Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Walk around Kichijoji and Gessoji Temple / 吉祥寺と月窓寺の散歩

Getting into the activities in the month of May - first a walk around Kichijoji on a fairly nice day.


Entrance to Sun Road Shotengai (Market Street) / サンロード商店街の入り口

I can't help it, I was a former bookseller and still love to read books.


Harmonica Yokocho / ハーモニカ横丁
It was around lunch time when we were walking along Harmonica Yokocho.  Looking for somewhere to eat, we pass right by a [Shutters].  Since we haven't been to one in a while it was a no brainer.  They have great ribs here and an awesome apple pie.

Ribs with different sauces (from left to right - wasabi, mustard, salt & pepper, and garlic)
ソースいろいろ (左から - わさび、マスタード、塩コショウ、とガーリック)

Apple Pie a la mode topped with maple syrup / アップルパイアイスとメープルシロップ乗せ

Dude seems to be a bit of an exhibitionist / ちょっと漏出すぎじゃないか?

Porno director? / アダルト映画の監督?
Gessoji Temple / 月窓寺
This temple is located along the Sun Road Shotengai.

Doesn't the serene look on his face make you feel at peace? / 可愛いね、その笑顔で癒される

Gessoji Kannon-do / 月窓寺観音堂
Genjo Sanzo Hoshi / 玄奘三蔵法師 (げんじょうさんじょうほうし)


Nio / 仁王
Most temples have statues of the Nio, guardians of the Buddha but Gessoji have their Nio Guardians on the panels of the gate.  Very cool though.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blossomless Hanami continues / 桜のない花見がつづく

It was time to the move the party and one of our standard go to places is the Italian restaurant La Boheme.  We have spent many many long hours here (we just don't drink until morning anymore).

花見場所(はいはい、ただの宴会でございました)、を移ることにした。昔渋谷にあったおでん屋の近くによく行ったイタリアンレストラン「La Boheme」に行きました。その店凄いお世話になった店です。良く朝まで飲んで食べた場所。みんな年取ってるので朝までののみはないですね。

Yes, we've been drinking / はい、飲んでました

Me too! / 私も!

My friend and his daughter Rino / 友達の〝21番”と彼の娘莉乃ちゃん

Waitress bringing our food / 料理の登場

I debated about doing a separate post for the restaurant but since I've been here so many times, and also its a chain restaurant, I thought I would just feature the food in this same post.


Margherita Pizza / マルゲリータ

Roasted whelk with herb butter / ツブ貝の香草バター

Gnocchi / ジャガイモのニョッキ

Caprese / 水牛モッツァレラのカプレーゼ

Sauteed cabbage with anchovy and garlic / キャベツのアンチョビガーリックソテー

Assorted cheese plate / 4類のチーズ盛り合わせ

Chicken liver pate / 鶏レバーのパテ

And we downed pitchers of Moscow Mules / 飲み物はモスコミュールのピッチャー

A rare picture of my friend Hama in a conservative pose / 浜ちゃんが珍しくふざけた顔してない
But soon returned to her normal state of being / でもすぐいつもの様に戻った
The Gang / 愉快な仲間たち
And so ended this year's hanami.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cherry Blossom viewing without the Cherry Blossoms / 桜が咲いてない花見

Yes, I'm still writing about things that took place sometime in April.  This year my friends and I had our cherry blossom viewing party after the blossoms had disappeared.  Still, any reason to get together with friends for drinks and merriment can't be wrong.


My friend and I are usually the first ones to arrive for these get togethers.  This weekend there was some dog show going on but we set up here anyway.  Definitely no cherry blossoms to look at.


A bit of luxury in the morning! / 朝から贅沢 - キャビア!

Caviar and beer, what a combination / キャビアとビール、良いコンビネーションでしょう

The Oden Yatai Mama-san joined in our festivities / おでん屋のママも来てくれました

The dog show event staff had been asking us to move as we had a lot of food and there were a lot of dogs.  So we moved to a greener spot in Yoyogi Park.


A special guest joined us - the guy on my left is a man named John.  I met him through a Facebook page called "Narimasu / Grant Heights / Drake Middle School".  Its a page for people who went to school in these areas.  John and I went to the same elementary school - Narimasu Elementary School on Grant Heights Family Housing Annex some thirty-five years ago or so.  I found out that he was working in Shinsen (next to Shibuya, where I was working at the time), so we made plans to meet.  We had gone out for drinks the night before so I invited him to our hanami as well.  Its meetings like this that make you think it really is a small world after all.

