Sunday, August 31, 2014

Aomori 1

We left FurouFushi on-sen and headed north to the Tappi Misaki in the MMMM peninsula. As before we drove the coastline same as the GoNo line train and happened to meet it! Quite lucky. At that time M was checking train schedules on her SmartPhone. She found that it was just leaving a station near our location. We found the tracks and then Miwako spotted the trains headlight. I pulled off the main road onto a smaller one, got out and waited. Here she comes! I snapped  a couple  of photos. Success! From there we drove the coastline to the top of MMMMM Peninsula. We climbed on foot to the most Northern point of Eastern Honshu. Now we started our descent heading for Aomori by car. Miwkoa drove most of the way. I was sleeping. I dreamed about our vacation. We had been to ChuSonJi, Towada Lake, Oirase Keiryuu and FurouFushi On-sen. We had lots of delicious food and drink. I did no jogging. I didn't practice my violin. And I didn't teach English. We had two more nights. One in Aomori and then the finale in Yonezawa. I awoke in Amori.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

FurouFushi On-sen Part 2

As I said yesterday the hotel is simple. All the rooms look exactly alike. However they are left-handed and right-handed. They all face the ocean. There is a bit of lawn below but then the ocean starts. From the second floor window you can see the rocks. There are two main baths inside the building. They are always open. There is also a bath outside. You have to walk through the hotel down a long hallway and then into the next building to get to the outdoor bath. There are two baths side by side. They are both open to men and women. That is, members of the opposite sex can enjoy the bath together. Of course everyone wears a big brown bag to cover their bodies. It was more convenient to go there by car for us. There are many visitors here, too. The dining room was more cafeteria style but the food was good. We also relaxed in the massage chairs three times.I recommend this place to all who hope to get young(er)!

 

Friday, August 29, 2014

FurouFushi On-sen Part 1

This is another popular tourist site. Many people come here to get young; or rather to not grow old or die even! The drive here from Towada was fun! First we went through the mountains on the up and down, winding (curving) roads. Then we drove along the coast line on the up and down winding (curving) roads. The coast road is the same road that the famous GoNo Line train uses. We rode that last year so it was nice to see it all again. Only this time the sea was calm. I was a bit surprised at the hotel. It was rather old but clean. There was a large lobby,  Karaoke bar and a basic dining room. Again the main attraction here is the on-sen SO there is no bath in the rooms! We stayed two nights ands or first night was on the first floor. I asked them to change our room to the top (second) floor the next and they did. It is an ocean view. I enjoyed drinking sake here and relaxing after bridge practice with M. I will tell you some more tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oirase Keiryuu

This is also a very popular tourist destination. It is just north of Lake Towada. Have you ever been here? There were a lot of tourists. Of course, some people and families stay the night. There are also bus tours that come here. The main attraction is the river (or stream). It runs alongside (next to ) the road. It goes all the way to Lake Towada, maybe 3 kilometers. It has rapids (very quick flowing water). And because of all the rain it was exciting. The whole area is covered in thick forest. There are several waterfalls to see. There are areas to stop along the roadside. It is narrow but all the people are quite understanding, driving cautiously (carefully). There are many people walking along the riverside. The buses stop to let the passengers out to take pictures. M and I drove this road four times. We got out to take pics, too. Anyway there were lots of people at this hotel with many families and kids. We stayed two nights so we had a chance for some bridge practice, and a bus ride to the hotels special outdoor bath for men and women to use together.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lake Towada

 
We stayed one night at the Towada Hotel. It was a very nice place and the view of the lake from our room, the food, and the atmosphere were all excellent. I didn't drink this day so the next AM I was up early.There were only a couple of babies that we saw at dinner so all was quite quiet. We had cloudy weather both days but we could see the lake from the room. (Actually there was some kind of a mix-up (mistake) and they gave us the suite room. It had the coolest bath tub, lots of gold plated faucets and light switches, and plenty of space). We stayed here one night and after breakfast checked out and took a drive northwards to see a dam and a waterfall before heading to our next destination: Oirase Keiryuu. It rained on and off. It was cloudy a lot. It was cool. We also found a nice place for lunch and some good scenery during our drive. After we checked into our hotel, we took a drive along the river to see waterfalls and fast flowing water in the river.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ChuSon-Ji

