Big Market

January 26, 2011

KEY WORDS: make sure  v.確かめる , swirling adj. 渦の, steam n. 蒸気,

Japanese white radish n. 大根 , end up v.行き着く, almost * ~しそうになる ,

birdcage n. 鳥かご,
Hello. How are you doing?

Yesterday Kaho and I went to the Antique Flea Market (骨董市)in Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine, Northern Kyoto. Our friend planned a fun day for us. Thank you very much!


First we had lunch at a nice tempura restaurant.

Kaho and I both love tempura, (I think everyone does!) Everything was delicious and I made sure to take a few pictures. Here’s lunch:

 This picture has cool swirling effect from the steam off the soup!


















This was very interesting. The young chef was very carefully cutting a Japanese white radish (大根 daikon) into a long, thin piece! I took a few pictures and I think I made him a little nervous. Sorry! 🙂  Cutting the radish like this is part of their training.


Next, we went to the market.

We decided to look for a gift for my dad; His birthday is coming soon! And of course, we were looking for something fun for Kaho and me.

My dad likes funny things, like monkey toys. Last year, when we visited him this was how his living room was decorated.

So, I was hoping to find something old and unique at the market. Actually, we didn’t end up buying him anything. (Although, I almost bought a little plastic robot that walks. It looked like this: )

Sorry, Dad, maybe next time…


But Kaho did get one thing: A birdcage!

We don’t have a bird, and we don’t want a bird. Just the cage, thank you. We thought we might use it as decoration, she wants to put a plant in it.

Have you ever been to a big antique flea market? What do you like buying at them? Food, handmade things, antiques, robots, birdcages? Please leave a comment.


Thanks for reading!

– Andy and Kaho



January 19, 2011

Keywords;puppet n. 操り人形, fascinating adj. 魅力的な, master n. 達人,

puppeteer n. 操り人形師,  be in control  制御、コントロールする 

lifelike adj. 生きているみたい memorable adj. 記憶に残る, puppetry n. 人形劇, 

spark v. 刺激する, coordinate v. 協力する

Hello, again!

Recently a student told me that she went to a Bunraku show. I didn’t really know what Bunraku was, but now I know it is traditional Japanese puppet show.

Actually, puppets can be quite fascinating. The look like dolls but if a master puppeteer is in control they seem very lifelike.

Have you ever seen a bunraku performance?


Most people probably haven’t seen a Bunraku perfromance. There are many examples of puppets in Pop culture.

There is a memorable scene in The Sound of Music with puppets.

And Jim Henson,a famous American puppeteer, made unique and interesting characters for Sesame Street.









Stories like Pinocchio, and more recently the movie, Being John Malkovich – マルコヴィッチの穴 , show how puppetry seems like magic and sparks our imagination.












Bunraku uses 3 puppeteers!  The must be very difficult to coordinate.


Thanks for reading.

– Andrew and Kahoru

KEY WORDS: still adv. まだ,  able to ~できる,  especially  adv. 特に,  actually adv. 実は,

 dressed as ~に変装した, stick v.つける, reindeer n.トナカイ, service  n. サービス、礼拝,

show v. 見せる ,  personal adj. 自分の, go well  うまくいく, too (adj.)~ to ~(v.) ~すぎて~できない,

quite adv. かなり,


Hello. How is everyone?

It’s so cold this time of year. I always start dreaming about the warm, beautiful days of Spring after Christmas…

Can you remember spring?!


Anyway, it’s still winter and we haven’t told you about our Christmas yet. So, let’s start with our Adult Students’ Party.

*To everyone who was able to have lunch with us at the Italian restaurantlogo :

Thank you for joining us!

The food, especially the pizza, was very good.

We played a game of BINGO and enjoyed 9 kinds of dessert. Actually, the dessert plate looks a little like BINGO!

But the staff did not want us to stay past 1:00, so we had to eat and leave quickly!

Here is Piccollo Mondo Yamada’s website:


The Kid’s party was also a lot of fun.

We dressed as Santa and Mrs. Santa.


We made a lot of sugar cookies and then decorated them with the children.


After that, we played games outside in the park by our house. One game used a red paper nose that you stick to your face.

We looked like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!


And of course, at my church here in Muko city, there was a special Christmas service. (IGM Church 日本語

I made a slide show with photographs of the church, inside and outside.

The church is simple, not really a “beautiful” building. But the pictures show the members personal connection with the church.

We played the slide show and perfromed live music over it. I played bass guitar. 

I think it went well!


The slide show is about 10 minutes. If you would like to watch, in Japanese, please click here. *Christmas Slide Show*


We finished our Christmas by staying home and relaxing.

We were too tired to cook so we ordered pizza. (We ate a lot of pizza in December…)

I showed this picture to my friends and family in America and they really liked it. I think they were surprised that he looks so happy to be Rudolph, delivering pizza on a cold Christmas night! I think American pizza delivery boys would NOT look quite so happy…


Thanks for reading!

– Andrew and Kahoru

Happy New Year!

January 6, 2011

Keywords: actually adv. 実際は, meal n. 食事, bowling n. ボーリング, admire v. めでる,

 photograph v. 写真をとる, close adj. 近い, common adj. 普通の、当たり前の,

  amazing adj. 素晴らしい, cover v. 覆う, partially adv. 部分的に,

cooperate v. 協力する,  closely adv. 近くで, classic adj. 古典的、由緒正しい, 

 profound adj. 深みのある sunrise n. 日の出,  although conj. ~とはいえ, 

 immediately adv. すぐに, afterward adv. あとで, meaningful adj. 意味のある


Did you have a nice New Year holiday? Actually, many people feel that “vacations” are sometimes busier than our working week!

Kaho and I went to Shizuoka to stay with Kaho’s parents & sisters. We had many nice, big meals and even went bowling together. I was also busy with my camera.


We have been to Shizuoka many times but I have never had a good chance to admire or photograph the famous Mount Fuji. This mountain is, of course, in Shizuoka. I think for Kaho, and people who are born so close, the mountain is a little common place, so she was not as excited as I was to see it.

This time, Kaho’s parents took me to get some nice pictures.

Here is one of the first clear shots of Mt. Fuji from the road. Amazing , isn’t it?


But we got much closer and I was happy to get these nice photos.

Mt. Fuji is often covered, or partially covered, by clouds. It can be difficult to take a clear picture. But on this day the clouds cooperated… a little!

In this picture, if you look closely, you can see that these children have the chance to practice soccer in front of Fuji.


A nice black and white photo looks classic and profound.


On New Year’s morning, I had a chance to get the sunrise near Kahoru’s parents’ house. We did not go to Fuji, (although on the TV news I saw that many people did!)

 The first sunrise of the year is a beautiful symbol of new beginnings and hope.

 It was VERY cold and we had to wake up VERY early! Immediately afterward, a nice hot cup of coffee was also very meaningful to me!

Have a happy New Year!

– Andy and Kaho