Monday, June 25, 2007

beach weekend.

it was rainy and overcast for the most part, so i didn't take any pics when we were at the beach. the next morning we headed off to an onsen. it's the demon onsen!!
crazy, huh? it was new, and very nicely done inside. and there were free massage chairs in the relaxing area, which is unheard of in most onsens. this one was a little outdated perhaps...
it's like something out of a 70's sci fi movie.
and here's my instrument. the man, the one who runs the indian restaurant, made it himself. the bowl is about 100 years old, and the prongs are made from bicycle wheel spokes that he hammered out himself. it's very lovely. it's a karimba, which is an african instrument. the man is really into india and africa, and apparently crafty, so makes them from time to time. it's fun to play with and make songs for. i look forward to plinking on it at WOZ rituals, or sitting at home while derek reads a book or something. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Takamastu weekend

first it was "play with kids" time at the community gym. they had these clown/uni students perform and then we played games. the kid on the right was one of the preschoolers i had taught last school year.
here's hiromi with her adorable grandson. >_< he's so cute!
then ange and i took a scenic drive through the mountains so takamatsu.

these are so beautiful, what are they called?

look at that hair and skin! she's like a michelangelo angel.

once we got to takamatsu we went to bagel and bagel (haven't had one of those for a year!) and took our food to the docks to eat. here is a wandering band of skateboarding photographers.
and a happy couple taking advantage of the beauty of nature.



during the end of the sunsent, smitha joined us and we went to the little restaurant on the docks for a drink and some edamame.
this is from a back road that i like to bike on quite frequently.

here's takigawa sensei (music teacher) and the part time home economics teacher having a chat at school.
this is the pep rally for the sports teams for the upcoming city-wide sports playoffs to see who gets to go to the prefectural tournaments. this is tennis.
first table tennis team.
second table tennis team.
soccer. the one in the middle with his hands in front is kiku, the kid i'd been having trouble with a while back, now i just kick him out of my class most of the time.
basketball. bob's third closest to the camera, but he's leaning back so you can't really see him. he's such a nice kid.
here's the post-pep-rally-motivational-drinking party. the teacher in the middle is yoshioka sensei, the 3rd year english teacher, he's really good.
hello uemura sensei, school's secretary. he's really nice and is always happy to help me with things. we had a good time drinking sake that night. and later, i was getting ready to walk home, and he had his wife drop me off. she was really nice too with a cute dog, and he said "this is my wife, i love her very much!" which is very sweet and rather rare in japanese society.
and here's sakamoto doing his impression of tae-bo, which is just now becoming popular here (so ten years ago in the US!!). underneath him is the vice principal.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Trina and Mia Visit: Part 3 (Kyoto, the end of the adventure)

inside kyoto station, it's big! there was a jr high band performance thing going on, so there were lots of people as we rode the never-ending escalators up to the food floors.
hope you're not afraid of heights!
time to eat some ramen!
yummy! but not as good as tokushima ramen.
on to the bus and to the first temple (went to the Gion area)
it'll certianly be well lit at night!
ok, this is too cute! the dad is helping his daughter purify her hands and then go pray.
i like moss.
ahh, pretty shrine!
a wedding!
i like her kimono.
notice the two girls on the left dressed like prostitutes? strong contrast to the middle-aged women in the kimonos on the right, ne?
i liked these evergreens, i wonder what they are?

dragon! it's more elaborate, so it's probably buddhist.
pretty lantern!
very nice, indeed.
"i'm thinking about your big bell, baby! when ya gonna ring it? when ya gonna ring it?"
yay! white fluffy clouds and not the rain we were expecting!

after this monk guy opened the little door an important priest came out and went in, kneeled down and started some prayer-chants. very cool.
old-style thatched roof.
not sure what this big fella is...
tiny shrine.
up the hill, now here's the view!
hello, mia!
hello giant buddha, too bad it was after 5pm and they wouldn't let us in!
hello me. trina was busy eating ice cream at this point.
cute couple!
shopping time!
yes, that's a kid on a tricycle in a china shop...

here we are at kyoiyamizudera (i think that's the name)

and behind it is the main-attraction which kam and i missed the first time we came. what a suprise to find the place where you see all the pictures taken from!
ahh, i love green. look at the old pagota in the distance. it's tucked into the trees.
i like this one cuz everyone is moving but the guy in the middle, and those lamps are bitchin!
here it is!
mia taking some pictures.
trina's love rocks, too bad it was closed.
this is on a big wooden frame work (pics from below to follow) they've petitioned to make this place one of the New 7 wonders of the world.
this is one of those "popular" pictures. when you look at a pack of postcards from kyoto, this will be one of them.
mia the conquorer and trina the slightly confused.

the under part.
the sign for the magic water.
magic water! i drank it! :)
on the way out.
kyoto tower!
see the pagota we came from at the end of the street? pretty!
back at the station.
and so ends night 1 in kyoto.
next day, we take the bus to the arashiyama area and start walking towards the northern temples there. on the way, we see this, and decide to give it a go!
up, and up, and up we climb.
and higher...
to the top!
then we spent another hour looking for another path down the other side, but we can't find anything promising, so it's back down the same way. (tired faces) back on the street, we run into a man and his wife who have passable english. apparently he's a pathologist that used to work at the mayo clinic! crazy!! he and his wife give us a ride to the temple we were after.
mossy buddhas.
see the tiny, new buddha in the middle?
what is this? and why does it have some freaky, safe-like door in it?
three-layered torii.
1000 buddhas!
plus bell, can't forget that!

bamboo forest!
*sigh* ahh.
mystery cave...
hidden behind one of these little fellows...
tucked off the road...
a pleasant find.
nice little walking path.
tanuki store!
:O that's creepy.
it's a train!
next shrine!
probably a grandma, mom, daughter photo outting than maikosans.
i love moss! (this is my current desktop)
petting the moss...
yay clouds!

this one's holding an egg with a cross on it! we found out this one's for protection against plane crashes.
this ends the arashiyama area.
over by the silver pavillion (it was closed, but we found this nice little shrine).
dark, mysterious, and calming.

we made a wish.
hello, kitty!
this is the Philosopher's Path.
and into the second evening.
then we saw this sign, and decided that we had to take a picture with it!

take one... um, not so good....
take two... ok, can't even see the letters in this one!
so we just waited around until some unsuspecting victim *cough* i mean japanese person came by, and we asked them to take it for us. much less chaotic, ne?

the rest of the trip involved sleeping then getting on the bus the next morning, and that was the end. ta-dah!