The first day of our trip took us to ChuSon-Ji. This temple is a World Heritage Site. Miwako decided that we would go here as the first stop on our way to Aomori. This was an excellent choice. It was our first vist here. The Golden Hall is fantastic! There is a lot of history and religious information about this place. I am not sure about all the detials so I can't exlpain here. But, the gold and raden (mother-of-pearl) temple and statues were simply beautiful. It is like Kamakura or Kyoto or Ise Jingu but on a smaller scale. M and I cruised around the area from 9AM to about 2PM. We bought some cool souvenirs and saw many interersting things: 12 small shrines for the Chinese Zodiac, statues, buildings, forested areas, a Noh stage, a museum, and plenty of shops. From there we set out for our next stop at Lake Towada. A perfect start!
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Puzzler Answers

I have one more week to enjoy some extra time off. My kindergarten lessons start from September. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Saturday
1. Jog
2. At school...BLOG, check mail, violin practice, bridge practice.
3. Get ready to teach.
4. Two kids lessons. Two sign up for Eiken tests.
5. Adult classes at Kenkatsu. The students are gooooooooooooooood!
6. Violin practice.
7. Fujinami HanChouKai at JiChiKaiKan.
8. Dinner and sleep.

Sunday.
1. Jog.
2. Sleep.
3. 20 minutes of clean up at JiChiKaiKan and Temple.
4. All day bridge in Yotsuya with M.
5. Home to dinner and bridge review.
6. Sleep.

This moth was in the outdoor bath in Yonozawa.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Puzzler Hints

I enjoyed teaching yesterday. I have a community meeting this AM and then all day bridge with Miwako. Here we go! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Puzzler

Hello everybody. We are back home and back to everyday life. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」
12 Chinese Zodiac mini-temples at ChuSonJi

Friday, August 22, 2014

Back Home

"Time flies when you are having fun!" That's what my good friend John Wayne always says. Our vacation has ended. We left the splendid hotel in Yonezawa, Yamagata at 10:30AM and arrived home at 3:30PM. We stayed at 6 different places for eight nights from August 13th to August 21st. We had wind, rain and some sunshine but for the most part (for most of the time) we had cloudy weather. I would say 85% of the time it was cloudy. The temperatures were mostly in the low to mid-20s (21 top 27C). We ate all kinds of food and drank a variety of alcohol even though August is my dry month. I didn't calculate (figure out) how many kilometers we traveled but I'm sure it was over 1,500. We had to fill up the tank twice. Driving GOLF in the mountains and along the coastlines was really a lot of fun. As I said the food everywhere was delicious, and I ate 8 kinds of soft ice cream. I wonder how much weight I gained. Anyway I hope to see your smiling face at our next lesson.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Finale

We drove six hours from Aomori to Yonezawa. There was no traffic at all. According to the Navi we could have driven home in three more hours. Our final hotel is Tokinoyado Sumire. Looking forward to Yonezawa beef  steak dinner. I can't wait!

Aomori

We drove from FurouFushi to Aomori via TappiMisaki. That is  the most northern point in Honshu's east side. Later in Aomori city we visited the ferry company where Rina works. Then after dinner we took a taxi to see Aomori's night lights from a mountain side. It will be hot here, too, today.

Monday, August 18, 2014

不老不死

We arrived here yesterday and got I'm the on-sen immediately. I feel 20 years younger. But I look the same?! I'll try again later.

Puzzler Answers

Thanks for checking out today's BLOG. I hope you are enjoying your summer. Cheers!
Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Puzzler HInts

I'm sure this is a wonderful place. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Puzzler

Let's see.. We are going to an outdoor on-sen now. We will relax at the hotel today in Oirase Keiryu.
Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Day

We left the hotel this AM and took a drive to the dam. I can't remember any of the names of the places but we have been driving since 9:30AM. It's been a lot of winding roads up and down in the mountains. GOLF has performed admirably (excellently). I will try to upload a picture now. Sigh. I am using the hotel lobby PC so there is no slot for my camera disk. Oh well, C U later.

Lake Towada

I am sorry for the delay. I am using M's Smart phone and it's difficult. I can't upload pics. Anyway we arrived at Lake T yesterday. Fantastic! But it's raining today. I will write later. Please check out tomorrow's Puzzler. Is today Friday???

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Arrived chusonji

We left home at 6:40 am and arrived at this hotel at 4:00pm. We checked out Chusonji. We will visit it tomorrow. Now we can relax.

