Thursday, March 30, 2006


Above are two shots of the Umeda Sky Building. I took them from inside a building with my not so good camera phone.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

ururu to sarara

We were shopping for digital cameras today and ran into Pichon-kun.

Usually Pichon-kun is peddling air conditioners for Daikin but today he was pushing Canon printers.

A salesperson took our picture and printed it out on the spot. She even offered a second copy but I think one is enough.

jokikiuta CM

another pichon-kun cm

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

sick and wrong

Current mood: charmed

(In 2004 Sanrio announced that Hello Kitty received a new pet from her dad. It's name is Charmy and it's a white Persian.)

Mmm ... hamsters...

J (out of the blue): Kitty is sick and wrong.
Me: ...
J: Her pet comes from the same species as her.
Me: I know and Daniel has a hamster.
Me: Charmy is just waiting for the right time to pounce.
J: It's just like if your friend Kawai-chan was your pet and I had a chicken.
Me: ...
Me: I know but ...
Me: Shh!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Cool Water

Little while ago I discovered Metromint water at a local supermarket. I am so hooked. As you can see, from Aranzi Aronzo's summer greeting card I sent last year, I am not too fond of Japanese summers. I am thinking this drink is the perfect thing to help me survive. Usually I have a lot of shaved ice, drink cold tea, try to stay in shape, avoid going into the main part of the city, and stay home as much as possible with the windows open. I am a little worried because the store just slashed the price and they don't seem to be restocking it. (I think it would help if they displayed it in the drink section instead of in the ice cream section.) Looks like I'll have to find a different source or get a mint plant.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I like this time of year because I can eat sweets like these:

Assorted sakura wagashi with salted cherry blossoms and leaves.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

otaku fufu (nerdy couple)

One of my friends calls us the "otaku fufu." Sometimes I disagree with this but this Monday, on our sixth anniversary, it was impossible to deny. Last year we rode through Kyoto on a rickshaw. The year before that we stayed at the Hilton. The year before that we bought matching watches and ate Italian. This year we went to see the third installment of Zeta Gundam.

Recently we don't have much time and we already saw the first two movies. Might as well finish what we started. You also have to consider the soundtrack by Gackt and my favorite character, Char. How can you pass up a movie with the title "Love is the Pulse of the Stars?" Even so, I don't think that 50 TV episodes fit nicely into 3 movies. I felt like the characters got distorted. It ended just like a Bond movie. Where was the seriousness? Anyway, I had a good time. I even got to see a trailer for Chakushin ari Final.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Sakura flavored Kit Kat, traditional style ball, sakura from 2004, momo dango (peach flavored sweet), grape flavored fiber drink.

Peach banana flavored Vietnamese style drink, huge strawberry cushion/pillow from my mother-in-law, sakura tea set from Afternoon Tea, Unazukin from last year (make some noise and she will shake or nod her head), spoon/chopstick rests from one of Jun's friends.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006


I wish I were more interested in Final Fantasy because really this is just another power drink. The commercial features a battle over their potion in a convenience store.

Generally speaking Japanese convenience stores are better than average. Stores offer so much and nothing ever seems to collect dust.The one closest to me is even better thanks to an older woman who works there. She always goes out of her way for you and treats customers like neighbors. Sometimes they play classical music instead of J-pop but I have yet to see anything like this.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006


Tonight is the second season finale of Nip/Tuck. Considering the third season is over in the U.S., you would think that next week Fox would start showing the third season here in Japan. According to the schedule however, it looks like it's back to the first season. No! Why? Why when they are showing American Idol Season 5?

Monday, March 6, 2006

wanwan (bowwow)

Last year we went to the Okome Gallery in Umeda. It's more of a store that promotes rice. Like the "got milk" campaign but for rice and in store form. There are displays about rice, onigiri (rice balls) for sale, and free recipes using rice. I picked up a recipe for lemon muffins. They taste great but are healthier since you use rice. I translated the recipe for my mom and everyone seems to think they are tasty. The exception was Jun who asked me if they had to have the rice in them. Ahh!

The store also sells chopsticks and rice bowls. I really couldn't pass up a set of rice bowls featuring their character, Gohanchawan. Chawan is Japanese for rice bowl, gohan means rice, and wanwan is what some small children call dogs, like doggie. You can't really tell in my picture but he has ears. My favorite part is filling it up with rice to form the head.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Shirahama Onsen

Last October we went to Shirahama right when everyone else was ending a 3-day weekend. This turned out well because we were practically the only ones there. It was rainy on the trip out but eventually it was just cloudy with some sun once in a while. There were several public baths to try. All of them were spread out on a hillside connected here and there with bridges and lit up with lanterns. We even had our own bath. I am not quick to believe much but this time I found that bathing in onsen water is good for your skin. After eating a huge dinner we walked around trying to locate and collect stamps for our map. Once we finished that we could get a kind of lottery ticket. We won a coupon that we used to get some more beer.

I always like to see the ocean but the white sand made it really impressive. Shirahama is also known for their ume (plums, or technically Japanese apricots). Before heading home we grabbed an ume flavored ice cream cone which was delicious. There was a problem with the local train so we just took the express train. I hope someday we can make a return visit.