My good friend Mrs. Klaus is doing a wonderful job coordinating my introduction to Japanese culture and customs. These little gems of Japan are pieces of culture and Japanese life that most tourists just don’t see because they don’t have the time or information to do so. Our latest excursion was to Continue reading
Feeling such incredible awe and gratitude is something I am having to get use to in Japan. Last night I could just not find words to express my feelings after a memorable birthday dinner hosted by my (newly adopted) Japanese sister and her husband, Mr and Mrs “Klaus.”
Mr Klaus was the chef for this fantastic meal, which began with herring caviar and pickled octopus and other goodies whose names I can’t remember. Takoyaki was the main dish, served both traditionally (octopus as main ingredient) and a design-your-own option. Ten of us sat on the floor around the table making takoyaki. Takoyaki is made by pouring batter into a special pan similar to a muffin tin, except that the “holes” are half ball-shaped. Then you add ingredients such as octopus, green onion, tempura pieces, cabbage etc., and cover with batter. You let it brown for a couple of minutes and then start rolling each piece with small wooden skewers to brown on all sides, forming a complete sphere. After sampling the traditional takoyaki we made our own, choosing from ingredients such as bacon, cheese, kim-chi, sesame seed, corn, and others. We enjoyed our takoyaki with either oyster sauce or soy sauce and mayonnaise – delicious! After eating our fill of takoyaki and sides, we continued to eat, indulging in a wonderful almond-topped birthday cake.
I received wonderful, thoughtful gifts some of which were handmade by artists, but all of which represent something special to me. But the real gift was the genuine love and acceptance that I felt for both my husband and I…from people, most of which, I had only met a few times. I will never have a gift as special as this!
Thank you Mr Klaus, my 2 new Japanese sisters, Chiyo, SekiSan, HaruSan, Nori, and Fumie. This is a birthday I will always remember!
Let me first say that I have mispronounced and misspelled this word so many times and so many ways that I have to apologize to friends and family who have had to endure this since I first learned the word a few weeks ago. I think now I have finally got it right. But I certainly won’t promise that I will remember for next year’s Fukubukuro 2015.
Fukubukuro is Continue reading
Stories abound here of people losing things or leaving things on the train…wallets and purses, money, cameras, phones, etc. And the stories usually have happy endings, with the item returned with money/belongings intact and undisturbed. I witnessed something at a mall this week that illustrates the general integrity of the Japanese people.
To set the stage, we are in the midst of a Japanese Holiday – the biggest and most important Japanese Holiday – New Years! Many, dare I say most, Japanese people are off work for about a week and a half and this year will return to work January 6. So it was New Year’s Eve and my husband and I were at a very crowded, very busy mall. We got lunch at the all-too-familiar mall food court, although it Japan the food isn’t all that familiar to us. The food court was packed and people had to stand and wait with food in hand until tables were vacated to sit down and eat…except for one lady. She waited until a table was empty, put her purse in the middle of the table and walked half way across the food court to place an order. We were astounded. We watched for awhile and never saw the lady come back to the table (the lines were very long), but neither did we see anyone take her purse. Where I come from (sadly), that purse would have been gone in just a few minutes.
Then today, I was looking at the Facebook page of a group I am involved with when I saw this exchange:
• (PERSON 1)
Last night at XXXXXX I left my jacket, pink iphone 5C and wallet. The jacket is a long pea coat with purple, black and white plaid. If found please contact me at XXX XXXX XXXX. Thanks in advance!
You might try checking in with the local police. It’s pretty common for lost items to actually get turned in off base. I’ve know quite a few people who’ve lost/misplaced their wallets, purses, entire lives/etc on trains/bars/random places in Japan — and 9 x’s outta 10, they’ve been able to pick it up at the nearest police station! Good luck!
Thank you! I filed a report but didn’t hear anything back but luckily someone brought back the jacket and belongings yesterday. Nothing was tampered with. I appreciate everyone’s help though (:
WOW…another one of the many reasons I love Japan!