Wednesday, December 31, 2008

IUJ Walkway



This is inside the IUJ campus, on the walkway to the main building

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Winter!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Tunnel



This is the temporary tunnel built during the winter time in IUJ. In summer, spring and autumun, this is just a normal walkway from one building to another building, In winter, temporary wooden walls are built to protect the walkway from being swamped by heavy snow. In winter, approx 2 meters of snow will normally cover the entire tunnel. So, you are actually walking in a tunnel with your left and right being filled with snow. Thanks to the wooden wall. If not, we will all be buried live!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sam the Snowman


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Piping


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Okutadami Dam



This dam has the largest water storage capacity in Japan. The area around the dam, the largest man-made lake in the Orient, is nature's playground, pleasing visitors with residual snow, fresh verdure and crimson foliage in their respective seasons, as well as hiking and fishing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Japanese Pet Dog



Kawaii! I spotted this dog at the Hakkai-san jinja. Very cute!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Aging Population



Japan is one of the fastest ageing countries in the world, in 1950 there were 9.3 people under 20 for every person over 65. By 2025 this ratio is forecast to be 0.59 people under 20 for every person older than 65. Population ageing is constituted by a shift in the distribution of a country's population towards greater ages. Thus an increase in the population's mean or median age, a decline in the fraction of the population composed of children, or a rise in the fraction of the population that is elderly are all aspects of population ageing.

(source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

T-UP



T-UP is a nationwide agent and distributor of Toyota cars. Find out more details from its website here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

2nd Street


This is the shop selling second-hand goods in Nagaoka. It ranges from electrical appliances, winter apparels to furniture.
I bought one leather winter jacket for 900 yen. The items there are really cheap! But, you have to inspect the items very carefully. You can expect the items to be 100% perfect. Anyway, with that kind of price, I will still think it is worth it, even though it is not 100% perfect.
For more details, click here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

HARD OFF


I like the way they named the shops: BOOK-OFF, HOBBY-OFF, GARAGE-OFF,
Check out for more details here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Locker



Locker is everywhere in Japan: train stations, shopping malls, public places. It is very common in Japan. It is quite useful for travellers/ backpackers, since you can put your luggage in a safe locker while you go for shopping or grabbing some snacks. Normal rate is 300-500 yen per day depending on the location.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

UNIQLO



UNIQLO Co., Ltd. (株式会社ユニクロ, Kabushiki-gaisha yunikuro?) is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer.

Originally a division of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., on November 1, 2005, UNIQLO Co., Ltd. was born of corporate restructuring, and now exists as a 100% consolidated subsidiary of Fast Retailing, which is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

UNIQLO is Japan’s leading clothing retail chain in terms of both sales and profits. The company also operates in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Visit UNIQLO's website here.

(source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Teradomari Fish Market



This place is like Tsukiji fish market in Central Tokyo. They sell fresh seafood and also grilled-on-the-spot seafood with affordable price.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sashimi



Sashimi (IPA: /'saɕimi/ Japanese: 刺身) is a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of very fresh raw seafood, sliced into thin pieces about 2.5cm (1.0in.) wide by 4.0cm (1.5in.) long by 0.5 cm (0.25in.) thick, but dimensions vary depending on the type of item and chef, and served with only a dipping sauce (soy sauce with wasabi paste and thinly-sliced ginger root or gari, and ponzu), and a simple garnish such as shiso and shredded daikon radish.

The word sashimi means "pierced body", i.e. "刺身 = sashimi = 刺し = sashi (pierced, stuck) and 身 = mi (body, meat), may derive from the culinary practice of sticking the fish's tail and fin to the slices in identifying the fish being eaten.

One possibility of the name "pierced body" could come from the traditional method of harvesting. 'Sashimi Grade' fish is caught by individual handline, and as soon as the fish is landed, its brain is pierced with a sharp spike, killing it instantly, then placed in slurried ice. This spiking is called the Ike jime process. Because the flesh thus contains minimal lactic acid from the fish dying slowly, it will keep fresh on ice for about 10 days without turning white, or otherwise degrading.[citation needed]

The word sashimi has been integrated to the English language and is often used to refer to other uncooked fish preparations besides the traditional Japanese dish subject of this article.

