Thursday, May 23, 2019

GW vacation Part 2

During our visit to Izu we stayed at three locations. First we were at a hotel in Toi. It is on the west side of Izu. Right in front of the hotel was the ocean. It is facing the east. We saw a beautiful sunrise the next morning. I watched the calm waves rolling in and out from the window. At night I went down there and walked in the surf up to my ankles. Ahhhhh. The next day we drove down south to the bottom of the peninsula. The coastline was beautiful. It was windy though. We drove across to the east side to check into our next hotel in Inatori. We had another gorgeous meal that night. The next day we went back to the west coast to visit a museum. It is the Chouhachi Irie museum. It is small and there were some very interesting relief works there. Then we headed back across the peninsula to Shimoda. But first I took a dip in the ocean at Yumigahama beach. Brrrrrr. This was our final destination. We spent one night here and we had dinner at a local Izaka. We finally headed home on May 4th. It was a wonderful vacation. The only bad news was that we never went to Irouzaki and the Aloe Center for some aloe soft cream. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

GW vacation Part 1

We decided to take a few days vacation during Golden Week this year. Our first plan was to visit the Himeji Castle in Hyougo prefecture. It is also known as the White Heron Castle. Then I hoped to go to the Adachi art Museum and garden in Shimane prefecture and finally the Izumo Taisha also in Shimane prefecture. However we heard so many horror stories about the amount of traffic we would encounter (meet) this GW, that we gave up on this plan. Instead we took a safe trip down to Izu. Of course there was a chance we would run into traffic jams here too. Luckily, there were none. We left home on the 1st and got back on the 4th. We stayed at three different hotels. Two included dinner and one did not. That was our last night. On that night we went to the same Izakaya that we dined at two months ago when we stayed at a business hotel near Shimoda station. And as usual the dinners at the hotels were fantastic. There was just too much food! All three nights we had delicious food and drinks. My weight definitely went up.... a little.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Rikugien

I have been to many parks in Tokyo since last October. I checked my map of Tokyo and found the major ones that I can visit. I most recent one is The Rikugien in the Bunkyo Ward, very near Sugamo station. After lunch in Ueno I took hte train to the station and walked ot he park. There is a high wall that goes all the way around the park. At the entrance I got my senior discount ticket and started walking. It is not a big park. But it is very beautiful. It has a pond. It has a hill. It has many paths which go all around the park. There were not a lot of people though. There were foreigners and there were groups on tours. The weather was just right. It was neither hot nor was it cold. It was just right. I walked for about an hour before stopping to get a treat. It was special because it was a green tea with a sweet. When you purchase that you can sit in the area that has the best view of hte pond. I was there close to half an hour. That was relaxing and then I was ready to continue my tour. I went ot he back of hte park. There were some interesting things such as bridges, rocks, trees and flowers. I'll visit again when the season changes. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Puzzler Answers

And now it's back to work, and some quality time with my brother who is visiting. 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.




              





































 DIAPER                  QUIT                WRITER                VETTED                    

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Puzzler Hints

It's a beautiful day for a wedding, don't you think? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

May Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Old EDO toilet

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Puzzler

That was a good week and now we will be very busy this weekend. How about you? Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

May Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Old EDO Police Box



Friday, May 17, 2019

Never give up

There is a restaurant in Ueno that I have been longing to go to for a long time. These days I go ot Tokyo a lot. I like to visit new and interesting places. Many teach me about the history of Tokyo and/or Japan. And during my adventures in Tokyo I I have to eat, of course. When that happens I try to find restaurants or places that offer good food. Hopefully it will be delicious. I never go to fast food places. And once or twice I have been to hotel restaurants. It is all part of the experience. Finally I had lunch at a restaurant in Ueno park called "Le quattro stagioni". On April 29th I was on my way to the Rikugien Park. I rode the train to Ueno and searched for ht is restaurant. All of the other eateries were full with people lined up outside waiting to get in. Then I found my restaurant. There was one seat open. I got in and had a very nice pasta lunch. I sat outside. It was very pleasant and relaxing. People were passing by to and fro. Nice. By the way, "Le quattro stagioni" means "The four seasons" in Italian. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

