Thursday, June 28, 2012


Friendship is one of  the incredible miracles in our life.  No matter how long or how far we are apart,  the same experiences and concerns that we shared in those days never made our friendship fade away.  This turns to be more than happiness when we finally meet again face to face across time and space.

Last weekend all this happened to me . For the first time in 30 years.  This is about the Rotary students who shared two months  during the summer at college in the US, where the Rotary International provided us with the orientation before we left for each applied university in the US.

My close friend, Suchada stopped by Tokyo over the weekend on her way back to LA from BK. We spent two days together. We felt for two days as if we were all riding on a merry-go-round.

Yes finally we made it.  The instant we saw each other at the hotel lobby,   we didn't feel we were apart for such a long time.  Ahead of the fancy dinner with two boys, now gentlemen, in the evening,  three girls enjoyed the afternoon chatting to fill in each 30 years' interval.  And the dinner was just lavish enough to make it up for our 30 years. Our talk seemed endless before we knew we stayed too long at the restaurant.   We talked and laughed a lot. The food was awesome and the service was great.

Now 17 Rotary classmates are united in Facebook group page.  In this reunion with Suchada,  wherever we go,  at every visiting spot,  she and I were busy "check-in" in Facebook with each iPhones to update our photos and messages to the rest of our friends.  It was just fun because every time we checked in,  our friends of all different places on the earth  gave us "likes" instantly.   We giggled at the results.  We owed Facebook so much.  There will be another reunions in the near future in Japan, or somewhere else in this world.  No matter where it comes up,  we will share our exciting moments together.  And one day, we are hoping , all of us will get together at one place like we once used to do.   How thrilling !  This was a great weekend.

You may also like to read this.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

When it is too big to handle,

Our garden is overrun with weeds.
Whenever I visit temples, shrines and even private museums of old Japanese houses,  I feel so guilty for myself not taking good care of our own garden.

If I stayed home all day,   I would have made time to clean up the ground.  Since I have a job,  I make it a rule that I should put a priority to do my chores in a house first.  As a result,  most of the time I end up with indoor chores.   "I just don't have time for our garden."  And what is worse, my husband is away from home  every half a month abroad. He is not here when I really need his help.

Twice a year our gardeners come over to cut and trim all the trees and bushes but that is not enough. Weeds and grasses grow every season and they don't stop  growing  before the gardeners arrive.   Even the gardeners are too busy to spend sitting on the grounds to pick up weeds.  They just cut and trim the trees, sweeping the grounds, loading up all the stuff they cut out  on the trucks and rush to the next job. It still takes several days before they finish our garden.  Its ground is just too big for a housewife to take care of.  Now I am serious about asking a helper from the volunteer gardeners group from the city once a month so that the garden will not turned to be a bush again.

Our house is a typical traditional one.  It has a big garden full of trees around the house.  In the previous generations,  there used to be always someone coming over to clean the ground----but not any more.   Now our old heritage surely takes much time and budget from us  to take care of.  Yet my husband and I never thought  of the idea to abandon  our house and garden.  We like this old house but it is more than old.   Somehow we would like to  preserve it for our next young generation. Some way some how.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A delight in the rain

Finally the rainy season is with us almost everywhere in Japan.
Soon I’ll get fed up with damp and wet climate which lasts about a month. I can’t do without my umbrella all the time.  
Yet one blessing during this season is to see hydrangeas in the rain.  At our back garden, this year too, they surely delight our eyes under a heavy, gray sky.  I'd love to see them especially wear raindrops.  It definitely drags me out of my discrimination against the rainy season.

I didn’t know home of hydrangeas is Japan before I read this on the web a few years ago.
Since they have so many different species throughout the world, it is seemingly hard to state how they were originally introduced at the very first stage.  

Strictly speaking, hydrangeas with round mop heads which are very much popular and  seen at any places in the world are not origin in Japan.  The original one from Japan has fewer outer flowers around smaller tiny inner flowers. 

It is said in 18th century a Japanese hydrangea was brought all the way to Kew Garden, England  by way of China. Soon they started to cultivate so as to meet up with its own condition such as climate, soil. This way they modified flowers to suit their preferences. It is also widely known that in 19th century a German physician and scientist, Phillipp Franz von Seibold introduced 17 species of Japanese plants to a  botanical garden in Lieden, which made it possible for hydrangeas to grow in Europe.

Eventually it was turned to a hydrangea of which head was like a pom-pom. Later a mop head hydrangea was re-imported to Japan.

Nowadays we see mop head hydrangeas at many house gardens or public venues or even at temples and shrines or landscapes in our country. So do original ones with simple frames.  No matter what kind of hydrangea flowers they are, we enjoy seeing a large volume of flowers and amazing color-changes.  They are such a gracious gift in the rainy season.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Do you remember "Travel Volunteer"?

Do you remember "Travel Volunteer"?  
Last year it was just six months after 3.11 Tohoku disaster when Katy Morrison  and Jamie Lafferty started traveling across Japan from north to south for 100 days. 
While traveling, they posted great articles and amazing pictures every day in their blog so as to say Japan is as beautiful as ever and this report helped a lot to support the recovery of tourism to Japan.

Today their blog  was released as a digital book titled "Smiles of Japan"  and it is just free.
Why don't you get this now and read it. No matter whether you are from Japan or from abroad you'll be fascinated with their experiences.

The book is available from URL below:

Just let me add one thing. 
 It was such a rewarding experience for me that I accompanied them when they visited Aichi Prefecture in Oct. last year.