Thursday, April 29, 2010
So thus far in 2010 spring has yielded approximately 1.7 days of nice weather, and it just so happened that on the one full day where the sun came out and the air was warm, we had planned to go to our swing dancing friend Nammy's hanami party in Tsutsujigaoka park.
Hanami literally means "flower viewing", and it's a yearly tradition that takes place every spring, around when the blossoms come out. People take a picnic lunch, head to a good viewing spot, sit under some trees and eat and drink for several hours. And they take a lot of pictures.
It can get pretty busy!
So we sat with our friends and talked and ate delicious food and drank sparkling wine. Mirabel made ANZAC biscuits, which turned out nicely (it was the 25th, after all). And we danced a little swing in the park on a nice day.
Of course, people also brought their ridiculous, tiny dogs, and put jackets on them for the occasion.
Here I am getting well into the spirit of hanami with a conbini-bought can of beer, standing under a pretty tree. This is what it is all about.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
A couple of weekends ago, on April 10, we got on a plane and flew to Osaka for one night only. Our mission: to see legendary 90s indie rock band Pavement! Pavement are newly reformed and on a world tour, having originally broken up back in 1999 (a few years before I started listening to them).
And we got to hang with our good pal Darlene again while we were there, of course. Bonus!
This is the view from the balcony of Darlene's sweet bachelorette pad. This is a pretty remarkable apartment view for Japan, where usually you'd be looking at the walls of other apartment blocks. The kids below are playing a nice Sunday morning game of softball.
She also has Beatles Rock Band, which Mirabel totally wailed on. Also pictured is Sarah, who came with us from Sendai. She didn't wail quite as hard as Mirabel.
Pavement were amazing, by the way. We didn't take any pictures, but here's the setlist they played, in case you're interested.
In The Mouth of a Desert
Father To A Sister of Thought
Rattled By The Rush
Zurich Is Stained
Starlings of The Slipstream
Fight This Generation
Cut Your Hair
Date With Ikea
Spit On A Stranger
Conduit For Sale!
Pretty great setlist! They played lots of my favourite songs and we had basically an awesome time. The venue was good, the lighting was stunning, and the band was all kinds of nerdy cool.
Later, I reinterpreted the broken wear manouevre for the Osaka subway system.
We met these lovely ladies as we made our way into a karaoke place. Note the spooky contacts and Gaga-esque police tape.
The next day, we took a ride on a ferris wheel. Darlene didn't enjoy the heights too much.
And this time we played a game of Rambo at Club Sega. We regretted not sticking with the ususal House of the Dead though. Shooting zombies is way more fun.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Our work was a drawing called Colour Me Tender - a mixture of things we have seen and dreamed in Japan. And to help keep the yoU in colour visitors to the show coloured it in! Hurrah!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Look at the fluffy dog teehee
Then, advised by our lovely friend Sasayu and the helpful lady at Hello Sandwich we went to Naka-meguro to view more blossoms.
Naka-meguro was so lovely! Next to the canal were windy streets dotted with vintage clothes and curios shops (I spent far too much money), handmade designy shops, delicious smelling and looking cafes and a swoonful florist shop.
We went to a sneaky secret cafe (also recommended by Hello Sandwich - keep your eyes peeled for her Tokyo Guide available soon!!) called Aoya. It was so busy they sold out of everything but one dish! But that was ok - because the dish was delicious! A hot spicy curryish thing (we didn't quite know what we were getting). But we certainly knew what we wanted for dessert.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Contained within this informative video are shots of various Sendai landmarks, like Ichibancho, Jozenji-dori and Matsushima. Sadly, we've never seen this guy around town, but I think we'll be on the lookout for red parkas after this. Please enjoy.