Tag Archives: slice of life

Diary: Autumn Miscellany / coffee, ramen, sandwiches, Godzilla, peach tree, ikebana…

“rubber chicken” NOT added to ramen

While dispatches and re-caps of various outings and events exist elsewhere in this archive, life is so wonderful right now i don’t want to miss a thing or fail to appreciate the glorious mundane details of just existing.

As such, what follows are bits and pieces which don’t fit elsewhere,  a round-up of miscellany and odds and ends and mild annotations.

Starting with the pleasantness of stopping for a coffee and receiving a free lil sandwich plate (and seeing Ryoko’s adorableness :)). 

The internets instructs food photos be posted with frequency.

Thanks Shiro-Kuma (white bear) cafe.

Continue reading Diary: Autumn Miscellany / coffee, ramen, sandwiches, Godzilla, peach tree, ikebana…

Diary: Setouchi Out n About / community arts festival with Mae Maes

 I tagged along with Ryoko and her Mae Maes band for a gig in Setouchi at a community centre. There was an autumn arts festival of some kind with musical performances, a few food stands and an exhibit of crafts, arts and tea ceremony. Such pleasant slice of life, just being part of the local scene.

Mae Maes played a short-ish set but a song i hadn’t heard before, Ryoko laid out some good stage banter and the room was small and more acoustically pleasing than the big convention hall the day before. 

The band (usually a 4 piece) had 2 guests, frequent supporters/collaborators Yano-san (who is a noted player, arranger, teacher and has released a few albums) on an acostic-electric bass ukulele – great sound! + Mitsuko-san on congas and percussion, she rode with us and is such a charming elegant lady. 

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Diary: Kurashiki / handmade market with Mae Maes + pet show

Mae Maes: Kazuko, Hatsumi, Ryoko, Rie

Ryoko’s band Mae Maes had a performance lined up at a handmade goods market fair at a convention centre type place between Okayama and Kurashiki so i tagged along. It was a big hall with rows and rows of booths, a special exhibit of sequin-ed up outfits used by a famous figure skater, a food court and a variety of entertainment with a sorta Hawaiian theme.

Plus a young lady called Suzu-chan with huge stage presence, solid banter and performance confidence.

I strolled around checked some stuff – not the super arts-crafty-crafts i would usually expect but great to see small-scale entrepreneurship in action.

Dug the fabric crafts – especially this Kaki (persimmon) tree in country scene which seems to be representative of my life these days – such pleasantness!

Continue reading Diary: Kurashiki / handmade market with Mae Maes + pet show

Diary: Okayama Out n About / castle, samurai, lunch etc

The “back stairs” the Okayama castle aka the “crow castle” due to its black cladding

On Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 2019, as there are no memorial cenotaphs in my home area of Okayama, i set out on a wander to find a calm place to reflect about war and whatnot. 

Along the way, i documented a few slices of every day life, plus visited Okayama castle which was destroyed in WW2 by bombs and rebuilt in 1960-s. I ate lunch, dressed up in a cool outfit, wandered from the top to the bottom of the castle, checked out outbuildings and foundations… then walked to the library to find it closed so rode the bus home. 

Okayama castle approach on a lovely autumn day

These images were captured along the way, with minor annotations added from time to time.

Continue reading Diary: Okayama Out n About / castle, samurai, lunch etc

Diary: Kinome make gardens for people (in a parking lot)

Gardens are (by) people, friend

Ryoko has her own small company doing tree trimming, garden planning and various workshops (like tree trimming for seniors) and sometimes does a gig teaching children and their parents about gardening using a couple plots in the parking lot of a grocery store (who sponsor the event). 

The amazing Ryoko sharing packets of seeds wrapped in origami paper with a group of kids and their parents – Today’s lesson is leafy greens

Anyhow, i tagged along to see her in action, drink coffee and do a bit of grocery shopping at the awesome store (plus take care of our household recycling while we were there). 

tagging along with the gardener for laughs

Continue reading Diary: Kinome make gardens for people (in a parking lot)

Diary: Kurashiki Out n About + Musings about changes, economics and entrepreneurship

The magical art city of Kurashiki was holding a Jazz Street event with loads of bands playing at various venues around the historic Bikan area with narrow Edo-period laneways, the magnificent Ohara museum (featuring European post/impressionist art) and lots of little shops selling handmade paper, handicrafts of all sort, plus great coffee shops and kissaten (a sort of Japanese diner/lounge type establishment).

Bonus: Check out the Taiko Drums fronting a Jazz band from this event #video

Evidence and annotations follow: 

Continue reading Diary: Kurashiki Out n About + Musings about changes, economics and entrepreneurship

Diary: Picking up rice

One day in late October, we were invited by a relative to pick up a bag of freshly-harvested rice for a wedding gift. I love rolling around the area as there is such a mix of rice fields, houses, shinkansen tracks, tiny roads, medium hills, various scare crows and whatnot. 

rural and urban contexts are sorta fuzzy and blended in Japan #generalization

Anyhow, we met the nice relative lady, drank tea with her and told some stories about our honeymoon ramble and whatnot (the usual things about my country and experience in Japan), picked up the rice and well… evidence follows: 

Picking up a large sack of Okayama rice from wife’s mom’s cousin’s (or something…) field
Oh and here’s the bag of rice
grown here (or close by)