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My car and my bike are already on their long way back home, so I can only reach my last destinations in Japan by public transportation. Yesterday, I visited a beautiful place in eastern Osaka Prefecture, Hoshi no Buranko (星のブランコ) suspension bridge in Hoshida Prefectural Park. It is one of the...
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Biwako Biennale is an art festival established in 2001. Presented in 18 different venues, the artwork is exhibited in abandoned traditional Japanese houses renovated by residents of Hikone and Omihachiman. Link: https://energyfield.org/biwakobiennale/en/
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Days 8: Hill of the Buddha, Hakusen no taki On the day of my departure, I had the rental car for a few more hours. I decided to visit Rarumanai Natural Park in Eniwa (恵庭市), south of Sapporo. Eniwa Gorge is an 18-kilometer long valley with three scenic waterfalls along...
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Days 6, 7: Niseko and Noboribetsu On days 6 and 7 I explored the area southwest of Sapporo. The weather was significantly cooler and wetter. I stopped over in Niseko (ニセコ), a famous ski resort around Yōtei-zan (羊蹄山), a volcano in the Shikotsu-Tōya National Park. Of course...
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Day 5: Nemuro Peninsula Day 5 was a journey from one peninsula (Shiretoko) to the next (Nemuro), then to the volcanic lakes in the center of Hokkaido, and unfortunately, a detour back to Asahigawa where I had forgotten my cellphone recharger. Nemuro Peninsula (根室半島) is on...
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Day 3: the North 500 kilometers around the northern cape. Hard to believe that this is Japan. Almost no cars, no people. A shot of the coastline along the northwestern shore, Teshio District: Cape Sōya (宗谷岬) in Wakkanai is the northernmost point of Hokkaido. Many...
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Day 2: around Furano On the second day, I was exploring the area around Furano (富良野). Being a fan of Tadao Ando, I visited the Chapel on the Water, a wedding chapel located on the grounds of the Hoshino Resorts Tomamu. The next destination was the famous Blue Pond (青い池...
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イェンス
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Day 1/02 Moerenuma Park (in Japanese: モエレ沼公園 Moerenuma Kōen) is a municipal park in Sapporo conceived as 'one complete sculpture' built on garbage reclaimed land. It was designed by the Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi and opened in 2005. Hidamari Glass...
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Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Day 1/01 The Hill of Buddha (in Japanese: 頭大仏 Atama Daibutsu) is a Buddhist monument created by the renowned Japanese architect Andō Tadao (安藤 忠雄, ~ 13 Sep 1941) located at Makomanai Takino Cemetery (真駒内滝野霊園) in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The Buddha statue is 13.5 meters tall and...
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thomas
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Yesterday, we decided to veer off our usual bicycle heatmaps in Kanagawa and head up to Lake Tama (多摩湖 Tamako) located at the prefectural border to Saitama. Tamako and Sayamako are two artificial lakes that serve as freshwater reservoirs for Tokyo and environs. They are also popular resorts, not...
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nice gaijin
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Culture
Back in the south, on my last day before flying back to Nagoya, we had a little “gokurou-san!” dinner party after training, both for me . Ritsuko-san made some delicious yakisoba and I brought a Bueno chicken with me. My friend had told me that this was a famous chicken and a common thing to...
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nice gaijin
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Week 4 Didn’t take as many extensive notes this week; most of them are written at night and I’ve been too exhausted to write much. Since the kids had finished their performance they only came for Tuesday and Friday’s sessions, but they’ve earned the rest. I’m grateful for the festival, as it...
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Culture
Saturday 9/28/2019: Performance day! The kids did great, smoothly running through their enbu so quickly I was glad I was at the ready with several cameras to capture it. There was a full roster of performances, mostly dance, and throughout the evening various dances with the Shiisa...
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Friday 9/27/2019: Met up with Sensei early today, and went to the Karate Kaikan with him and his wife Ritsuko. We met up with Miguel Da Luz, who I had recognized as an interpreter in some of the videos I’d seen in my research. The kaikan was just finished 3 years ago so there's still plenty to...
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Thursday 9/26/2019: Went to yoga at Asato Dojo and hung out a bit with James (the owner) afterwards. Very interesting conversation, he noted that there was almost no knife work in Okinawan karate, except for a style that does some sword and tanto work, and Nakamoto sensei (I think this is a...
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Week 3 Sensei told me about a monk that came to Okinawa to pray for the restoration of its pristine waters and landscape. He was around the island for 6-8 years and Sensei would see him around the same place all the time. Finally he approached him and asked "what's the purpose of meditation...
