Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Extra Pictures

 It was a beautiful day and I liked the way the clouds had formed so I took a picture. I hope you like it, too!
 What I thought was funny about this picture was the car dealership in the background, they named it Monkey Flip....what does that have to do with a car dealership? Can someone please, explain this to me?
 This building is the middle of construction and in Japan all buildings are covered, like this, while they are being built.
 The giant crab on the front of the restaurant is actually continuously moving. The body stays in the same place, but the legs and claws move up and down. This is a chain restaurant so I've run into this crab twice in Nagoya and twice Osaka, but I've never eaten at this restaurant. lol
 Marron is just too cute to not take a picture of. This is how she normally lays down. Her legs are so short that only one foot peaks out. hehe
 This is Marron after I tired her out playing fetch and tug of war. Now, she always brings a toy over to me to play with her. Look at those mini feet!
Marron: "Ok lady you can take a picture, but this is the LAST one!...and you owe me a game of tug of war."

A Bridge And A Highway

 This is the store where I bought a lot of my furniture and organizing boxes, etc. This place was the Japanese version of Ikea. There was a cafeteria where Sato and I had lunch and then we did some shopping! We spent a good three hours at this store and I found a lot of good buys and the items were really good quality! There are a lot of commercials for this store on T.V. and they only use mannequins (the picture is a mannequin family), and the commercial is a little creepy.
 Sato and I saw these palm trees on the way to the Furniture Dome and we looked at each other and he asked me "Are we in Hawaii?" lol Neither one of us thought we would be seeing palm trees in Japan.
 This is one of my favorite pictures of the bridge that we crossed over going home. It was a nice day so the clouds made this picture turn out even better than I had thought! I hope you like it!
 Japan for some reason has a lot of these types of bridges. I don't know if they just like the look of this type of bridge or it is the best type of bridge for the environment in Japan, but a few that are built like this.
 Here is a view of the Nagoya Bay while going over the bridge.
 This wall is on most highways in Japan. It's not necessarily exactly this type of wall, but there is usually a high wall of some kind.
 Here is a shot of one of the three toll booths that we went through. Sato has one of those ETC cards so we don't have to stop, just slow down. Although, every time we go though one I kind of grip the door handle and press the floor with my foot to slow down the car. lol I know that the computer will automatically raise the arm to let us through, but I wish he would slow down just a touch more for comfort.
 I took this picture to show all the advertisements that you can see from the highway. The buildings are pretty tall, but we can only see the very top where the advertisement is placed. Goo is a drink brand and I made sure it was visible because it just seems like such a random name for a brand.
 This is a curve on the highway and they really want to make sure you know that it's a curve.
Here is a view of downtown Nagoya. The round buildings in the middle is the JR building and the Nagoya station is on the first floor.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Japanese Tableware

This is Gingko....beans? nuts? They had a shell like pistachios, but the inside was like a soy bean. It was really good, but you can't eat too many of these. One, you just don't want to and Two, supposedly it has a lot of the B vitamin and too much isn't good for you. I was told not to eat these everyday, like I was really going to. I also liked the dish they came out on.

We didn't eat this fish, but this picture also had some more Japanese dishes on the back counter. In this picture you can tell that they are all different shapes and not just simple rectangular dishes.

Sato and I did eat these other two kids of fish, but this picture also shows the restaurants decorative plate that is always in the corner. At this restaurant we ate at the bar and they always have the fish that they have available for the day on display like this. When you make an order they take the fish from this case.

Here was our chef for the day. He also took our order since the restaurant is very tiny, not many people can be walking around the restaurant. Every once in awhile there will be another guy, but he was mostly in the back or at the other sister restaurant. Which has the same menu, but a different name.

These are spoons specifically for coffee or tea. In Japan, you can find a lot of spoons like this that are decorated. There are a lot of different kinds of designs.

Dear Shiro Yagisan, Dear Mr. White Goat. I love this plate! There is a matching soup cup and there are also 2 other designs. One is a cat and mouse ( I will show you later) and there is another design with cows. They are really cute.

This isn't really clear, but here is the matching soup cup.

Here is the cat and mouse version of the soup cup and plate. It says Nekko damashi, Tricking the cat. I love this because at the other end the mouse is holding the string to move the fish bone.

Here you can see the mouse holding on to the string and that the fish has gone past the cat's legs. Japan has a lot of dishes like this that are cute and fun.

These tea cups are more traditional in style. They came with the coasters, but that's not typical. usually you just buy one cup at a time, but this was a set.

This is a bowl with grapes and grape leaves. It's more of an oval shape than a circle. There are so many different styles and shapes when it comes to dishes that it can be hard to decide which ones you want, but at the same time it makes it easy to find the style that you like. I usually get stuck looking at tableware for a good hour or two. lol

This is probably my favorite cup. It is smaller, but it fits in my hand perfectly and I love the color on the cup! I will be using this cup the most.

I had to show this picture. This is a gift set that Sato received when he went to one of his friend's wedding. These are containers with tea leaves inside and it came with a spoon for removing the tea leaves from the canisters. I like these canisters and will continue to keep tea leaves in them once I use up the tea leaves that came with them.

