Friday, July 31, 2009

Still Strong

Taken yesterday on my way to Kagamiyama Koen/Park, where the only bus stop nearest. Bushes were getting dense during summer, I saw some workers did the trimming.
But I got the feeling they must have left these untouched :). Don't know the name though, I love simple flowers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Green

How are you? Hope all is well. Back from Japanese lessons today, I went to rice field area not far from the university. The weather was nice, not too much different from two-three days ago, the sun was still hiding behind the clouds, perfect for taking photographs.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

30-Minute Escape.

The freshest photo from Saijo taken today at around 6pm.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Growing Rice

This is the season when people grow rice, and they do need rain. As a small town, it's usual to find rice field side by side with houses in downtown.

Friday, July 24, 2009


With no promise when to stop, it continues to pour down.
But it's always nice just to see the view from your window. Despite the hard rain people would take a risk to go out for some warm drink and fresh snack from konbinis nearby.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Heart Tea

I do love this tea shop. But it takes 50 minutes and 650 Yen to get there. The shop is at Mihara station. Took the photo two weeks ago on my second visit to the town.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clover Lover

Here again some decorations in front of a beauty salon. This one is the closest to my house. What I like is its natural decoration, and I fancy clover leaves :).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When It's Sunny

Looking out from 9th fl Sun Square building on Saturday last week, I saw an event held by YMCA on the rooftop of Fukuya shopping mall. Not quite sure what event it was, I think it was a part of their motto, Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.

And another late news :), from one of my previous posts about the old JA building which was demolished a couple of months ago. It turns out to be a new parking lot. Oh no!
Kaori, you guessed it right :((.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rusty on Sea Day

It's common to find small cans like this in Saijo hung on wall, bus stop, fence, etc. They function as ash tray and cigarette butts, or candy wraps container. What about soda can? In case you don't see trash bin, put it in your bag until you find one :).

PS: Today is Umi no Hi or Sea Day, it's a national holiday, a time when people go enjoy their time in the beach. Rumor has it, since July this year there was no national holiday, the government created this holiday. Brilliant idea if you asked me :). But it has been raining non-stop for two days now and most likely tomorrow, too. Not only I couldn't show you some photos from the beach, it ruined my plan to the cinema :). Anyway, I kind of enjoy the day, one of the peaceful days I spent so far just watching the rain and people past. It even was near the heavy rain in Indonesia with lightning strike, thunder and wind.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kirin Lemon

A Kirin Lemon ad in front of a restaurant. It's probably an old Kirin ad, but you can see the same kind of bottles today :).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

White Lampion

Saturday night's here again. I guess all restaurants and clubs are now full of people having some food or drink. A photo of a Japanese restaurant's entrance in Saijo Eki. Have a nice weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Mysterious Prince

Couldn't resist to snap some photos in a cinema in Hiroshima yesterday. Hope I'm not the only one among you who read and watch Harry Potter along with Quidditch Through the Ages, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I had a chat with my siblings yesterday about this hot issue and was quite proud that my memories still serves me well :).

How's each tittle of the novel translated in your language? In Bahasa Indonesia the 6th novel is translated "Harry Potter dan Pangeran Berdarah Campuran". And in Japanese it is Harry Potter to Nazo no Purinzu (Harry Potter and the Mysterious Prince).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A motorcycle and a postcard

Postcards, letters and small packages sent for you are distributed by JP Postal Postmen using this red motorcycle. Among the many newest and trendy designs of this kind of vehicle, our post office -in Japanese 'yuubinkyouku'- stick to the old ones. No complain, I love it.
And today, I received a postcard from Istanbul!.
Got this postcard from Delilah and Jack when they spent a month in Turkey. They are now somewhere in Egypt having the most fun trip ever :). Wishing them a happy, safe journey.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Used Scooter

Can't afford a new scooter? Why not a used bike? You can get it from as low as 40.000Yen (US$ 400).
Have a nice week, everyone.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ready to Ride

Yesterday I posted a photo of an old scooter someone had left unused at the university's bycycle parking lot. Today it's time to show you brand new scooter being displayed at a store not far from the campus. What brands? Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Vespa, you name it.
A new scooter cost range from about 190.000-120.000Yen (roughly US$1.900-1.200). Choose your favorite. I want the orange one :).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Early Retirement

Back to regular days. An old photo I took early in the spring this year at the campus. No, I won't talk about the season, just want to show you this abandoned nice scooter. It 's left right in front of parking lot for bycycle and has been there for months. Too early if you ask me :).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

During the Festival

I'm back with more photos from festival yesterday :). Mikoshi is a portable shrine people bear on the shoulders by means of two or four poles. During the matsuri, people bring it around the shrine's neighborhood.
Following the mikoshi are several priests from the shrine who stop by at houses to give blessings.

