Tuesday, June 30, 2009

basashi at kaitenzushi

Have you ever said, "Wow, I'm so hungry I could eat a HORSE!"

Umm...well, I did.

Just a little piece, though - I found out the hard way that they actually serve things besides raw fish at sushi places. Basashi (raw horsemeat) is apparently very famous in Kyushu - I think Kumamoto prefecture's horses are delicious, but...thank you, I'm good now.

I don't know if you can see it in the background, but the sushi is moving around the bar on a conveyor belt (kaitenzushi). You just pick up the one you want, or you can order something you don't see on the belt. Different color plates mean different prices, and usually you get 2 pieces of sushi per plate. At the end of the meal, the waitress just tallies up your plates and gives you a bill.

I'm going to miss merry-go-round sushi :(

Monday, June 29, 2009

Picture Book Museum

Since I didn't go to the islands this weekend, I played tourist in Nagasaki and found this adorable little picture book museum up near Glover Garden. I adore picture books (and one of my goals is to write one in the near future), and found this place absolutely charming.

...even the door to the washroom was interesting!

I know - it really doesn't look like a building in Japan! This place was so inviting - completely unlike many of the large bookstores with their mind-numbing uniform rows of books & flourescent light banks, and their generally antiseptic atmostphere. When I stepped through the gates to this place, however, I felt gently drawn in to the doorway here...much like I'm drawn to the wafting smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven... Now - if they had fresh baked chocolate cookies and books at this place, I probably would never leave!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inasayama

So...when life gives me lemons, I make... a bike trip? Certain key members of my Goto Island posse got sick, the forecast predicted RAIN ALL WEEKEND, so I saved my ferry & island bungalow money and I climbed Inasayama (Mt. Inasa, overlooking Nagasaki City)instead. I figured I'd chance being out on my bike for as long as the weather held. So far the only rain we've had today lasted about 20 minutes. Apparently, it's not really going to actually RAIN during rainy season this year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm on my way to the Goto Islands in the morning, so I'm staying in Nagasaki tonight. To my surprise, I found a sweet little origami crane on a yukata on my bed.
***I just realized I'm doing two things I've rarely done in the past 3 years - watch TV and sleep in a bed! The TV is actually good Japanese practice. I think this is a travel channel & the narrator's in Belgium. Pretty hysterical!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cheap thrills

Some local sunflowers seduced me!
only \100!
Yay for summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How many cops does it take -

- to catch a snake?
4
Well, at least my life is never dull (^O^)

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's official...

On August 1 I will be boarding a plane and leaving Nagasaki... I'm taking a few days off at the end of my contract so I can visit the Ghibli Museum and climb Mt. Fuji (in the Tokyo "area") that first week of August.

Wow. Three years. Done.

But I still have a few more (VERY busy) weeks left! I've still got classes till July 17 (and work until the 31st), but I'm working on cleaning out, shipping out, and starting my goodbyes... and getting as much "training" in as I can so I can get to the top of Fuji!

What's next? After spending a little bit of time in South Florida, I will be headed out to stay with my cousin at his parish in a wee town in southern Oregon. I'm looking forward to life in the slow lane as I get reacclimated to Super WalMarts and people driving on the right side of the road again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

my swanky accomodations

#1 - Here's the room where I slept (have sleeping bag-will travel!).
#2 - the view out my window (from my sleeping bag)
#3 - the view of the tokonoma in my room (also from my sleeping bag vantage point)
#4 - the friend I didn't sleep with (YEA!!!) As we were out for a walk, my (two-legged) friend and I found this HUGE mukade feasting on a cockroach. I am SO glad we didn't have any visitors like this at the ryokan!

one really nice thing...

...about living here is being able to take advantage of amazing opportunities, like sleeping in an abandoned ryokan-turned art museum tucked into the mountains. We had another big cleaning day up here, and this time, since it wasn't snowing, we had a cookout and "camp out" in various rooms at this place. The rooms that had floors, anyway. (it being "abandoned" some of the areas are a little "sketchy")

Monday, June 08, 2009

This is a manhole cover I saw when I was on my way back from Azuma & volleyball games. Hopefully my computer will connect to the internet again soon so I can type on a regular keyboard again. (^O^)/

Saturday, June 06, 2009

...just out for a ride

I have to 'work' this weekend, since it's the annual Nagasaki Prefecture High School Sports Competition. Today I rode my bike down to the girls' volleyball match. They played well, but lost the match. The kids and teachers not associated with sports teams go to cheer for the teams. I was surprised to find myself next to the principal, and impressed with his enthusiasm!
On the hot, long ride home I stopped for a little roadside ice cream cone. Umai (^O^)/

Let's make a book!

Last week my cuties took me to the grocery store. I took photos, and this week we had fun making them into a book.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

GO, TEAM!

Kosotai, the huge prefectural sports competition, will be held this weekend at various schools around the ken. We had an assembly to get the teams psyched for the games. In this photo you see the softball team pledging to do their best & represent our school well.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Can I borrow a cup of sugar? ;)

My Neighbor Totoro

Today I went (back) to see Oga Kazuo's artwork at the museum. He's done many of Miyazaki's films, including "Tonari no Totoro" - the one that features this house. I really wanted to see this amazing artwork again, not only because there were over 600 mind-blowing pieces, but also because today is my grandma's birthday (she would have been 93), and I think she would have liked the show, too.