(source: Wikipedia)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Grilled Seafood



You can eat the grilled seafood here on the spot. Oishii ne!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Japanese Rickshaw - Jinrikisha





Rickshaws (or rickshas) are a mode of human-powered transport: a runner draws a two-wheeled cart which seats one or two persons. The word rickshaw came from Asia where they were mainly used as means of transportation for the social elite. However, in more recent times rickshaws have been outlawed in many countries in Asia due to numerous accidents.

Runner pulled rickshaws have mainly been replaced in Asia by bicycle rickshaws. They are also common in Western cities like New York City. In London they are known as pedicabs. The term "rickshaw" is today commonly used for those vehicles as well, but this article deals exclusively with runner-pulled rickshaws.

The word "rickshaw" originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha (人力車, 人 jin = human, 力 riki = power or force, 車 sha = vehicle), which literally means "human-powered vehicle".

(source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Child's Kimono



Kimono for children are shaped and styled much like those for adults, but are almost always in bright patterns and prints. Children typically wear fancy kimono for special festivals and visits to local shrines on holidays.

For example, "7-5-3 Day" is on November 15 each year. Boys who are 3 or 5 and girls who are 3 or 7 dress up in kimonos to go the temples to pray.

There is also a special day for all girls and all boys to go the temple. March 3 is Girls' day and May 5 is Boys' day.

(source: http://web.mit.edu/jpnet/kimono/kimono-child.html)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Japanese Pet Dog



Japanese likes to raise pet dog. I often saw Japanese bringing their dogs for walking in the park. Do you also like pet dog?

FYI, I was born in the year of "Dog". In which year were you born? Look here for the characteristics of people born in the year of Dog.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Miso Konnyaku





Konnyaku is a Japanese traditional food.

Konnyaku is a traditional Japanese jelly-like health food made from a kind of potato called "Konnyaku potato" and calcium hydroxide or oxide calcium extracted from eggshells. The Konnyaku potato is native to Indonesia and is a kind of herbaceous perennial plant called "Amorphophallus Konjac"(K. Koch). Konnyaku potatoes are cultivated for food only in Japan, but wild forms grow naturally in Southeast Asia and China.

Japanese have been eating it over 1500 years. It was originally introduced to Japan as a medicine in the sixth century and has been eaten for almost 1500 years in Japan. It is a totally natural food. Ninety seven percent of Konnyaku is water and three percent is Glucomannan, or dietary fibre. It is also rich in minerals and very low in calories.

It does not have fat, it is rich in dietary fibre and is low in calories. Moreover, it has recently been found that it normalises the level of cholesterol, prevents high blood pressure and normalises the level of sugar in the blood. Because of these scientific findings, it has been perceived as a excellent health food in Japan.

In Japanese cuisine, konnyaku appears in dishes such as oden. It is typically mottled grey and firmer in consistency than most gelatins. It has very little taste; the common variety tastes vaguely like salt. It is valued more for its texture than flavor.

Japanese konnyaku jelly is made by mixing konnyaku flour with water and limewater. Hijiki is often added for the characteristic dark color and flavor. Without additives for color, konnyaku is pale white. It is then boiled and cooled to solidify. Konnyaku made in noodle form is called shirataki (see shirataki noodles) and used in foods such as sukiyaki and gyudon.

(source: http://www.shakespeare-w.com/english/konnyaku/whatis.html)
(source: Wikipedia)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Landscape Flowerbed





Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Unique Chrysanthemum





Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yellow Chrysanthemum


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pink Chrysanthemum


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

White Chrysanthemum


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival





A festival that embellishes Yahiko Shrine on late-autumn days that are perfect for chrysanthemum viewing.

The Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival is held from November 1 through 24 every year in the precincts of Yahiko Shrine, the supreme shrine of Echigo Province. The event is Japan's largest chrysanthemum exhibition in terms of the numbers of participants and exhibits. The exhibition is divided into several categories, such as large-sized chrysanthemums, which produce hundreds of flowers per stem, mid-sized classical chrysanthemums, Kengai (cascade style) small-sized chrysanthemums, and bonsai. A contest is held in each category, and the exhibited chrysanthemums are examined in terms of their radiance, exquisiteness, dynamism and so forth.

The event livens up Yahiko in the autumn just as the leaves are changing color. Especially spectacular is a flowerbed in which 30,000 chrysanthemums create a large-scale landscape, the theme of which changes every year. It is the main feature of the festival that attracts many chrysanthemum aficionados.Come and see the Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival - a signature autumn event of Yahiko!

(source: Yahiko official website)