KEY WORDS: finally adv. あげく , sort n. るい , local n. 土着の人、 plenty of 多い,  they say , niece n. 姪 , clear adj. 明らか  

 Have you ever been up here?




We finally went on Tuesday.

A student of mine gave us some tickets to visit Kyoto Tower. (Thank you!)

Neither of us had ever been there. I think this sort of thing is for tourists more than locals. I almost took my sister here when she visited last year, but changed my mind because it seemed a little expensive. Actually, it’s only ¥770 each. (click here English or Japanese)


We knew it would be a good topic for our blog this week, so we took plenty of pictures!

Nice view! 😉











Here is the eye viewer machine.

 It looks like the robot from that 1980`s movie, Short Circuit.  (movie info here)






It’s high above Kyoto and you can see a lot of things from up there. They say, if it’s very clear you can see to Osaka.



My niece, Anna, turned two recently (Happy Birthday!) and I forgot to get her a present! So we decided to bring her up to the top of Kyoto with us.


Thanks for reading!

-Andrew and Kaho


Tennis, anyone?

June 24, 2010

KEY WORDS: annoy v. いらいらさせる ,vuvuzela n. ブブゼラ 南アフリカの楽器 サッカーの応援に使う、プラスチックで出来たラッパのような物 , cicada n. せみ, record n. (set a record) 記録, dent v へこませる. , lose v 負ける. prefer v. -をより好む 

Hello sports fans!

They are cute; The sound is not.

It’s World Cup Soccer time again and most of the world is excited to see if their country will win.  And everyone is also very annoyed by the vuvuzela. What a strange noise! It sounds like the cicada in Japan.

I am from America and I really don’t know much about soccer. The British teachers I met here in Japan tell me it’s a good game. They also tell me it’s not “soccer”, they call it football.   

Soccer of Football?



Well, I guess if America wins I will become very interested in the World Cup.

But is that possible…?


Actually, Wimbledon started on Monday and it’s great so far. Yesterday two men set the record for the longest match ever at Wimbledon; 11 hours! Amazing.

Another record was set by an American who served the fastest serve in Wimbledon history, 148 MPH or 238.18 km/h.

American Dent

It’s kind of funny, actually, because the player’s real name is Taylor Dent. (But he lost the game in the end…)

English tennis news here or in Japanese

Do you watch or play tennis? Who’s your favorite player? Or do you prefer soccer?

Leave us a comment!


Thanks for reading!

-Andrew and Kahoru

p.s. Here’s the link for Japanese TV schedule of Wimbledon; click here.

Key Words: optical illusion n.  錯視 hurt v. 痛める stare v. じっとみる second n. 秒 Jesus n.イェス

Hello!  A little while ago I found this cool site on the internet. I thought you might be intersted.

Let’s look at some pictures.

First, can you tell how many feet the elephant has?

This is a great optical illusion by a very smart man named Roger Shepard.  (info here)


Here is another wonderful illusion that might hurt your eyes. Look at it carefully and see it move.

Remember:There is nothing moving in this picture, it’s an illusion!

This one is by Akiyoshi Kitaoka a professor at Ritsumeikan University . (info here EnglishJapanese)

When I was a kid, I used to love this kind of thing. I think I could stare at them for hours.  Now, I guess I’m getting older because it hurts my eyes after a few seconds! Oh well…

I remembered one more illusion, I saw this when I was a child and I thought it was so cool. But this one takes a little time.

You stare at the center of the image for 30 seconds. DON’T MOVE YOUR EYES! Then look at something white, like the wall or a piece of paper. You will see the face of Jesus.

They also have an Obama one in the same style. But there’s no surprise with this image:

Thanks for reading and looking.

Andy and Kaho

Doughnuts 2

June 10, 2010

Key Words:hip adj. かっこいい おしゃれな rarely adv. めったに~しない definitely adv.絶対に complicated adj. 複雑な inflated adj. (物価などが)高い incredibly adv. 信じられないほど consumer n. 消費者 

So, let’s talk about donuts (or doughnuts) again! *

Just one more time, OK?  ( *See previous postDo or Do Not: Let’s Donut!”) 

Why? Because Kaho and her friend made a special trip to Osaka to buy some special donuts in a special shop. 



They have a very stylish website, here. (I didn’t know donuts were so hip!) 

I love a good donut, but I rarely buy them. And I would definitely NOT wait in a long line for them like in Shinsaibashi. 

But Kaho did just that; She said it was only 45 minutes. Only 45 minutes! Wow! But she said it’s usually about 90 minutes (on weekdays, longer on weekends) at this new Krispy Kreme shop.  

She knows it’s funny to do something like that, but it was fun for her, I guess. (Also, everyone in line gets one free donut to sample! Nice.)

looOOong line!



Cultural note: These kind of things make good gifts, right? Japan is known for having  a `gift-giving culture.` It’s sometimes complicated, but I’ve learned that an inflated price or an incredibly long wait for the new, trendy gift is part of the gesture. It’s also a kind of sport for the consumers! 



Now what about the donuts? Are they any good? Are they better than the other shops? 

The answer is: 


Go to Shinsaibashi, wait for one hour, buy some donuts, and please bring me some more. 

Thank you for reading. 

Andrew and Kaho 


June 2, 2010

Key Words: used to ~ v.  かつて~だった, chewing tobacco n.  かみたばこ, nasty adj. 気持ち悪い , plant v.  植える, sprout n. 双葉(若葉) , scarecrow n. かかし ,

When I was a kid, I used to love eating sunflower seeds. 

My brother ate them because some baseball players ate them instead of chewing tobacco, which is nasty stuff!  


I checked a website of a popular Sunflower Seeds company in America, David’s, and I found a few new flavors! They have Original, –of course, Ranch, Bar-B-Q, Nacho Cheese, Dill Pickle (hmm sounds good!), and a very unique one: ChiliLime


Recently, one of my student’s daughters gave me some seeds. But these seeds were not for eating. 

I planted them. I thought it would take a long time to grow, but they grew already! About one week, I think. 

Sunflower sprouts



 I was worried about crows and other birds eating my little sprouts so I put together this scarecrow. Is it scary? 

Just a little baby for now…


How’s your garden coming along? Please leave a comment.

Thanks for reading!  

Andy and Kaho