After visiting the mausoleums I got back on the ChuOu line train. I got off at Higashi Koganei station and took taxi to Koganei Park. The museum is inside his park. First I got a maccha soft cream and relaxed under the trees on a bench. Then I went to the museum office, got my senior discount ticket and entered. This is a must-visit place. Basically there were many buildings that were brought from Edo-Tokyo. There is a photo studio, a mausoleum, a "Kokaden" Palace, house gates, a tea arbor, a farmhouse, a police box, a soy sauce shop, a bar, a public bathhouse, a tailor's workshop, a stationery store, a flower shop, a kitchenware store, a cosmetic manufacturer, an umbrella wholesale store, a grocery store, an inn as well as a fire department watch tower upper section. There are many houses of prominent (famous) people. I walked around for an hour and a half. I also met a family form my home state of Michigan. I was walking past them and someone said "Livonia" which is a city that I am very familiar with. We spoke for 20 minutes. It was a nice ending to this adventure.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Musashino Ryou Bochi

I looked at my TOKYO 23 WARDS map book and found two interesting places. One is the Musashino Ryou Bochi in Hachioji near Takao station and the other is the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei City. Both are far from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo proper. They are also both on the ChuOu line. So, I decided to visit both in one day. First, I went to Takao station via Shinjuku. Of course there were hikers everywhere eager to climb up Mt. Takao. I found the guidepost to get me to the cemetery. It took about 20 minutes on foot. I travelled through very narrow streets to get there and when I arrived I was amazed at the huge park that lay before me. There are four mausoleums in this park. Two hold the remains of the Taisho Emperor and his Empress. The other two hold the remains of the Shouwa Emperor and his Empress. That is all there is to see here. The park has huge trees, lots of birds and two wide gravel roads and a couple of police officers. It takes less than 30 minutes to see everything. It is a solemn place. It is quiet and calm. It has an aura. It is definitely worth a visit. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tonde Saitama by Makiko

Have you ever seen the movie "Tonde Saitama"? I rarely go to the movies, but I had an opportunity last February. Last Autumn, I and my family invited one home stay student from Argentina to our home. She stayed in Saitama for about six months and on that day the Farewell Party was held in Urawa for her and her trainee. I suddenly thought that I wanted to invite her to a movie after the party. There were two reasons: One was that there was a movie nearby. The other was that the movie "Tonde Saitama" was really "in" at that time. She is from Argentina and she usually speaks Spanish. But, she can also speak Japanese as she is a teach at a Japanese language school in Buenos Aires. This visit to Japan was to study Japanese. She already knew a lot of city names in Saitama so she understood the story and enjoyed it. She laughed at hte same time as we did. Even after she returned ot her country we keep in touch with each other via "LINE".

Monday, May 13, 2019

Puzzler Answers

I'll be back to my full schedule this week for The first time in about six weeks. Ready? GO! 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.







































PASTA/PRINT                 JESTER                 STIFF             CREATOR 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Puzzler Hints

I hope to get out ot Tokyo today, but it's up to the weather. 
Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

May Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Puzzler

It's May 11th, my vacation time is up, and it's time for a new Puzzler. PUZZLER:CLICK HERE.

May Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Spring has come by Atsushi

Spring has come to my home.
Last October a son some was born to my daughter and her husband, who live in Yokohama. The son's name is Riku.
Riku is our first grandson so we are all very much delighted.
I retired from work after 45 years last March. I was supposed to live leisurely from April. However my guess was quite wrong.
At he beginning of April, my daughetr had to be hospitalized suddenly. So my wife and I had to take care of Riku at our home.
My daughter came to our house with her husband at the end of March.
We give milk to Riku, bathed him and changed his diapers.
We got tired but we were happy to see his smile.
We were tied up but this hectic time has come to an end.
These happy times will be remembered and are irreplaceable memories.
This cherry blossom season ends along with warm sunlight. Spring has come.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tonde Saitama

Did you see this movie? It is hilarious. That means that it is very, very funny. Of course, that is my opinion. I heard about it from some students and I decided that I must see it. Why? Because it is about a conflict between Saitama and Tokyo. Not a war; it is a battle. Chiba and Kanagawa and Gunma prefectures are also involved (included). And, because I live in Saitama I know many of the places that they spoke about in the story. And, the Japanese humor was cool. Of course, I did not understand everything that was said and discussed, so I had to see it twice! The first time was at Movix Cinemas in Shintoshin. It started at 9AM. There were maybe 15 people there to watch the movie. So, there were no big laughter or uproars when the jokes were made or the scene was funny. After the first time I talked with family and students about it and realized that I had to see it again. I went to Kounosu theater on a Thursday morning. This time maybe 10 people were there. I learned more. But, to tell the truth I didn't know that the main character, Momomi, was a boy! I need to level up my Japanese.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Water Bus Tokyo

