Tag Archives: DRO420

2nd Wedding Anniversary Riffs (i would dye for you)

April 20, 2021 – back at the goat farm where we met, were married, now with Ichiro (and of course baby goats and tie-dyes) – thanks Reira for snap

Always more to tell you but… Over the past three days we sort of revisited our 2019 three day wedding festivities #dro420 with a little mini-outings, ergo:

* April 21 pleasant lunch and afternoon lounge around at Mac Kobayashi’s Goat Farm including lovely conversations with four generations of his family / daughter Reira snapped some pics, grandson Sosuke showed off his new glasses, mother (84 yrs young) tool a break from cutting grass to hug and cuddle little Ichiro (who split his time between napping and meeting goats) ~ importantly, finally got a photo with all three of us in our “family tartan“ tie-dye made by brother Daniel

* April 20 rolled to a Shinto shrine, not our “official” shrine but a neighborhood location with no people >> wrote some grateful prayers and intentions on wooden tiles, clap-clapped bowed for the Kami & ancestors, >> enjoyed some of the nuanced details and then some artisan roasted coffee across the lane (where Ichi continued the familial tradition of batting eyelashes at baristas)

* April 19 skipped the City Hall registration and went directly to the jazz bar (which was the scene of the welcome party for foreign guests) but this time was Ryoko Olson’s band Mae Maes rehearsal >> I haven’t seen her bandmates in real life since well, probably their last real show at the beginning of “global health meltdown (TM)” though I’ve seen their faces while editing videos. Enjoyed tea and snacks and music #friendship

Now, resting before an afternoon hospital visit while construction continues outside (we’re camped out in the parents beautiful traditional kominka home on tatami mat floor, glorious raw wooden beams above, sliding rice paper doors) >> Ryoko heading over to the nursery school to help with Ichi’s lunch.

Flashing back to everything that happened these last two years and frankly, stunned by it all.

Completely smitten by my remarkable wife who surprises and thrills me daily, head over heels about this healthy happy little fella who is now in indispensable part of my entire existence, and so very grateful for friends & family scattered around the world for continued support & solitarity. Keep an eye on your post box.

The year ahead will be more changes (i mean, obv) but hopefully fewer “big moves/projects” (i.e. endless registrations and paper work and settling-in and construction and shipping containers and complicated transactions) and more “tiny steps” to make life more pleasant and full of creativity and enjoyment / yes, we have a list and involves post boxes, payphones, sign posts, trees, gardens, paint) ~ also health & rest, please please.

So very fondly from Tsuchida Cottage (soon to be Tsuchida Station)

dvo & fam

 

Dave + Ryoko Anniversary Tea Time Variety Show (almost live)

Join us for tea at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama for our 1st wedding anniversary. We’ll play some songs, catch you up on projects, share some scrapbooks and stories, plus update about baby including gender if curious. Was a live stream… not its not :)

Originally live-streamed via Facebook on April 21, 2020 / check out original post for allll the comments and more fun etc.

Miss 604’s capture of the live stream from Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama to West End, Vancouver

Noted: Taxi Fare ¥1620 on April 20

Noted: Taxi Fare ¥1620 on April 20 2019 (posted 16:20, 4/20, 2020)

Diary: 1st Anniversary Portrait (almost 3)

Almost 3.

Noto Fish Auction / Dave + Ryoko Shinkonryoko Ramble

Noto port, feels like the end of the world, indeed, a rather remote peninsula jutting out into the Sea of Japan, often ravaged by disaster, yet intrepid fishers head out to sea…

[Note: catching up with dossiers from May 2019 when we took an extended ramble around rural areas of Japan as a sort of honeymoon – see Shinkonryoko for more from this journey]

The following is as documented at a small morning fish auction in Noto, Ishikawa-ken [map] (at the end of the Noto peninsula) where various Norwegian and Russian ships also exchange wares. 

So many kinds of sea creatures! How many can you name? a few of these (Ankou / angler fish and shellfish of which i don’t the name and more slippery little treats) were later consumed by our hosts and us.

+ Fish etc Variety Pack +

{update: the remarkable Sandra DeMonti sent along many names for many fish, added as captions – consider helping with the rest]

Tuna
Squid

Continue reading Noto Fish Auction / Dave + Ryoko Shinkonryoko Ramble

Collage of Pals and Experience by Kris Krug including #DRO420

Collage of Pals and Experience by Kris Krug including #DRO420

My pal KK made a photo /ephemera collage (which he does from time to time) and is a form we both dig. To share with you – and make sure doesn’t get disappeared in some folder somewhere – sharing here for goodness at shares extra artifacts from DRO420, our wedding and his trip around Japan making pals in April 2019.

