Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catching up

The plum blossoms are coming out!
There's a park about a fifteen minute walk from my place, so I headed there the other day since the sun was shining and the temperature wasn't super cold. Hanegi park is known for its plum blossoms, and some were already starting to bloom! They're not in full bloom yet but there are some nice blossoms already.

Plum blossoms in Hanegi park
We missed the Setsubun festival, so we had to make our own. Here's a box of soybeans that a student gave Nick. You're supposed to throw some either out the door or at someone wearing a demon mask, and shout "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" which means "Out demons! In luck!" Then you eat as many soybeans as your age, so I ate 27. That's a lot of soybeans.

Soybeans for luck
Nick served as the oni, wearing the little guy who came with our box of soybeans. He went outside in the hallway and we threw soybeans out the door at him while shouting. I don't know what my neighbors thought, lol.

What a cute demon mask
I also went with some friends to this great place in Kanda that serves Chicago style deep dish pizza and craft beers. It's run by Americans so it's authentic! It was really delicious. The beer was great too. I'm not a huge beer drinker but these were good.

Deep dish pizza and craft beer
Nick and I went for a one-day trip to go snowboarding at Naeba. It was really fun! The conditions were perfect, lots of snow on the ground but clear skies and sunshine! I'm slowly getting better at snowboarding, haha. I can make it down the mountain without falling at least, but I still have some trouble switching edges to carve properly. We're going again this weekend, to Shiga Kogen which held some of the Olympic events back when Nagano hosted! We're doing an overnight trip this time, so I'll have plenty of time to practice and then afterward we can soak in a hot spring rather than getting straight back on the bus, lol.


On January first we did hatsumode, which just means the first shrine visit of the year. We went to this famous shrine in Fuchu, about twenty minutes from my place by train. It was super crowded, but not as crowded as Meiji shrine was last year! I bought a little charm to protect health. It seems to be working, I've had some minor colds but nothing that lasted longer than a couple days, haha.

Okunidama shrine, where we did hatsumode
We got some crazy snow in Tokyo, too! It was a crazy snowstorm, the trains were all delayed and a bunch of JR trains actually stopped in the afternoon. My friend's girlfriend had to get a taxi home because her train line stopped. I was lucky, my train was about 20 minutes late but at least it was still running! It was the most snow Tokyo has seen in years. I thought about taking my snowboard out and snowboarding down the streets, lol. Unfortunately it only lasted the one day, so I still had to go to work on Tuesday!

It snowed in Tokyo, a lot!

Okunidama shrine again

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great pics!