Friday, February 20, 2009

nakagawa seiryu onsen a.k.a. heaven on earth

I've gone here (Seiryu Onsen in Nakagawa) the past two weekends, with plans to go again on Monday. It's the best natural hot spring in Fukuoka, and more than anything else, it reminds me of why I moved to Japan in the first place. American retirees have country clubs and nursing homes. Japanese retirees have this:

(The only picture I actually took)
Andy's zonking in the tatami resting room after his onsen. The room has matted floors and complimentary pillows, and the TV was playing a news documentary about carrots that grow in the snow. Out the window you can see the rocky stream people sit and dip their feet in. Just outside this tatami room is a Haagen Daz vending machine. Heaven?

Friday, February 13, 2009

phenomenons and carry-ons

i would say this week was one of the more fun weeks i've had.

as you can see from my previous post, it began in the lantern-lined streets of nagasaki on monday. then, tuesday was an easy day at work followed by a night out because wednesday was a national holiday--foundation day (something about the constitution. my japanese friends weren't even sure.)

thursday was (hallelujah) the first day of spring. though, i'm wary of these claims that the future holds temperate japan, spring is not found in warm sunshine, chirping birds or blossoming flowers. no no--it's marked by dusty cars and sore throats.
may i present...the GOBI DESERT.

what?!?! sending its sand our way just in time for short sleeves and white shoes.

friday was ramen and ruminations on existence with haruka. tonight (saturday) i dine with my ladies and then it's jenni's leaving/sam's birthday/james's birthday/......... party at tattoo--boasting fukuoka's largest display of disco balls and out of season christmas lights since its opening.

the only thing better than living this week is the knowledge that at the end of this gloriously short month lies one ticket to tokyo, two great friends from L.A., and exactly three types (cat, secretary, maid) of strange japanese cafes on the agenda.

<3 <3 <3

Monday, February 9, 2009

lantern festival

i went to the nagasaki lantern festival with my friend ayaka, which was actually a japanese-style celebration of chinese new year. so there were tons of red lanterns, chinese food and japanese people. and some typical chinese new year imagery.

like this dragon:

a chinese acrobat with a death wish

eating chirin chirin ice. we didn't know what that meant, but it tasted like vanilla. isn't ayaka pretty?


le namesake

after watching this i want to learn how to taiko. it sounds so different than i expected it to sound. it's like a traditional dance party!

making....japanese(??) food

eating japanese food

i've always liked the phoenix...this ones made of china (the dishes) and lights