Japan misc thoughts and doings
Only In Japan, would there be a show on the different types of hamburgers and Hamburger places. With big discussion on the deliciousness on each and the style.
This is a full show on comparing them. Food and eating is BIG deal in Japan. There is a lot of great food here. Much of it not what is served in American restaurants
Public transportation seems expensive. However if you work for a company, they pay for your daily commute, VERY unlike American companies. I will need to figure out something about getting around. I would love to have a Harley here to get around, even though it gets COLD! We did find one train line that has cheap fares to and from where we mostly go
I went out the other evening to met a guy from Black Tokyo.com and have a small interview with him. Lady Z was not up to going, she was pretty burnt out from the day and wanted to rest. She thought it would be good for me to travel on the public transportation alone to try it out. It went off fairly well , I only asked for direction once when changing trains to get home. The interview went well, the young brother brought his girlfriend along , had I known that I would have made Lady Z come. Kamen, from NY, lives in Osaka for some 7 yrs now, teaches English and Spanish and has an advance degree from a University in the states. He is also much into the Martial Arts perhaps he’ll be a future student once I move over. Funny guy and interesting views.
The trains are great in Japan! Everything runs on time and are clean!
I got fussed at by Lady Zen for opening a taxi door. She says one does not do that in Japan. The driver opens the door from inside for the riders, it is bad form to open the door. Who knew??!
You find American music in the most unusually places that do not really match the place. American Jazz played at several places I would have thought would do some traditional Japanese tunes.
Went out fro a walk to the local shopping center toady to meet up with Lady Z. I got to see some of the local area vai foot. Clean streets, clean homes. Nice area. I could live around here if it was closer to the water.
This was our best trip to Japan. I felt honored to met and be advised by not just one master, which is a big deal to happen once, but by three in one week is amazing! The only downer this trip was the COLD.
Well, the other is, we did not get all of our cash converted at the airport, thinking we could do it at the local bank here, WRONG! They not do it on a walk-in basis any more. Most places do not take plastic so our cash flow is a problem.
I feel more comfortable in Japan each visit. There are things would miss about the states, but I can adjust. The weather in Cal would be a BIG one. One thing for sure, I really need to bone up on the language before coming over, that will be more than helpful.
We went out to Dinner with sister and mother tonight. We went to a local place. We had a bunch of small dishes of great food, sake, and some mixed Shochu cocktails.
I have discovered Chu-hi. A drink with Shochu and juice, Mmmm yummy I got some to take home to the states.
I found if I go in the kitchen I can access wifi, sweet!
The area of Osaka we are in has a really nice park(s) and lots of trees around. I would love to see the area in Autumn, the plan 2009 next visit! That will be the last before the move.
Everyone is out doing stuff today but me. I felt like staying in and updating the blog and doing some reading. They will bring me home Sushi tonight. It is kind of nice for my male ego to have three women concerned about my well being here, serving me, I feel like “the Man” heheh
We are to go out shopping and stuff with sister and okasan. We had lunch together. There were a few ladies at the table while we were ordering. They got a kick out of all the things that were named as Dame (no good) for me, Shrimp, mushrooms, clams, other slimy stuff..
We stopped by the Kyudo supply and pickup a few things for me to take home to the states. As we spoke with the owner we found out the place I went to for Kyudo is famous because of that Sensei. However they are not really open to people just coming in, or is it easy to just walk in and join. Many have complained about that being somewhat closed door. I was lucky to get such a good reception and private lessons for almost free. It was more of an honor than I thought to be treated so well. I will need to send him a gift from the states as a way of thanks.
I wish I had more time, money and transportation, there are still some things and places I would like to go. Like to the Kobe Marina and visit Bill and his new boat. also another American is in town with his wife for her father’s 100 day memorial, we are here for Lady Z’s father 1 yr. memorial. interesting. I did get to speak with the other visiting Californian. He and his wife are planning on moving to Osaka this year just after Oct. He put his boat up for sale. I will make some plans to visit him and his wife before they leave, He sound like a nice guy, I’m sure Lady z and his wife will have lots to talk about as out lives share a similar path.
