Tag Archives: Saitama

I Went Back to Japan!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, after 14 months, I returned to Japan! But I only stayed for 11 days. You may wonder why I was in Japan. It was for family reasons. My wife’s grandfather passed away, so we attended a ceremony for him. More on that later.

I decided to do a vlog series on our visit to Japan. I’ve already done the first three videos, which you can see below.

First up is before our flight. Check it out!

Next, we’re flying to Japan. I do a lot of talking about our flight and what it’s like to return to Japan after more than a year. As a bonus, my daughter is featured a lot. She’s 5 years old now.

And finally, getting reacquainted with everyday Japanese things. We go shopping, we eat out, we take a train. Oh yeah, sushi!

More will be coming soon. If you want to keep up with my adventures in Japan, then please subscribe to my channel. I also do book, movie, and TV videos there.

If you have anything you’d like to say, let me know in the comments section!

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Filed under Japan, Vlog

Life in Japan: My Travels

I was asked where I’ve traveled to in Japan. Surprisingly little. I regret not doing more.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

I came to Japan to see it all. Did I? No, not at all.  But there are some things I am very happy to have seen.  This week’s question is from S. R. Carrillo. She asked many questions, didn’t she?

Where all have you traveled?

Odawara Castle in the rain with a couple cosplayers in front. Odawara Castle in the rain with a couple cosplayers in front.

Surprisingly, I haven’t traveled very much in Japan. I live in Kanagawa, which is just south of Tokyo. I’ve also been to Tokyo, of course. The other prefectures I’ve been to are Saitama, Chiba, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka.

In Kanagawa, I’ve lived in Yokohama, Kamakura, and now Fujisawa. I’ve also visited Odawara, Yokosuka, Kawasaki, Sagamihara, Isehara, Chigasaki, Hiratsuka, Zushi, Hayama, Miura, Oiso, and Yamato. I think the highlights are Kamakura (many temples and shrines), Odawara (castle pictured above), Fujisawa (with Enoshima), and Yokohama (technically the largest city in Japan).

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Saitama City manhole covers

The Urawa Reds are a J-League soccer team in Saitama City.  Why is that relevant? Take a look at Saitama City’s manhole covers!

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It’s a soccer ball!

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They come in more than one colour.

This was the first time I’d seen sports themed manhole covers.  Usually, they feature the city’s flower or tree.

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Filed under Japan, Minami-ku, Saitama, Saitama

Hatsumode in Saitama

Happy New Year from Monjuji Temple in Saitama City. I’m spending the day with my family in Saitama at my in-laws’. We went to Monjuji Temple for Hatsumode, or the first visit to a temple in the new year.

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Monjuji’s main hall.

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Filed under Japan, Midori-ku, Saitama, Temples

2012 Picture of the Week (32/52) – Warabi Festival Decorations

On Friday, I went to the Warabi Matsuri (Festival) for the 3rd year in a row. This time, we went right at the beginning of the festival. Very little food was available and they were still putting up the decorations. This is one of the bigger decorations that was still waiting for installation.

I was standing under this with my head in the gold streamers.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Picture of the Week, Saitama, Warabi

2012 Picture of the Week (18/52) – Old public bath

It’s Golden Week now, and I went with my family to my wife’s hometown to visit her family and celebrate our daughter’s 100th day. On our way there, we walked past this old public bath, or sento. This particular public bath is quite old-looking.

Not many public baths are still open, but this one is.

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Filed under Japan, Picture of the Week, Saitama, Warabi

Warabi Festival 2011

On August 7, my fiancee and I went to the Warabi Matsuri in Warabi, Saitama with her sister.  Last year’s festival was pretty good, and I was looking forward to eating lots of festival food this year.  Unfortunately, we only had an hour until the end of the festival, and there was a pretty bad storm with spectacular lightning.  The rain forced us to head for cover while we tried to eat.  I had hoped to get pictures of the food stalls where I bought food, but thanks to the rain, I kept my camera safe.  However, I did get two photos!  What did I eat, you ask?  I had barbecued corn on the cob, jagabataa (potatoes and butter), yakisoba, karubi steak (beef rib meat) on a stick, and some flat gyoza-like food.  My favourite festival food is the potatoes.

Warabi has a large foreign population, and it’s one of the smallest and most densely populated cities in Japan.  There are plenty of Turkish people there, and at the festival, they sold kebab sandwiches.  Why did we go to Warabi for the festival?  It’s my fiancee’s hometown.  Enjoy the two pictures.

Warabi Matsuri is very colourful. Unfortunately, the skies were stormy.

Enjoy the colours. The focus wasn't very good, thanks to darkness and rain.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Food, Japan, Saitama, Warabi