Rose Garden

Hello there! How have you been?

I am doing good, and I am sorry for the delay. I am glad that I can post something today.

It’s fall and not a season for roses. I took these photos in May when I visited my closest rose garden with my hubby.

Every year I go there with my hubby to take some rose photos, and I am glad that this year the rose photos look much better than last year. I admire a lot these nature. They are just so beautiful, and I think the words, “flawless” or “divine” are just for them.

I hope you enjoy looking at my rose photos and can get some inspiration form them.

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Which color do you like the best in roses? I love pink roses the best.

I am already looking forward to visiting this garden to see them again next year. I hope they will bloom prettier flowers then!

Have a lovely weekend/ week! See you soon!!

-Yumi

 

 

 

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Kawaii!

Hello there! How have you been? It’s getting cooler here, and I just love the weather.

Today I have some good news. My daughter passed the entrance exams of graduate university. In the next spring, she will be a graduate college student!! I am very happy. I am glad that she is coming close to achiving her dream.

Well, I want to write about a part of our culture today. Have you heard the word, cawaii or kawaii before? The word meaning is cute in Japanese.  We Japanese love cuteness in our pop culture and invented like Hello Kitty, Lolita fashion, Harajyuku fashion and so on. Mainly, I want to introduce Lolita fashion today.

Lolita fashion is doll like outfits for young girls. Some Japanese girls love the fashion, and I think it has spread to the world. I can see many Western girls wearing Lolita fashion online a lot. All of them look just like dolls. They love having tea parties in the fashion.

 

They love belonging to Lolita groups. They are absolutely stunning when they are getting together. They seem to be enjoying getting people’s attention.

To be honest with you, I love Lorita fashion even though I personally have  never worn the fashion. When my daughter Nana was a little girl, I had dressed Nana in the fashion. I enjoyed dressing Nana like a doll a lot. She was so cute in the outfits.

I think people who love the fashion still love playing dolls, lol. We sometimes still have child minds inside even though we are already grown up.

There are some very interesting Lolita here.

lolita 1

lolita 2

Can you see the interest? I found the girl online when I Skyped with my American friend, Matt. She is a Muslim girl who is wearing Lolita in her Muslim fashion. Isn’t it interesting? It’s my first time to see mix of Lolita and Muslim fashion together.

I am happy that our pop culture has been accepted even in Muslim culture. Since I like writing about our pop culture, I sometimes want to introduce it more!

At the end of this blog entry, I asked Matt if he feels attractiveness from these Lolita girls because I was very curious what Western guys think about them, lol. He told me that they seem to be immature. Well, I don’t think most of guys like their fashion either.  I think our culture relates to immature things too. I will write about it sometime too.

Thank you so much for reading the blog post. I hope it is interesting for you to learn Japanese culture.

See you around here again in two weeks! Have a lovely week/weekend, everyone!

-Yumi x

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Stay Healthy!

Hello there! How have you been? I hope everybody is doing great.

Today I want to write about health. There are lots of things that we can’t buy, like love,  happiness, education, talents and I think health is one of them. Recently, I am very interested in being healthy.

At the begging of this year, my dad had a surgery of colon cancer. He was in the stage one, so, we don’t need to worry about him. Until he got cancer, I had never worried about him. Since I was a kid, he was just like a superman. He has a really good shape, still can run ( even though he is 85 years old), walks 10 km every single day and looks very healthy. I have never doubt he would be able to live until 100 years old. So, when I heard the news from my mom, I was very shocked.

However, his health saved him a lot. He recovered very quickly. My dad never ever looks like 80’s. He looks more than 10 years younger. He still keeps all his teeth.

I thought why he is so young and healthy. Then, I realized that he doesn’t have extra FAT.

Recently, I started adding weight and extra fat because of age. I am one of the women who is in menopausal. I tried to lose weight many times, but it was really difficult for me. One day, I saw an advertisement on TV in the States. I was visiting my American friend then, and it was in May this year. The advertisement was saying that it’s hard for middle ages to lose weight. That’s because their metabolism system is going down, they lose muscles and so on. So, this is the shortest cut for those people to lose weight. It’s very simple, BURN FAT! I thought that’s it! Then, I bought three exercising DVDs. My other American friend helped me to get them.

Since then, my body has changed a lot. After I returned to Japan, I started doing the exercise to follow the direction. At first, I couldn’t catch up with the speed. The exercise was really hard. I sometimes had to look at the video not to move. I sometimes thought I couldn’t do this because I was too old. However, I just don’t like giving up something in the mid way. So, I just kept going. Then, I realized that I was getting better day by day! When I started thinking like that, my body started changing. I started losing FAT and adding muscles.

Three months has passed. I thought I lost lots of weight because I made my clothes’ side down. I could wear my old jeans! I looked much more slim than before. I measured my weight. I so expected how much I lost. When I checked out my weight, I was shocked. Well, I didn’t lose any weight at all. However, I looked totally different from before. What’s happened to me? I looked for about this on the internet and learned a lot.

