Hiro in Kid’s Tokei

Posted May 2nd, 2012 in Japan, Ume and Baby, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Hiro at 08:50 (AM).

Website →Kid’s Tokei

Hiro at 20:41 (PM).

This one doesn’t look like Hiro…  but I remember he kept trying to move around.  The location was at the church.

He looks hilarious.

☺☺☺


Japan – Channel 9 & Character Nippon

Posted April 7th, 2012 in Japan, Perth WA | No Comments »

There will be a 30minutes of TV program showing about Japan’s earthquake on channel 9 (Perth WA) –

08 April 2012, 5:00PM on Channel 9 (Perth WA)

<Nippon – a country of unique characters>

In recent years, interest in Japanese subculture, particularly in anime and manga, has dramatically grown all over the world. What exactly are “characters”? Why do characters appear and become popular? What kind of social reality do they reflect? Focusing on the theme “Characters and the Japanese,” this exhibition will showcase, through visual images and panels, characters commonly known to Japanese people that have triggered fads. The purpose of this exhibition is to introduce the world of characters in a broader sense and examine their impact on Japanese society.

©Tezuka Productions/Mushi Production | ©Fujio Productions | ©Tsuburaya Productions | ©FUJIKO STUDIO | ©HIKARI PRO.

Character Nippon

Date:
17 April 2012 (Tuesday) ~ 03 May 2012 (Thursday)

Weekdays:
10:00AM – 4:45PM
Saturdays:
2:00PM – 4:45PM
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Where:
Gallery Central (12 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge)

Free Entrance!!!

Enquiry: 08 9480 1800


It’s been a year…

Posted March 11th, 2012 in Japan | No Comments »

1 year ago today, the big earthquake and tsunami hit to-hoku Japan.  It’s been a year….  I still can’t believe it somehow.  I remember watching the news on tv in Perth while holding a newborn Hiro in my arms.

There are still many people who are missing.  Many people have lost everything and still live in temporary houses.  It’s still cold and some area are snowing right now.  (yes, it’s already March but it’s still snowing!  This winter is very different)

As one year passed, people are trying to move forward from the nightmare.  The bus left on top of the building had been removed recently.  Some people said the bus should be kept there to remind us how huge the tsunami was, but some people couldn’t just bare looking at it as it reminded them of their missing families and friends.

Since the earthquake and tsunami, there have been many people who have been suffering from many things.  The radiation is the biggest issue.  Many of Japanese foods, buildings, water… everything was contaminated around that area.  It’s sad that now you cannot enjoy Japanese food 100%.  People doubt if the food is ok.  It’s sad because I was very proud of Japanese food before.  I thought Japanese food is the most delicious, safest food – now not anymore.

Even Japanese people who live in Perth don’t want to buy products from Japan.  One of my friend here is thinking to start up the service where she supply Made-in Australia/New Zealand baby foods to Japan, because many of mums in Japan are worried to give Japanese products to their babies.

One positive news about Japan is that since the earthquake people started to be more supportive to each other and have stronger fellow-feeling.   I’ve seen this word “kizuna” (bond) everywhere while I was in Japan.  “Ganbare Nippon”  “Makeruna Nippon”.

….

I’m with Twitter and hear many scary things related to the radiation, everyday. That makes me not want to go to near To-hoku for at least next few years. (I still want to go back to my house though…).  That is sad that I hesitate to go back to my home country which I love so much.

I greatly feel sorry for the people – especially the ones with children who were exposed to the radiation.  It’s nightmare….  I can’t imagine how sad, confused, and heartbroken they must feel when hearing that their children may develop thyroid cancer in future.


Kid’s Tokei

Posted February 8th, 2012 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Kids version of bijin tokei has been on internet for some time but I didn’t know about it at all until I saw one ad of a photo studio near my house looking for models for Kid’s Tokei.  Haha, I’m not a mother who wants to make my own child to be famous or star, but the deal at the photo studio was really good (2000yen for printed photo, data, unlimited costume change etc) .  The deal was that I had to send the photo taken at the studio to kid’s tokei to enter the competition, and had to write down the name of the studio as a referrer.

On the day of photo shoot, I realized his chin was covered with red rash. It was perfectly clean till the day before, but why today! (><). Anyway we had our booking and headed to the studio.
For the costume I was thinking taxido but we decided to use “Momo-taro” instead. Hiro was happy…. just until we tried to change his clothes. He started crying when he saw “strangers” (staff at the studio). He cried and cried, and all his photo was his unhappy face with tears 😐

This is the photo we chose out of those screamig faces…

I didn’t think he would be chosen for Kid’s Tokei, but I sent this photo anyway.

