Tag Archives: out n’ about

Outing: inland sea beach and pizza (and camera goofing)

just up around the bend

Along our adventures, in this case, June 2022, we made a return visit to a stretch of beach called Nishwaki with a handy wood fired pizza oven/ hang out/ playground/ parking called Iweburo around Ichiro’s birthday. (He really wanted to go back to the sea even since the trip to Shimane when he saw the surfers.)

We ordered pizzas and then spread out blankets, chairs etc and picnic on the beach. Few people, some high-school/college age kids were playing games while the whipped whipped around a bit, the fellas from an takoyaki shop nearby chased a blowing red paper lantern. Ichiro went in for a bit and managed a swim (wade out for a bit amidst the seagrass).

Our friend Ayumi who lives nearby joined us there. (Foreshadowing, we are going to her top floor apartment for fireworks soon).

3 happy adventurers

The “inland sea” is very different than the rugged sea of Japan (or the Pacific coast of which i am not so familiar). Because the seto ni kai is protected by islands, this was a useful place for manufacturing, mining, shipping and transport. As such, some of the locations are hardly pristine but regardless, scenic and handy.

beach, not to scale

The Pizza Café is totally my style with reggae music playing, guitar scattered around, handbillsfor live music, drums and shakers and Legos and coffee.

Continue reading Outing: inland sea beach and pizza (and camera goofing)

Ramen (with yuzu and spring vegetables)

I don’t have any cat pictures on hand but I did photograph today’s Ramen with spring vegetables, yuzu peel and extra pork.

At Gakucho Menya – best place ever (in Okayama and beyond).

See…, I do know how to Internet.

Diary: Archival Cabinets, Dirt, Kissaten & Espresso

Picked up a mighty cabinet unit from a crazy junk shop down the road apiece. {The old fella and the lady was so surprised to see my adorable wife driving the k-truck and tying cool trucker knots to secure the load. Yeah she’s the coolest}.

Ryoko’s rig – i love being her sidekick, rolling country roads with a tied down load

plan: Gonna replace these open book shelves on the right (photo below). The new cabinet has glass front doors so I can put in de-humidification packets to control the humidity to keep my fancy collectible books safe and sound.

Don’t worry, the air conditioner is positioned well in front of the stereo and records

Then, will get rid of these shtty IKEA shelves (which are about to collapse under the weight of the books & the records anyway).

The trick is going to be getting this unit up the steep kura stairs as it’s quite heavy. The current crappy shelves attached to the wall with L brackets and all the books and artifacts will need to be thoughtfully removed… This takes some thinking and a friend (Hi Ted!)

We had the home center all to ourselves with attentive staff helping us load up the truck

Also picked up buncha soil, manure, etc stuff for Ryoko’s job site tomorrow. #arborist #landscapedesign

Take a spin, I personally am not qualified to operate motor vehicles at this point in my life

Oh & a quirky bric a brac laden kissaten lunch (with a friendly owner and a variety of bikes and scooters around despite his very limited eyesight, all in a giant dog have a breed I have no reference of).

Clearly a lot of love went into this machine. I wish the coffee shop had a seat other than one rustic wooden bench… Like aesthetically I get it but a little bit of cozy is nice

Finally a stop fancy espresso at an almost too hip coffee roaster with a gorgeous machine which must require diligent maintenance and elegant repairs.

Overall come out way way too much for me in one day but sometimes when the opportunities are there, you gotta do *all of the things* even if it means a couple of recovery days. Life goes on, and I want to be part of it.

Item: Boots (at Hospital) + safety ramen

Today’s boots and socks combo for hospital visit. #looksharp / easy on and off is key in Japan / gotta make a simple outing for enjoyable somehow

not only did I wear these sharp boots, I also purchased gum, three packs (1 for back, 1 for car, 1 by door) & a pocari sweat (electrolytes :)) at the embedded 7-11 in hospital

PS Safety ramen before as well #important

Snap: Backstage at the oasis

{Artisan roasted coffee across lane from shrine, Ichiro carried on family tradition batting eyelashes at baristas}

Backstage at the oasis… Was surprised to find a painting of me in this mural :-) >> Complete with suitcase, backpack, hat and scarf, glancing at a tree thinking about a chair and coffee.  Yup, def me.

Diary: Café Poetry, Street cars, Seitai and Curry

As it goes: “Over the Wall” > Headed by bus for some medical treatment (seitai) trying to stay ahead of the “Crash mode”… Head and heart are Genki, just trying to catch the body up… But as someone once sang “two out of three ain’t…” Staying positive, rolling slow, counting the goodness, always grateful.

yup, waiting on a splendid bus

Baby is with grandma, wife is working, yesterday sent more absurdly and unnecessarily complicated paperwork for various schemes and reasons. But hey the bus is on time, has great Wi-Fi and a power outlet at my seat. It’s the simple pleasures.

Oh and this hat – of course – is made by Mavili, the elder gentleman from Georgia (the country, not the state) from whom I used to purchase loads from at Lonsdale Quay market. Recently his son found a blog post from like 2008 and contacted me to say thanks, & his dad is still making hats from home. I am happy to say I have at least three creations of his here in Japan (& many others lost along the way and/or purchased as gifts for distinguished folks).

If you are curious, scarf from an Istanbul souk (was so surprised to see tartans on offer in markets in Istanbul – the Turkish cotton is absolutely wonderful), jacket Uniqlo, satchel from Thamel, Kathmandu.

Btw, the kanji on the bus stop 土田 is Tsuchida, our neighbourhood & means “dirt/soil-field” more or less.

Note: cute cause its me and intrepid elder ladies on the bus. The *secret power* of Japan are these invincible women. Strength, dignity, kindness & grace abounding.

Steeple-chased and sensory depravation / Poetry and Coffee is Everything.  Pen functional if not exquisite. 

Update: Finished my treatment (seitai, it’s kind of hard to explain but it’s not shiatsu, it’s not acupuncture, it’s not massage, it’s not reiki, it’s not chiropractic but a little bit like all of those things sort of but in a calm tatami room)… then in my post-fog, opened a vaguely random door to what turned out to be a blissful little café… Just me at the counter, jazz playing, skilled master made me curry… feeling so happy to find this place that I’m having another coffee and writing some poetry (lyrical even… as a gift for a musical friend).

i mean ¥900 for this magnificent plate in a chill calm place with a diligent proprietor is like some kind of wow (note notebook in bg)

For the record, this was the café… They have one kind of curry per week which makes ordering easy. Stay up to date via @Grillmori Instagram 

Gri(l)mori Original Lunch / even the sign is evokes nostalgia #Okayama

And here is one of the street cars rolling down the tracks… There’s all kinds of different eras and designs represented from “slick modern” units to classic beauties like this one to the obligatory hello kitty themed one, also Chuggington. I rolled one for just 2 stops cause i love the feel (and really every step saved is a big help).

2 street car lines here in Okayama, ¥100 for most on/off rides – enter at the rear, pay, exit from front

Finally, after I got off the street car, right in front of me was a brand new CBD shop/café/lounge. Went in to say hello and all that and great variety of products and displays but wow, a little expensive.  Had nice conversation with the young proprietor (30) told him about my activism at young age and how we eventually changed *everything* in Canada and US west coast. Had some samples (they also have CDB wax and vape device #want) but after treatment, i am bit foggy (like more than usual) so mumbled a bit before making my way back to the bus and back to the stop and home to rest. 

Ready for action (as in riding a bus to do a thing)

Diary: Dialing in Specs, more or less…

Took a few tries but getting fresh specs dialed in for my curious eyes.

Thanks to Kenji Nishida-san and his tiny optical boutique. Noting: he dresses exclusively in black like some kind of spectacle superhero

And one more (because I am a relentless cornball), this one here at the gallery with a cut out of the architect at this building which was once the prefectural office and now endless white corridors and the hum of fluorescent lights and ventilators

Memo: Kei-truck Errand / Date <3

Out and about! On an errand (picking up a second hand roll-top writing bureau desk) in the Kei truck with the absolutely incredible and adorable Ryoko Olson at the wheel rolling the country backroads to the (minor provincial capital, mostly forgotten) city of lovely goldilocks Okayama – yes, we even have canned coffees in the cupholder and a.m. radio (which you can’t really hear over the 650cc engine but whatever) – got to say it’s a *pretty romantic* date

matchy matchy / curling sweater and hockey jacket, handmade hats, snappy scarves

Update: this is what we picked up, look at this gorgeous desk with the rolltop and everything

Post’d: usual dossiers of art, poetry and ephemera (and tea)

The usual, ergo:

dossiers of art, poetry and ephemera

scrapbooks of same(ish)

piles to Post offices.

Also tea.

PS I enjoy this sort of activity on many levels for sure, i.e.: find playing with scissors and glue and pens very pleasant and, like the thought of spreading a little bit of goodness to various places around the world and, going to the post office gives me a little manageable errand.

I have a hard time getting “out and about” and really have to minimize screen time so this allows me to communicate and create and keep my brain active.

In these dossiers, i included prints of my paintings, bits of poetry, various insta snapshots, and letters on expired aerograms etc.

Enjoy the goodness / (of course) my address is available and you can sign up for Postal Club. I hope you hang on your fridge or put in a shoebox. 

Diary: 3 views + bus, en route to seitai

Diary: 3 views + bus, en route to seitai
Left house (Tsuchida, Okayama), rode Uno bus for taiheki / seitai (整体) treatment (i deal with #CFSME).
 
Observed 3 scenes:
  1. payphone box w/ green phone
  2. tiny bar (w/ Guinness, evidently)
  3. outdoor smoking section at an Indian resto
Evidence included.
End of Dispatch.