Thursday, June 14, 2018

Grateful for visiting friends...





The heavens have been really kind to me lately.

Probably aware of the fact that I've been missing my friends and aware of the challenge of finding real friends in the city, the gods have been very kind to make sure that friends from Manila, Singapore, and elsewhere come to Tokyo either for vacation or a business trip recently. Yay!

A few weeks ago, the ex's best friend was in town. Last week, Makii and Paul were in town. This week, Lionel is in town.

Really grateful for friends who come to Tokyo whether it's for vacation or for business.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

6月8日:今日は。。。

Today's writing practice:

鯨の死去はおなかの中から80枚のプラスチックのゴミが原因でした。

タイのニュース、タイの南の海岸(かいがん)で鯨 (くじら)が見つかりました。その鯨は雄(おす)です。

海岸の近くに住んでいる人たちは、その鯨を助けようとしましたが、(たす蹴ようとしました)鯨は死にました。(しにました)

鯨を調べるとおなかの中から80枚(まい)以上(いじょう)のプラスチックのゴミが見つかりました。

その記事(きじ)はひほうです。海にはたくさんのプラスチックのゴミがあるので魚が死んでいるのです。みんなで大自然(だいしぜん)をた

もつのをいしょうにきょうりょくしなければなりませんと思います。

Friday, June 1, 2018

6月1日:今日は。。。



Today's writing practice:

宮内ちは天皇陛下と皇后さまを描いた絵ができたとはっぴょうしました。絵はたてとよこが2mの油絵です。

天皇陛下と皇后さまを描いた絵がなかったため、宮内庁は2013年に画家のノダヒロシさんにかいてほしいとお願いました。

ノダさんにとって点横柄kたと皇后さまの絵を描くのは光栄 (こうえい)だと思います。天皇陛下と皇后さまの絵を描く人は少しです。どんな絵だろう。見たいです。

Thursday, May 24, 2018

5月24日:今日は。。。



鎌倉市に有名なお寺があります。

大仏園というお寺です。そのお寺は800年ぐらい前に作られました。最近、さびができたり汚れてきました。

おととし掃除をしました。専門家によると近くの海から吹く風や鳥のふんなどが原因です。お寺はさびなどができないようにする方法を考えたいと言っています。

大仏園は日本の国宝だと思います。だから大仏園を保つのは大切です。みんなは国宝を保つのを支えなければなりません。

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hiking in Japan: First visit to Takaosan...







In a recent post, I mentioned something about starting two new hobbies.

I started the second hobby yesterday - hiking!

In Singapore, I was able to do a lot of easy hikes thanks to my good friend Kok Kuan. Yup, there are hiking places in Singapore. Maybe they’re not hardcore hiking spots but they’re still a good escape from the city.

Yesterday, I finally got to do my first hike in Japan.

Mt. Takao is one of the most popular hiking places near Tokyo. It’s about an hour away from my place. It’s very accessible.

Prior to the trip, I bought a pair of hiking shoes and other hiking stuff (pants, backpack, shirt, and so on). Though Takao is a relatively easy hike, I still wanted to look the part of a hiking fan. Lol! I think I succeeded in that aspect.

Anyway, I got up at 6 on Sunday. There were some hits and misses with the train. Lol! I had to change trains twice. The first train was a local train. I knew I was on the right train when I saw many other hikers with their gear and all. Haha!

The great thing about Takao is that there are six trails (and a few other difficult trails). I wanted to take the less popular trails but I decided to stick with Trail 1 when I started panting after the first 2 kilometers of the ascent. Lol!

You see, you can actually “cheat” the climb. To shorten the climb, you can take a cable car and that cuts your hiking time by more than an hour I suppose. I decided to ditch the cable car and went for the 3.8 km hike up to the Takao Information Center. I decided that since it was my first visit, I should do Trail 1 and check out the popular places along the way such as the Yakuoin Temple.

Actually, Trail 1 is not difficult at all. The first 2 km was a challenge because it was pretty steep. However, the path is generally paved so no problems there.

For my descent, I decided to take Trail 4 and that felt a real hike because it was in the middle of the forest.

You could also tell the seasoned hikers from the rest because they knew hiking etiquette. I lost count of the number of times I said “konnichiwa” on my way down. Lol!

Anyway, it was a really, really, really good hike. The best part was seeing Mt. Fuji.

