Tag Archives: korakuen

Diary: New Year Dragons with foods, gardens, bevvies, and themes #calm

what follows is a post-dated diary of various activities in and around New Years day copied from various notebooks, memos, and small dispatches covering foods, outings to parks and graves, bevvies, postcards, dreams, schemes, and themes of calm and endeavours

Dec. 31: We ate soba (buckwheat noodles) as per tradition with parents on new years eve. Most folks watch TeeVee (many famous “wide ” variety shows, singing contests). They leave it off for my sensory overload benefit so i retired early – as i my way – so they could watch if desired.

So tired, heading to bath and bed. {all the tabs will not be closed, many emails unreplied, various messages and conversations left dangling, flip the page, carry-on}

So we go on… gn & gy

i made a video: Good night & good year / Reiwa 6 Ahoy

Jan. 1: GM, HNY – We ate mochi (glutinous rice paste) with other tasty items with parents in the morn as is tradition.

Then, off to Korakuen (one of the “three great traditional garden” of Japan, frequently visited by us).

Early start by my standards – we packed several thermoses and flasks of coffee and tea for the journey…

Off onto the Road: Of course, all manner of beverages are readily available from ubiquitous vending machines yet I prefer our house-made treats. Also, provided opportunity to break out a teabag which was included in the card sent by some friends from Canada.

So off we went, waiting at Tsuchida stop for our first bus ride of the new year…

As is our usual routine, we sit in the very back row (like the *bad kids*) because there are big windows and a little bit more room to stash our gear. Ichi-Stan, of course being a frequent traveler, utilizes the hooks for hanging up his rucksack and travelling cap {usually here I would note that the bus features complimentary high-quality wi-fi and power outlets but you know that by now}.

Note: the *usual* tradition is a shrine visit on New Year Day (bet ya there is a posted in this archive (or maybe still.in draft but… anyhow) this year though we took the with a chance to meet up with Ichi’s best pal and roll around the stellar garden – importantly including the first time in years in which the public could be present for the “flying of the cranes” so… off we went. Plus its a “free admission day!”

Flying of Cranes: The garden was packed but crowd well managed by diligently dudes wrangling pedestrians and keeping on the pathways with optimized view points for the flying of the cranes (a symbol of longevity).

The whole crane flying thing was quite amusing (the wranglers entice them to fly) and yeah cool but i couldn’t help but laugh at the crew of ojisans with their massive telephoto lens, standing on top of camera boxes (no fun for you kids!) and rapid firing like artillery weapon kinda killing the buzz but so it goes, hobbies and all that. {Of course, this is coming from the guy who’s over documenting everything including everything but a picture of the cranes.}

Continue reading Diary: New Year Dragons with foods, gardens, bevvies, and themes #calm

Festive Omnibus Annotations (church, shrine, tea, gardens, fire, poems, snaps)

So many things to tell you but I’ll scribble in Postcards, 1 by 1 because each of you deserves custom-made inky artifacts, right?

And coffee in fancy cups, and crocheted pen/cil + quilted stamp bags, and fancy postboxes.

Don’t you?

Anyway, briefly (ha!), for starters – not capable of brevity):

* Hot springs visits with over-the-top performance in quirky confines {note: have a post from a previous visit to share one of these days…}

* Pork belly, woodstove yams Kabocha squash etc. dinner

* Gorgeous new blue herringbone cashmere scarf and my own fancy Hanko stamp (previous was a ¥500 vending machine version)

Continue reading Festive Omnibus Annotations (church, shrine, tea, gardens, fire, poems, snaps)

Artifacts: Commemorative item-making devices at Korakuen

Stamping documentation at Korakuen Garden here in Goldilocks Okayama Japan. Tip: Always have a notebook with you (and/or buy postcards) and stamp to remember your times.

Sure there’s lots of nature and plants and trees and bridges and gardens and tea houses and turtles and cranes and flowers going back to the Edo period here at Korakuen Gardens… but also machines of various mechanical, electronic and analog persuasion to commemorate your visit to Korakuen (1 of 3 “top official super official great special” gardens in Japan) in pleasant Okayama, the “Goldilocks“ of Japan. Also postcards and tea (naturally).

Examples, lightly annotated below:

* Stamp your notebook with a commemorative stamp and an extra stamp with today’s date (checkmarko)

* Buy a Okayama Momotaro pin (check mark)

* Buy a coin to commemorate your visit (checkmark)

* Engrave the coin you just bought with a special message (checkmark) {note: this machine was so interesting with mix of digital and mechanical-ness, and clackety-clackety sounds]

Snaps: Korakuen Gardens (Mother’s Day out)

4 (more) views at Korakuen Gardens, Okayama  – One of three “great, official, significant/something“ gardens in Japan built during the feudal Edo period. Saw turtles in cranes amongst the tea houses, bridges and trees.

Went to hear some old-timey music (recorded some audio “bootleg”) and celebrate Ryoko and Junko (m-in-l) with a pleasant stroll around the park. Stopped for tea and postcards (of course) and Ichiro was the star (of course). {oh i’ll add some snaps of him…}

Anyhow, ergo:


* trad rock zen space

* bridge over placid water


* “crow” castle yonder


* detail of temple roof