Tag Archives: regular life

Diary: Immigration, Espresso, Photobooths

May 21: Time to extend visa/zairyu (foreign resident) card – form is simple and the quick/cheap photo booths everywhere make process extra handy / dropping off tomorrow morn when Okayama immigration office is least busy (and most likely to be most clean). #japanlife ‬

May 28: (delayed) Rocked immigration office for Zairyu card extension (hopefully 3 years) so hit up a secret import corner at mall right at opening time – alas best peanut butter stash a no-go but espresso & gelato break kinda making up for it #outsidethewall

Details: We were first ones at the immigration office at 9:05 this morning, they did temperature check, various signins etc.… The form we filled out was *somehow* not the right one and we filled out another one on the spot, handed in passports, current residence (zairyu) card, photos etc. etc. and five minutes later were on our way with a stamped receipt inside the passport. We addressed a postcard on site which they will mail when it’s time for us to come back to do the next step, at which point we need to buy a special excise stamp for ¥4000. Hoping this will be issued for three years.

Then, stopped at a photo booth for yet another set of instant photos for a “my number“ card for government services of different kinds. Is a slightly different sized photo (of course) but got it snapped, cut out, glued onto the application and into the mailbox with the prepaid envelope. All this life administration stuff! Hooray!

Diary: Sort-ganizing the Naya (tool shed) at Tsuchida Cottage

Me and fantastically adorable & very pregnant wifey (who is playing piano and singing as I write this) working on the daily – getting stuff done before the kiddo comes.

today was another session out in the “naya” garage/toolshed – the hq for Ryoko’s arborist business “Kimone”

…we are organizing all the tools with various hooks and ladders and boxes and shelves.

The building is fantastic old style construction with high ceilings, wooden beams, thick mud walls.

Massive job but getting there / its a race vs baby Ichiro!

Note: Outside in the carport – where the K truck lives – we have bags of different landscaping supplies and a few hundred plant pots to sort too / consider this a “note to self”. We’re getting there, really really really.

Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

washoku (classic Japanese trad dinner) including: sashimi, ohitashi, hiyayako, pickles, etc. (umeboshi in the jar)

Just another food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage. Of course, we are cooking at home, groceries get delivered (and some from garden/yard). We have a little convection oven. Added in a few Japanese words just case PS “washoku” is word for traditional Japanese food – usually fish (grilled or raw) and various side dishes, while “yoshoku” is Japanese-i-fied foreign-inspired food which has become Japanese (i.e. croquettes, om-rice (omelette on rice), hamburg, fried shrimp, spaghetti). Also a few ramen, pizza and other hybrid style meals in here. Carry on. No big deal. 

breakfast set with oranges, muesli, coffee, home-baked bread
house-made ramen with mugi (barley) tea
lunch set with boiled eggs (and hot sauce), avocado, apples, etc
housemade pizza with smoked duck, cheese, mushrooms

Continue reading Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

Diary: Birthday Fun with Dear Ryoko

Happy Birthday to my ray of sunshine Ryoko!
Every day is the most wonderful fun with you.
Let’s enjoy tea, cake and picnic today (& kiss :)).

Ryoko’s birthday came, of course, in the midst of the pandemic and all that, but, we did some great activities starting with lunch at Mac’s goat farm the day before then we drove to Setouchi to (socially safely) pick up a custom made cake by the same baker who made our wedding cake which we really didn’t get to eat. Then enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch with the parents (who live “inside the wall” with us). 

That night, sparked the candles in the cake and I sand (what I am sure is a magnificent version of) happy birthday etc. etc.

Evidence of this treasure follows: 

picking up the cake “social distance” style from Pom in Setouchi town
Pom bakery had a fun photo booth frame set up and of course, we cheesed out

Continue reading Diary: Birthday Fun with Dear Ryoko

Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

My my the pleasant days go by – we fill our days with tending to lists of tasks from gardens to scrapbooks to required paperwork to making pickles and tasty baked goods… with everything focussed on preparing our house to welcome a new human, make our life simple and efficient so we can enjoy art and music and love.

With this in mind, may i offer a few slices of evidence? 

So we are working down the list of stuff for the lil baby coming and doing most all by mail order and also received a few care packages form friends. In this case, a big load of clothes and diapers which we washed (with delicate detergent) and air-dried! Its all so cute.