I hope you enjoyed the little display of tableware that I gave here. This doesn't even come close to how many I have seen since I moved here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My First Apartment!

Here is a view of the TV (it came with the apartment), the closet and the steps up to my bed.

Here you can see how the the steps lead to my bed. A portion of the table is visible. Next to the bed outside of this frame is the doorway.

Here is a clear view of the doorway towards the stairs. Sato's mom is in the background looking out the window. There is a little space to the right of her, but I will show you that space a little later.

This is a view of the main room from the doorway. I was taking pictures from the right side of the window. The closet is visible in the upper left hand corner and part of my bed is visible in the lower left hand corner.

Here is my kitchen! Hahaha I'm not sure if it really qualifies as a kitchen, but I will call it my kitchen since I will be cooking here. Wish me luck!

Next to my kitchen is the room for my washer (came with the apartment) the toilet is behind the closed door. The shower and bath is in a separate room on the right side of this frame.

The sink is in the shower and bath room. I guess this way I don't have to worry cleaning up the water that spills on the floor. It will dry since it is the bath and shower room.

Here is the view from leaving the washer and bath and looking to the left.

This is the view to the right when leaving the washer and shower room. My refrigerator is visible and on top of the fridge is my microwave, both items came with the apartment. The stairs is slightly visible on the left of the fridge and then to the right of the window is the little extra space of the apartment.

Here is a view of my stairs coming up from my front door. When you come into my apartment you have to walk up these stairs, which are a little steep, to get to my apartment.

This is a view of that little extra space that I have in my apartment. I haven't figured out what I want to do with this space yet. Maybe storage? The windows look over the stairs and I can look down and see my front door.

Like this. You take your shoes off as soon as you get into my apartment. There is a shoe box for all my shoes and I can store some extra ones, like guests shoes under the very first step. This is a pretty new apartment, built only three years ago. There are some scrapes and other damage here and there, but that is to be expected with a rental. No pets are allowed which is a bummer, but I will survive. Just to let you know this apartment is probably on the bigger side for how much I am paying. If I was closer to the downtown area it would cost more and probably be smaller. I hope you like my apartment as much as I do!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Apartment Renting

    Renting an apartment in Japan is a process! First, it makes things much simpler if you know someone and that person will be your co-signer or sign the lease for you. Of course, the likely-hood of people knowing someone in Japan is very slim so I got very lucky in that my boyfriend was willing to sign the lease for me. I just have to pay him every month for the rent. Otherwise, I would have had to wait until my Gaijin card was ready (which it won't be until Sept. 24-30). Once I had a Gaijin card I had to show proof that I had a job and an income from that job to pay for the rent and utilities. I also would have needed a reference to show that I would be a good tenant and not cause the rental agency any problems.
   It would have been a long process that would have required me to not have a permanent place to live (which you need one to get your Gaijin card, bank account and job). Everything was a back and forth kind of thing that can make you go insane if you don't have something set up before you leave for Japan. If you don't know anybody I highly recommend that you find a job that will help you with your visa, apartment location and going to register for your Gaijin card. If you do it the way I did I really hope you know someone very trustworthy to help you out.
   Well, I am finally in my apartment and am staring at my boxes since I don't have a pair of scissors (I think it is in one of my boxes, college education thinking right there) I will be using keys to break open the tape. Considering that I had 7 big boxes, they all fit in my apartment and I still have plenty of room. The rent is about $500/month and the apartment was built 3 years ago. It even has the brand new smell to the apartment!
   Well, I am off to attack my boxes and take pictures of all the damages. I should have pictures of my apartment up soon!

Sakae nights

This is a picture of the Nagoya TV Tower and some billboards in a park. Yeah, that's Coach on the left, they have a lot of stores here.

Sato and I thought this billboard with the Kewpie doll on it was funny. Usually Ad's have famous people advertising and getting people's attention, but on this one they used the Kewpie Doll.

In this picture 3 different department stores are visible. A subway entrance is visible on the lower right hand side.

Here is another subway entrance on the lower left side. I like the heart advertisement on the side of the department store. Not that I remember what the Ad was for, just that it was so simple.

I had no particular reason for taking this picture, but the lights on the side of the LeJac building were flashing and I wanted to see if I could capture them. I was able to catch the lights in a moment when they had flashed on! Also, here is a shot of a taxi, just to let you know Nagoya is full of taxi's! It's ridiculous, there are more taxi's than people to use them and at least half, if not more, of the cars on the road are taxi's. I say some of the taxi's need to go, but that's just me.

Sato and I went to the Nagoya 109 movie theatre to watch Resident Evil was alright. I had more fun taking pictures from the top of the building. In this picture you can see a different view of Nagoya and 2 trains going by. One was an express train so it is the stream of lights on the left hand side. The local train you can see the windows of the train in the middle of the picture. Underneath the raised railroad you can see a parking lot full with cars.

Here is a full view of Sakae from the top of the Nagoya 109 Cinemas building. There is so much lights from the city that stars are not visible. I haven't seen stars since I left Washington almost 2 weeks ago!

I had to take a picture of this building. It is a college building, but the architecture is just really interesting. It was made to look like a spiral going up towards the sky. I really like this building, never been inside, but I can appreciate it from the outside.