スペシャルゲストが参加してくれました。僕の左に居るのはジョン。Facebookの専門ページに知り合った。そのページは「成増・グラントハイツ・ドレイクスクール」というページ。昔昔板橋区成増に米軍の基地があって、僕とジョンは小学校時代同じ小学校に通ってた。彼が渋谷区神泉で働いてると聞いて(僕はまだ渋谷に働いてた頃)、会いましたよ。ちょっと前二人で一緒に飲み行って、私がもしよかったら花見にも参加しませんかっと誘いました。 こういう出会いも不思議でもありだな。

Taking our hanami elsewhere / 花見解散

Party doesn't end here...


Friday, July 19, 2013

Pokka Sapporo Cola Float / ポッカ サッポロ がぶ飲みコーラフロート

In the break room of my new place of employment, the vending machine was carrying a drink that I just had to try - Cola Float in a can!  I love cola floats, or better yet, a root beer float...but in a can?  But being the adventurous person I am, I took a chance and treated myself to one.  No doubt about it, it taste just like a cola float!  Only you don't need a spoon to scoop up the ice cream.  Unfortunately, two weeks later it was no longer being offered in the vending machine!  Bummer.

新職場の休憩室にある自動販売機に気になる飲み物が入ってました。それは”がぶ飲みコーラフート”! 缶の中にコーラフロート?あり得る? 自分はコーラフロート大好き、コーラよりルートビアフロートのほうが良いが、缶の中? 冒険者の私はやっぱり買ってみた。 間違いなくコーラフロートの味がする!不思議。アイスは入ってませんが、本当にコーラフロートの味がするの。でも残念ながら、二週間後、また飲みたいなと思って、休憩室の自動販売機に行ったら、その商品はなかった!いつの間にか別の飲み物に切り替えてた! 日本人にはやっぱり甘すぎたのかな?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Legend of 2PM in Tokyo Dome

While I was still working at my former place of employment, not too long after the D-Lite (from Bigbang) show, I saw a notice posted above the time card machine.  It was an invitation for employees to go see the Korean pop idol group, 2PM in the Tokyo Dome, sponsored by their label.  The notice also said that the employees were welcome to bring their family members as well.  So I called my wife and asked if she wanted to go (already knowing the answer).  The group would be doing two show at the Tokyo Dome (Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21).   We decided to go to the Sunday show.

まだ前の職場に居た時、D-Liteのライブのちょっとあと、会社のタイムカード機の上に気になった張り紙を見つけた。 韓国アーティスト、2PM所属の事務所からうちの会社の従業員を4月20日と21日に東京ドームで行われる2PMのライブの招待してくれるお知らせだった。今回も家族と一緒に連れて良いということも書かれて、すぐに自分の妻に電話した。答えはわかってたんですが、妻に2PMのライブ行きたいかって。もちろん僕も行くことになってる。私たちは日曜日の公演に行くことになった。

Pretty crowded outside the Dome / ドームの外側は結構混んでた

Our seats at the Tokyo Dome for the 2PM concert / 2PM東京ドーム公演の席

2PM balloons / 2PMの風船

Even though we have a few cds and dvds of 2PM, I am not familiar with most of their music.  So I borrowed the set list from the internet.


02. マスカレード ~Masquerade~
03. I was crazy about you
04. Breakthrough
05. HOT
06. Without U
07. Don't Stop Can't Stop
08. Sexy Lady ( Wooyoung Solo)
09. I Love U, U Love Me (Taecyeon Solo)
10. I Can't
11. I'll Be Ok
12. Beautiful
13. So Bad
14. Missing You
15. Back2U
16. Let it Rain(Nichkhun Solo)
17. ALIVE Choir Opening + TRUE SWAG (Jun. K Solo)
19. I Hate you
20. I'll Be Back
21. I'm Your Man
22. Heartbeat
23. Oh (Chansung Solo)
24. Say Yes (Junho Solo)
25. 離れていても
26. Take Off
27. Stay With me
28. Ultra Lover
29. 10/10
30. Hands up
31. This is Love
32. Forever
33. Take Off
34. Hands Up
35. 離れていても
I must admit, they have my respect.  The show started at 6pm.  I figured it would probably be over around 8pm or so.  Boy was I wrong.  The sang and danced through their set for 3 1/2 hours.  The show didn't end until around 9:30pm.  That's a lot of power.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with 2PM - see below.