Friday, August 19, 2011

Traveling Home - Wakkani

 I found another good set of pictures I forgot to post!  These are from my travel days.  Going back home is never as fun as going some place - but at least it didn't take 4 days.  Here are some fun pictures of the travel!

I need gum to fly . . . so I got this lovely breath shower gum . . . not bad really
The futon at the hostel was VERY thin - but it was a cute place

lots of cutesie animals

Nice facilities

Nice lounge with reasonably price beverages.

hairdryer and hairspray provided

they were big on the cutesie clocks

Lots of manga and games and puzzles - the puzzles did not require Japanese - yay!

A more classic clock design

HARRY POTTER - I really wanted to see it but we didn't have time :( we were waiting for the bus.  Yes the movie theater is above the bus station

Life size sully in the lobby!

Shopping street - complete with many many cranes

neat statue

neat dog van

delicious breakfast!
I did enjoy the Seico Mart - or cheap one stop food option.  I had a lovely last Japanese breakfast without fish!  The first time in a month - yay!  here you have a Maxim cafe, egg and ham rice, a small Luna vanilla yogurt (I got this based on a review by a blogger who's reviews I love over at Japanese Snack Reviews), and a Hokkaido printed dorayaki! If you see Hokkaido dorayaki - get it!  It is filled with mochi and red bean - fantastic! I may try to make Hokkaido Dorayaki.  In fact, I'm like 100% sure I will.  How hard can it be?  The Luna yogurt was also quite good - as indicated.  It really is a very small tub of yogurt though. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Funadomari Festival!

Wrote this one in Japan and didn't manage to post it! Here it is!

The town of Funadomari had a city festival a few days back.  The elementary and middle school children of the town carried around two small portable shrines and then stoped and did some fun dances at a couple of key spots. The town is very small so this didn't take very long.  The end of the "parade" was at the sports centre and featured a yakisoba stall, a shaved ice stall, takoyaki, and yakitori.  I had the takoyaki (octopus balls) and some Blue Hawaii Shaved ice (blue slushy).  Both were good.
Getting ready to start

All dressed up in front of the shrine

The smaller shrine

Bigger kids = bigger shrine

Getting started


They are singing enthusiastically

less enthusiastic with a heavier shrine

Dance break!

Pretty flexible

Second group has a more complicated dance

And a snazzy ending

This girl was particularly good

Kind of boring I guess

Cute little shrine!

All the dancers



 The entire festival was very fun.  Lots of cute kids, who seemed very pleased to see a bunch of foreigners show up to see them. In fact, we went to a second festival in Hamanaka and some of the kids from the first festival came up to tell us that we had seen them dance earlier that day.  They also showed up their frog.  Kids are kids.
This one was inside!
Another cute shrine
Win fun prizes!

Overall, it was a really great day.  I would recommend it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Art: Sculptures

Way back when I was in high school.  I was assigned a project to weld a found object sculpture - they were doing simple brazing in class . . .  but I had ideas.  Dad-bot builds machines and stuff, so we had a nice wire welder at home in the garage . . . that could actually make my vision.  My first metal dragon was born. 

No. 1
Since the first one the family has made many many sculptures.  Many are made through a combination of work from all of us.  Others are made by one person in particular. Dad-bot is crucial to all as he actually know things like the importance of structural integrity, while Mom-bot and I are more of a it looks prettier down a bit farther type.

You can see that we have quite the collection now.  It has almost caused accidents and people slam on the breaks in front of our house.  People often wander the yard taking pictures . . . sometimes even prom pictures or the like.  It can be odd - especially in the morning when you just want to sit in your PJs and have some coffee and people wander into the yard.  I just visit home now, so I deal with it less often.  It is useful if you need to explain where you live.  Everyone in the area could tell you have to get to the house. Hopefully more people realize that making stuff is fun.