Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Winter dilemma

I really hate to be cold. My Mum gave me a nickname a long time ago. She calles me frog. Not sure how that relates. I guess frogs don't like the cold either.
See here is where the problem begins. We are headed into a Japanese winter. The complete opposite to the humid summer. My base school is not heated. Ouch! I am lucky because they have already dusted off and turned on the staffroom heater. Now the heater is actually the problem. It is a gas heater. I don't want them to turn it off because it is really cold. At the same time, I can't stand it being on. They are fueled by keroscene. This gives off a slightly poisonous gas. The heater has to be turned off every few hours to air the room. While it is on, I am toasty warm but my head swims and I feel sick. The smell gives me a head ache. I guess every now and then, I just have to get up and brave the elements outside for some fresh air.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just for Lauren.

Most people know about toffee apples. In Japan, you can have massive toffee apples like at home, though it is more often that you will see small bite sized apples. Also, to the Japanese, any fruit can be toffee-ified! The above is just for Lauren. Toffee mikan (mandarins)!

Nara Hajimete

Nara park has millions of deer. I had to include this pic.
Todaiji... Famous. The biggest wooden stucture in Asia - the world. Inside is a massive buddha. Seen below.

This hole is the same size as the buddha's nostril. If you can go through, you will gain enlightenment or good luck. Something like that.
Ginko trees are probably my favourite autumn colour. Stunning yellow against blue skys. Then the leaves fall and you get a beautiful yellow carpet.
Real deer and toy ones. CUTE!

Ahhhh Kyoto!

A non traditional shot at Kiyomizu Temple. Most people show the huge building on stilts but I love this shot. Thought I would share it.
Classic Momiji... It only takes one leaf to make me go ahhhhhhhh
A monk outside Kiyomizu Temple. They stand for hours waiting for passes by to drop a coin into their bowls... I was a sneak and took lots of shots from behind - then I gave him 100 yen.
Shichi-Go-San. My favourite festival. Carried out throughout November. Girls aged 3 and 7 dress in full kimono as do boys aged 3 and 5. They all look amazing. Parents are so proud when I tell them that their child looks cute. This girl is wearing a non traditional purple kimono. Very stern looking.
Arashiyama. This area is famous during autumn and spring. You can get some very magical shots of the hillside covered in reds. It was really hazy on Sunday but I like the above shot. I like the orange and blue...
Maybe the most famous spot for momiji. Tofukuji... There is a long winding walkway before you reach the temple. This was thronging with people. You have to pass through a covered bridge (the above shot). It was like being in a sardine can. I love how the above shot, shows three kinds of cameras. When I finally reached the entrance, I turned around again and left - the line was longer than any I had seen at Disneyland!
Stunning Maiko San. I saw lots and lots of (fake) Maiko. Maiko are Geisha in training. Many regular girls spend the day with friends getting the above make over. Lots of fun.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Prelude to Kyoto...

I am off to Kyoto (my 3rd visit) on Friday. I really love the place. I should hit smack bang in the middle of prime momiji season. Red leaves everywhere. Get ready faithful camera!
This umbrella is in Hofu (Yamaguchi-ken). They're everywhere in Kyoto.

Autumn Leaves

The momiji hunt continues!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Ahhhh Hikari! Ahhhhh autumn! Ahhhhh sunsets!

A mere mobile phone photo. Can't wait for the SLR ones.

For Jared and Everett

Don't get too excited. I am not so silly that I would play around with a SUZUME BACHI!!! This one have been dead for a long time. I found it beside my car and realised this was my chance to show everyone at home how big these guys are.
PS Don't forget that they can cause deaths!

Excitement is building...

Harry is in 1.5 hours....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Roll on Saturday!

Last night I bought a ticket for the local previewing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - wish you could come with me Dad. I am so excited. I get to see it on Saturday. I was able to choose from any seat in the theatre. Yay!!! I CAN'T WAIT!

Jingle Bells, jingle bells...

Saw my first Christmas lights for the year last night. I was a bit surprised - it feels so early. I can't say I blame them though. You pay so much for the whole shebang that you might as well get a good 5 weeks out of them.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Off to Miyajima for a spot of Momiji

With smiles right across our faces, we headed to Miyajima in the wonderful sunshine. We were off to bask in the glory of autumn. Specifically, we were hoping for some good snap shots of momiji (red maple leaves). As you can see with the next photos, we weren't disappointed. Thanks for driving Rosie. Thanks for the above photo Jen.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The beauty of autumn. Reds and yellows bring out the tourists and the artists. What a wonderful day!

Just so you don't get confused!

This is the entry sign for the ladies toilets. Don't get mixed up boys!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Amazed and a little bit enlightened!

Firstly thank you to all the people who took the time to read and comment on my blog. I would never have thought that 19 posts were possible (even though a few were from me). Why do we even get to the point of pondering the pronunciation of little words? We generally understand each other anyway.
Thanks again. More photos soon. Just hoping for no rain tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Please help

Firstly I need to say that I am not sure why the following bothers me but it does.
A teacher at my school, who I consider a good friend, has great English but the way she says one word bothers me.
I want to ask everyone how you say the word we're ? Do you say it with the same pronunciation as the word 'where'? Or, do you say it more like 'weir'? Here is a sentence to make you think about it...
We're going to the festival where we will eat takoyaki.
Please help me. I say it the same as the word 'where'. I have told my friend this and she says yes and agrees but can't actually pronounce it this way. Her English is really good so it frustrates me because now the students pronounce it the same way as she does.....

Monday, November 07, 2005

Kitsune no Yomeiri

The wonderful Fox Wedding Festival is over again. Last Thursday was 'Culture Day'. Nice reason to have a public holiday. Two years in a row I have been lucky enough to participate and carry a float in the parade. I didn't actually carry it all by myself but it felt like it. It was really heavy. The morning began patchy with light showers but turned into a wonderful day. I took so many photos. I thought I would share just a few favourites with you. Enjoy!

This kid was so funny. I told him to be scary for the photo. This is how it turned out. Cool hey?

These were the soccer boys that followed us in the parade. Their float was to say thankyou for a good season. They were crazy and laughed so hard at their own attempts at English.

Some of the wonderful hats that just wandered by as a part of the parade. These girls were dancing as they went along.

The back of the Happi I got to wear. This isn't actually me. It says Ebisu Cho. Our group was mainly from Ebisu town. Cool guy on the back I thought.

Some of the younger soccer boys after the parade. They are tired and hungry. Luckily they aren't asleep like some of the other kids.