Monthly Archives: March 2009

Let’s Do Tai Chi!


IMG_0861      Do you remember the opening ceremony in the Olympic Games in China last year? In the spectacular show, many people in white did tai chi too. That was really beautiful and awesome. I was very impressed.

     So, do you know there are many styles in tai chi? I’ve learned to do tai chi for about two years, and the style I do is Yang Ming Shi 24-form tai chi, which is the most popular in Japan. IMG_0835

     On February 26 I had an interesting opportunity to take a lecture on tai chi from a young Chinese man, who studies in University of Nagoya. He’s from Xiamen, which is well known as Amoy, in China. He’s practiced tai chi since he was 15 years old.

     He introduced the brief history of tai chi first. I was very surprised at his memory because there were many western calendar years in his explanation. He said that there were five major styles of tai chi: Chen, Yang, Wu of Wu Yhsiang, Wu of Wu Chein-chuan, and Sun styles.IMG_0837

     I’ve heard that many people in China do simplified 24-form tai chi because many of them learn it in schools as a daily exercise. According to him, all of students don’t learn simplified 24-form tai chi any more, but in his childhood it was taught with other style of tai chi at school as a kind of exercise.

     Both of simplified 24-form tai chi and Yang Ming Shi 24-form tai chi are come from Yang style originally. So they look like each other. The biggest difference is time. One hand, it usually takes just five minutes in simplified 24-form tai chi, the other hand, it takes nearly or sometimes more than 10 minutes in Yang Ming Shi one.

     After the lecture, the participants did simplified 24-form tai chi with him practically. It was difficult for me, but was really interesting at the same time. His action was energetic but elegant. IMG_0856

     According to him, the most important thing of tai chi is breathing. Tai chi is a kind of qigong. But the breathing part is really difficult. Although I’ve practiced tai chi for two years, but I can’t focus on how to breathe while doing tai chi. If you practice tai chi with breathing correctly every day, you’ll keep your health condition well and may live longer.

     Then we had lunch together and learned about Xiamen, or Amoy, from which he’s from. He showed us many photos of the place. It looked like a small resort town in Europe. It was very beautiful. His story and photos made me want to visit there once. Anyway his lecture was interesting. I had a wonderful time to talk a lot with him and other participants.

Drive-Through Pay Phone


HI352188      Have you ever seen or used a drive-through pay phone? You may not have even heard of it. It’s a kind of pay phone, with which you can call without getting out of it when you drive a car. And there’s a place in which two drive-through pay phones in Nisshin next to Nagoya.

      Nowadays most people, however, use their own cell phones. So I don’t think it’s not useful anymore. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone using it before. Last month I introduced the drive-through pay phone on my page of mixi, one of SNSs in Japan, and many people showed their interests in the system.HI352189

     On February 23, there was a strange research tour for the drive-though pay phone. It was because that one man who read my page in mixi got in touch with me about the pay phone and asked me to go for a research with him.

     He is a professor of sociology at Chukyo University. His area is modern media and interested in the drive-though pay phone very much. That day I happened to take an English class. So I invited my classmates to join the research. HI352191

     The professor, six of my classmates and I went to see the place by a car. We parked the car where we could observe the drive-through pay phones, and had been looking at the place for a while. But we didn’t see anyone use it or show their interests in it. So the professor decided to go there and to use it by himself. He phoned staff at his office and checked it really worked.

     He said that he was going to write an article about phones and the drive-though pay phone system might be a nice hook for it. He also mentioned that the place was still good drivers who needed to talk on the phone because it’s banned to use cell phone while driving in Japan. And he added that the place might be useful because it’d been difficult to find a pay phone recently. HI352229-a

     I think the drive-though pay phones place will be dismantled in the near future because of lack of users. I’d like to see someone using it once before disappearing. Anyway it was interesting to go see the place and to talk about pay phones’ future with him and my friends.

Chat Tea Cafe



      That was almost a month ago. I had an opportunity to visit a café in Mizuho-ku, Nagoya last month. It’s Chat Tea Café. There was a tea-tasting seminar organized by M&P’s Tea there. I’ve joined in those seminars organized by the tea company several times, but it was the first time to visit the café for me then. In fact, it just opened last December. HI352220-a

     I know the teacher of the seminar, Mr. Paul Lewis, the president of M&P’s tea. He and his company hold not only tea-tasting seminar but also tea concerts to familiarize tea and the loveliness. I’ve met the owners of the café several times before they opened it at those tea-tasting seminars and tea concerts. By the way, M&P’s Tea’s “P” is from his name, Paul.

     Who runs the café is a new married couple: a Japanese woman named Rie and an English man Robin. Rie is a talented pastry chef and Robin used to be an English teacher. They’ve got started a new life together since they got married last year.

     They’ve opened a new style café, where people enjoy having drinks and delicious sweets made by Rie and chatting in English. You know, there are many English schools in Nagoya district, but not so many places to use English practically for English learners here. HI352226

     Chat Tea Café is a kind of membership-ship based café. There’re two types of memberships: You can become a monthly club member or buy a book of five coupons. If you sign up as a member, you can visit the café as many times as you want for a month. The fee of membership is 8,800yen a month. (It seems that they have three month and six month membership as well.) And a book of five coupons costs 11,000yen. HI352223

     If you get interested in the café while reading this page, I really recommend trying Rie’s sweets. I’m a great fan of her cake. She only uses highly-selected ingredients and always tries to make healthy food. I feel happy and uplifted when I eat her sweets! Of course, Rie’s sweets go well with M&P’s Tea’s high quality tea! 

     Oh, they have also alcohol if you don’t like sweets so much! Anyway, why don’t you visit the café once? You can be entertained free of charge for the first time!

Chat Tea Cafe
   Open 2:00 p.m. Close 11:00 p.m.

   Address: 6-24, Mizuho-dori, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya
   Phone: 052-851-5161