I took a ride on one of the water buses in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. It was not my first time. The last time tat I did it was some 25 years ago with my family. This time I went alone. It is part of my "Experience/explore" Tokyo adventure. The first departure time is at 9:50AM. But, I was too late to ride that one. Why? Because there was a 30 minute train delay that Sunday morning. However I did make (ride) the very next one which was at 10AM. So, no worries. I rode the HOTALUNA. It cost \1,700. It takes about 70 minutes with a stop at HINODE. The ride was pretty cool. The weather was good; cloudy then sunny, cool then warm. So, I was inside the ship and then up to the upper deck outside. There were many people but not a full house (not 100% capacity) so it was easy to get a seat anywhere and at anytime. More than half the guests were non-Japanese. I was watching the buildings and bridges that we passed along the way. Rainbow Bridge was impressive. And we finally docked at Odaiba around 11AM. The ride was fun, but I will probably never do it again. Twice is enough.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The new Emperor

Congratulations to all Japanese! The Heisei era has ended and the Reiwa era has begun. Emperor Akihito has abdicated the throne. That means that he has stepped down. And you could even say the he has retired. He is 85 years old. His son, Naruhito, has ascended the throne. He has become the new Emperor of Japan. He is 58 years old. I first came to Japan in 1984. At that time it was the Showa Era and Akihito's father was the Emperor. His name is Haruhito. He died it 1989. I attended a ceremony with thousands of other at the SHinjujku Gyouen, to pay my respects to him. Since that time, and up until last week, it was the Heisei Era. So, this is my 3rd Emperor. Of course, it is also so for many Japanese. Why? Because before Emperor Hirohito, his father was on the throne. Do you remember him? I'm sure no one does as he passed away in 1926. He was the Taisho Emperor and his name was Yoshihito. Anyway, Japanese history is long and there have need many Emperors (Naruhito is the 126th). I think it is pretty cool. Most Japanese people hold them in high esteem. I wish Naruhito and his family much success. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Golden Week 7

I always fill up with gasoline before we take a trip.
She hung up the phone without saying good-bye.
She told her son to sit up straight at the table.

Dessert in Shinjuku

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Golden Week 6

I was fed up with all his lying.
"I can't hear the news. Turn up the volume."
"Get up or you'll be late for school."

These people just can't give up smoking.





Saturday, May 4, 2019

Golden Week 5

At long last, he gave up trying to win her heart.
Suspenders are used to hold up your pants.
The pitcher threw Sluggo a change up and he missed it by a mile.

HOTARUNA I rode that ship from Asukusa to Odaiba.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Golden Week 4

It was last call at the bar so we drank up and left.
My daughter can count up to 30.
That's my favorite song! Turn up the sound.

USA! USA! USA!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Golden Week 3

My mother and father brought up four kids. Wow!
I'm going to work in my garden as the weather has cleared up.
My husband couldn't pick me up at the station so I walked home.

Orchids at the Shinjuku Gyouen Greenhouse.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Golden Week 2

I need to brush up on my calligraphy.
Something came up so I had to leave immediately.
I called up three friends but they were all out.

In Asakusa. The pic is from HOTARUNA. That is the ship I rode up the Sumida River.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Golden week 1

She broke up with her boyfriend recently.
We walked up to the 5th floor.
I couldn't pass up the chance to get his autograph.

I like Sakana-Kun but I couldn't attend. I had to pass it up.