Unagi Dinner

We all know that summer time is hot and muggy here in Japan. It is also time for Festivals and going to the beach or mountains. School is out. Families go camping and of course visit family graves during the Buddhist "O-Bon" holidays. I know that Unagi is a treat now. So, suddenly last week, I called Miwako and suggested that we all go out to have an Unagi dinner on Saturday. Without hesitation (Immediately) M agreed and sprang into action. She started checking the Internet for nearby (and delicious) Unagi restaurants. She found a couple (two) in Kawagoe. So, after my Kenkatsu lessons I went home and everyone got ready. Unfortunately, Rina couldn't make it. But the rest of us drove to the first place on the list only to find that it was full. But, The second place turned out to be excellent. Nice atmosphere,  good food, fine company and reasonable. Dessert was potato ice cream. Yummy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Kids Lessons Part 2

I taught the second and final lesson at the Ina ChuOu Kominkan. It was last Friday and the weather was good. There were 19 kids this time. I have learned that having the kids move around is important. If they sit for too long they get "antsy" (fidgety). Last time the kids sat at their tables for the lessons. I also had them line up several times. I gave them cards or papers or such and then they return to their seats. That was a conversation practice. This time we studied numbers and colors. The kids lined up again but we also went to the back of the room and sat in a circle on the floor. There we used number flash cards to practice "0 to 100". Later the kids wrote the color words on their sheets and then again on the floor we practiced numbers and colors using blocks and poker chips. All had a good time. I got a little tired this time as I had to sit or kneel on the floor for quite a while. But I and all the kids had a good time.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Puzzler Answers

There sure is lots of rain. I hope you are staying dry.
Did you get the answers from last Saturday's Super Scrabble/ They are BRAIN  GHOST  MARRY/YET  SOLVE.
And now to the new week. But, first, Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
Saturday
1. Jog.
2. To school for "interesting" violin practice.
3. Two kids lessons with half absent due to summer vacation.
4. Two adult lessons with most present.
5. Out for UNAGI dinner with the family.
Sunday
1. Raining-No Jog.
2. Take Eri to the station.
3. Clean Kominkan with neighbors.
4. Violin practice at school.
5. KARAOKE Party with Seibu students is cancelled due to the rains and winds.
6.  Play duet with Miwako at home. "Over the Rainbow" with me on violin and M on piano. So cool!
7. Watch news and TV.
8. Practice bridge.
9. Watch movie.

Checking the Unagi menu

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Puzzer Hints

Only three more days till "Take off". And at his this time next week we will be in Akita. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」
This AMs rice field

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Puzzler

Saturday is here and I'm ready for a busy weekend. Will I ever have a NON-busy weekend?Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」

Friday, August 8, 2014

Super Scrabble

I had a bit of a shock recently. I learned from my younger students that their summer vacation will be cut short (made shorter) this year. I assumed school will resume (begin again) from September 1. Then some kids told me "No, August 24th." I couldn't believe my ears. When I asked why, they said the reason is that the schools now have air conditioners in them. So, they can come back to school and enjoy studying in the classroom in cool comfort one week early. I asked them how they feel about this. Two said they were happy to go back early. One wants to meet friends. Another was bored at home. But, most kids were thumbs down (booing). They said they still had summer homework. But, some said they were given less homework. Then I heard something interesting. The teachers were also unhappy. Of course! They have to go back early, too. Whose idea was this? I closed my school an extra four days this year as it is so hot in the summer. Mistake? Anyway, please look at the Super Scrabble board. Can you guess the blanks? Answers next Monday.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Final RINRI...again



Mr. Motoda Toyji A.K.A. Maha
I didn't plan to attend any more RINRI events. However at our last MS (Morning Seminar) I learned that Mr Motoda Toyoji would be the speaker for the day. Motoda (his nickname and Company name is MAHA) is the person who introduced me to RINRI. As I have said the study here is excellent. The study and practice make you a better, happier person in many ways. I have also said that I am ready to retire from the group. There is no age limit but I want more free time. With MAHA coming to this MS I couldn't be absent. I phoned him in advance (Thursday) and told him of my plans to retire, but not quit. He couldn't understand why. I made the Member's Speech which precedes (is before) his speech. I explained my feelings. There seems to be no ill will with the other members because of my leaving. Perhaps it was just a shock for him. Anyway, I want to depart as friends. I hope to meet and share a smile with all and any members I happen to meet during the rest of my journey here. Good Luck MAHA, good luck to all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fireflies

