Friday, January 18, 2019

Emperor's Speech

I went to hear the Birthday speech by Japanese Emperor Akihito on December 2rd. I couldn't get in. Even though I waited two hours I arrived too late. So, I made a plan to go see His New Year's address on January 2nd. I left Okegawa at 6:54. I arrived Tokyo station about 7:45. Me and hundreds (maybe thousands) of others rushed towards the Palace grounds. But, we were all halted at the traffic signal at Hibiya Douri. Why? Because the Eki Den race started at 8AM and the runners passed right in front of us! Cool! Then we all crossed the street and made our way (walked to) the Palace. I waited a total of 2 hours. I went through the bag check and the body check. I was in row 7. It seemed far away.  But, we were allowed to enter and so was row 8. I was really happy. We all waited about 10 more minutes for the Emperor and Empress to make their appearance. Then they did! There were two hug monitors so all could see. Everyone was taking pics and videos. It lasted about 20 minutes. Then many of us walked through the Palace grounds to the most northern Gate. That was cool as it is rare to enter the grounds. You should definitely do this once. (Pic. Inside the grounds during the greeting. Can you see the Emperor?)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

UmiHotaru

Umi-hotaru is a nickname of a rest area on the Tokyo Bay Aqua-line, an expressway connecting between Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture and Kisarazu City in Chiba Prefecture. It is built across Tokyo Bay. The length is 14 kilometers. The west side ( Kawasaki side) is 9.6 km undersea tunnel. The east side (Kisarazu side) is 4.4 km bridge. And there is the Umi-hotaru rest area at the bridge-tunnel crossover point. It has restaurants, shops and amusement facilities. 
I heard about this from a couple of students. I have wanted to go there for a while. When we stayed in Tokyo December 31st and January 1st, we had our chance. After breakfast at the hotel, three of us headed to the tunnel. That is when I fell asleep in the back seat. When I woke up we were at the rest area. It was pretty cool. There were lots of cars coming from Chiba...many more than coming from Tokyo. We had lunch a the food court. We didn't shop though. The toilets were C-L-E-A-N! And the views were magnificent. If you ever get hte chance I recommend that you take the time to visit Umi-hotaru.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Movies by Ayako

I had two free movie tickets so I decided to see "A star is Born" on December 26th. It's leading role is played by singer Lady Gaga. I went to her concert once. I am a little interested in her, and her movie was nominated for 5 Golden Globe Awards. I was expecting a lot. But, it was not that good. The other movie I saw was "Bohemian Rhapsody". This is my third time, so I found a small point that really impressed me. Freddie was wearing the underwear of Japanese Kimono in his room. He was wearing womans' "NagaJuban". There was also a "Uchikake" kimono that you wear at weddings hanging on the wall of his room. There was also a "Ofuda" on the entrance of his house and "Ginkaku..." was written on it. I was very happy that this movie incorporated Japanese culture in it. I have never been to their concert. However, the last 21 minutes is the best part of he movie. It was the largest Music event of the 20th century. It was a satisfying concert no matter how many times I see it. Did you know that Gaga's name comes from Queen's song "Radio Gaga"? Yesterday the Golden Globe winners were announced. Bohemian Rhapsody got the best movie award. The man who played Freddie got the leading actor award. Lady Gaga got the theme song award. It was very cool to see these awards and movies.   

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Coming of Age Day

There was the celebration of Coming of Age here in Japan yesterday, January 14th. Here is the info from Wikipedia:
Every year on the second Monday of January, The Japanese celebrate Coming of Age Day. or Seijin no Hi. Sometimes called 'Aduolts Day', this holiday is all about welcoming the country's youth into adulthood. It's an important rite of passage for all young Japanese and can trace its roots back hundreds of years. Coming of Age Day welcomes new adults into society. In Japan, youth are officially considered adults at the age or 20. As an adult, they are now allowed to drink, drive, smoke and gamble legally. The legal voting age, however, was lowered to 18 in 2015.
I was off all day yesterday. In the past I went to Super Arena in Omiya to see the new young adults and take pics and enjoy the atmosphere. I considered doing that again this year, but I did not do it. I took a trip to Tokyo on Sunday and then to the gym. So, I was a bit pooped (tired). Instead, I did gardening, watched football on TV, cleaned around the house and just relaxed. How about you? Did you see any Seijins?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Puzzler Answers

It's a holiday today. We are in Atami. I hope the weather is nice for us and all those SeiJins. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.