Monday, April 29, 2019

Puzzler Answers

I am as free as a bird for 9 days. That will really perk me up! What are you gonna do? 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.







































STILT                     YEARLY                  QUART                 DEVICE 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Puzzler hInts

There will be no real blogs next week. But I will have lots of nice pics. Please check them out. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

These are roots growing 'UP'! OMG!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Puzzler

GW starts tomorrow. I had a very nice April. How about you? Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Shinjuku Gyouen



Friday, April 26, 2019

Shinjuku Gyouen

It was a nice Sunday so I got up early and made my way to Shinjuku Gyouen. I have many fond memories of this very big park in Tokyo. I'll wager (bet) that I have been there more than a dozen times. I even went there for to pay my respects during the Showa Heika's funeral in 1989. We took my mother there 4 years alter for a visit when she came to see us. My Japanese language was not far from there so I have had many opportunities to enjoy the park. This time I walked from Shinjuku station. I entered for the first time on a Senkior citizen's ticket. Cool. And I walked around for three and a half hours. I saw some familiar spots and some new ones. Or perhaps U had just forgotten them. The number of visitors went up as the day wore on.  One thing that was new was the nearby NTT DOCOMO Yoyogi Building. It really stands out. I don't know if I like it or not, but one gent told me that at night it is beautiful when it is lit up. I had some noodles and later a TaiYaki. I also had a cup of hot strawberry milk tea. The greenhouse was really nice, too. I plan to go again in the fall.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Aicia

The young lady in the picture is Alicia. She first came to our school in Okegawa when she was 8 years old and studied with us for about 10 years. Her situation is very unique. She learned English very well but like most students did not have opportunities to speak English. She also plays the piano. And she is fantastic. When she was nearing the end of her time at our school she started working part-time at a convenience store. She told me that she would get up at 4:30 AM, have a light breakfast and then bike to work. She also worked as a waitress at a coffee shop. She said that she really liked the coffee shop. Oh, yes; she is also an IAI instructor. IAI is a kind of martial art. She was very, very good. But, now she writes music. She also plays the guitar. She plays very well. She also sings. She has a debut CD with some original songs on it. So, last month one buddy and I went to Ageo to see her performance. She was on stage for two sets. Her show was very good! Her talking between songs was cool. And, I liked her singing. I certainly hope that she succeeds in whatever she decides to do.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Kitamoto Sougou Koen

I had another opportunity to do a Hanami, quite by chance. A group of people study English in Kitamoto. They lost there teacher and were searching for a new one. They saw our web site and called us up. After learning the details I found two candidates (possible teachers) for them. I talked to both and decided on one of them. I contacted the lesson boss and he said he would like to meet with me. I just happened to be free that Saturday afternoon so I went to meet them at the Kitamoto Sougo Park. It is right across from Kitamoto High School. I had never been there before. It was quite nice. It was similar to Maruyama Park in Ageo but smaller. There were ten students and a couple of kids. They were eating lunch and drinking. They offered me a bento lunch. I gobbled it up as I was quite hungry. The two kids played their ukuleles for us. They all sang a Japanese song. Then one lady played here ukulele for us and more singing. Finally, she played an English song. Do you know "My Darling Clementine"? Of course I know it, so I was happy to sing along. It was a beautiful day. I enjoyed this small adventure very much.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Odaiba Miraikan

After my visit to the SUOYA, I went to the MIRAIKAN in Daiba. I had no idea what it was. So, it was perfect to explore. There was an entrance free. It cost 620en. No discount for elders. I had no idea what it was. I bought the Permanent Exhibition ticket. And I wasn't disappointed. This place is all about science. They had many, many hands-on equipment. That means that the customer can use it and "play" with it. Most had English versions. I tried a few but they proved too complicated (difficult) for me. They must be for kids. I have to level up my science knowledge some day. Then there was an announcement. Ashimo was about to perform. Do you know him? He is a Robot, built by Honda corporation. They invited all the quests to sit on the floor behind a red rope to watch the show. I must say that I was very impressed with his skills. He talked and walked and even kicked a ball. He did sign language. His show was up in ten minutes. From there I toured some more and found a second floor with more cool things to do. I definitely have to go there again to experience everything.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Puzzler Answers

Now we are back to Monday. This is the final week before GW. Hooray! 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.










































VIOLET/COUN              ZENITH             MINUTES              VESTED/SLAB

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Puzzler Hints

I woke up this morning as fresh as a daisy. That may change once we are in Golden Week. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

French Garden in Shinjuku Gyouen

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Puzzler

GW is just one week away! I'm really up for it. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyouen




