Ohayou! First of all, thank you to everyone who read my last post “New Learning Japanese Project and Traveling in Japan” and tried to comment. Their is an issue with posting comments I am trying to resolve. I am hoping to have it fixed within the week, but am still trying to narrow down the issue. In the meantime, please contact me directly at [email protected] with your ideas and comments. I really appreciate them and I am sorry I haven’t gotten the comments working yet. I will be working on a complete website redesign soon.
My last trip to Japan spanned five weeks and was fantastic. We spent a few days in Tokyo before being forced to leave early to Nagano due to the impending Typhoon. As it turns out, we left just in time because the train we used to get to Nagano was shut down for several weeks after the typhoon due to flooding. Unfortunately, parts of Nagano were hit very hard.
The weather in Nagano wasn’t great after the typhoon and we had to spend a lot of time indoors. We rented some movies from Tsutaya (Japan still has a strong video rental shop business) and spent the rest of the time shopping and visiting with family. I picked up some items I will be giving away once I start the YouTube channel.
We also went to take some pictures for my daughters shichi-go-san (7-5-3), which is the way to say the important birthdays for young girls and boys. Girls being seven and three and boys when they are five. It is an important occasion for young children and their families in Japan. So important, that some people are willing to spend thousands of dollars and an entire day taking pictures (we didn’t).
After a couple weeks in Nagano we flew to Kobe where are friends from Kochi picked us up. If you fly from Nagano (Matsumoto airport) to Kobe, try to get a window seat as the view is amazing. Depending on the time of year, you will get to see snow covered mountains, and on a good day, you can even see Mount Fuji. It’s about an one hour flight.
The drive from Kobe to Koichi was also beautiful. You drive a long the ocean for much of it and cross some amazing bridges and tunnels. Our friends recently moved to a small mountain village within Koichi. It reminded me of the scene in “The Last Samurai” when Tom Cruise’s character is captured and taken to the small village. After several minutes on windy mountain roads a small village on a mountainsidesuddenly comes into view.
This was one of my favorite places. A small town, flush with trees and rivers, and a quit neighborhood. We stayed in Koichi for seven days. I went jogging through a different part of the village each night and was in love. I could actually see myself buying a house there.
We spent the next seven days visiting places in Koichi and had a wonderful time. I will write more about this once I am able to post pictures (images are also not working). One of my favorite place was Tsutaya Shoten (these are located throughout Japan), which is an upscale bookstore/cafe/market. I spent several hours there and was sad to leave. We also visited the ocean, the zoo, and the Koichi Sunday Farmers Market.
After returning to Nagano for a few days, we headed back to Tokyo and stayed in Yokohama for a couple nights before flying out. We all ended up getting sick, but did recuperated in time to manage a trip to Yokohama’s “China Town”. One of the recent “booms” in Japan is tapioca tea, one of my favorites drinks. There are a lot of tapioca shops in Yokohama’s China Town. It’s not as cheap as in Taiwan, but it tastes great.
We are already thinking about our trip to Japan next year with plans to stay even longer.
I will give further details on my trip when I am able to post pictures. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me directly at the email listed above.
I’m still getting over jet lag (its harder when you have two kids), but have started putting together a plan to create various Japanese learning, Japanese culture, and Japan traveling.
I started studying Japanese nearly twenty years ago and have spent the last fifteen years studying learning, productivity, and habits. I have also taught Japanese, English, and business and marketing. My goal is to put all this together to help you learn Japanese and experience Japan. As mentioned in the previous post, please contact me with any comments you have. I would love to know where you are having difficulty, what your interest in Japan comes from, and what kind of material you would like to see.
As part of this new Youtube Channel, I stopped at some various anime/toy/figure shops in Japan and picked up some Japanese manga, pro-moderu (action figures), and some toys including Dragon Ball, One Piece, and others. I will using them as giveaways to subscribers. If this proves popular, I will work on getting more.
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