Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shinshunkai 2013 / 新春会 2013

In Japan, at the end of the year we have a bounenkai (end of the year party), then in January, to celebrate the new year, we have a shinenkai.  Well, this year our shinenkai was a little late, in fact it was already March, which is why this post is titled Shinshunkai.  As usual, we held it at our friend's restaurant [Utou] which is located in Ushigome Kagurazaka.  Its always a pleasure to hang out with friends while eating great food and having drinks as well.  Check out this year's menu.

日本の年末は忘年会がある。そして、新しい年になるとまた新年会が開くことは多い。今年はちょっと遅れた新年会の為(もう3月になったし)、友達が新春会を開いた。毎年恒例の会は牛込化倉坂にある友達の店「善知鳥」で開催した。 やっぱり仲間と美味しいもの食べて、酒を飲んで、騒いで楽しい! さて今年のメニュー見てみましょう。

We started off with these three dishes:


Sorry if I can't explain all the dishes in English, but as you can see, very healthy for your body!


On the very right is the Mama-san who ran the Oden foodstall in Shibuya for years.  From the left are my friends Yuko33 and Hama-chan.


Flavored egg-roll / ダシ巻たまご

Salted rockfish / カサゴの塩焼き

Are you getting hungry yet?


Tempura / 天ぷら

This is our friend (Mikako has known him since elementary school) - Ken, the owner and chef of the restaurant.


Group photo / 今年集めたメンバー

Yes, we've had a bit to drink.


And lastly, a short video clip of the event.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Walk around Eifukucho (Part 2) / 永福町の散歩 (パート2)

The next point of interest I discovered while walking around Eifukucho was this temple that had stone statues of all twelve animals of the Chinese horoscope.  The temple was Ryusenji.

永福町で次に発見したところが干支全部の石像があるお寺 ‐ 龍泉時。

Ryusenji (Main Temple) / 龍泉時本堂

The Bodhisattvas of the Chinese horoscope / 干支地蔵菩薩

My year - the rabbit / 僕の干支 ‐ 兎

My wife and brother's year - the rat / 嫁と兄の干支 ‐ 鼠

My sister's year - the tiger / 妹の干支 ‐ 虎

My mother's year - the cow / 母の干支 ‐ 丑

My father's year - the horse / 父の干支 ‐ 馬

Six Jizos / 六地蔵

After checking out Ryusenji, I returned to the Kanda River and walked further along its banks.


Take a closer look at the middle of this picture and you will see something interesting.


Still have a hard time seeing it?


I think he's looking for the river to return the frog.

“川は”って? 蛙を川に戻すつもりかね?

Look!  There is that bird again / あっ、あの鳥また発見

Before making my walk home, I decided to check out one more point of interest - the Eifuku Inari Jinja.


Eifuku Inari Jinja / 永福稲荷神社

Tenjin-sha (shrine to scholarly studies) / 天神社 (学問の神)

Smaller shrines at Eifuku Inari Jinja / 永福稲荷神社にある他社の神

Shiratori-sha (shrine for good fortune) / 白鳥社 (開運・招福)

Tenou-sha (shrine to good health) / 天王社 (病気平癒)

Shirayama-sha or Hakusan-sha (shrine to love and other wishes) / 白山社 (諸々結び)

And so concludes my walk around Eifukucho.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Walk around Eifukucho (Part 1) / 永福町の散歩 (パート1)

I was going to do a special neighborhood walk post for my mother so hopped on the train and got off at Meidaimae Station.  My mother had told me she used to live here back when she worked at the Bank of Tokyo.  Unfortunately, there was really nothing interesting to see around the station and I found that most of my walk was around the neighborhood of Eifukucho instead.  Sorry Mom, I will go explore Meidaimae again some other time.


And since there was nothing of interest to see around the station, I walked across a pedestrian overpass towards Meiji University.


And this is what I saw...


It may not be as big as the cemetery in Yanaka, but it was huge nonetheless.


I decided to walk a bit along this river.


I decided to take a picture of both views of the river by standing in the middle of this - the Himawari Bridge.


I finally came upon a sign to tell me what river this was - it is the Kanda River.

歩いたら、やっとこれはなんの川が分かりました ‐ 神田川でした。

Kanda River caretaker?


Lots of koi (carp) in the river / 川の中に鯉がいっぱいいました

Not sure what kind of bird this was, but I liked the picture with its reflection in the water.


Bird under the bridge / 橋の下の鳥

Used the zoom for a close-up but the pic didn't come out that great.


Temple not far from the river / 川の近くにあったお寺

Trying out the watercolor image feature on my camera.


Also came upon an animal menagerie at the Tamagawa Josui Park.


Anyone missing luggage from a recent trip?


Walk will continue...