Friday, April 19, 2019

Odaiba Souya

I first arrived in Japan in 1985. The Showa Emperor was on the Japanese throne. I went to a Japanese language school to learn the language for two years. On our final day they took us to the Maritime Museum in Odaiba. So, I decided to revisit the museum. However, when I got to the museum it was closed up! They were doing repairs or perhaps refurbishing. Anyway, I walked around the outside and saw some unique objects. Then I walked to the small information building. It had a lot of info but everything was in Japanese. They had one display of small scale ships. They were all the ships ever built in Japan. Cool. Then I went next door to the SOUYA. It is a research ship. It did several explorations to the Antarctic. I walked on board. It was free. It had no computers! Everything was analog. There were quarters (rooms) for the crew. There was a galley (kitchen) and a dispensary (medical room). I walked around for about 40 minutes. Finally I met the two famous dogs: Taro and Jiro. I heard their story so long ago and now I finally knew it completely. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tiger

I watched the Masters Golf Tournament from Atlanta, Georgia USA. It was broadcast here in Japan from April 12th to April 15th. It was early in the morning. I watched just one hour the first and the third days. But I watched the second and fourth day for over three hours each. Of course, all eyes were on Tiger Woods. Why? Because he is perhaps the greatest golfer ever. 
1. He has won 15 major championships.
2. He has won the Masters five times. 
3. The last time he won a Masters was in 2005. (14 years ago)
4. This is his first majors win since 2008. (11 years ago)
5. He was won a Masters in 3 different decades: 1997, (2000, 2001, 2005), 2019.
He was great! I watched all the players, of course. I tried to remember their names and faces. It is difficult. But it is easy to remember Tiger. Everybody knows Tiger. He is even trump's golf buddy. 
My favorite scene was his putt on the 9th hole, the final day. It was so long. He had to curve it up and then it ran along a line towards the hole. It stopped so close. Then he just tapped it in. I hope he plays for a few more years. It was fun watching Tiger Woods play golf. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

KyuFurukawa Teien

On my way out of Asukayama Park I found a small museum. It was the Shibusawa Eiichi memorial museum. His residence was next door. I later learned that his face will be on the new 10,000 bill (money) this year. Then I headed to KyuFurukawa Teien. I walked there. It took about 20 minutes. It is one of the MeiTaisho Gardens group. It is rather small. It has no cherry trees! But, it has a very famous and beautiful rose garden. There is a "dry waterfall". That was very interesting. There was a pond and some lanterns. There is also a building which was designed by Josiah Condor. He is British and designed the Nicolai Cathedral in Ochanomizu and the home in the KyuIawaski Gardens, among others. It is all in a small area. So, it didn't take long to see everything. By chance, I met a guide. He told me a lot of things about eh garden and the building. But, I made a big mistake. There was a guided your available of the building at 10:30. I decided to look at the building on my own. I went there at 11:00 when they opened the building up. Unfortunately you can only enter on a guided tour. Drat! So, I left and went to Odaiba to meet Miwako for lunch. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Asukayama Park

I took a trip to Tokyo April 6th. I was up early and at Okegawa station by 8AM. I travelled to Oji, changing trains at Akabane. The weather was OK. It wasn't sunny but then again, it wasn't cold. I walked around hte park. A few people were there. They had their sheets spread out and were prepearing for a "Hanami" experience. As usual some sheets were placed with no 'Hamaniers' yet. They park was smaller than I had expected (anticipated). One student told us that 1,280 cherry trees were planted there in the 18th century. I counted only 55. (joke). Anyway I walked around enjoying the calm and quiet and finally ended up at a kids' park. I saw the slide. A young lady slid down it. She shrieked! I just had to try it. I climbed up the ladder to the top. There, I knew why she had shrieked: The slide was rather steep. But, it was too late to turn back. I slid down...Yikes! It was steep so my weight pulled me down quickly. I landed at the bottom with a THUD. I hurt mt hand a little. I felt like a kid.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Puzzler Answers

It is definitely getting warmer. How was your weekend? I am abstaining (not drinking) this month so I was dry. Never give up! 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.





































