Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 20,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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2012 in Review

It’s been quite a year for me, as well as Japan and its neighbours.  There was a flareup between China and Japan over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, Shinzo Abe became Prime Minister again, North Korea launched a satellite that went over Japanese airspace, and more.  But I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about this blog.

Top 10 Most Popular Posts

In the past year, I saw a similar theme in post popularity as previous years.  In fact, my most popular posts are all from before this year.  They just keep being popular!  Well, here they are:

  1. September 2010 Aki Basho Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament – This is 2 years old.  I guess sumo is still popular!
  2. Flashback: Shinjuku in May 2005 – Part 2 – Everyone loves Shinjuku skyscrapers!
  3. Flashback: Shinjuku in May 2005 – Part 1 – And this was part 1.
  4. A visit to West Edmonton Mall – This wasn’t even Japan.  However, it is a popular place.
  5. May 2010 Natsu Basho Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament – It’s sumo again!
  6. January 2010 Hatsu Basho Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament – Well, half of the top 6 are about sumo.
  7. Exploring Japan: Yuigahama Beach, Kamakura – January 25, 2010 – The beach is popular, too.
  8. Cormorants – Now this just confused me.  Why is this one so popular?  It’s just pictures of cormorants on a wire.
  9. Exploring Japan: Honmoku, Yokohama – August 2, 2009 – Honmoku’s a popular place in Yokohama.
  10. Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival – Just a little something from my own home.

Noteworthy Posts

There are some posts that I think that are rather important, though they may not be as popular subjects as above.  I’d still like you to read about them.

My daughter has been born! – More important than any blog post on here, in my opinion.

Dangerous driving in Japan – This has been a big concern of mine this year, especially after nearly being hit by a car 4 times due to the driver not paying attention.

2012 Picture of the Week (21/52) – Solar Eclipse – This was just incredible to see.

The tradition of gift money – Is it really a gift?

Bullying in Japan – Very big problem in schools and businesses.  Sometimes it can be extreme.

You’re from Canada, so… – Just answering a question I always get.

Sunset at Shonan Beach – Just some incredible colours.

Things I’ve heard often: My child could never do well! – This really irritates me.  Support your kids, don’t demean them.

Oshogatsu 1: The local shrine and temple – I don’t want you to just read this post, but also the following 4 posts about the Japanese New Year.

There are so many more things, but these are some of the highlights of my year of blogging.

Here’s to a great 2013!

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2012 Picture of the Week (53/52) – Mikan

The mikan (みかん) is a kind of orange native to Japan, but also grown in China and other countries.  It’s traditionally sold around the end of the year in Japan, and you can buy them in large bags or boxes.  Does this sound familiar?  In North America, it’s very common to buy Mandarin oranges in boxes for Christmas.  Well, the mikan is a type of Mandarin orange.  It’s also known as tangerine, satsuma orange, or even Japanese Mandarin orange.


Big bags of mikan.

With this, I close out the 2012 Picture of the Week.  It was one extra, since I did two in one week sometime during the year.  I just haven’t figured out when.  Picture of the Week is not returning next year.  However, I am doing another weekly series that’ll focus on Japan’s 47 prefectures plus the 5 largest cities to round out 52 weeks.  I hope you enjoyed all 53 pictures!

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My holiday plans

I just finished day 1 of my 8 day holiday, and I have plenty planned.  Due to this weekend’s rain, I won’t be doing much out this weekend, but I will be working on my blogs a lot.

Non-blog plans include going to my in-laws’ house for New Year’s Day, as well as visiting Zeniarai Benten in Kamakura again.  Not sure if I’ll take pictures for that, as I did last January.

As for this blog, I have plenty planned! I will be doing a year in review by the end of the year.  I’ll also be starting a new series on Japanese prefectures and cities.  This is meant to give some basic information, as well as showcase places I want to visit.  Also, I’ll continue with photos from the past couple of months, and hopefully go back to photos from 3 years ago.  Finally, I plan to back up all my Instagram photos and start posting more of them.

So, here’s to a good new year!

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Restaurant reviews

I’ve recently started doing restaurant reviews on my book and writing blog, I Read Encyclopedias for Fun. Of course, since I live in Japan, these restaurants are in Japan.  I just wanted to let you know that if you’re interested in what’s available to eat in Japan, or if you’re looking for ideas for places to eat, you can check out my reviews.

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A little Christmas in Fuchinobe

My family and I went to a Christmas party last night in Fuchinobe, Sagamihara city.  Here are a couple pictures of Christmas decorations.  Merry Christmas everyone!


A pedestrian bridge at Fuchinobe Station and some Christmas lights.


More lights outside the station.


Filed under Chuo-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Sagamihara