news

Past News (April 2007)

April 27th

The full-bloomed azaleas make me feel that we are in the middle of spring. I went out for dinner with my friend the other night, and I saw the azaleas are in full bloom near my place. Why I didnft notice that until then? They are really colorful and beautiful. As Tomo says in the newsletter on April 9th, I also wonder how they remember to bloom at the same time each year. We, human beings forget things easily, but they donft. @Isnft that amazing? We have a long weekend, so wefll meet you on Tuesday again. Hope you have a lovely weekend!!! (Risa)

tsutsuji tsutsuji

April 26th

It is already in the end of April. Time has passed so fast. Donft you think so? Well, we will have a rainy season soon. For me, raining all day is annoyance except AJISAI (hydrangea). Those girls are so beautiful and I think they are sensitive because they change their color depends on soil (or maybe on their moods?) Letfs take a look at them! (Tomo)

ajisai

April 25th

The 52nd Saio-dai, the leading female role in the Aoi Festival, was announce on April 12th. Kae Morikawa, an English instructor, from Sakyo Ward, Kyoto was selected to play the part for the event which begins on May 15th, making the first of the three major festivals in Kyoto. Kaoru Morikawa, Kaefs mother, was also selected as the 12th Saio-dai 40 years ago. It is the first time in 18 years, since the 1989 Saio-dai, that women from two generations of the same family have held the role of the festival heroine. Kae Morikawa studied abroad for short periods in the UK and the USA which she was a university student. After graduating, she entered a graduate school to study teaching methods using English. She appeared at the press interview in her favourite Furisode, the most formal style of kimono for unmarried women, which her parents gave to her. She told that she has dreamed of being selected as Saio-dai since she was a little girl. Her dream has finally come truec If you want to see the real her, letfs go to the Aoi Festival on May 15th! (Risa)

Saio-dai

April 24th

Yay! Golden Week is coming soon! Why do we call the week Golden Week? The National Holiday Laws, promulgated in July 1948, declared nice official holidays. Since many were concentrated in a week spanning the end of April to early May, many leisure-baded industries experienced spikes in their revenue. The fil industry was no exception. In 1951, the fild [Jiyu Gakko] recorded higher ticket sales during this holiday filled week than any other time in the year. This prompter the managing director of Daiei Films to dub the week [Golden Week] based on the Japanse radio lingo golden time which denotes the period with the highest listener ratings. At the time, April 29th was a national holiday celebrating the birth of Emperor Showa. Upon his death in 1989, the day was renamed as Greenery Day. The day had moved to May 4th, and April 29th was renamed Showa Day to commemorate the late Emperor since this year. We have days off from Apri; 28th to 30th & from May 3rd to 6thcI am happy enough to have the 7days off soon. (Risa)

April 23rd

I went to OHARA yesterday. It was so beautiful! Sanzen-in built to the village in peaceful OHARA. Oujo-Gokuraku-in which is Hondo is a gabled hipped roof, is the representation of the AMIDA-DOU construction and is specified to be an important cultural property. Two gardens are also beautiful. If you have chance, please visit to the area. Look at those cute guys (dwarf)!! (Tomo)

ohara

April 20th

Can I go back to the old topic [SAKURA]? As promised, my friend sent me a few lovely photos. Arenft they gorgeous? Do they make you feel like visiting Kyoto next spring? If yes, letfs start making a trip plan for 2008! (Risa)

sakura pinksakura cherry kiyomizu

April 19th

Have you ever thought about causality? Do you know what that mean? I guess of course you do. A dictionary definition of CAUSALITY is that the word denotes the logical relationship between one physical event (called cause) and another physical event (called effect) being the direct consequence (result) of the first event. (While the definition sounds simple enough, and while the use of casual concepts is common place the philosophical analysis of causality or causation has proved exceedingly difficult. So just forget about the philosophical analysis at this time.) I think it does make perfect sense. Your are a result of what you did in the past. You can create yourself!! (Tomo)

April 18th

These days Ifve been thinking a lot. Ifve noticed there are many more things which bother us than ever before... Environmental problems, wars, indiscriminate terrorism, random killing, and so on. Every time I watch the news on TV, I wonder if the things on the planet are getting better or not. I guess people used to enjoy their simple lifecat least it was not so complicated. As Tomo asked in the newsletter yesterday, can you imagine what the world would be like in 100 years? Maybe it would be very different in 10 years, right? I donft necessarily think itfs a bad thing to think a lot, but I am a bit tired now. Therefre so many things I should deal withc Tomo says this newsletter is like a suicide note, but donft worry. I am OK! (Risa)

April 17th

Did you know that Amazon.com has been operating GROCERY STORE and GOURMET FOODS STORE? I have found it a few days ago and I was surprised. We can buy almost everything through the internet. What a surprise! I had known those miracle evolutions but I have not been felt so until a few days ago. I do not know this is good or bad but those things make me feel that we can be more creative. We can create something nobody anticipated. Thatfs amazing! Also at the same time I wonder where this world goes to. Can you think about 50 years later? (Tomo)

April 16th

How was your weekend? I went to see a movie [Tokyo Tower, Mom and I and sometimes Dad] with my friend on Saturday. The movie is based on a best-selling novel written by Lily Franky. It is an autobiographic novel, and it captured the hearts of readers. Although I was interested in the book, I didnft have a chance to read it. Yes, it is a touching story. We can realize again how much we owe to our family. The movie will give you a good opportunity to think over the family value. Also, you can the Japan from 1960s to 1990s through the movie. I donft know if you can get the Video/DVD in your country(not yet though), but I would love you to see the movie if you have a chance. (Risa)