Japan: Travel primer / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography

A rather rough overview originally compiled in advance of friends coming to Okayama for wedding. Re-purposed in slightly more general terms for logistical convenience as needed.

See also: “Travelling to and Around Okayama, Japan,” “Japanese Culture and Language Primer” and other resources in this archive including video guides. 

Japan Ramble Primer

Japan can be intimidating, even for seasoned travellers. You arrive to massive sticker shock, tiny octopi in soup, and 30 kinds of hot canned coffee (which all taste moreorless the same) in ubiquitous vending machines. 

Japan is a long country with 80% mountains – covering several climates, from frosty Hokkaido in the north, to tropical Kyushu giving adventurous folks much opportunity to head to the outer provinces for exploration of the heady scenery of this varied archipelago. With some planning, politeness and persistence, combined with a little zen, you can find big adventures.

Indeed, it is easy to get lost in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka – crowded with skyscrapers and twisted alleys, piled high with screaming neon clubs pumping techno, reggae or karaoke and shops piled with futuristic technological gadgets that won’t make it to North America for another decade – but, far away from the expensive hotels and talking toilets of the huge Pacific metropolis, you may find yourself soaking in alpine hot springs on a starry night, drinking sake with strangers crammed into a mountain hut after a backcountry dinner of rice, seaweed, miso and green tea.

Continue reading Japan: Travel primer / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography

Japan: Travelling to and Around Okayama, Primer

A rather rough overview originally compiled in advance of friends coming to Okayama for wedding. Re-purposed in slightly more general terms for logistical convenience as needed.

See also: “Primer: Travelling Japan / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography“, “Japanese Culture and Language Primer” and other resources in this archive including video guides. 

Getting to Okayama, Japan

Airport

Best to fly to Kansai (KIX) Osaka airport. This schmancy modern airport is located on a human-made island in the middle of the bay and includes 2 hotels, like 100+ restaurants, post office, an airplane viewing platform and importantly, a train station.

The hotels (the full-service Nikko Hotel & business-single-pod-style First Cabin) are super useful if you arrive exhausted from the long flight (usually about 14 hours from N.A. west coast). A short trip from the airport’s island by shuttle bus brings you to loads of other hotels. This airport village also has loads of shopping for buying treats on your way home.

Of course, the are other airports, specifically Tokyo (massive international hub Narita NRT or sometimes Haneda HND which is usually used for domestic flights) and the new Centrail/Chubu/Nagoya (NGO) airport. While you might save a few dollars on the flight, you’ll have a longer (more expensive) train journey to reach Okayama which is the destination for the shindig.

Fly direct to Okayama (OKJ) via the charmingly convenient and cute Momotaro Airport. If you fly to Haneda or Narita (Tokyo) mentioned above, you can transfer and fly right here.  Sometimes this requires an airport shuttle between Narita (mostly international) and Haneda (more domestic).  There is a bus service from Momotaro to downtown Okayama too.

Note: there is a huge service difference for the long-haul flights from North America. My personal experience is to fly an Asian-based airline, i.e.: Japan (ANA *fave, JAL), Korean (Korean or Asiana), Taiwan (EVA), HK (Cathay Pacific) or Singapore if coming from YVR, SFO, LAX, etc. If coming from other Asian destinations, well you are usually all good. I have experienced much less enjoyment from US-based airlines and China mainland airlines often have low prices but check the reviews and adjust against your comfort levels.

Consider tracking flight options/prices with Skyscanner with a price alert or same with Google Flights and try Hopper (app) to see when best time to “pull the trigger” on purchasing flight. Flying from Vancouver? Check out YVRdeals.

Continue reading Japan: Travelling to and Around Okayama, Primer

Rolling Elsewhere: Kurobe Gorge Railway, Toyama, Japan (ambient, excerpts)

Rolling Elsewhere: Kurobe Gorge Railway, Toyama / Unazuki to Keyakidaira stations (ambient excerpts)

Ambient meditative scenes of riding the narrow gauge railway up Kurobe Gorge, one of the steepest canyons in Japan with spectacular scenery, choogling open air carriages, and hydro-electric dam with medieval style castle (really).

Not documentary per se – just as-it-is snippets, stitched loosely to capture the feeling of the trip from Onazuki Onsen station to Keyakidaira (end of the line) station way up in the Japan Alps.