He followed a pick-up car while playing some traditional Japanese songs whose melodies somehow made me felt sad.
This is Shishimai the lion. He entertained people as well as scared off children. I saw at least three kids cried because of him.
And what surprised me more was this dance club from university who did the same performance at Yukata festival, a modern dance and music, except that yesterday they wore traditional costume. With long and exhausting rehearsal, they deserve to show the dance more than once, don't they?

I hope you enjoy this festival as well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gion Matsuri Today

Today was sunny and I went out to cover (ahem...) Gion Matsuri. The festival lasted for two days, it is an annual event held by Mitate Shrine, located not far from Saijo Station. About the shrine, I will post its photo in the future.
Men and women took part in this event, carrying Mikoshi around the shrine's neighborhood as a form of entertainment (or I think offering) to Gods. If you notice from the photo above, foreigner can also take part in such festivals.
It was super sunny and hot as well, yet people were overwhelmed by the spirit of the festival.

The route to carry Mikoshi was quite long. At some spots, participants stopped to take a rest, they were offered drink and snack by some hosts and entertained by a traditional band group who followed Mikoshi until its last stop.

The last stop was at a sake house where final performance and blessings were done.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Covered Moon

It's been raining all week. Playing with a camera, this is a view I saw just about two hours ago, when the full moon was covered with soon-to-be-rain clouds, from my window.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let's Play Kendama

Playing with this toy seems so intriguing. First time trying it, I didn't want to stop until I got at least put the ball on one of its cup which is the easiest part.

A kendama consists of a ball with a hole in it and it rests on a spike on the top of a kendama, a hammer shaped handle, two cups at the two extending sides, and a small cup at the bottom of the handle. Kendama play consists of catching and spearing the ball in various ways, putting the ball on the spike or the cup.

Kendama is very popular as it's always performed in festivals. The origins of the game are obscure, you may find similar game in your country with different name.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tea Ceremony

There are some steps on how to drink matcha/tea properly, but let's skip half and start with:
- bowing and saying "thank you for the tea" to the host,
- take the chawan (tea bowl) with right hand, place it on left palm,
- turn the chawan clockwise twice in order to avoid its front,
- drink the tea to the last sip,
- turn the chawan back so that the front faces you,
- place the chawan in front of you.

How to prepare a bowl of tea? Put two scoops of powdered tea into the bowl, add hot water and whisk it with the tea whisk until it gets frothy. It's delicious, and taste so fresh,

but will not complete without a slice of red beans cake. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

To Make A Wish

Today, July 7th is Tanabata day , a Japanese star festival. It's when people write their wish on a piece of paper called Tanzaku and then hang it on decorated bamboo branches. According to my teacher, in order to have your wishes come true, don't forget to write your name on it. The festival itself derived from the Chinese star festival which is now has become one of Japanese tradition.

Monday, July 6, 2009


When and where this photo was taken, I'm still finding it out. Been in my file for a while, I forgot it was there.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saijo Moon

Full moon now in Saijo. It's the thing that always cheers me up and I like saying, "Hey, look up! It's me up there!". To anticipate it earlier, I learned how to shot the moon, followed the step by step, and when I saw the result, it's far cry from it was expected. Better do with my own mode :). How's moon in your place? Are there any differences?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

How much...

is the gas price in your city?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Anybody Home?

I couldn't resist peeking in this house. Later my friend informed me it was her landlord's house.
Have a wonderful weekend :).
Yuri San: Yookoso, Saa o-hairi kudasai (Welcome, please come in)
Hiro San: Ojama-shimasu (Excuse me)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Cone of Aisukurimu

About once a month I go grocery shopping with friends in this area in Higashi Hiroshima, borders with Saijo in the north. I've been to that place several times but never with a camera and longed to show you this ice cream shop which at a glance doesn't look Japanese except for its name. Surrounded by paddyfield and Japanese style houses, this shops really stands out. Last Sunday I managed to remember bringing my camera along. It is also a reminder for me of how sunny a day can be because now it's rainy season in Saijo and will last probably until next week.
Yuri San: Aisukurima wa, nani ga suki desuka? (What ice cream flavor do you like?)
Hiro San: Ano, meron to vanira desu (Melon and vanilla)