trip to yawata

another place i went to to watch the autumn foliage and other things was the city yawata. there is the mountain called otokoyama and you can go on top by cable car. on top is the iwashimizu hachimangu shrine located. there is also holy bamboo growing on the mountain. thomas edison used fiber of this bamboo to make his first light bulb, too (but somehow i missed the memorial stone/park).

in yawata you can also find the shokado garden art museum, which shows the art of japanese gardening, different types of bamboo etc. here is the birthplace of shokado bento, which i enjoyed for lunch at kiccho shokado.

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osaka expo park

i also went to the expo’70 commemorative park in osaka to see the autumn foliage and walk around the park. to learn more about it, check this website: http://www.expo70.or.jp/languages/english/

fushimi inari

end of november i visited the fushimi inari shrine in kyoto

happy new year

i hope you all had a good christmas season and i wish you all a happy new year!

and happy birthday, tine! \(^__^)/

i still have some photos waiting to be shared with you…

too lazy…and going to new york (^__^)

i really got lazy with updating this blog…

in the meantime i explored some more of osaka – of course, i went to an onsen/spa theme park too – went to adogawa in shiga-ken again to celebrate the 89th birthday of ryota’s grandma and spend some time with his family. there’s actually not much to tell. but i think it’s pretty cool, when you can go to karaoke with your 89 year old japanese grandma and she even sings some songs (^▽^)♫
while i was in adogawa another typhoon hit japan, the forecast said it would hit us pretty hard and we also got the information that we might have to evacuate. so we packed our bags with some clothes, snacks etc and waited. but fortunately we just had some heavy rain and storm.

i also went to nara, where they have a lot of old temples and shrines and the famous nara deer (^__^)

and then…yeah, ryota got me tickets to go to new york over my birthday  so i flew in on october 29 and will stay until november 16.

i really had troubles with the jetlag (i still have), because it’s a 180° time switch. and the food troubles me too, so lots of home cooking. unfortunately, the japanese supermarkets are as expensive as in germany. i guess, i will only go to japanese restaurants when eating out. feels like it’s the opposite of japan. meaning, japanese take food from different countries, cooking it very well, improve it, sell it for a decent price. usa: taking food from different countries, deep fry it or change other things to the worse and sell it overprized. lol.

but my birthday was nice, we went by water taxi from long island city to williamsburg, had brunch with ryota’s friends and afterwards to williamsburg smorgasburg, which is like a food fair with lots of small food stalls. in the evening we went to a sushi place in manhattan and to „spot dessert bar“ – they have awesome desserts, i really recommend it (but don’t be surprised, 95% asian customers (^__-) )

as ryota is working most of the days from afternoon, we use the mornings to check out the neighboorhood and stores to find out, which have things i can eat and where they have good japanese products. very nice is mitsuwa in new jersey, it’s like a big japanese supermarket, but they also have lots of small eateries, goods shop, book store etc.

i didn’t do much sightseeing, but as i will have loooots of time to do that after i got the visa, there is no need to rush (^_-) but i went to the museum of modern art, which was great (but a bit too crowded) and afterwards had a look around time square. meh…too many people, too loud, too many bad smells…and costumed creepy people. one time is enough…

hello from tokyo (^_^)/

last thursday i started my trip to tokyo. unfortunately i already have to leave tomorrow (tuesday).
i had a nice ride on the shinkansen with a very good ekiben (eki bento = train station lunch box) and free wifi on the train. the first evening i just relaxed and enjoyed the sento on top of the hotel. on the 12th floor they have a hot bath, one tub inside and one tub outside - with a great view over a canal and the skytree (^__^)
on friday i met with my friend and skype-japanese teacher yumi. we went to a tsukemono restaurant and had an ochazuke lunch set. tsukemono are japanese pickles, very good in taste and healthy.
afterwards we went to the skytree, but the waiting time to get up there was around an hour. so we just got ice cream and sat outside and had a look at the shops in the skytree „town“.
i finished my day with another soak in the hot tubs (^__^)

saturday i made my way to the onsen niwa no yu in nerima. it was very good, but i didn’t know that there are several areas you can only enter in swim wear. i thought it would be only the gender mixed „bade“ zone (i wonder, why they use the german word for bathing here, maybe because they have a pool there with salty thermal water at body temperature like in german spas). but also some saunas and jacuzzis where in that zone. i enjoyed my stay anyway as the water was very good for the skin, they have an eukalyptus steam sauna and very good food (^__^)
afterwards i went to harajuku for shopping… ( ☆∀☆) i found the sloth earring i saw on the internet before at 6%dokidoki, but the limited size options in most of the shops stopped me from excessively buying clothes (not to talk about shoes…the biggest size for girls is still 2 cm too small for me -_-; )
and sunday i finally met my friend tomo for the first time in real life (=^ェ^=) (and while i was waiting for him two japanese ladies seriously wanted to take photos with me….tihihi (//∇//) ) he made me very awesome shoes earlier this year. we had lunch together in shibuya and a walk to the meiji shrine (^__^)
and now i’m sitting on the train to go to another onsen…you may call it addiction (* ̄∇ ̄*)
i couldn’t decide for one directly in tokyo (maybe tomorrow in the morning? (^_^;) ) so i go to yukemuri no sato susukino in yokohama (^__^)
as i’m on the train i will upload photos later from my laptop.

update (tuesday, september 30): the onsen i went to was really great. it’s more the type of onsen, where the locals go to and it is not as stylish as some other onsen, but it has a great variety of bathes, including four outdoor bathes and some bathes with really hot water (up to 42 °c), a steam sauna and a normal sauna are included in the very cheap price of 620 yen, which is roughly about 4,5 euros. they also have two stone saunas (you lay on the hot and stony ground - one was with pebbless, one with a flat ground in the pyjama like clothes you get there), they cost 500 yen extra. i booked both plus rental towels (^_^;) they have also very nice relaxation areas, where you can read mangas for free or watch tv (or sleep, like a lot of people do - including me), massage chairs, even a hair cutter is in the building. and what i also really liked was the outdoor relaxation zone, where they had something like a real big heated stone plate, on which hot water was flowing and where you could lay down to sleep or relax.

today i took a walk around asakusa and then took the shinkansen back to osaka. again with a tasty ekiben (^__^)  so next i will check ALL onsen in kansai area (^__-)

just some photos

hello hello!

yes, i’m lazy (^_-)
i’m just uploading some boring photos today. the first pictures show the view from the rooftop of the building where my apartment is in. you can see osaka castle from there and…rail tracks…yes, the building is at the tracks, but it’s not as loud as it would be in germany.
and there is a very nice park near my place, where i took most of the other photos. a lot of people where sitting there, having their lunch or drawing the flowers (^__^)

from thursday to tuesday i’m going to tokyo \(^__^)/ if you are there and have some free time, let me know (^_^)

i will add photos of the inside of my apartment later, when i got rid of the chaos and everything found it’s place (^_-)