The little pyjama outfits will be so fun to play dress up and match with. 

Next, our rabbit. This is Maru-chan. He eats and hops and mostly lives indoors but sometimes hangs out outside. 

Continue reading Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

Okayama Love Letter / Japan Cottage Musings

With a French press coffee, pyjamas and slightly out of focus, Dave talks about general geography of Japan and specifically shares reasons why he loves living in “just right” Okayama including: sunny weather, hot springs, geo-diversity, endless museums, access to Kyoto/Osaka/airports + Setouchi islands and San-in coast, jazz clubs, peaches & peach boy folk legend, and most importantly community with wife (and baby coming) and goat farmer Mac. 

Diary: Garden sprouting, yard evolving, rocks to move (still)…

Since we planted this patch of garden a week or two back, rain fell a few times in between stretches of sun so the lil seeds are sprouting up! 

Ryoko keeps a diary about the garden with all the details, however for documentary evidence, i took a few snaps while we were outside strolling the grounds… 

Komastsuna, a Japanese mustard green coming up in splendid lil rows… Continue reading Diary: Garden sprouting, yard evolving, rocks to move (still)…

Scrapbooks for all Reasons / Japan Cottage Musings

With a coffee and pyjamas, Dave riffs about types of scrapbooks, ways to make from scratch, reasons for making (memory and flow), a bit about creative process and keeping organized, handy tools and supplies, and other ways to fancy up your books with inky stamps, postage stamps, stickers and up-cycled meta scraps. Plus hey, fun for the family, liberate the items from shoeboxes, put on an album or two and go with the flow.

fondly, dave 

Diary: (Yet another) Food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage

Let’s begin with the “standard” Japanese classic dinner with grilled whole fish, picked something (kimchi and pickled onions), miso soup, brown rice and a salad – dressing and shoyu on the side.

Well ya gotta eat, and we do and mostly at home. For the permanent diary of endless goodness, i snap a snap from time to time before we dine. That’s all there is to it. Dig it if you wanna. 

We have a counter-top convex oven here at Tsuchida cottage now and aside for well-documented visits to ramen shops and coffee/cake stops, we eat at home.

Soba noodles
Another Japanese classic: soba (buckwheat) noodles, served cold with a raw egg and mentsuyu (fish-flavoured broth), shredded daikon (radish) and shoyu mixed together and the noodles dipped within and green onions sprinkled

 No doubt lots of folks the world over are getting re-acquainted with their kitchens while experienced cooks share tips and try new things. Indeed, so much sourdough going on in the world!

As such, here’s round-up without much in the way of annotations or context of some recent meals i happened to snap a snap of before digging in.

A variety dinner with sashimi (sawara a kind of mackerel), gaumodoki no takiawase (tofu fritters, daikon, komatsuna soup with fish-broth, salt, sugar, shoyu) and and of course, miso soup and genmai (brown rice), kimchi and shoyu/wasabi of course
A lunch of harusame spring vegetable soup with clear bean noodle with various onigiri rice balls

Continue reading Diary: (Yet another) Food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage

Diary: Baby and blossoms (in the time of quarantine…)

Amidst all the chaos and commotion and confusion and concern, my adorable wife and our incoming child are bright healthy and happy… Everything going normal except for all the stuff that’s not.

Receiving excellent care at “sun clinic” near our home and today spent time making Plan A, Plan B and so on with lovely midwife & wonderful dr. + I’m learning a lot more birthing specific Japanese words – we also checked out the birthing room and the room where we will stay for a couple days afterwards, and then shared a moment under sakura tree.

Some of the fun/extra parts of preparing for the new arrival – including stroller and crib shopping and what not – well, need to be adjusted. We’ve got a baby bath, some clothes and a diaper strategy. We’ve also been reading to the belly in both English and Japanese and of course lots of music.

We’re getting the house already as best we can and and i’m doing my best to be a sweet supportive husband instead of worrying about everything everything everything.

We’ve canceled tea ceremonies and picnics and get togethers of course & have had food delivery service set up for some months now, plenty of rations, masks and first aid kits and blah blah blah so we will work on the garden, plant trees and stay busy in the barn.

We got this and June is going to be a magical month for us. We hope some calm come to the world at large by then but the future is unwritten.

Fondly x3