April 13th

The photo below is RYOANJI TEMPLE. Ryoan-ji is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. Belonging to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai branch of Zen Buddhism, the temple is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. The researchers propose that the implicit structure of the garden is designed to appeal to the viewers unconscious visual sensitivity to axial-symmetry skeletons of stimulus shapes. In support of their findings, they found that imposing a random perturbation of the locations of individual rock features destroyed the special characteristics. (Tomo)

ryoanji

April 12th

I was watching TV show this morning. A hot spring called Maruia Springs in New Zealand was featured in that program. The thermal resort is run by a Japanese lady. She was born as a daughter of an old traditional ryokan in Niigata Prefecture. When she was 26 years old, she decided to move to New Zealand to open the Japanese-style hot spring resort. Actually it was a big success. Lots of people come and visit the unique mountain hideaway with a little touch of Japan from all over the world. Have you been there? If yes, please let me know how it is like. If you miss Japanese-style hot springs, how about trying the resort? I will attach the URL just in case. http://www.maruiasprings.co.nz/thermal-pools/rock-pools.php (Risa)

April 11th

We have still something to talk about SAKURA but letfs change the subject shall we Risa? I saw a news about TGV (train a grande vitesse, French for ghigh-speed trainh) made a new record of speed. 575.8km/hour. I can not imagine how fast it is. We do have Shinkansen A.K.A. bullet train in Japan and the speed is 220km to 300km/hour. Shinkansen is the fastest train in Japan but TGVfs record is almost 2 times of it. I wonder why they are trying to increase the speed. The speed of an air plane is about 1030km/hour depends on the altitude though. Do you know what I mean? What will be happen in 59 years? By the way visitors from foreign countries (except whose nationality is Japanese) can buy a gjapan rail passh and travel. It is definitely cheaper than normal ticket. When you come to Japan, check this site out! Have a wonderful life! (Tomo) http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2018.html

April 10th

Tomo and I talk about SAKURA too much? Thatfs because we love cherry blossoms and we enjoy spring. I hope you donft mind, right? I also went to HANAMI on Saturday and Sunday. One of my friends invited me to a party held under cherry trees on Saturday night, so I went to Maruyama Park, which is famous for a big cherry tree, located just behind the Yasaka Shrine. When I got there, the party already started. According to my friend, they were very busy saving a spot for blossom viewing and preparing for food & drink from 2pm on that day. But, one bad thing was the weather was really unstablecand it started to rain soooooooooooo hard around 10pm-ishcwe had to clean the things in a mad rushcAnyway, I had a great time. Thank you all. P.S. I took the photo when I went to another HANAMI on Sunday afternoon. Isnft it beautiful? (Risa)

sakura

April 9th

Spring has sprung! I went to HANAMI yesterday. Do you know "HANAMI"? According to a dictionary, Hanami means(lit. "flower viewing") is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, "flower" in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms. However, when we say "HANAMI" it means mainly to have a party under those trees. It was so beautiful. I wonder that how come every year those trees are colored such a pretty pink. It must be a gift from our mother nature and the earth! No doubt. Have a awesome day! (Tomo)

hanami

April 6th

It is supposed to be Spring now in Kyoto but the temperature has been in low. Do you know why? Because of an environmental issuecGlobal warming, Climate change, Air pollution, Ozone depletion, an so on. The mother earth has been damaged by people. It is not too late. We can do something for saving our planet. Letfs turn off the switch when you do not use electricity. Letfs do not use a car as much as you can. Letfs separate of trash by type. Then we can pass the beautiful earth to our offspring. (Tomo)

Nature

April 5th

I am back. I had a day off and went out with a friend from America yesterday. Although I was a little worried about the weather, it gradually cleared up. We were pretty lucky, huh? We really didnft decide where to go until we met up, but we headed to the Keage area after lunch. We visited the Nanzenji-temple, and then we walked though the Philosopherfs Path. The cherry blossoms were amazing. It was the first time for me to visit the path in spring, but I was just fascinated. It is a must-see in Kyoto in this season. My friend promised me that he would send some of the photos he took yesterdaycso I will show you as soon as I receive them from him. (Risa)

April 4th

Let me talk about HOKKAIDO today. Have you ever heard of this name gHOKKAIDOh? If you love winter sports then you must heard of it. It is a northern island of Japan. HOKKAIDO AKA holy land of powder skiing and snowboarding! Thanks for geography and climate, we are proud of the quality of snow and amount of snow. If you do skiing or snowboarding, I recommend you to go there. Cherry Cherry pow pow! Have fun!! PS You are still not late. There is so much snow in HOKKAIDO now. (Tomo)

hokkaido

April 3rd

Do you want to learn a bit Kyoto Dialect? I think this website will help; www.kyoto-np.co.jp/kp/english/guide/kyoto_dialect/kotoba.html Younger people donft use them in our daily life, but I understand some of them. I guess they sound funny, right? Although I am a genuine Kyoto person, itfs really hard to pronounce the sentences perfectlyc Try them if you have a chance to come to Kyoto. That would be fun!!! (Risa)

April 2nd

How was your weekend? Did you have a neat one? One of our guests sent me lovely photos on the weekend. Apparently, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Tokyo. Very beautiful, huh? I guess it will take a while until we enjoy the full-bloomed cherry blossoms in Kyotoc As I am taking a day off on Wednesday, I will go out to check and let you know how they are going. Thank you for sharing your photo with us, Alan!!! I hope you have a wonderful time in Kyoto too!!!!! (Risa)

tokyosakura