiroshima FF 09, Rainy Day

Day 3, the last day of the festival, it was raining. The origamis were still lit and floating on the Motoyasu River in front of the A-Bomb Dome at the Peace Memorial Park.

The park is located next to Hondori shopping center, so many of the visitors went there to buy umbrella. 

These candles were decorated using water proof colored pens, however the paper used was not strong enough, as such they were collected earlier due to rain. I was lucky to snap some shots before night.
It was me who arranged them in a row the day before, and they were still in their position when I came again the next day :). The candle in the middle shows a character call Anpanman, a very popular cartoon character among children in Japan. 

They have done their job, time to rest.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago...

Yuri San: Ame ga suki desu (I love rain)
Hiro San: Honto? (Really?)

Monday, May 11, 2009