At first, I didn’t see her because the clouds blocked the view. Suddenly, people started exclaiming “Sugoi! Sugoi!” I took a second look and there she was. Really, really pretty.

I also enjoyed my lunch - tororo soba and oden. Actually, I packed some onigiri which I planned to eat at the summit. However, I decided to go for soba and oden. They were gooood!

I’m defo going to go hiking again next month. As I enjoyed my lunch, I texted my best friend in Manila and said, “I’m genuinely genuinely feeling very happy right now.”

Don’t get me wrong. Tokyo is a great city and all but I really need to escape the city at times. Many people think I’m crazy for saying that. I stopped explaining myself. Lol. Anyway, this topic is for another post.

For now, I just want to write that I’m SO glad to have been able to do a hike. I will definitely make it into a monthly thing.

Next month, I’ll try to go to Nokogiriyama. Excited.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Friday...

Japanese version follows below

Today was a bit humid.

I guess summer is here. Haha! Thankfully, Cool Biz dress code has started this week. Otherwise, I would be sweating like crazy.

Today was my fake day off. Fake because it's only half day. In the morning, I had three lessons. After my third lesson, I headed home, changed and went for a jog around the Palace.

After that I headed back home to take a shower, change and return again to the office for two lessons. Unfortunately, my 1PM didn't show up today. The student was probably busy at work.

Too bad but that also meant I got to go home early.

In the afternoon, I did a bit of housework. Then, I bought some stuff for my day trip on Sunday. A few posts ago, I mentioned starting two new hobbies this month.

The second hobby starts on Sunday... provided that the weather cooperates.

Looking forward to it. Hehe!

Happy weekend!

日本語のバージョン:

今日は蒸し暑いよ。

夏になりるそうです。笑。 神をおかげさまです、今週は仕事でCool Bizを始まったよ。

今日は僕のお休みよ。でも、半日だけだよ。朝は三つのレッスンがあったよ。08:30のレッスンの後で帰って、着替えて、皇居の周りにジョギングをしたよ。とても暑かったよ。

ジョギングの後は家に帰って、シャワーを浴びて、会社に戻りたよ。

午後に仕事の後では家に掃除した。後は銀座に行って、買い物をしたよ。

今週の日曜日にもう一つの新しい趣味をはじまるよ。いい天気があるといいね。

楽しみによ。笑。

週末が楽しんで。

Monday, May 14, 2018

Japanese skills put to a test...



Yesterday, I survived a date in Japanese. Haha!

The person does not speak English well (or maybe the person does but just doesn't want to. Lol!)

In any case, the whole time we were together we spoke in Japanese. Okay, maybe we used some English but only one or two sentences.

Before meeting up, I told the person to use simple Japanese words and to speak more slowly. Lol!

It turned out okay, I think.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Random Friday blah...



It was a busy week. Maybe because it's because after Golden Week. People are back at work. People are back in Tokyo. So yeah, Tokyo is crowded once again. Haha! It doesn't really bother me because I don't really like going to Shibuya or Shinjuku. If I do go to those areas, the places I go to are in the less crowded areas.

As for the trains, I haven't been taking the train so often. Given the nice weather, I've been walking to work and back home almost every day. Hehe. It's not much of an exercise because it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes but it still counts for something I guess.

I haven't had a chance to go for a run this week. I'm planning to go for a run this afternoon after my Japanese lessons.

Tonight, I'm having dinner with a visiting friend from Singapore. Like I said, God has been good enough to send my friends to Tokyo almost every month. Maybe he knows how I feel here. Haha!

Anyway, I had made another decision recently. I'll say I'm almost 90% decided. I chatted with Tey and with Tipz and I'm glad to get their support.

Long story short: as much as I enjoy hitting the drums, there's just something that's off. So I guess I should move on and try to find whatever it is somewhere else.

"I still haven't found what I'm looking for" is playing in my head.

I guess I'm kind of going to miss it. I wouldn't say I'm super good but I think I'm good. Lol.

Thinking about it now, I also decided to just go for one-to-one Japanese lessons instead of my usual small group lessons. I felt like the group lesson's not really working for me. I only feel bad about myself when I go for the lesson and I decided I'm not going to sit in another lesson for two hours feeling bad about myself. Lol.

Changes, changes....

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Afternoon in Tokyo series: Andaz Tokyo



So, I started one of two new hobbies(?)/activities of interest today.

Afternoon tea at the different hotels in Tokyo... Haha!