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nice gaijin
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Week 2 Classes continue, and the kids have been coming every day to practice with me. After kihon, we'd do kata, then maybe some kobudo. So far I've gone along for Pinan shodan, Pinan nidan, and Passai sho. I've followed along with Naihanchi and Chinto but don't feel too comfortable with them...
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nice gaijin
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This article was written for posterity and translated for Akamine sensei. It was posted to the Matsumura Seito Karate-do Hozonkai homepage. September 13, 2019 / Friday It’s important to know that there are peaceful moves in the kata; the beginning of kusanku is raising your hands in apology, to...
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nice gaijin
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This article was originally posted to The Matsumura Seito Karate-do Hozonkai Homepage. September 12, 2019 / Thursday Well, today is my birthday. I should probably do something to celebrate. Work and train like normal? Sure why not. The ride into the dojo has been getting quicker, I'm down to...
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nice gaijin
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September 11, 2019 / Wednesday I arrived a little early and Akamine Sensei showed me some of his photos. Some were of his students that visited, some of himself and Soken Sensei, including a photo of Sensei when he came to Akamine's wedding; clearly the men shared a deep bond and Akamine Sensei...
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Karate Training with Akamine Sensei - Okinawa 2019 Below are my notes from a month of training with Shihan Yoshimatsu Akamine, a direct student of Sensei Hohan Soken and head of the Shorinryu Matsumura Seito Karate-do Hozon-kai Honbu. September 10 to October 5, 2019. I hope they prove to be of...
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Yesterday, @Maciamo and I met up on Ginza to revisit the Marunouchi District. Both of us hadn't been there in many years. It is quite amazing how many extraordinary places you can see and visit within the radius of just two kilometres! Unfortunately, I had only my iPhone 6 to shoot photos. A...
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thomas
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Myōjin-ga-take (明神ヶ岳) is a wonderful one-day hike in the Hakone region west of Tokyo that covers a distance of roughly 10 kilometres and offers stunning vistas, a venerable temple surrounded by old cedar forests and a friendly onsen resort to regenerate from your hike. Maciamo and I had been...
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musicisgood
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So on the 11th of Nov. 2019, we went to Mojiko in Kita Kyushu. There was a big flea market there, but I can't locate the pictures on my phone, but here are a few with my camera at Mojiko Station. Mojiko Station She looks happy! First time I ever drank coffee at Starbucks, and it sucked...
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musicisgood
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I'll first start by saying I came to Okinawa via the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. I was stationed at Kadena Air Base and then after some time was transferred to Yokota Air Base outside of Tachikawa, at least I always thought so. Didn't have a map at that time. When getting my...
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thomas
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Almost two weeks ago, @Maciamo and I ventured into the city of Kamakura, south of Tokyo. Kamakura has been the de facto capital of Japan from 1192 to 1333 and the seat of the first shogunate founded by Minamoto no Yoritomo during what has been coined - no surprise here - the Kamakura Period...
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"Tokyo hit by heaviest snow since 2014" - whenever the first snowfall hits Tokyo, the city sinks into inescapable chaos. Traffic chaos, that is, not so much caused by the weather itself, but by an ever-swelling tsunami of frantic commuters heeding the advice of companies and authorities to...
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This year’s summer trip will bring us from Kanazawa to Shimane and back to Kobe via Ako and Himeji. It’s the first time for me to travel along the western Sea of Japan. My brother and his wife are with us, and we’re excited to explore terra incognita. This blog will present a random collection...
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We planned a brief stopover in Amanohashidate, one of the three Scenic Views of Japan, but ended up spending the whole day. Here’s why: Wonderful sights, wonderful food, and a roundtrip by boat. We reached Tottori City around 8 pm.
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thomas
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After a hearty breakfast, we set out for Izumo-taisha (出雲大社), the Izumo Grand Shrine. It is located on the northwestern outskirts of the city and is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. Though the exact date of its establishment is unknown, it is believed to be the oldest shrine in...
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thomas
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This video was posted a few days ago by SeaWorld San Diego. It shows a Giant Japanese Spider Crab moulting, a procedure that takes up to six hours. The Japanese spider crab (タカアシガニ taka-ashi-gani, "long-legged crab") has the largest leg span of any arthropod, with some specimen reaching 3.8...
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thomas
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A few impressions of CP+ 2019 at the Yokohama Pacifico, a comprehensive event at which all people living a "life with photography," from those who enjoy simply shooting with smartphones to professional photographers, can experience the joy of cameras and photography from every viewpoint. This...
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