I’m pretty sure I saw a fireball in the sky tonight. I saw it around Fujisawa.
Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:
I was walking to a local takeout store for dinner tonight when I saw something flying across the sky. It was very bright and moving quite quickly. It seemed to be moving faster than a low-flying jet, but I couldn’t hear anything. There’s an American air base near where I live, but it was going the wrong direction. The base is to the north, not the northwest. And then I realised, it’s a meteor! And then what happened? It disappeared.
It was quite likely part of the Geminid meteor shower. I’ve seen meteors before, but nothing like this. Usually, they’re just a speck of dust that appear, make a brief streak in the sky, then disappear in less than a second. This was in the sky for a good 4 or 5 seconds. It wasn’t a little one, either. It was a fireball. It makes me wonder if it landed or it was completely burned out when it disappeared. What’s interesting is that it probably wasn’t very big, although it was bright. Probably only a small rock.
I felt pretty lucky to have seen it. Have you ever seen a meteor like this before?
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of using a public washroom in a public park in Japan, then you’ll understand these pictures.
The view from the urinal.
The view from outside. I used the urinal in the middle of the doorway.
Some public washrooms in Japan are so public that anyone could walk by and see you taking a pee.
If you want to know something even worse, try using the public washroom at Kinomiya Station in Atami. It’s unisex. One wall has many urinals, while on the opposite wall are toilet stalls. Men and women both use this washroom. Also, the doorways are so big that the entire inside of the washroom is visible from the ticket gates for the station. Anyone can see the men taking a pee.
Also, you may be surprised when in the public men’s washroom anywhere in Japan when a female cleaner comes in without making sure it’s empty. And it seems no one cares if she’s in there, either.
How would you feel in this situation?
Yesterday was Kodomo no Hi (子供の日) or Children’s Day in Japan. It’s a holiday that celebrates children and their happiness. During this holiday, people string up carp flags/streamers, or koi nobori. Basically, they’re a kind of wind sock. I visited Shirahata Shrine (白幡神社) in Fujisawa, near Fujisawa-honmachi Station, and was treated to a large number of very big koi nobori. Have a look.
The shrine gate.
Those are some big streamers.
Caught in the wind.
Going up to the main hall.
The main hall with glare from the sun.
Koi nobori from the main hall.
I hope all the children will be strong this year.
This picture shows just how beautiful it is right now. There are some trees that are nearly in full bloom, but most are still just starting out. Next week, the trees will be in full bloom. It’ll be great for pictures!
It’s sakura time!
This morning, on my way to work, I encountered this little guy:
Holy crap! It’s huge!
It was a grasshopper, and boy was it ever big. It was about 4 or 5 cm long! I’d never seen a grasshopper that big before. I’ve mentioned before that Japan has a lot of large, creepy animals. I just hope I don’t run into a Huntsman spider.
Anyway, Exploring Gifu will be coming tomorrow night.
Today, as I was going shopping, I happened upon a pleasant surprise. It was Kawazuzakura, or Kawazu cherry trees. This variety is from the Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka, and is a bright pink. It blooms from late February to mid-March. Very nice surprise, don’t you think?