Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Troubled-Ridden Karaoke Session

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TS3N0997      Since when have I had the annual year-end karaoke party? It was D who created an opportunity to start the event a few years ago. One day he came to me and said that he would have liked to try karaoke once because he had never done in spite of living in Japan for a long time, and that he needed to know what it exactly was because karaoke is one of the most popular and important cultures in Japan, or something…TS3N1002

     I gathered people for having a karaoke session that year, and since then I enjoyed karaoke with him and our friends every end of the year. Yes, I had a karaoke party at the end of last year, too. There were 12 people in the party this time. Actually, one of us came from Tokyo that day! TS3N1006

     The karaoke shop has many small rooms, but has only one room for more than 10 people. So, I made a reservation for that big room for 12 of us. Actually, the room was not “big”. Interestingly it was covered with tatami, or Japanese traditional straw mats, and people had to take their shoes off. We were about to start karaoke after introducing ourselves, when many troubles happened…TS3N1004

     First, the tools for sending data to the karaoke machine were broken, and we needed to change them. Second, there was no sound from the machine, and we found out that it was broken. Third, we had to change the room and to move tables and chairs to stick ouselves into a small room. Fourth, we had to pay the fee including the loss time. Finally, after moving to another room, the microphone broke…I can’t believe it! (I won the discount, though.) TS3N1001

     But I’m sure all the participants had a really great time in spite of those many terrible things. One trouble after another, we finally began laughter. We huddled in the small room and sang many songs together without microphone. That was quit cozy and homelike and fun.

 

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The Yummy-Yummy Tako-Yaki Party

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TS3N0992      Have you ever tried tako-yaki? Tako means octopus in Japanese. Tako-yaki is a golf-ball-shaped pan cake containing octopus. It’s not sweet but salty. Tako-yaki is one of the most popular snacks in Japan.

     Some of my friends and I had a tako-yaki party the other day. You need a special hot plate for making tako-yaki. A friend of mine has two ones and we enjoyed making and eating tako-yaki together. TS3N0991

     It’s nice to cook together as eating and drinking and chattering. It’s also good to eat them hot directly from the hot plate. But you should be careful not to burn inside of your mouth. Look at their shape. I melted when I was looking at the steaming cute round shape. It also melted inside my mouth when I ate one. It was quite hot, though. TS3N0990

     It seems that octopus is not eaten so much in other countries. Tako-yaki is called because it has octopus inside, but we made many tako-yaki without octopus as well. We made them with shrimps, cheese, and other foods. They were also delicious. I had a really good time at the party. I’m looking forward to having a next tako-yaki party together with my friends!

 

         

The Tai Chi Class Party with Gorgeous Lunch

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練習風景1      I’m lazy…I learn Tai Chi in the extension center of a university, but the autumn-winter semester was over the other day…It seems that some diligent people do Tai Chi by themselves at home every day, but I don’t……TS3N0987

     After the Tai Chi course, the participants and our teachers had a party at a classroom of the university. It’s difficult to find a good place for having lunch together with all of the participants because there are more than 25 people in my class. So, we usually ask the university to use a room for the party and have catered lunch there. TS3N0985

     We enjoyed having the gorgeous catered lunch and talking to each other and then watching a few DVDs on Tai Chi together. That was a wonderful time. Spring course starts next month. I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates and doing Tai Chi together with them soon! You know, I don’t practice Tai Chi by myself!

 

 

Belated Happy New Year!

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TS3N1010     Belated Happy New Year!

     This is my first journal this year. It’s been cold in Japan since around Christmas holidays. Actually we had much snow in Nagoya area several days ago. It was also snowing on New Year’s Day when I went to Tokyo to spend holidays with my family. Luckily Shinkansen wasn’t running so late that day, and I didn’t need to wait for the train that long in the cold weather. TS3N1011

     Actually, the train wasn’t crowded at all. I didn’t reserve, but I was able to find vacant seats easily. It might be because I used Hikari instead of Nozomi that day. Both are names of Shinkansen, or bullet train. Hikari stops at more stations and takes longer to arrive at Tokyo terminal from Nagoya than Nozomi. But it has five unreserved cars; on the other hand, Nozomi has three. Anyway, I went to Tokyo in the relaxing empty car.   TS3N1012

     In Tokyo, I met my relatives, enjoyed talking to them over osechi, or traditional New Year’s food, and visited a Shinto shrine with some of them. I had restful holidays there. I wish you the best of luck throughout this year!