Monthly Archives: March 2012

2012 Picture of the Week (13/52) – Dockyard Garden

Located next to Landmark Tower, Dockyard Garden is an old restored stone dock that is now an open space that can be used for events. There are many restaurants with a view of the dockyard. This picture was taken from the bridge over the dock.

The Dockyard Garden is a unique feature of Minato Mirai, next to Landmark Tower.

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Filed under Japan, Kanagawa, Nishi-ku, Picture of the Week, Yokohama

Instagram 11-20

It’s been a while since I’ve posted my Instagram pictures.  But here are pictures 11-20, which were taken from May 25-27, 2011.  As before, please leave a comment stating which you like the most and the least and why.  Thank you in advance!

Colourful Machida street (Machida, Tokyo)

Gentle curve at Sagamiono Station (Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa)

Almost empty bus (Fujisawa, Kanagawa)

English sweet shop (Fujisawa, Kanagawa)

Park at night (Fujisawa, Kanagawa)

Yokohama street from the 5th floor (Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)

Curry (CoCo Ichibanya)

Dark clouds, but no rain (Asahi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)

The sky is screwed (Asahi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)

DoggyMan! (Dog treat)

Please remember to leave your votes in the comments!

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Filed under Asahi-ku, Food, Fujisawa, Instagram, Japan, Kanagawa, Machida, Minami-ku, Nishi-ku, Sagamihara, Tokyo, Yokohama

2012 Picture of the Week (12/52) – Touch Screen Vending Machine

It seems touch screen devices are getting more and more popular. Smartphones, tablet computers, shopping mall directories, ATMs, and now vending machines. I took this picture on the Tokyo-bound Tokaido Line platform in Ofuna Station.

Plenty to drink, but I didn't try it.

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Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Picture of the Week

2012 Picture of the Week (11/52) – Ume Blossoms

Japanese plum trees, or ume, usually start blooming around the end of February. But this year, they’re late. I had a little time yesterday before work, so I went to Kodomo Shizen Koen (park) in Makigahara, and I found this tree blooming. Cherry trees should be blooming in a couple weeks. Spring is coming!

Plum tree in full bloom.

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Filed under Asahi-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Nature, Picture of the Week, Yokohama

3/11

It has been one year since the Great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.  At least 16,000 died in the tsunami.  It feels like a long time since the disaster, yet it also feels very fresh in my memory.  That day changed the lives of millions of people in Japan, hundreds of thousands displaced and homeless.  At 2:46 pm today, people all over Japan mourned the dead.  3/11 is a day I will never forget.  Too many people seem to have forgotten.  Not enough has been done for the victims and the homeless.  Too much emphasis has been put on the nuclear meltdown, pushing aside the actual victims, those who had died from the tsunami.

A year ago today, I experienced something only a small percentage of people in the world ever experience.  Those of you who have never experienced anything like this probably wouldn’t understand what it felt like.  Words fail me when I try to explain it.

For the victims of the tsunami, please do not forget.

A parade for the memory of 3/11.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan

2012 Picture of the Week (10/52) – Cloudy Skies

Lately, it’s been pretty dreary outside. Mostly cloudy days and rain. Even though spring is coming, winter temperatures remain. The cherry trees are expected to bloom late this year due to the cold winter. Hopefully, it’ll be a beautiful spring.

The Tanzawa Mountains are barely visible from Futamatagawa.

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Filed under Asahi-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Picture of the Week, Weather, Yokohama

Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival

Hina Matsuri is also known as the Doll Festival or Girls’ Day in Japan.  It’s a celebration of girls and held on March 3rd.  Traditionally, dolls were set afloat down a river to take away the bad spirits.  On this day, families with daughters display a tiered platform with red carpet and many dolls, including the Emperor and Empress, musicians, court ladies and many traditional tools and furniture.  In my family, we have a small set, which isn’t as elaborate as the full set, but it is quite nice to look at.  The display is set up in late February and taken down immediately after the festival.  Superstition says that if it is left out too long after the festival, the daughter will marry late.

Take a look at our Hina Doll set.

This is our Hina Doll set. It's a miniature set, so less elaborate than one of the big ones.

At the top are the Emperor and Empress. There are some lamp stands and a gold folding screen. The next level has the 3 court ladies, all holding sake equipment.

The third platform has 5 male musicians, including taiko drum, otsuzumi (large drum), kotsuzumi (small drum), the flute and a singer with a folding fan.

The fourth platform has 2 diamond shaped rice cakes and a couple of miniature trees, mandarin orange on the left and cherry on the right. The fifth platform shows various tools and furniture.

This is a miniature chest of drawers.

On the left are a couple of hibachi, I believe. On the right is a mirror stand.

Not exactly sure what these are, but my guess is for cooking.

The sixth platform has some more tools. The seventh platform has some food and drink.

This is a kago, or a kind of vehicle that is carried by two people. The passengers sit inside.

This is a chest for storing kimonos.

And this is a carriage pulled by an ox.

This is hina arare, which contains puffed rice and sugar candy.

This is gelatin in 3 coloured layers, pink, white and green.

This is a kind of peach juice.

If you live in Japan and have a daughter, do you also have a Hina Doll set?

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Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events