Osaka by Night, Kyoto by Day

From Osaka and Kyoto 10.20.09 Ta Chan’s sister, Yumi-san, owns a small okinomiyaki shop hidden in an older part of Osaka. The best way I can describe okinomiyaki is as a mix between a savory pancake and an omelet, with various meats, veggies and noodles prepared in front of you on a large griddle and served with a special sauce and dried seaweed flakes sprinkled on top. Ta Chan had the itch to take me there, and after our workout at the boxing gym yesterday we made the trek over... Read The Rest →

Girls Night in Osaka

From Osaka at Night Yuki is determined to have me, like it or not, try all the culinary delights that Japan has to offer. Despite my protests about the hazards of fried food (have you seen my hips lately???) she wanted me to try kushi-katsu. Kushi-katsu is an assortment of foods – anything from squid to asparagus – batter and deep fried on a stick. I was a good sport – and it was well worth it. Thank God I’m walking everywhere! We started in Namba – a hot spot... Read The Rest →

Tea Ceremony, Sake and Karaoke

From Japan 10.15.09 Like a mother ushering her child off to kindergarten for the first day of school, Yuki says goodbye to me at the front door. I’m armed with a custom train schedule courtesy of Yuki, keys to the house and a note in Kanji that I’m supposed to show the coffee shop clerk so I can purchase espresso roast with beans ground to a number three. To travel the train you have to purchase a ticket at the kiosk. Above the kiosk is a map of that particular... Read The Rest →

Dreaming of Japan

From Japan Once on the plane in San Francisco’s International Airport I realized that all my diligent Japanese studies only served me the ability to identify that the machine gun-speed string of syllables over the intercom was indeed Japanese. Beyond that I could identify nothing. And as I carefully arranged my carry-ons under the seat I realized, not without hint of butterflies, that I was about to spend the next two months in Japan. What had seemed like a great way to both fulfill a long-time dream and keep my... Read The Rest →

News From the Front – an update on James

As of today James has been at Officer Candidate School for just over 8 weeks. I was with friends the other day when I got a much awaited from phone call from James. To give an indication of what life at OCS is like, James told me to tell our friends, “hi from my dark cell.” Life the first few weeks for him was not fun to say the least and when I missed a phone call from him and his barely audible message said, “I’m okay, I’m alive,” it... Read The Rest →

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