               


































FLASH                 ZOO/ON               SHINED/ICY            UNDER

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Puzzler Hints

That's Hibiya Park. But, you knew that, did you not? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

今月のHPは、contractions 
英語では、contractionsつまり、短縮形が使われます。( do notを、dontにするなど)
二つの単語を、apostropheという省略符号である「 ‘ 」を使い省略することができます。
今月のHPでは、それらの短縮形を使わない形で、英語を使ってみましょう。
1. I cannot (can't) hear you.
2. We did not (didn't) go there last summer.
3. It is not (isn't) hot today.
Gottit? Good.
これらの練習は、少し難しいかも知られませんが、頑張ってください。

This is also Hibiya Park. It's a nice and cozy park.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Puzzler

You tried to make some sentences sans (without) contractions, did you not? Well, do not give up. the Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

今月のHPは、contractions 
英語では、contractionsつまり、短縮形が使われます。( do notを、dontにするなど)
二つの単語を、apostropheという省略符号である「 ‘ 」を使い省略することができます。
今月のHPでは、それらの短縮形を使わない形で、英語を使ってみましょう。
1. I cannot (can't) hear you.
2. We did not (didn't) go there last summer.
3. It is not (isn't) hot today.
Gottit? Good.
これらの練習は、少し難しいかも知られませんが、頑張ってください。


Do you know this park? Answer tomorrow.



Friday, January 11, 2019

New Year's Eve 2018

On December 31st Miwako and I stayed one night at a hotel in Shinagawa with one of our daughters. She would not arrive until late at night, so M and I went to Tokyo Tower. Have you every been there? I have been there a few times but this was the first time in a long time. (Actually, we got married at a church very nearby. After the wedding we and our guests all went to Tokyo Tower.) This time we had a late lunch and then went up to the first deck. The view is great. I am studying about Tokyo I was keen to learn about 1) the different buildings, 2) the direction of things and 3) the beauty of Tokyo. Unfortunately the west part of the deck was closed. But there were some other nice views. The view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge was especially good. Then there was ZouJou Temple right below us. At the far other of the deck we could see Mt Fuji. That was pretty cool. There was Shibuya and Shinjuku. Things started getting dark so the lights were coming on little by little. Finally everyrhng below us was lighted up. That was cool. Finally at 6PM there was a special illumination inside the deck. We waited for it with high expectations. BUT...it was not so good. Oh, well. We got back to our car at 7PM and headed to Omotesan Dou. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bicycle Tour Part 2

It was a beautiful sunny day. The skies were a brilliant blue. Of course it was cool. I went back to my bicycle and completed my trip around the palace grounds. I was back in front of the palace facing Tokyo station. I had a plan to cycle to Tokyo Dome. And I was getting hungry. I biked along Hibiya Douri. I started looking at restaurants. Lots of other people had the same idea. I did find one place but it was full. I hate waiting. So, I found the next place. Not so crowded. I went upstairs and had a very good meal. It was nabe. I paid the check and went outside to my bicycle. I was right in front of Yasukuni Douri. I was tired by this time. Should I go there instead of Tokyo Dome? Or, should I go home. It was nearly 2pm by now. I didn't want to take my bike on a crowded train. I decided to go home. I went along under the tracks from Kanda station to Tokyo station North Side. There, I went in and walked my bicycle, slowly, to the track entrance. I folded it up, put it in its bag and carried it to the Takasaka Line. But, the next train was an Utsnomiya line one. I took it and was able to sit down. I changed trains at Saitama ShinTou Shin station. From there straight to Okegawa. I was beat by the time I arrived around 3:30. It was a nice adventure.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bicycle Tour Part 1

