Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Big Sleep in Japan Part 2

The main reason of this visit was seeing my almost 98-year-old grandma. Nothing is wrong with her yet but it is inevitable for her to be getting frail.

The 7th memorial of the death of my favorite film director Kihachi Okamoto was during my visit. So I went to Ikebukuro to see his films and immensely enjoyed them. I decided to visit his grave near my parents’ place. And near the same cemetery, I found a "cat street" on the way to the Toshiro Mifune’s grave. In no time, two friendly cats with attitude showed up.

More incidents made me think about life and death: my grandma’s mind occasionally experiencing a fine line between the past and present, the 100th anniversary of Taro Okamoto’s birth, my aunt giving me the watch of her recently late daughter (my cousin), etc...   Although these experiences are not exactly happy, I wasn’t depressed either. Somehow, I accepted that life is a part of death and vice-versa.

Later my mom and I went to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka.
I was very jealous of the little kids who were able to get on the Neko (cat) Bus from "My Neighbor Totoro".


Then we went to a Neko Cafe near the museum. A Neko Cafe is one of the new trends in Japan; a cafe with several free roaming (or sleeping) cats, and customers pet and play with them. I had been a little worried that it could’ve been abusive for the cats. As far as I saw, cats are masters here like anywhere else.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Big Sleep in Japan Part1(日本語版)






Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Big Sleep in Japan Part 1

I was in Japan less than a week before the Earthquake and Tsunami hit there.
It was the first visit in 6 years and I had a great time.
So, I was devastated when I heard the news.
I dedicate this entry to wonderful everyday life in Japan and such brave people trying to restore it.

 I went to  Shibuya to see my college friends. This is the world famous street crossing. Japan is a small country with lots of people and vibrant energy . Which way to go?

At Taro Okamoto Museum in Kawasaki city. Okamoto is a Japanese master avant-garde painter/sculptor. Kawasaki is his hometown as well as mine. My mom and I visited on the very day of his100th anniversary of  birth without knowing it! It was nice to see avant-garde arts surrounded by a gentle suberbian nature.

Chef caught a big tuna at Tsukiji Fish Market and he is so proud!!

One of the greatest pleasure of traveling Japan is visiting Onsen (Hot Springs) . Another friend and I went to Yugawara onsen near Tokyo. The ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) we stayed had two outdoor hot springs and lots of delicacies using local ingredients, served in our own room. This is the best way to talk to a long-time-no-see good friend!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hina Matsuri

Today (3/3) is Girls' Day or Doll Festival in Japan.
Families with young daughters display Hina Dolls (like above in human figures) to pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls.
Feel free to use below for coloring (click to enlarge).