….. Guess what! He is chosen for a Kid’s-tokei model!

We are having the photo shoot for website this Friday, and he will be on kid’s-tokei website around May this year :))). I want to update about it when it comes closer to the date.


Super Cold Climate Hits Japan!

Posted February 3rd, 2012 in Japan | No Comments »

Japan has been attacked by super cold climate, and it’s been snowing hard in the area around Japanese Ocean since few days ago. Here in Shiga also gets lots of snow, and yesterday the snow level went over 1 metre. Very cold. No, I don’t feel “cold”actually,  it’s rather “pain” that I feel. :p

Many people have been suffering in this snow as they have to dig out their car from the snow and pass-way from the house to the car-way. They wake up around 4am just to dig out the snow before going to work.
Yesterday, kindergarten, elementally school, and junior high school in my area were closed because of the snow.  Today the schools started 2 hours later than usual.

There are many accidents occurred due to the snow across Japan, and it’s been the top news on tv these day. Not only northern area of Japan but also Kagoshima (Kyushu island near Okinawa) was snowing yesterday too!!!   Many people must be fed up with these heavy snow already but actually I still like it. Although I’m stuck at home whole day and can’t go out anywhere, I still like watching it, digging it, and playing with it.  It must be because I was born in a snowing day. (my birthday is coming up, I just realized :p) I feel happy that I can enjoy the view of this beautiful white world before going back to Perth.

Change of subject, today is 3rd of February, and it’s Setsubun in Japan. As I wrote about Setsubun “here“, we eat a whole sushi roll while looking toward this year’s good-luck direction (this year is north-north-west).  The sushi roll shouldn’t be cut, so you have to hold it and bite it as if you are eating a burger.

We ordered a sushi platter from a sushi place near the house, and also few Eho-maki rolls from Seven Eleven convenience store. As well as normal Eho-maki (which contains lucky 7 ingredient inside) I ordered “Fruits-maki” (strawberry, kiwi & banana with whipped cream and sponge cake). It looks just like sushi roll but it a rolled cake covered with dusted cocoa powder which resembles to nori sheet. I thought it’s funny and also a great dessert on Setsubun 🙂

I also bought a pack of soy beans for the Setsubun ceremony – throwing the beams while saying “fuku-wa-uchi” “oni-wa-soto”. I don’t know if we’ll do that inside the house as my little monkey may pick up the beans from the ground and eat it.  Then we eat the soybeans according to our age.  If you are 15 years old you get to eat 15 beans.  Packed soy beans sold in stores are cooked and edible.

Japan has many interesting traditions and events through out a year. I want to continue doing these thing after going back to Australia 🙂


Tanita Shokudo

Posted January 13th, 2012 in Japan | No Comments »

Tanita is the world leader in precision electronic scales. With almost 50% of its domestic market share, the name of Tanita is now a household word in Japan.  By using Tanita’s BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) technology, our body composition monitors can measure #your: weight, body fat percentage, body water percentage, muscle mass, physique rating, basal metabolic rate (BMR), daily caloric intake (DCI), metabolic age, bone mass, and visceral fat.  … Amazing!

On 11th January this year, just 2 days ago, Tanita opened a cafeteria called Tanita Shokudo in Marunouchi, Tokyo.  A scale company and food?  It seems odd at first, but there’s a big relation between them – health.

There is a cafeteria inside Tanita company in Japan, and the food there had became famous for being healthy.  Many workers there said they lost weight because of the food they eat at the company everyday.  Because of that, Tanita has published two cooking books showing the recipes of the food they cook at the cafeteria.  Now, they opened a cafeteria in public so that anyone can enjoy Tanita’s food.

Their concepts for the food are “healthy – low calorie)”, “nutritious”, and “wa-shoku (Japanese cuisine)”.

There is a counseling room at the entrance with a big scale (of course Tanita brand) where customers can check their weight etc and get advice from Tanita’s nutritionist for free.

All the food there looks so tempting to me!  I love healthy food.  And I love Japanese food!

I saw Tanita’s recipe books in a section of “popular books” at a book store the other day.  Looks interesting too!

Rakuten Books Tanita Shokudo 1 Rakuten Books Tanita Shokudo 2

Amazon Amazon


Yummy Japanese Drinks at Starbucks

Posted January 12th, 2012 in Japan | 2 Comments »

Today my friend picked us up and went out to had little snack at Starbucks. Unlikely I didn’t feel like having coffee (I’d already had 2 cups this mowning) so I ordered Double-squeezed Fruits Juice ¥220 (Starbucks brand drink in a paper pack). I didn’t feel like sweets either coz I had 2 donuts this morning, so ordered chicken and roots vegetable salad wrap ¥290.