Backgrounder: Kurotetu Railways (official) JNTO Magazine Travel Japan Visitor Kurobe Gorge Railway (wikipedia)

The Kurobe Gorge Railway (黒部峡谷鉄道株式会社 Kurobe Kyōkoku Tetsudō Kabushiki Kaisha), or Kurotetsu (黒鉄) for short, is a private, 762 mm (2 ft 6 innarrow gauge railway company operating the Kurobe Gorge Main Line along the Kurobe River in the Kurobe gorge area of Toyama Prefecture, Japan. The railway was built to serve the construction of the Kurobe dam for the Kansai Electric Power Company, which was completed in 1963; Kurotetsu was spun off from the power company in June 1971, but remains a wholly owned subsidiary. At its terminus, the Main Line links to Kurobe Senyō Railway, which is not open to general public.

 

Japanese Culture and Language Primer

A few notes and tips and phrases compiled for guests coming to wedding but likely useful for most anyone coming to Japan. 

Culture-ness

Remember you must always have your passport with you (stupid but hey… rules is).

Shoes are never worn in homes, change into slippers (which will never ever fit), then different slippers for toilet, don’t forget to change back (you will forget), socks only in tatami (straw mat) rooms.

Big stores / malls often offer tax-refund. Gotta take receipt, passport and credit card (if used) to special kiosk. They will stick receipt and stamp in passport, weird but hey, ya get money back.

Don’t walk and smoke. Hang in front of konbini store, pachinko, find smoking cage, or smoking section of resto or park. 

Can drink alcohol on streets and parks however… no sloppiness, penalties/jail harsh.

Language Primer

Handy Phrases:

  • Konnichiwa = Hello
  • Chotto matte = Just a moment/please wait
  • Hai = yes
  • Iie or Chigaimasu = no / different or wrong
  • Douzo = go ahead, please (this is super handy!)
  • Sugoi! = Great! Amazing! i.e.: How is Japan? Sugoi!
  • Suimasen = excuse me (used allll the time as is Go-men which is like “sorry”)
  • Kudasai = please i.e. “Kohi o kudasai” = “coffee please” 
  • Domo, Domo Arigato, Domo arigato gozaimasu = thanks, thanks a lot, thank you very very much
  • Jaa ne / Matta ne = See you / again
  • Toire (toilet) doko desuka? = where is the toilet (there are more trad words for toilet “benjo” and “o teirei” but the Japanese-i-fied english word is easiest
  • Konbini = convenience store (7-11, Lawson, Family Mart are plentiful & amazing)

Continue reading Japanese Culture and Language Primer

Thank-you Cards (“making of” and delivery evidence) / Kekkon-shiki

settling in for a session of addressing, signing, inking, glueing, stamping and stickering these cards to prepare for a journey

Following our wedding festivities, we dutifully and cheerfully made up several batches of thank you cards to sent to folks who made the trip or sent gifts or letters/cards. 

Thank you card source materials, ready for scissor, glue, ink and substrate
a stack all ready to go, with special stamps and stickers and sparkly envelopes

While each batch of cards was different – and some cards required boxes and packets – the general design aesthetic captured in exquisite little photo essay created by nature photographer Cheryl A. (you should check out her cards for sale) which captures the details of the envelope treatment:

Continue reading Thank-you Cards (“making of” and delivery evidence) / Kekkon-shiki

Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 2 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Guests were also encouraged to take a snap with 1 of 3 instant camera to stick into a guestbook along with a signature with a paint pen

From the wedding bonus ceremony and party at Rural Caprine Farm on April 21, 2019 (Heisei 31) comes a variety of snaps created with a Pentax point and shoot with 35mm film about 25 years old. Note “panorama” layout on some photos and LED date snap (obv not accurate) showing some erstwhile vintage-ness.

Along with these 35mm snaps, the wedding party guests were encouraged to pick up one of several Fuji (not Poloroid) insta-photo camera to document their experience – Lee and Emily and others also kept these devices clicking.

Thanks to photographer Kris Krüg and artist Emily Olson for curation of gear and keeping the snaps snapping.

Film was processed, prints were scanned and results presented here without distinct order curation but with some minor colour correction/enhancing. Note date stamp (obv not accurate) and panorama layout with black bars.

Dashing Yuasa-san, part 1
Dashing Yuasa-san, part 2
Niece Emily and my brother James mugging, part 1
Niece Emily and my brother James mugging, part 2
Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 1

Continue reading Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 2 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki