Tag Archives: Ramble

Collection: Olivetti Lettera 34 (at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama)

first look at new-to-me typewriter: Olivetti Lettera 34

Along our meandering honeymoon ramble, a spontaneous stop along the way – in an otherwise unremarkable corner of Ishikawa-ken at a 2nd hand shop – sparked two incidents.

 
the Lettera 34 settling in to address some envelopes for thank you cards – flowers are key

The first was the purchase of a nearly perfect condition Olivetti Lettera 34 typewriter (note: the 33 and 35 are listed in Typewriter Database but the 34 is not as it is – perhaps – a Japan specific machine including a “¥ shift” key on the number row). Also noting UK Pound, various fractions and a margin release key.

a few curious/amusing (whatever that means) key circled
detail for model name and number “olivetti Lettera 34”

Bought from the Granny shop owner for ¥2500 (about $22 US or $27 CDN) no haggling. (note: ribbon ordered as the one inside was dried out).

scene from inside the 2nd hand shop where typewriter was purchased

Continue reading Collection: Olivetti Lettera 34 (at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama)

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

Japan Travel Ephemera Scrapbook / Shinkonryoko Ramble

On our Shinkonryoko (honeymoon) travel, we rambled around Japan via various trains, occasional rental car, trams, busses and a coach visited pals, museums, hot springs and natural locales while staying at an assortment of accommodation types (ryokan, “western” hotels, guest houses/minshuku, friend’s homes, resort hotel etc). Note: extensive documentation of all these elements elsewhere.

Anyhow, as is my routine, i gathered ephemeral papery items (tickets, brochures, maps, coasters) and glue/2x taped into a scrapjournal along with insta-photos, scraps of poetry/prose, words which stuck in my head (possible band names) and topped off with a few stickers, stamps and seals.

Then photographed the whole tome for archival and sharing purposes. (Some pages include “pop up/fold out” elements which may or may not be pictured. Provided as-is here without additional annotations as the purpose is emotional, not purely documentary.

Continue reading Japan Travel Ephemera Scrapbook / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Watching steps… / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Watching my every each step

Is the task at hand

So i’ll watch yours instead

Continue reading Watching steps… / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Jurisdictions, passed and stayed / Shinkonryoko Ramble

On this Shinkonryoko (honeymoon) ramble, we ventured from our home in Okayama to various locations, most of which are noted on the accompanying map. We had planned a tentative map a few months earlier but streamlined the ramble a bit for logistics and keep tuned-in to calm locations. 

Note: Japan consist of 43 prefectures ( ken) proper, two urban prefectures ( fuOsaka and Kyoto), one “circuit” or “territory” ( Hokkaido) and one “metropolis” ( toTokyo). Overall, we visited (either passing through, transferring, staying) in the following jurisdictions.

  1. Okayama / start finish
  2. Hyogo / pass
  3. Osaka-fu / transfer
  4. Kyoto-fu / pass
  5. Shiga / pass
  6. Fukui / pass
  7. Ishikawa / stay, various
  8. Toyama / stay, various
  9. Nagano / stay, various
  10. Niigata / stay
  11. Gunma / pass
  12. Saitama / pass
  13. Tokyo-to / pass
  14. Kanagawa / stay
  15. Shizuoka / pass
  16. Aichi / pass
  17. Gifu / pass

Continue reading Jurisdictions, passed and stayed / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Back to Tsuchida cottage / Shinkonryoko Ramble

So many trains, various accoms, pals, museums & kisses. Back where we started at Tsuchida cottage, Okayama.

Next up: spouse visa application, so many thank you cards & documentation (scrapbooks, photos, archiving), and fixing up our lil home (and more kisses)

Update: May 24, 2019

Spouse visa underway! Immigration office was well… an immigration office and not very pleasant but we jumped through appropriate hoops, scribbled necessary information, turned in various photos and the like and celebrated with a burger.

Continue reading Back to Tsuchida cottage / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Visiting Friends / Shinkonryoko Ramble

One of our objectives on the honeymoon ramble was to visit and pay respectful greetings to various friends including bringing bespoke bizen-yake saké cups and various paper artifacts from the wedding. 

Here are a few snapshots from these meeting to document and enjoy. 

First off, wise Hongo Sensei in Noto, Ishikawa. Ichiro was Ryoko’s professor and mentor at Nihon University including a few international trips to Indonesia and Russia. 

In Noto (at the end of a peninsula jutting into the Sea of Japan), we stayed at his home in a refurbished fishing boat / fish processing building right on the port (required extensive fixing up after an earthquake/tsunami in 2011 iirc). He took us for a beach picnic and small museums about fisheries and Jomon-period life. 

We also went to a local fish auction – while there are big popular auctions in Tokyo etc, this was relatively small and just local vendors and buyers. 

This gentleman is so  nuanced in his actions and we enjoyed the visit tremendously. His wife (though struggling with some age-related health issues) was so kindly and sweet to us (especially checking in on me when feeling affects of my illness). 

Next was a quick visit with effervescent Ed and beautiful Naomi and friend in Nozawa (Iiyama), Nagano. Ed (British with crazy adventures in Indo to share) and Naomi (German/Japanese) run 2 live aboard dive sailboats exploring Komodo island national park area in an ecological-appropriate manner.

They recently purchased a house in Nozawa Onsen (close to Iiyama town) and then did  renovation to emphasize the classic Edo/Taisho-era features (rather than late-Showa-era remodel), and make a little more sized to their height. Their friend was visiting and her and Naomi had just returned from a soak at one of the dozzzzzens of area hot springs. 

Then a visit i’ve waited 25 years for… I met the legend Steve in the tiny village Gonda (population 3) in the early 1990s and spend some months with him learning the ways of the forest including mountain vegetables, harvesting rice, tending goats and whatnot. I’ve lost track of him when letters came back undelivered, but… due to the magical internet, i reconnected and found him (after a few wrong turns) living in Kurohime, Shinano.

A former USN radio man, Steve has lived in Japan mostly since early 1980s, the last few years – after a return to the US to  tend to fmaily business – he renovated a country house with a large garden, bordering on national park and next to some graves. With him, we ate local soba and visited haiku-master Issa Kobayashi’s home/museum.

He played us some music, told a million stories, wrote us a poem and sent us home with a batch of musical instruments for our collection. 

Poem from Steve: 

Okayama came two,

With sunshine smiles, they brought too,

Springtime’s bounty, new.

Also there was lovely Misae who i last saw when she was about 6 years old. Somehow she remembers me and served us lovely food including pickled beets. She has had many adventures including sojourns in Italy, Germany, India and so on. She send us on our way with a book of poetry by Pablo Neruda and  many handmade treats for our hotel room picnics. 

Then came a visit to Niigate at Atemi mountain resort where Ryoko worked in the summers during university days. We took many onsen baths, ate a load of food and visited with Mr. Jiro who glowed with happiness and is the type of fella who can do/fix/repair/wrangle anything. 

Bonus: and met some new friends on Hanayome Noren scenic train who have a connection of Kurashiki, the Edo-period trading and art town near us in Okayama. 

A lot to tell you about… / Shinkonryoko Ramble

A lot of things to tell about… We’re rolling slow, visiting tiny museums and riding various trains.

Also have ordered printing of handmade thank-you cards for wedding guests and gift-givers.

My body is achey but heart and head are splendid (two out of three…).

Yesterday Toyama, today the mountains.

Also, haven’t forgotten about acknowledging all of your lovely comments, photos and cards. Thanks for those.

Love is love is love is love, etc. #DRO420

In my natural habitat… / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Still-life of scrapbook assembly at a kisaten cafe (with coffee and snacks), Toyama i think. Continue reading In my natural habitat… / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Picnic at edge of the known world / Shinkonryoko Ramble

Picnic at edge of the known world, with natural table flowers

For record: (near) Goshikigahama Beach
Shinbo, Noto, Hosu District, Ishikawa
927-0609, Japan
https://goo.gl/maps/FvPTyFEB7SscB52N6