Sunday Summary, Nov 27, 2016

Konnichiwa Ya’ll,

I hope all of you are doing well out there in Internet Land (is that a thing?).

As most of the news we post on the blog has to do with major things we do in Japan with our free time, I’m sure some of you are curious as to what some of the day to day Japanese items we interact with are.

So I now present to you a Sunday Summary:

Book on Japanese Culture I Just Finished Reading:

Winning Pachinko -The Game of Japanese Pinball

book_winningpachinko

Most Westerners are confused by Pachinko, because at first glance it looks to be a game similar to slot machines, but where you don’t actually win any money.

This book clears up some of the confusion of this “totally not gambling” game, and offers some history and strategy.

Food I’m Digging:

Yakisoba

food_yakisoba-1

Popular dish at cultural festivals and street carts, Andrea and I have been making our own versions at home, usually sticking to soba, chikuwa (fish cake), onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Pan fry and top with with yakisoba sauce for a delicious and filling meal.

Cultural Activity I’m Trying:

Shodo (Calligraphy)

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“Ri”= Logic; “Naru”=Growth, “Do”=Fight

 

At one of the local community centers they offer bunka (Japanese culture) classes. As I’m not fluent in Japanese, or familiar with writing kanji, I’ll be sitting in the kid’s class for now.

You gotta start somewhere.

Japanese Band I’m Liking:

Frederic (フレデリック)

While J-Pop can be enjoyable, it often ends up being very repetitive and too bubbly for my taste. I love Frederic because they have a very unique sound among bands from around the world. The above song is one of my favorites.

Book I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

Japanese for Busy People – Vol 1 & 2

book_japaneseforbusy

Let’s be honest, we’re all busy people.

At first glance, this book doesn’t seem very alluring with it’s somewhat dated cover, but this book really helped me in my studies by allowing me to get full lessons in nightly. The biggest hurdle when you’re first learning a language is sticking with daily learning until the seeds stay planted. The first volume’s chapters are short enough to get done in 1-2 hour sittings depending on your pace. After two weeks there was a noticeable difference in my Japanese comprehension.

I recommend trying any of these activities for yourselves, to get a taste of Japanese culture.

Until next time, Stay Awesome!

-R

Hiroshima – The Homecoming, Pt 1

Over the weekend of November 5th, Andrea and I went to Hiroshima. The main thing I want to let you know before we go any further:

Hiroshima is not a desolate wasteland ruined by the nuclear bomb.

Although the city is known for being the first city to be attacked with an atom bomb, it has long since recovered.

There is a thriving city and tourist culture there as it is home to two World Heritage sites, Miyajima and the A-Bomb Dome .

They have a thriving nightlife and successful sports teams.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is home to the A-Bomb Dome and Peace Museum, which commemorate those who died, and also seeks to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons, as well as the benefits of peaceful transactions between countries.

They are like the Boston of Japan, with the bay life, oysters, and city transportation.

Just take a look at this video of our trip:

As Hiroshima lays closer to home with Andrea, she’ll be posting Part 2 along with pictures.

As always, I highly recommend that when you come to Japan, you take a few days to explore the city and the surrounding area.

Stay Awesome,

-R