Today is our last day, we went to Otosan’s 1yr. memorial ceremony today…
It snowed in the morning. As we had to get up and started early I did not plan to go Tai Chi, which was just as well since I do not think they had it in the snow.
We set off early for the ceremony for Dad. We went to the shrine in a part of town I had not been too. The shrine was fairly old and small. The ceiling in the alter room was done by a famous Japanese artist I was told. It was a beautiful array of Phoenixes. The ceremony took an hour. It was not an outstanding ceremony. When I was listening, even though I did not know what was being read/chanted it sounded like the monk was messing up. I find out later that he was, some of the relatives complained about what a poor job he did just reading. We say/kneed through out the hour long ceremony. I was thinking my legs would be good with all the Zazen that I have been doing. However after about 45 min, they starting getting painful. I stuck it out telling myself, Ganbattemas!!
Afterward we went to a hotel for a old style traditional Japanese Kaiseki meal in a very modern hotel. it was all light tasting, but good, along with Sake and beer everyone was in good spirits. The elders who had not seen each other in a while were happily visiting and chatting. It was a good, day although the shadow of it ending soon, loomed over Lady Z and I. Neither of us were ready for this way too short trip to end.
So I believe I could live in Japan, it would take some adjusting of course but I think I’d be ok. I would miss the weather in Cal, the very few friends I have and my Sci Fi shows May I can get some type of internet TV hookup That will give me some feeds. I know it is always nice everywhere one visits and living there is different but I think I’d be ok. I have a pretty good feel for things this time, and we’ll hopefully get another visit in before the move. I am not going in blind and have a few plans so we’ll see.
My biggest concern of course is working , money, it is always money! I will need to focus on bringing my Japanese skills up Then I should be able to get a decent PT gig teaching English which will be our base support. IF Lady Z can get some P/T gig as well we’ll be ok.
We decided on live in an Area between Kobe and Osaka. Easy to get to both places from there.
We met up with a few ladies at the Airport. One of which I had been in touch with on MySpace.com. Since she lived in Osaka I figured i’d contact her. She was looking forward to meeting us and brought along 2 of her friends. They where nice we chatted for a while about their travels, and life in Japan vs the States, over lunch and coffee. Then it was time to head out.
This was a VERY good trip, we Hated to leave, even through COLD, now it is time for back to the real world.
Service in the states sucks!
We were given the wrong item at the duty free shop in SF. When we went to return in the manager offered nothing in the way of an applogie, even though it was clearly their error not even, sorry for your trouble.
Then when we get to the taxi stand at the Bart station we are pushing and pulling our 4 pieces of luggage and the cab driver just sit there even after we come up to the cab. He just yells out the window, where do you want to go? WTF!! In Japan they are out of the car, doors open, trunk open, asking how they can help. I was pissed, and took another cab. GRRRR Only a short time in Japan an I am already spoiled by good service. I will not even go into the time I came back and the Homeland Security Guards are yelling at people to move along faster, great impression to see when coming to America.
It will most likely be quiet around here for a while. Nothing really planned other than a second visit to the HeartChan (zen) pratice group and a Kyudo class visit in Berkeley next week. I do not except it to be eventful enough to write about.
Time to shift focus to sailing now. I have a couple of traning classes upcoming next month and should be hearing something about teaching for the city of Oakland. There is also a sail boat race in Berekely. I was invited to crew on one one the boats, but that will not work out due to some scheduling conflicts, however I will be there for some pictures on Sunday. So the sailing blog will be seeing some action now.
Next big thing I know of for here is a Kyudo Seminar at Sonoma Mtn Zen center in May. It lasts over several days. It should be interesting. So check in for updates…you never know what the tide will bring in…