Monday, January 31, 2011

Sato's niece and nephew!

 This is Sae and....

 This is Ryo!

They are twins! They are sooooo cute! Ryo likes meeting new people, but Sae needs time... a lot of time get used to new people. If you just look at her she starts crying. lol But they are still really cute!!

Gachya Gachya toys!

 In Japan there are these little vending machines that have kids toys or key chains, etc in them. I found one with these cats in them. They have different colored cats and sizes.

 They range from the really fat cats to the very tiny kitties! They have magnets on their feet so they are stackable! lol

They were too cute for me to resist! I think it is hilarious that they went into so much detail to even put a little x on their behinds. lol Love it!

Monday, January 17, 2011


 So I went to work on and it was snowing a little bit. This is a view of the snow in Sakae from the 11th floor.

 It didn't look too first! It would stop snowing or at least slow down and I would think "Oh good! I won't have to worry about walking home later." and then 5 minutes later there was a crazy amount of snow blowing around!

 Of course, when I first moved to Nagoya I asked Sato if it snows here. His answer was that it does at least once, but that it never (yes, he said never!) sticks! So when I got home after walking through the snow and getting my feet all nice and cold and wet, I asked him "So, who said that the snow doesn't stick in Nagoya?" and he said ", but this is rare! It only happens like once every 10 years!" Yeah, that's not never!

 We went to eat Udon, because we wanted something nice and it's really close to my apartment.

 The snow was just swirling around in all directions. We saw some cars that had pulled over to the side of the road. Why do people drive fast in snow? I would really like to know, especially when they are driving a little Honda.

 A rare break in the snow flurries and Sato saying "Samu! (cold!)"

 This is what it looked like this morning when I woke up around 9am. It just kept snowing through the night.

And it was still snowing during the day. But, now it seems to have stopped snowing....I'm hoping it stays that way so I can go to work in the morning."

Monta Updates!

 Within the past 2 months Monta has grown so much!! He's practically full grown now! This is Monta fighting the urge to fall asleep and not succeeding. lol

 Monta, being the little prince that he is, felt that he needed a pillow to cushion his behind while eating.

 Monta is soooo cute when he is sleeping!!!

 This is Monta's grumpy face. When I get home from work and I turn on the lights he has this look on his face. He also does the "oh, that's bright!" look, too.

 Monta: "I know it's in here! I just know it is, I can smell it!"

 "Oh, come one! I know you're in here! I'm close, I can feel it!"

 Monta being friendly, yay! It took him about 2 months to finally get used to me.

 I had to take a picture of his feet, because he likes to stand with his feet touching with the toes pointing outwards. I just thought it was cute and that I would share.

 This is Sato working on becoming friendly with Monta. Monta isn't as used to having Sato pet him as he is with me, so Sato is always on the lookout for the signal that he should move his hand away, really quickly!

 Sato playing "Go Fish....for Monta!", but Monta isn't having any of it.
Monta: "What are you doing? Can you just.....throw the string normally?....weirdo."

Monta being naughty and realizing that he was caught red handed he decided to try and play it cool.
Monta: "What? I'm not doing anything..."

Happy New Year's! It is now 2011 and the year of the Rabbit

This is where you cleanse your hands before going to ring the bell and throwing your coin into the box at the shrine. This is the first time I have seen a dragon as the fountain...I like it!

This is what I saw while Sato and I were waiting for midnight to arrive.

After ringing the bell and throwing your coin into the box you get to drink some sake and mochi in sweet red beans.

Sato and I got here about 45 minutes before midnight and yet there were a lot of people already there waiting before us. But, the good news is we got there before the line got REALLY long.

Our turn is getting closer!

This fire, which was built by the fire department and manned by the fire department, helped to warm everybody up while waiting to get to the front of the shrine.

Sato took more than just this one photo of the fire, because he just HAD to get a close up of the fire. lol

I took in the sights of the grounds while we were waiting.

The guardian of the shrine (there's always a pair of them and they sit on opposite sides of each other) and you have to pass by them to get to the shrine.

The sake!

The mochi and sweet red beans! It was really nice and warm!

Me enjoying the mochi and sweet red beans and the sake.

I saw these little statues on my way out and thought they were really cute!

This is the free gift from the temple.

I don't know why they gave out chopsticks, but that's what was inside.

Once Sato and I got back we drank this Sparkling Apple Cider that I found. It was really good, just thinking about it makes me want some.

This is me looking into the bottle and wishing that I could just stick a straw inside and drink the whole thing without sharing. lol

Sato and I went to a different temple in the morning with his parents.

This is Sato passing through the shrine gates. Apparently, you are supposed to go to different shrines that are not just in your ward, but also in the neighboring wards.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shirakawa-go, Gifu

 Sato and I on our way to Shirakawa-go. We were already in Gifu prefecture, but we still had plenty of ground to cover before we got to Shirakawa-go.

 This tree was the first thing I took when we got to Shirakawa-go. We had just gotten off the highway and were still in the car.

 Here is Shirakawa-go! The about the second stop light that we had to get through to get to where we were going.

 This is the first shop of many gift shops that we passed by. Each gift shop sold pretty much the same thing, but some places had higher prices than other places. If you go I would compare prices before purchasing.

 One of the many old houses in Shirakawa-go. The houses are made to last through the heavy snow. At one of the houses there was constant running water on the roof to keep the snow from piling up. At another house, I saw a man walking along the roof and knocking off some of the snow.

 Passing through the gate to the town shrine. Or in this case Sato stopping and putting his hands together before passing through.

 The view from the bridge that goes across to a another little area with some more houses and gift shops.

 It's a little hard to tell but on this shed there was a cut out of some turtles in the wood wall.

 Looking across a snowy field. At the top of this mountain there is a look out point where you can see the entire town. We didn't go up there, but maybe next time.

 This was a persimmon tree that actually had some tiny persimmons growing! The birds were having a feast!

 The persimmon tree.

 This was hanging in front of one of the houses. It is of zouri, shoes, and hyotan, which is a plant that is dried and then used to carry water or more commonly sake. Not used nowadays, but they used to be common place items.

 Sato and I posing with one of the towns snowmen. lol There was also one of a rabbit since it is now the year of the Rabbit.

 The two snowmen that were on the other side of the one that we posed with. The red bucket is supposed to have water in it in case of fire, although I think in this weather it would have been frozen anyways.

 A close up of some of the icicles coming off of the roof tops.

 One of the two town temples. For how small the town is I'm surprised that there are two!

You can see the Koma-inu on the bell tower. They are like guard dogs for the temple. Their mouths are painted red with white teeth, every where else is natural wood.

We had a lot of fun walking around this town and it didn't take very long to walk around, but by the end my toes were frozen even though I was wearing boots and TWO pairs of socks! I was wearing a down jacket so the rest of me wasn't frozen.