That's one of the things I kind of liked a lot when I was still living in Singapore - brunch and sometimes, afternoon tea. Hehe!

Sooo.... today I headed to my first of many venues - Andaz Tokyo at Toranomon Hills.

Initially, the weather forecast was cloudy so I wasn't expecting a great view. Also, I booked a table via this great site called JPNEazy. For a measly ¥500, they were able to book a table for me. Of course, I asked for a table by the window but they told me the lounge was fully booked.

Surprise, surprise. When I arrived at the place this afternoon, not only was I able to get in about an hour before my reserved time, they also gave me a table by the window. Hurrah!

The afternoon tea is at the Andaz Tavern on the 51st floor. Because this is Japan (or maybe because it’s Andaz... lol!), the decors, the design was pure understated elegance.

I think the afternoon menu changes every so often. For summer, the theme is tomato from Kumamoto (based on the website).

The sweet and savory creations were served on a three-tiered stand. I’m not really a tea person, so I just got a latte instead. Hehe!

At first, I thought I would finish everything in under an hour. I had to tell myself that part of the afternoon tea experience is to enjoy the view and the food.

So, I made sure I got my money’s worth and stayed for about 2 hours. Haha! I didn’t feel guilty at all because 1.) I paid an insane amount of money and 2.) the place was not packed at all. Anybody could have walked in and they would have gotten a table immediately. Hehe!

Food was enjoyable. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it because it was tomato but I actually loved everything. The service, of course, was great.

I spent a good amount of time taking photos of the food and the outside view. One of the wait staff approached me and asked if there was something wrong with my food. Haha! So I just explained that I was taking photos of everything.

After the meal (and to feel less guilty about what I ate), I walked back to my place from Andaz Tokyo at a leisurely pace. It took me just about an hour. It wasn’t far at all. In the morning, I went for a 7K run. Hehe!

It was a good first experience for afternoon tea in Tokyo. Next month, I’ll try another place. Haha!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Solo karaoke X ohitorisama life...



Recently, I learned of the "Ohitorisama" culture. It refers to people living and doing things alone. (hitori means one person. sama is an honorific title "Mr./Ms." o is an honorific prefix.

To some people, I know doing things alone seems depressing or unbearable. Not to me. For as long as I can remember, I've been okay doing things on my own. When I did my internship in university, I had lunch on my own because I was the only intern in my department and my bosses had their own schedules. I've never had any issues watching movies on my own or dining alone. True that I'm clingy to my friends, but yeah I don't mind being on my own when no one's around.

And it seems I've found the perfect place to live the "ohitorisama" life. Haha!

I've yet to find the same kind of friends I have in Manila and in Singapore. For some reason, most of the people I meet here turn out to be one-way kind of friendships. I was the one always inviting the other party to do something.

I learned my lesson the painful way. Lol. Example, there was this one person I hung out with. One time, I lamented how I have no real friends in Tokyo. The person said, "Hey! I'm your friend." Gullible person that I am, I believed him. But whenever I invited this person to hang out, there was always some kind of excuse. Eventually, I just got tired dealing with the BS and stopped making an effort. There were a few other similar encounters.

Oh well, I'm sure they have their reasons and it's perfectly fine. Thankfully, there are still a few who I think I can consider as real friends.

But recently, I had this realization than I'm done with such kinds of toxic relationships.

So, enter the decision to adopt the "Ohitorisama" life, at least for now.

Haha! That was such a long introduction, what I really wanted to say was that I found this awesome karaoke place for solo people! It's a chain and there's one that's really, really close to my house.

Since today's a holiday, I decided to check it out.

It was goooooood!!! Hmm, the selection of English songs were updated. The downside is you should probably know how to read hiragana/katakana, at least. That's because you'll have to register as a member. Also, if you want to sing Japanese songs, there's no romaji option so hiragana/katakana knowledge would be useful. Chinese and Korean songs are also available.

Because it's Golden Week, the place was almost deserted. I imagine it gets busy on regular days. It was a good decision to check it out tonight.

The facilities were really good. They have a drink all you can station.

One of the really good things as well, and this is going to sounds really "ohitorisama", is that you can sing as crazy as you want, you can sing whatever song you want, you don't have to wait for your turn to sing. While it is true that karaoke with friends is probably more fun, there are times when you just want to sing your heart out. Haha!

The name of the place is 1Kara. They've got a few branches in Tokyo. Will definitely be back soon....