Friday, October 24, 2014

Nagoya Matsuri, Part 2

When we leftphoto (16), this fellow was threatening attack. Well, the rest of the parade was advancing, so he had to head off down the road. Goodbye, fellow!

The historical section of the parade focuses on three ancient rulers in Japan who lived in Nagoya.

Nobunaga Oda lived from 1534-1582 and was born in Nagoya. He was followed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi who lived from 1537-1598. After Toyotomi came Ieyasu Tokugawa who lived from 1543-1618. Tokugawa reached the highest level of the three and became shogun.

The parade includes the three rulers, their wives, and their entourages.


I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of historical characters against modern city buildings.




There goes the traditional band!


The parade stopped. From the intersection down the road, we saw smoke. A battle broke out!




Here come the soldiers, I think. One looks pretty tired!


One of the rulers!


Who will come next?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nagoya Matsuri, Part 1

I think we all know my feelings on festivals.

If not, feel free to enter festival in my new search box to the right. And that’s just a limited selection!

I’ve been looking forward to the Nagoya Festival since, well, since I found out I was placed in Nagoya. Actually, maybe even since before I was placed in Nagoya. I found it while I was researching Nagoya in case I was placed here!

It did not disappoint.


It was – by far – the largest festival I’ve attended. Booths and events were strung all along the Sakae area, parades wound through the city, a lantern parade happened near the city hall, and the feudal lords strolled through a covered shopping district in another parade.

By the end, I was exhausted. And I came nowhere close to seeing everything!

Day 1: My coworker/neighbor and I hopped on the subway to head to the central festival area. We met another Westgate teacher, and the three of us walked around.

Mom’s favorite food! Sadly, I didn’t have any because I was still full from breakfast.


We were in the Nagoya TV tower area, clearly. I think the tower is prettiest at night.


There’s a stream in the middle of our festival! No one fall in!


It was a leeeeetle more crowded than most of the Wakkanai festivals. Can’t imagine why…


Soon, it was time to head out to the parade! Hurray!

The parade opened with this pink car, and an official looking person waving. We all waved happily!


We all waved to these folks, too.


Several baton twirling groups came through.


And many marching bands!


Then, the first of the flower cars drove by. We all waved again! And everyone took pictures.


Hi, guys!


Little twirlers.


A bunch of older folks had the good idea of climbing up on a planter in the middle of the sidewalk.


More bands!


More flower cars. This went on for quite some time.


This section of the parade finished with a model of the Nana-chan doll – a huge doll outside Nagoya Station.


After the doll, we had to wait a while for the historical section of the parade to begin.


Here we go!IMG_8366


Yikes! What did we ever do to you, mister?

photo (16)

Is this the end of our intrepid teacher/blogger/lover of festivals? Tune in to our next episode to find out what happens!

(I’ve been working on this post for ages and I promised myself I would go out around 10. Guess who has another holiday? Mwahahahaha. I’ll be back!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

City Life

I have to admit, my new life doesn't feel quite real. I don't know if it's just the strangeness of living in a large city, or just the fact that my life has changed so much this year. 

Right now, I'm sitting in a cozy, brightly-lit Starbucks watching people walk, drive, and bike through the autumn night. 

I'm nowhere near my neighborhood, and I don't feel at all like I'm home. It's more like someone dropped me in a weird movie set. Autumn in Nagoya, or something. 

Right here, right now, I really feel like I'm in a city. And the fact that I'm going to just pop onto a subway to ride home seems quite surreal to me. 

There are things I love about being in a city. But it is still not a familiar place to me! It will be interesting to see if I get used to this life over the next several weeks. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I fought the weather…

photo (14)

Well, basically. The arrow is pointing to a bay. I pretty much live at the top of that bay. As you can see, my prefecture is red.

I headed out this evening. People are always overly worried about weather. No problemo, right?

photo (15)

That’s the top half of my umbrella up there.

I went home.

A Humble Fruit

Dear Friends, 

Today I want to talk to you about the humble kaki, a jewel of autumn. Every fall, this slightly square shaped fruit arrives in stores. The texture reminds me a little of mango, but the flavor has rich notes that are wonderful for fall. 

I love to slice up a kaki and eat it everyday! I already ate one for breakfast, but I kind of want to cut up another one so you can see the inside (no ulterior motive). The inside is solid orange, soft, and sweet. Yum!

This kaki season has been more exciting than usual, because here in Nagoya I can see kaki growing on trees! The first I saw was right here in my own neighborhood. Check out this tree! I need to make friends with this neighbor. 
I wanted to get closer, but I could hear rustling a from the property, and I didn't want the owner to think I was trying to pinch some kaki. 

If you ever have a chance to eat some kaki (translateId as a kind of persimmon), I highly recommend it!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Life Underground

This may be my new blog title! No, not really. 

Living in the big city, I do feel like I spend a lot of time underground. I'm there now, actually. 

I live on the Meijo Line, which is the purple one. The Meijo Line makes a big circle, with other lines cutting in and out of it. There's a yellow line, a red one, a blue one, and a pink one. Right now, I'm on the way to the International Center to return my books, so I'm looping on purple almost halfway around. Then I'll switch to the red line to take me all the way in. 

Then, it was red to yellow and yellow to purple. Finally, home to Chayagasaka. 

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
You will bring me up again. 
Psalm 71:20

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My new digs

Here are a few pix from around my apartment. It’s tiny, but it’s cozy. It’s so easy to get anywhere – lol. And it’s nice living in a place that’s clean (and has running hot water).

This picture cracks me up, because it makes the place look so narrow. It is, but this makes it look like you can’t turn around!


Laundry room? Kitchen? Hallway? What is it?


It’s so bright!


The kitchen!



Fridge, microwave, pantry, and part of the living area.


Now that I’ve hooked up wifi, my computer is no longer smack in front of the TV. But sometimes I still put it there.


Me being awed by my front door video monitor and intercom. Yeah, it’s pretty cool!


The welcome box provided by my employers.


Living room, dining room, and bedroom. And there’s a large cupboard/small closet under the bed.


That’s my place!