The location is lovely – this Starbucks is located just near Biwako Lake shore, and I could see many cute ducks floating on the water throu a window. Because it was cold there’s no one siting on the chairs outside. Drive-thru got lots of cars with people wanting to get hot drinks.

My fried ordered caramel latte, cheese cake and pancakes. Looks yummy 🙂

My wrap was smaller than I thought : it was just half size. But I felt good eating salad and root vegetables because I’ve been eating meat and fish most of the time here.

It tasted ok. 🙂

It was shame I didn’t feel like sweets because I saw a big board with a photo of delicious-looking drinks!

Azuki Matcha Latte…

Matcha White Chocolate!

Soy Ho-ji-cha Tea Latte!

There are cold version of Azuki Matcha Latte & Soy Azuki Matcha as well, but in this cold weather people will go for hot drinks (unless they are thirsty or feel already warm after exercise).


Happy New Year 2012

Posted January 2nd, 2012 in Japan | No Comments »

Happy New Year!

It was a sunny new year’s day yesterday.  My mum came over, and we stayed home eating all day on the 1st Jan.

We grilled mochi (rice cakes) on the stove.

Mochi was little burnt, but it was delicious.  This is zenzai (azuki bean soup with rice cake).

We had sukiyaki, funa-no-nitsuke, zenzai and seasoned rice in the morning!  Oh, plus red wine (not me though).

Funa is a fish which lives in Biwa lake.  It has distinguished taste, texture, and smell.  Its eggs are delicious 🙂  I’ve been eating this since I was a child, but I guess it’s what only Shiga people do.

On the 2nd, we went to hatsumode (first visit to shrine to celebrate the new year).  We thought there’d be many people on the 1st, and wanted to avoid all the crowd.

We prayed, and bought taiyaki, okonomiyaki, takoyaki & mochi from food stalls outside.  It was our lunch.

Dinner was this huge steak…..  The fat is marbled.  It was very tender and delicious.

It was eat→ sleep → eat → sleep ….  day.  Just what New Year should be in Japan!


New Year in Japan

Posted December 30th, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

Just like Christmas is the biggest event of a year in many countries, New Year’s Day is the biggest day of a year in Japan.  There’re many sales and events around the end of the year, and people go last-minutes-shopping to prepare for the coming year.  You can hear New Year’s song everywhere and feel that New Year is coming.

Before New Year’s Day, people usually spend busy by cleaning the house and finishing all the chores they have to do within the year.  But once New Year’s Day comes, people stay at home relaxing, eating, and spending time with families.

This year, I could experience white Christmas and normal Japan’s New Year with families.  Everything are not the same as before (e.g. Now I can’t stay awake until late because I’m very tired from looking after Hiro all day), but I enjoy this homecoming trip pretty much.  I just remembered how funny Japanese tv shows are!  Especially around this time of the year there’re many comedy shows on tv and they’re seriously funny.  I’ve been laughing as if I’ve gone crazy!

2011 was not a happy year for Japan.  Big earthquake, tsunami, and many people lost their families.  But, because of the event, people could realize somethings – importance of ECO (saving the power), and warmth of people.  We appreciate people who came and supported the victims from outside this country. We felt so close to each other.  Families are important.  Friends are important.  Mates are important.  And, “life” could be so short and fragile.  Now the things are getting better and we are about to welcome a new year in few days.  I appreciate all that, and hope 2012 will be a happier year.

Now, snowing has stopped and I can see blue sky during the day.  There’s still big chunks of snow on the side of the roads, but it seems that it’s not going to snow for awhile here.  I hope the New Year’s Day is going to be a sunny day.  We will go to a shrine to celebrate and pray for the new year (hatsumode) as an annual event, and I think there’ll be many people.  I slipped on the snow on the road and hit my head last time (2 years ago), so I hope it doesn’t happen this time!

I hear it’s around 40 degrees in Perth these days.  Being here made me realise that I prefer cold climate to hot climate.  I love winter in Japan.  I love snow, I love the clean cold air, and I love taking hot bath in a cold night (and day).  I can’t wait to go to Disney Land or Universal Studio Japan, onsen trip, and play with snow when Hiro is older.

As there is one more day to New Year’s Day, and I’ve pretty much done all the shopping.  I think I will stay home tomorrow trying to clean the house so that we can welcome a new year with clean mind and clean house 🙂


White Christmas in Japan

Posted December 25th, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

When I woke up this morning, outside was like this.

WHITE CHRISTMAS ☆☆☆☆☆

Hiro enjoyed his first Christmas in snow 🙂

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!