At an adult lesson not long ago, one student declared that there was an opportunity (chance) to see fireflies at the Kitamoto Nature Park. She said that she had been there before and she will go again. Then she asked if anyone was interested in joining and I accepted. It was last Saturday. Miwako and the family had plans to go to see the Ageo Fireworks display. I don't like firework displays so much. Too many people and traffic jams for me. I biked to the Nature Park from my house about 7PM. I met Asuka there and after some preparations (putting on long pants, shirts, hats, neck towels and lots of mosquito repellent) we headed out. We walked along a trail at dusk. It had a small river running alongside it. Perfect for fireflies. Of course, there were other people there, but it was rather quiet. (We could hear the fireworks in the distance.) It was a wonder world. As things got darker we could see more and more fireflies. They are so cool! They make absolutely no noise. And fortunately there was no wind. They just seem to float and move up and down. They are so tiny. They flicker on and off. They go left and right. It was so interesting and fun. Thanks, Asuka.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kids Short Course

BINGO!
The InaCho Ou Komoinkan asked RAM English to teach a kids Short Course there this summer. They gave me a choice of days and I chose Friday. I was going to ask another teacher to do the lesson. However, I teach on Friday mornings at Mida Kindergarten. That means that I am free during the summer (i.e. No Mida lessons in summer). I decided to teach the two lessons myself. It was fun. First of all, there was a reporter for a local newspaper there to cover the event. So, I got to perform for her. It was 90 minutes. This lesson was all about ABCs. There were 14 kids. The ages ranged form 6 to 10. There 10 girls and 4 boys. We practiced the ALPHABET from a to Z and then Z to A. Some simple conversation and then the main event: BINGO! We all had a great time and there will be one more lesson this Friday.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Puzzler Answers

I drank more than enough last month. I'm enjoying my no drinking life...for now. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Saturday
1. Jog
2. Go to RINRI Morning Seminar (pretty sure this was my last).
3. Home to change and then to school by bicycle.
4. Violin practice. Bridge practice.
5. Teach two kids lessons.
6. M takes me by car to Kenakatsu to teach two adult classes.
7. Back by taxi and have a quick Ramen dinner at Kurumaya.
8. Go by Bicycle to Kitamoto Nature Park to meet Asuka and check out the fireflies. Some fun!
9. Home by bicycle.
10, Sleep early. I'm pooped.

Sunday
1. Clean GOLF interior by my house: Vacuum, clean windows, wash floor mats.
2. Violin at school.
3. Study new bridge convention (idea) with M at home.
4. Go to Kenkatsu to practice bridge.
5. Go to new restaurant: 18!
6. Home to wash GOLF.
7. Review this day's bridge with M.
8. Sleep early.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Puzzler Hints

It's a beautiful Sunday morning! I don't teach today but I have plenty to do. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)

1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」
 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Puzzler

A new month has arrived. It's a dry one for me. I look forward to the challenge but I can see some pitfalls along the way...in Touhoku! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.
 
HOME PROJECT for August 2014: “will” vs “ be going to”
will +動詞の原形   ~しようと思う(今決めたこと)、
~でしょう(未来の状態や動作についての話し手の推測)

be going to+ 動詞の原形  ~する予定です。(話す前にすでに決まっている未来のこと)

  ~しそう(今の状況から推測される未来)
1. Q: “Ken called while you were out.“ 「いない時に、ケンから電話があったよ。」
1A:“OK. I’ll call him back.” 「わかった。かけてみるよ。」
1B: “Yes, I know. I’m going to call him back.” 「知ってる。 かけるつもり。」
 
2 “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” 「あの黒い雲を見て。雨が降りそう。」
3 “ Maybe my grandchild will be born next week.” 「多分、来週には孫が産まれるはず。」
“ So I’m going to go to Kyoto to help my daughter.”  「だから、娘の手伝いに京都に行く予定。」

My rice field 8:10AM today
 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pancakes

Yummy!
Can you make pancakes? I can. Recently I have been doing a lot of organizing and cleaning up in my school and house. The school is easy to do as I don't have to ask anyone for permission to throw things away. So, I can throw away things as I please. But, in the house it is different. I have to be careful. I have to make sure (check OR verify) that it is OK to discard (throw away) the things that look like junk (unnecessary items) to me. And while I was looking through drawers and inside cabinets and under beds and tables I found several bottles of maple syrup. It is used on pancakes. I think we got them from Canada. There was also some honey. So, I decided to make pancakes. M bought some pancake batter for me and I mixed some up with milk and made pancakes last week. Actually, I never "cook" but these were delicious. Can you cook?