On this occasion (this time) I went to Tokyo by bicycle. Of course I went to Tokyo station by train and then I used my folding bicycle. I got to Tokyo station about 10AM on a Sunday. There are not many people on the train at that time so it was not an annoyance to others. Then I set out on a ride around the Imperial Palace grounds. I went straight from Tokyo station to the Uchi-Bouri Douri. I headed north and went to Kita-no-Maru Park. I stopped there. The walls of the palace are formidable. The water in the moat is calm and sure. I asked a police officer about the Kita-no-Maru Park. He said it was not interesting. So, I continued around the palace. I reached the area on the opposite side from Tokyo station I had never been there before. I found "Shinjuku Douri". It is Route 3 on the map. It goes straight to Shinjuku. Should I go there? No. Too far. I continued along the moat. The scenery was beautiful. I went all the way around to hte Sakura-da-Mon (Gate). There I locked my bicycle up and walked on the gravel to the place where I waited on December 23rd to enter the Palace. I wanted to hear the Emperor's birthday address that day but I was too late. Heavy sigh.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Emperor's Birthday

As you may know, I am very interested in Tokyo, which is the capital of Japan. I started visiting different areas from last fall. I then bought a couple of maps and started investigating. I heard that there was a special event at the Imperial Palace on Decemebr 23rd every year. I heard that it was an address (speech) made by the the current Emperor of Japan, Akihito. I decided that I would go and check it out. I left Okegawa station at 9:30. I got to Tokyo a little after 10:00. I immediately got in line in outside the palace. Then I saw people...lots of people...exiting the palace. They kept coming and coming. Finally we got our turn. First there was a bag check that we had ot go through. Then we waited again. When we did move again there was a body check to get throuhg. Then we awaited again. Now peoprle in front of us started going in. But, before our turn came. a police officer announced that we wold not be able ot hear the address by the Emperor. But, we were welcome to enter and visit the interior grounds of the palace. I left and went to Hibiya Park.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Puzzler Answers

I still have a couple of extra free hours this week. I have some study plans for them. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.







































QUAINT            AVOIDS             SHOALS/POINT             REBUKE

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Puzzler Hints

It's Sunday and the weather is fine. We are driving to Chigasaki today. That is where I first landed when I came to Japan. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

今月のHPは、contractions 
英語では、contractionsつまり、短縮形が使われます。( do notを、dontにするなど)
二つの単語を、apostropheという省略符号である「 ‘ 」を使い省略することができます。
今月のHPでは、それらの短縮形を使わない形で、英語を使ってみましょう。
1. I cannot (can't) hear you.
2. We did not (didn't) go there last summer.
3. It is not (isn't) hot today.
Gottit? Good.


これらの練習は、少し難しいかも知られませんが、頑張ってください。

Rainbnow Bridge from Tokyo Tower 12/31/18

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Puzzler

This is your first Puzzler of the year. You are happy, are you not?
Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

今月のHPは、contractions 
英語では、contractionsつまり、短縮形が使われます。( do notを、dontにするなど)
二つの単語を、apostropheという省略符号である「 ‘ 」を使い省略することができます。
今月のHPでは、それらの短縮形を使わない形で、英語を使ってみましょう。
1. I cannot (can't) hear you.
2. We did not (didn't) go there last summer.
3. It is not (isn't) hot today.
Gottit? Good.
これらの練習は、少し難しいかも知られませんが、頑張ってください。

Blue Caverns Illumination Shibuya

Friday, January 4, 2019

First BLOG of 2019

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is my first BLOG of 2019. The holidays are over (finished) and we had safe and happy ones. How about you? And just for your informantion there is a Puzzler starting tomorrow. Please enjoy it. I was very busy during the end of the year.
I...
1. Went to Tokyo to attend the Brithday greeting from Emperor Akihito. Unfortunately I was too late and could not get in.
2. Went to Tokyo and rode my bicycle around the palace grounds.
3. Did lots of (much) housework.
4. Drank regularly, but not too much.
5. Spent one night at a nice hotel in Tokyo with my family.
6. Visited Tokyo Tower with Miwako December 31st.
7. Went to see one illumination. It was the Blue Caverns near NHK studios.
8. Saw the January 1st sunrise from Tokyo Tower.
9. Went to the Imperial Palace to hear Emperor Akihito's New Year's greeting. This time I got in!
10. Made our pilgrimage to the Hikawa Shrine in Ageo.
11. Went to Yasukuni Shrine but just for a visit.
12. etc.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Good Luck to You and Yours from RAM English Service.