DUNC                    ACE/ICE                NUMBER                INVENT     

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Puzzler Hints

And back to Edo this day. I hope the weather is nice. Puzzler HInts: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Souya


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Puzzler

I have a KenK lesson today so I am back to my full schedule sans (without) my Tuesday Kindergarten lesson. That starts up after GW. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Ueno Park March 28th




Friday, April 12, 2019

A quick trip to Ueno

I was free on a Thursday afternoon. I hadn't done any cherry blossom viewing yet. I went to the gym early and was back at my school by noon and I was free until 5PM. So, I went to Ueno. According to the news the weather would be fine and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. It took about an hour to get there. I checked my clock and decided I had about 90 minutes to enjoy the atmosphere, the cherry blossoms and the freedom. And, it was wonderful. I walked here and there looking at the blossoms, the people and the food stalls. I was getting hungry. So, I first had a dango. That was good. I was some more. The trees were in full bloom but it had gotten cloudy. They sky was grey instead of a beautiful blue. But, that was OK. People were sitting along the side of the walkway eating, drinking, talking and laughing. Everyoine was taking pictures. Of course, there were foreigners galore. There weren't many eating stalls and I found a KEBAB stand. I got a sandwich. It was not very good. But everything else was fine. I was back at my school one hour before my lesson. Nice.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

My sweet memories by Kazuko

Spring has come. The cherry blossoms will be in full bloom in less than ten days. I love cherry blossoms. When this season arrives my heart bounces. How about you? I have sweet memories of cherry blossoms. It recalls my youth. Let me tell you about one memory. 40 years ago I was in university. My school is located near Iidabashi station and also near Kitanomaru Park. As you may know Kitanomaru park is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms. One fine spring day, I skipped my class and went to the park with some friends. I was a diligent student but this day was special. It was spring! The blossoms were just passed peaking but they were beautiful none-the-less. We had lunch under one cherry tree. We then separated into groups. We rented rowboats on the Chidorigafuji. It is the inner moat of Edo castle. There are many cherry tress along the banks. I was with my boyfriend. Cherry blossoms fluttered down on us like snow. The surface of the water was covered with the pale pink petals. We were surrounded by pink. The faces of my friends also turned pink. Their smiles were shining with hopes and dreams. We were really enjoying our youth! Time has passed and we got older. Our dreams may have waned but my memories will never fade. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Cherry blossom viewing by Miki

HANAMI is "Cherry Blossom Viewing" in English. We had a plan to go to Asukayama Park in Oji. I looked it up on the Internet and read it's history. The eighth Shogun, Tokugawa, ordered that 1,270 cherry trees be planted in the 18th century. This was the Edo Period. Then he opened the park to the common people of Edo. Since then, Asukayama Park is one of the most famous Hanami spots in Edo, or, present day Tokyo. It was my first time to go to Oji town. My husband has been there. We were surprised to see a crowd of people just like Ueno Park. We couldn't find a place to sit down. We saw more people than cherry blossoms. I couldn't believe that Japan has a problem with the declining birth rate. We made a tour of the park. Then we took a  walk along the Shakujii River. It has a cherry tree avenue. There were many people enjoying Hanami there. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. My husband drank a can of Chuhai while I did a bottle of orange juice with a snack. I'm happy to see the cherry blossoms again this year. The next time I want to take a tramcar called TodenArakawa line from Oji to Waseda.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Koshikawa Kourakuen Part 2

I entered the gardens. It was pretty calm and quiet. There were a number of foreigners there. I talked to a young lady from Pakistan but now living in Iowa, USA. She is visiting Japan. I also had a strawberry ice cream. Yummy. The gardens are beautiful. And they have a long, long history. According to the pamphlet the gardens were originally built as a second residence (home) by a gent named Yorifusa in 1629. He later made this place his permanent home. Its style is a circuit style (Kaiyu-style) with ponds and man made hills around the pond. This garden has a lot of Chinese influence on it. A Chinese gent named Zhu Zhiyu was invited to come to do some planning and design. So, there is a strong Chinese influence here. Actually "Korakuen" is Chinese. It is "Gakuyo-ki". The meaning is "Worry before all  worries in the world, and enjoy all the enjoyments of the world." Maybe it means "Que sera, sera." Currently this Garden is designated as a Special Place of scenic beauty and Special Historic Site. It is amazing how these beautiful gardens can be so quiet and serene in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Puzzler Answers

That was a nice weekend. What did you do? Were you up to all your challenges? 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.







































QUIT             OZONE          WRITE            EMPTY

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Puzzler Hints

The weather is fine so I am going to Tokyo this day. So, I have to wake up early. Yawn. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!
Propeller



Saturday, April 6, 2019

Puzzler

OK! It's back to work after some R & R (Rest and Relaxation). But, I am not 100% back to work. That happens after GW. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

April Home Project
今月のHome Projectは、「 UP」 です。

UP UP UP!
Get up, wake up , pick up, look up, mix up, get up, close up, back up, clean up, break up, blow up, dress up, hard up, call up, fix up, give up, hang up, hard up, zip up, lock up, pull up, rise up, turn up, warm up.......level up your skills and use these in conversations and in your stories this month.
今月は、これらの、up,  up,などの単語を使って会話をしたり、話の中に取り入れて文章を作ってみましょう! Good luck!