What I learned is that all my fat changed into muscles. Muscles are three times heavier than fat, and smaller than fat. That’s why I look slimmer than before even though I didn’t lose any weight. I can wear my old jeans or whatever. My waist, tights, arms got lots of muscles and became much smaller. I figured out this is the real meaning of LOSING WEIGHT! Since muscles burn more calories than fat, I will lose my weight gradually.

Before doing exercising, I had never thought burning fat is the key to lose weight. I had believed that it’s the shortest cut for us not to eat. That’s a wrong way to do. If you want to keep a better shape, MOVE, BURN FAT and BUILT MUSCLES! I can say that don’t give up because of your age. All we can do something to burn fat. There are so many ways to burn fat. Search it what you can do. Once you built muscles, it’s easy for you to lose weight, to keep a better shape, to stay healthy. I also want to say that exercising is good for our mental. I feel better, younger, more motivate, more positive and can enjoy myself more.

I highly recommend such you who are spending so much time for playing video games or internet surfing to exercise.

I want to keep my new shape as long as I can. So, I keep exercising, burning fat and keeping muscles. I have known this brings me more happiness!!

Thanks for reading my blog post. See you around in two weeks! I hope you are having a good weekend/week!

-Yumi X

You can see my before after photos.

Me before exercising

でぶいゆみ

Me after exercising

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Tosa Dog

Today I want to write about the biggest dogs in Japan. They are a family of Mastiff.

I have a female three year-old black Labrador Retriever, Coco, and a Tosa Dog is her male friend. I have known about Tosa dogs, but until Coco has made friends with the male Tosa Dog, Gun, I have never seen a Tosa dog in person before. I think this is really cool that Coco has a Tosa friend! They are a definitely rare sort.  Japanese people prefer tiny dogs like toy poodles.

When I saw Gun for the first time with Coco, I was very scared and avoided to follow his way.  Coco is very powerful, and I thought I might not control her when she got excited to see Gun.  Gun’s owner realized that I was afraid of him, and he approached us. We made friends then.

When I touched Gun, I was so nervous even though the owner told me that Gun was well controlled and never bit me. I still remember the feelings very well. Gun has a huge head. I have heard Gun killed a Boxer two years ago when they fought. I am happy that Coco and Gun made good friends.

In Japan, if people want to own Tosa dogs, they need a permission from a Police department. That’s because they are very dangerous dogs. We have heard about news that the dogs kill their owners or family members. They are fighting dogs in the Shikoku area. The Gun’s owner loves big dogs, especially Tosa Dogs. Gun is his eighth dog. According to him, since he got older, he retired Dog fights. He was used to doing the business. I am glad Gun is not a fighting dog. I can’t support all kind of animal fights. The owner has another dog, a female Mastiff, named Sakura. She is much bigger than Gun! He sometimes takes two of them together for a walk. I can’t believe how he can control two extremely huge dogs together. Sakura is one and a half years old and much more energetic than Gun.

Gun is three years old too and very skinny. Coco is much energetic than Gun. Although I really want to take some photos of Gun with Coco, I have to apologize that there is no photos of them. I walk in the evening, and plus they are very playful. It’s hard for me to take their photos in dark, but when I take some, I will update them.

I know big dogs’ life spam is always shorter than small dogs’. Gun’s owner said Tosa’s life spam is around 8 years. I really hope Coco and Gun can hang out as long as they can.

If you want to get more information about Tosa, you can get it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tosa_(dog)

The word, Tosa means an old term of one of prefectures, Kouchi Ken in the Sikoku area. The Tosa Dogs are originally from there. In the Edo period, dog fights were one of the entertaining events for Shoguns.

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We still have dog fights, and the champions wear these kinds of costumes to show off.

These costumes are very similar as Yokozuna, the champions of Sumo wrestlers.

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化粧まわし

It’s getting cooler in Japan, and I am very happy with this comfy weather. I will see you around in two weeks!

Have a lovely week or weekend!

-Yumi x

Eel Foods

Hello there! How have you been? We are in the midvv summer, and every day is so hot and humid. To cheer ourselves up, we eat eels in summer. Well, it means Japanese summer is too tough, and many people lose their appetite. It’s easy for us to get sick. To stay healthy, we eat eels.

A couple of days ago, my family and my parents went to the biggest eel restaurant in my hometown. We ate eels until we got stuffed, lol. I think my family, my parents and I can stay healthy during this summer thanks to the eels.

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Since the restaurant has a beautiful garden, I took some photos with some foods. I think eel foods are very fascinating for you to see because I don’t see eel foods so often out of Japan. I hope this blog entry is interesting for you to know about our food culture. As I repeat mentioning, our food culture depends on the seasons a lot. Eels are definitely summer food for us.

