Yagi-Shingu Line #168, a set on Flickr.
Friday, January 03, 2014
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Here's wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!
I hope 2014 will be a great one for all of us.
This year is a great one for me because on the page for Saturday, January 4th in the 365 Himekuri JR Tetsudo Calendar 2014 my photo is featured! I hope I can get one into next year's calendar too!
In 2013 Mia turned 3 and celebrated her 753 ceremony.
We were able to travel many places this last year.
As a family we went to Nagasaki
My brother came to visit.
I was able to ride the Bantan Line in eastern Hyogo.
I rode the Yagi-Shingu bus line in Nara and Wakayama prefectures.
Lastly, I visited Tohoku from December 26th and was able to visit Sendai, Matsushima, Akita, Yokote, Fukushima, and Toyama on a crazy roundabout train trip I'm still aching from.
Sadly in 2013 our family friends closed their amazing okonomiyaki restaurant Tonbo here in Nishinomiya. お疲れ様田村さん!
Goodbye 2013, hello 2014.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
20 years ago an arsonist started a fire in Laguna Canyon that spread to the city burning down over 300 houses. My family was evacuated from our house barely getting out before the flamed crested the hill. I remember embers falling down around me like rain. I left with my CD walkman, a change of clothes and my school books. Everything else burnt down. We knew our house was gone when we saw the cover photo of the Los Angeles Times the next day. Our neighbor's house sad alone on the hill with destruction all around. (Funny thing, they didn't have fire insurance.) The city smelt like wet smoke for months after. A few days later school had restarted and as one of the few students who lost their houses they took me out of class for counseling. I got pissed, it was world geography class! With Mr. Slevcov! (How do you spell his name?) That was the last I really thought about it. Since then, however, campfires, the kitchen stove or just smoking a cigarette, I am always extra careful with fire. It's a powerful and dangerous force.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Every September in a different location the private, non-JR, transportation consortium in Kansai called Suttro puts on a bus festival. Last year it was in Kyoto, this year it was in Osaka. At the festvial there are mascot characters, food stands, booths from all the different bus companies selling goods and many many busses. The place was packed with families with little children who all gradated to the mascots, single men in various stages of otaku, and one white dude from America. Besides me the only other foreigner was the Nepalese guy selling curry. It was pretty good too.
Mia really loves running around the busses and pushing all the stop buttons on the busses. Her favorite thing is the giant mascot characters roaming the grounds. Her favorite is the Amagasaki city bus mascot, Amakko whom she calls Amakko-chan. She's a girl with a giant red heart shaped head. This time Mia got to see Amakko-chan twice. Both times were accompanied with screams of happiness then after getting really close, a bit of fear. I go there to buy some fun Christmas gifts for my family back in the states. For myself, I got a new Shinkibus iPhone case and an Amakko tie pin. Yes, I am a dork.
Posters and flyers for the event come out a month in advance. It's always free and on one of the two Mondays that are national holidays in September.
|Mia and Amakko|
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I received 14 half to barely filled bottles of imo (potato) shochu from my friend's restaurant which closed last Sunday. It was very sad to see the restaurant go, however I can't be anything but happy to have these bottles! I'm going to have to save all the labels and make something from them.
|My wife told me that もぐら the one in front should be good. I never knew they had it.|
|Bowling for shochu.|
|Happy Mia with the booze.|
|My first choice, if only to finish off the bottle, is 朝日 (Asahi) one of my favorites.|
Saturday, July 27, 2013
|Nagasaki Ekimae Station|
Type: Railway 鉄道
Location: Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu Region, JAPAN
Number of Stations: 38
One day free pass: ¥500
Number of lines: 5
Number of routes: 5
Photos: Nagasaki Electric Tramway
I was able to ride all of Nagasaki’s lines during a half day of sightseeing in the city with my wife and daughter. The inner city section from the JR station out into the small, moderately level section of this very, very mountainous city is where most of the tourist attractions are. The longest line reaching out to Akasako (赤迫) terminus and passing the Peace Park is under 7km. It contains a part where the tracks parallel the JR Kyushu line. This section plus a street car only bridge on the Hotarujaya Branch Line are the only times the streetcars do not run with traffic.
My family and I really enjoyed riding the trains. It was a great, easy way to get around the city and see some of the highlights. We had a small amount of time on a rainy day, but thanks to the streetcars we made the most of it.