Sunday, June 14, 2009

Planting of Rice, Misawa

Finally, rice were planted!!!

Here's the video I took when Japanese farmers were planting rice in front of our house.


** On Leave: I will be on vacation for 2 weeks and won't be able to update my blog and leave comments to other bloggers after this post

Monday, June 8, 2009

American Day

American Day- June 6 and 7, 2009

In front of Japanese food booths

The entire street was closed for this event

Mini train in front of the civic center

Japanese food booths

Looks like ice cream in a cone paper?? hehehe

French fries with mini hotdogs

Pancakes with beans inside

Mini Octopus for tako yaki

Tank display

Japanese ladies carrying their transparent umbrellas going to American food booths

Tennesee booth

American food booths

A lot of people in American booths


The 21st annual American Day festival was held last weekend, June 6 and 7. Every year Misawa Air Base hosts this event to share with Japanese locals the American culture and to strengthen the relationship of both countries. Last April was Japan Day and now it's American Day.

Despite the rain, there were still many people went to this event. Unfortunately I missed the parade and the concert. There were long lines on the American food booths, I noticed that Japanese locals bought a lot of hot dogs, hamburgers and chips while Americans were buying Japanese street food :-)

The photos above were taken last Sunday. I was there last Saturday but we didn't stay very long due to heavy rain. We got wet and most of the booths were not set-up yet and we ended up eating lunch in the food court of the BX (base exchange).

I didn't get the chance to take photos of American food, nothing unusual, they're actually the popular ones which we always buy in the food court on base: hotdogs in buns, hamburgers, steaks, nachos and chips, cakes, cookies and more. I was eager to see more of Japanese exotic food to share here in my blog.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Shoot Out- RANDOM

Friday Shoot Out- RANDOM

I "randomly" picked my own theme for my own blog this shootout.....vending machines.

In Japan, the vending machines are known as (jidō-hanbaiki) from jidō, or "automatic"; hanbai, or "vending"; and ki, or "machine", (jihanki) for short.

Japan has the highest vending machine per capita with about one machine per 23 people (according to wikipedia).

Here are some vending machines that I had the chance to take photos while I was driving, walking and shopping :-)

Hello Kitty toy vending machine

Pokemon toy vending machine

Toys Vending Machine

Cup of Noodles Vending Machine

Cigarette Vending Machine

Hot and Cold Tea, Cocoa and Coffee Vending Machine

Hot snack food vending machine (french fries, yaki soba, tako yaki, rice bowl)

Bowl of sushi rice vending machine ticket

Soda vending machine

Ice Cream Vending Machine

You can see vending machines outside the store

Outside golf shop

Yo can see them even along the parking lot

Vending machine even along the street beside the gas tank and trash bin :-) close to rice field LOL


Monday, June 1, 2009

Randoseru or School Back Pack in Japan

I saw this bag and was shocked with the price, so I grabbed my cell cam and took this photo :-)
The actual price of this school bag is 40,000 yen or $400+ with 5000 yen discount, so it's around $350 now but still expensive

These 2 bags are a bit cheaper than the first bag above, 13, 860 yen or $140. I think the price varies depending on the material some would cost as high as $850

I always notice the school bags of students here are uniform....WHY???

The two boys have different colors of backpack but the same style....WHY???


After my keen observation and curiosity about this unusual backpack of Japanese students, I have to do something that will answer my queries hehehe..... so I searched google and found out that this backpack is called randoseru, and is used by elementary students.

According to wikipedia:

Randoseru- randoseru (ランドセル?) is a firm-sided backpack made of stitched firm leather or leather-like synthetic material, most commonly used in Japan by elementary schoolchildren. It measures roughly 30 cm high by 23 cm wide by 18 cm deep, and features a softer grade of leather or material on those surfaces which touch the body. When empty, the average randoseru weighs approximately 1.2 kilograms (about 2 1/2 pounds avoirdupois). The term randoseru is a borrowed word from the Dutch "ransel" meaning "backpack", a clue to its origins nearly 200 years ago as used in the Netherlands.

The randoseru is the most universal and recognizable feature of the Japanese school uniform and is considered symbolic of the virtues necessary to obtain a good education—unity, discipline, hard work and dedication. Traditionally, the randoseru is red in colour for girls, black for boys.[2] While in more conservative schools the colour (and often the brand and design) is mandated and enforced, the backpack is available in a variety of colours, partly as a compromise for parents to retain some tradition within modernized schools which no longer require the use of traditional uniforms or of the randoseru.
Traditionally given to a child upon beginning their first year at school, the randoseru's materials and workmanship are designed to allow the backpack to endure the child's entire elementary education (six years). However, the care usually given to the randoseru throughout that time and afterwards can extend its life and preserve it in near-immaculate condition long after the child has reached adulthood, a testament to its utility as an accessory and the sentiment attached to it by many Japanese as symbolic of their relatively carefree childhood years.
The randoseru's durability and significance is reflected in its cost: a new randoseru made of genuine leather can carry a pricetag of over 30,000 yen, almost 300 US dollars, as May 2008 exchange rate. Clarino, a synthetic material frequently used as a substitute, reduces the cost somewhat. Often randoseru are available on auction sites, in new or used condition, at much lower prices, particularly after the start of the Japanese school year in April.

Still expensive for me :-)