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appetizer with some cherry blossom tea

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grilled ell with koi fish sasimi

I love eating koi fish sasimi with sour miso sauce. It’s so yummy.

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Umaki, egg omelet with grilled eel

Umaki is my favorite too!!

 

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Koikoku, miso soup with koi fish

Koikoku is my favorite too. It’s sweeter than regular and has much richer flavor than the regular one. We have another good restaurant for Koikoku close to my hubby’s parents’ house. When I get there, I will introduce the foods there.

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Koi-no-amani

It might be gross for you, but this is another one of my favorite. The fish is koi with sweet tasting soy sauce flavor. It’s hard for people to get Koi fish from a market for the amani, but I cook other fish with amani. The only thing that I don’t like is the fish part, though. My hubby loves amani with fish eggs.

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Unadon ( Una-jyu)  with some Japanese pickles

This is my best favorite food! I love grilled unagi with some rice!

 

Yuzu flavor ice cream. Yuzu is a citrous fruit.

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On this day my dad found a dragonfly. According to him, the dragonfly was a rare sort. I forgot the name, but I took some pics with him. He seemed to be very happy with good foods and the rare dragonfly.

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The restaurant has a koi pound.  I guess we ate some koi fish from the pond, the fresh ones, lol.  Poor fish……

I hope you enjoyed the blog entry!

 

See you in two weeks again!!

-Yumi x

 

How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioner

Hello, there! How are you doing? I hope everybody is having a good day.

In Japan, the rainy reason was over, and the really muggy summer has come! I personally don’t like using air conditioner because the cold air makes me feel very sluggish.  I prefer sweating. I always try not to use air conditioner until I really can’t bear. I especially don’t use it day time.  However, my hubby can’t stand without air conditioner. So, when I am with him, I have no choice.

We have some ideas to spend summer time without air conditioner, and today I want to show them with you.

Sudare

すだれ

We put a screen, called ‘Sudare’ made of thin strips of wood in front of a house or back side of a house to shut down sunshine. We have put this screen in front of our bathroom window. We can open the window to get cool wind, and nobody can peek us. Some shops put this the entrance of their shops like the picture.

Uchiwa

うちわ

This is our very traditional tool ( a fan) , called uchiwa. We can buy lots of pretty ones. We have both modern designs and traditional ones. I prefer traditional ones. This is very popular for summer festivals with a summer kimono, Yukata.

Uchimizu

打ち水

This is my favorite for summer. We water in front of our house to stay cool. My grandparents did it in summer every single day when the temperature got high, especially evening. So, when I see someone is doing this, this reminds me of my grandparents a lot. When I lived in Nagano prefecture with my family, I saw people did it a lot.

Furin

風鈴

We do make us cool down with pretty sounds. The glass things are called Furin. They make very pretty healing sounds, and I love them. We have one in our house, and I have hanged it every year in summer. When I hear the sounds, they definitely reminds me of summer.

I think each country has their own unique ideas or culture for seasons. These ideas make us enjoy the hot and humid summer.

Thanks as always for reading my blog post. I hope you can expand a little bit your horizons about Japan!

See you in two weeks again!

-Yumi x

 

 

 

 

Desserts for Summer in Japan

Hello there!

How are you spending your weekend? The day before yesterday was the Tanabata in Japan even though my family and I didn’t celebrate it. It was first time for the Tanabata festival not to be a rainy day for years. So, I guess the mystical couple in the sky enjoyed having their romantic time together. You ca learn about mystical couple: http://www.japan-suite.com/blog/2014/7/6/tanabata-story-of-two-star-crossed-loversf

Today I want to introduce our summer desserts to you. In summer you can see these in supermarkets a lot. We love eating cold stuff in summer. Ice cream gets more popular in summer too, but we still love our old-fashioned sweets like these. We keep these desserts in our refrigerator to keep them cool. When we eat them, we can enjoy the cool temperature and the sweet flavor together. Most of them are like jellies, but these sweets are made from vegetable gelatin. This part is different from jellies. ( Jellies are made from animal gelatin.)

My favorite sweet in summer is Warabimochi. I really love Kuromitsu ( the black syrup made from brown sugar) and that’s the reason. It’s so tasty to eat the cold Warabimochi with Kuromitsu.

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My other favorite is Mizsuyoukan.

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My previous place where we lived had a popular Mizuyoukan factory three doors down from our house. We loved buying the Mizuyoukan there. I really miss it. Mizsuyoukan is made from some red beans.

We have more sweets for summer.

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I don’t like this one, but some people like my hubby loves this, called Kuzsukiri. That’s because it tastes sour. I prefer sweet flavor.

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So, which one do you want to taste first? I hope this summer won’t be extremely muggy, and I can enjoy the season.

Have a lovely weekend! See you around next weekend here again!

-Yumi

 

 

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