Monthly Archives: July 2012

A post a day is complete!

It was a long month, 31 days.  With this post, I finish my post a day challenge for two of my blogs.  That’s 62 posts in a month. I’ll keep this brief, as I posted about this on my other blog.  But I would like to add something here.

While it wasn’t difficult to think of topics for my other blog, finding the time and trying to finish before midnight was difficult.  For this blog, I have a much narrower topic, which required me to think even harder about what to write about.  I’ve talked about Japan for more than 400 posts on this blog, and I’m certainly not stopping soon.  I still have a lot of photos and experiences to share.  But doing it at a post a day is too difficult and reduces the length of the posts.  I think quality is more important than quantity, so I will be concentrating on the quality.

So, I will now return this blog to its regular posting schedule.  Thanks for reading!


Filed under Blog Announcements

2012 Picture of the Week (31/52) – Yokohama street from the 8th floor

Today, I found myself on the 8th floor of a building in downtown Yokohama. This view is looking away from the main part of the central business district near Yokohama Station.

It’s a hot day in Yokohama!


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

I want more shikuwasa

Shikuwasa is a citrus fruit from Okinawa that tends to show up in juice or soda form during the summer in the rest of Japan.  I don’t know what it is about Shikuwasa that I like so much, but I really love Shikuwasa soda.  I recently had some Shikuwasa water, which was also pretty good.  It’s a pretty sour citrus fruit, but it tastes really good.  Last year, I had some Shikuwasa soda from Okinawa Bottlers, but I haven’t seen any this summer.  All we could find was Shikuwasa soda from Co-op which comes in tiny cans.

Have you ever tried Shikuwasa soda?


Filed under Food

Urban regeneration

Japan has an interesting mix of new and old architecture in its cities.  Next to a shiny skyscraper, you can actually find an old wooden house. A lot of older buildings are torn down when vacated, especially when a family moves out of a house.  A new house is usually built to replace it.  There’s a constant regeneration happening in the cities.  One particular place is about to undergo regeneration. That’s the south side of Futamatagawa Station in Yokohama.  At the moment, it’s occupied by a bus terminal and a small commercial building called Green Green, which includes a Sotetsu Rosen store and Yokohama Bank.  One building has already been torn down, previously occupied by a bookstore.  There are plans to build a major road through this area, as the road network isn’t very convenient.

This building, Green Green, is slated for demolition, possibly later this year.

Here’s a closer look. It’s kind of old looking, isn’t it?

Replacing Green Green will be 2 buildings.  One is a highrise apartment/condo building of about 29 floors (or so I’ve heard).  The other is a highrise commercial building with a shopping centre.  I’m looking forward to watching it go up.


Filed under Asahi-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Yokohama

Brief conversation with a neighbourhood kid

Today, my wife and I brought our daughter to the park near our apartment for a little fun with blowing bubbles.  The park is very well used.  In the early evening, many dog owners meet there to allow their dogs to socialize, and many children play there in the late afternoon.  There’s also a 250 metre track that’s great for joggers and walkers.  Since we were with our daughter, several women approached us and couldn’t stop saying “kawaii!” They kept talking and talking about her.  However, there was one person who approached me and wanted to talk to me.

She was about 8 years old, and with a Japanese accent, said to me, “Hello.”

I answered, “Hello.”

Then she surprised me and said, “What is her name?”

So I said, “It’s Tomoe.”

That seemed to satisfy her, and she went back to playing.  Later on, as we were leaving, I made sure to say good bye to her. Our neighbours seem to be very kind and friendly.  Even though our area isn’t the most beautiful, it does have some very nice people.

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Filed under Daily Life

Bullying in Japan

Bullying is something I’ve had to deal with when I was in junior high school. However, it’s nothing like the bullying experienced by some kids in Japan.

Recently, there was a boy who was bullied into practicing suicide. He was forced to rehearse many times by his bullies until he finally did commit suicide.

It seems like there are gangs of bullies in schools who target the weak and thrive on power. Teachers are powerless to stop it because of how monster parents threaten teachers if they ever discipline students. Teachers used to be respected, but now the very parents who trust them to teach their children weaken their position.

I don’t tolerate bullying in my classroom. But I really dislike parents whose inability to parent allow their kids to do what they want. They refuse to discipline, so their children don’t fear it. On the other hand, there are kids who are disciplined too much, so they need a way to get their frustrations out. A balance is needed.

The worst thing is that parents turn a blind eye to bullying that goes on in schools and think it’s just kids being kids. They think it’s nothing to worry about. Believe me, it is a serious problem!

If you have kids who are bullying or being bullied, find out what’s happening. You may be shocked. It needs to be stopped.


Filed under Daily Life, Teaching