Hanami at Ueno





Friday, April 5, 2019

Koishikawa Kourakuen Part 1

I went to Ueno by train this Sunday, then walked to Tokyo University and walked around there. After an hour or so, I headed to the Koishikawa Kourakuen Gardens. I walked there. I asked at a police box for directions just to make sure and he said Tokyo Dome was about ten minutes away on foot. I was at HonGo 3 Chome. I walked up Route 254. In 15 minutes I was at the Bunkyo Civic Center building. I decided to go up to the top and check out the view. It was a fine day. At the 25th floor there is an observation deck. It is free! That is right up my alley (=it suits me). I walked around looking for buildings that I knew. After 30 minutes I went back down to continue my trip to the park. Outside, on my way to the park, I passed by Tokyo Dome. I heard the roar of the crowd watching a baseball game inside. Yes! It was Ichiro and the Seattle Mariners playing baseball. Ichiro was playing so his fans were really excited. I moved on. I stopped to watch a little league game. The kids were maybe 3rd or 4th graders. Cool. Then I moved on to the park. I got my senior discount ticket and went inside. TO BE CONTINUED.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

My New Year Resolution by Eiko

My new year resolution is to practice Kendama for over 5 minutes every day. Did you watch 'Kohaku uta gassen' (Red and White Singing Battle) on TV on year's eve? While one Enka singer was singing, more than 100 people succeeded in doing Kendama one by one. I was move by it. About the 10th person failed when they tried the same performance last year. So this time, people who succeeded doing it were in a very stressful (tense) situation and it was wonderful! I work at a "Challenge school". Challenge school is one of the extracurricular clubs for 3rd and 4th grader.s We offer many (a variety of) curricula such as: Zazen, tea ceremony and origami. Kendama is also one of them. It is difficult for most children and me, too. However, some kids could do it well. I think that if I practice I will be able to do it. So, I bought a kendama on January 15th. I have practiced it every day since then. And it gradually became possible to do. Kendama requires a lot of a skills. I want to clear each hurdle (challenge) one by one. I feel my efforts will be rewarded.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mida Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony

There is one more kindergarten where I appear on stage. That is at the Mida Kindergarten in Kita-Kounosu. I have been teaching there for 4 years. This place is a little different from the other Ks where I teach. First of all, they have lots of students. This year they graduated 99 kids to the first grade. There are 4 classes. So, they average 25 kids per class. And each English lesson on 30 minutes. That is no problem, of course. However, they do not give their kids notebooks fro the English class. Also, they do not have a whiteboard in the classroom. At one lesson I have 55 minutes to teach the kids. So, we have plenty of time to practice writing the ABCs. It is something the kids can learn and I can make some interesting lessons for them. But, this too, is not a problem. The graduation ceremony was March 19th. That is a Tuesday which was good because my Tuesday Kindergartens just finished hte week before. Unfortunately, they will not let (allow) me to take a picture from the stage. How ever I did do my greeting in English. When I was introduced I stood up and said "Congratulations everybody on your graduation." 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Toyko University

On March 24th, a Sunday, I made a trip to Tokyo. This time I wanted to visit the KoIshiKawa Kourakuen. But before, that I had time to visit Tokyo University. As you may know, it is just a stone's throw (very near) Ueno station. I exited at the Shinobazu exit and walked to Tokyo University. I entered at the Tetsu Mon (gate). Right there was the Hospital. There were no people anywhere. I found a sign board with info about the university on it. I found my location and then started walking around the campus. It was very quiet. I found a pond. It is called the SanShiro Pond. It is in the center of the garden. This garden was constructed in 1638. It was nice and quiet. I then moved North and found an old building. I forgot the names of the buildings and gates and avenues. However, I did find some students who were working on some electronic gizmos. Gizmos means things. They wouldn't let me take any pictures. Top Secret stuff! I was there for an hour and a half before walking to my real objective (goal). That was the KoIshiKawa Kourakuen. I am glad I took the time to visit this University.