Cafes in Japan

Hiya! How have you been so far? I am doing great to enjoy my life.

Today, I want to share something interesting with you. You know we have weird cafes, like maid cafes, right? Our cafes are getting more diverse. Now, we have lots of cafes where we can enjoy getting together to share our interests.

Cats cafes where we can touch cats or conversational English cafes where we can speak in English with foreigners or English teachers are more popular. We have more cafes like rabbit cafes where we can touch rabbits. Rabbit cafes are getting popular in Japan as well. I don’t think it’s a clean place to drink something, though, lol.

I have never been to those cafes before, but I had an opportunity to go to a knitting cafe recently.  I have to say that knitting is my hobby. I have found knitting is meditation for me, and that’s why I love knitting. I found a knitting cafe where I can learn Fair Isle technique from Scotland and went there.

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There were 10 students plus three teachers there. We all knitted the Fair Isle techniques.

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Fair Isle knitting started for fishermen, but they have become more sophisticated.

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We can see lots of Fair Isle knitting products which the instructors  have placed on the walls. They were so perfect! I was in love with them at first sight.

A student was knitting her sweater with the technique. According to her, it takes 6 months for her to finish one product!! Oh, I need a lot of patience to finish one piece!!!!

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The instructors show us lots of traditional patterns and books to make us think we can make these!

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Since I am a definitely beginner of this technique, I have nothing to show. I just started learning this technique. My goal is to knit sweaters for all my family! The yarns for the technique come from Shetland, Scotland. Their yarns are very light and warm like cashmere. Since I love conservative, classical and traditional style of fashion a lot, I really really love these knitting patterns!

Cafes where we can learn something is different from schools or clubs. When we learn something in schools or clubs, it’s hard for us to quit after one experience. However, it’s easy for us to quit in cafes. We don’t need to go to the cafes constantly. Whenever we want, we can book the cafes and keep learning. The knitting cafe is open 8 days each month from 10 am to 1:30 pm for students to learn . My plan is to go there once a month to learn. It’s more convenient for us to save time and money. It’s easier for us to start learning something new. Of course, we call these “cafe”, so we order something to drink while we learn.

I had a wonderful time there with knitting people. All of them were very friendly to share their products, ideas and technique.

I think these style of cafes where we can learn something will be more popular in Japan.

Thanks for stopping by my blog entry. I hope I will be able to update my other blog, my porcelain painting blog next week!

I hope you all start a great week! Take care!

-Yumi x

 

 

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Autumn in Japan

Hello there! How have you been? It’s been a while since I have posted my last blog. I had been busy for a while and, when I realize that, it’s the season that we can see leaves changing.

Last week, my husband and I went hiking the closest hill called Pon Pon Yama. It was the best timing for us to enjoy the autumn view. Since I took some photos, I want to show them to you. I hope you enjoy Japanese autumn views.

In the hill we have a Shito-shrine, and it’s popular among people who live in the area.

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This statue is a guardian for a Shito-shrine called Komainu.

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I think this is a monk’s house of the Shito-shrine.

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This statue is called Jizo and God for children. He is my favorite God because his face looks always peaceful.

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I am very proud of these Japanese maple leaves. I love their red. This is the Japanese autumn.

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The color green and the red are so pretty!

 

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I found six cute zizou.

We enjoyed the views, the clean air, and walking. I realized that hiking is so much fun, and good for exercise. I want to do this more often from now on with my hubby.

It’s getting colder here. I think in some places it’s getting hotter. Stay warm or cool and don’t get sick.

See you around in two weeks again here!

-Yumi x

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.

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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

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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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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

 

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