Khaos

Archive for the 'Japan' Category

July Weather

Friday, July 27th, 2018

July has been a month of horrible heat.

“At least 65 people have died in the blistering heat since early July, but the actual figure is thought to be much higher. 

More than 22,000 people have been taken to hospitals with heat-stroke symptoms, Japanese officials said. In the city of Kumagaya, temperatures soared to 106 degrees on Monday, the highest temperature ever reported in the country and nearly 12 degrees hotter than average July temperatures. In Tokyo, the heat reached 104 degrees.”

I have been doing my best to stay inside as much as possible during the last couple of weeks, or only going outside when the sun is down.  It’s a little cooler today, but then typhoon Jongdari is on the way.

Afternoon Trip

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Yesterday afternoon we hired a car and went to one of the outlet malls outside Tokyo.  We really liked the Mitsui Outlet Park, but were more excited by the drive.  To get there we drove through the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line. It is a 15 kilometer long bridge-tunnel across Tokyo Bay that connects Kawasaki to Kisarazu. 9.6 km are under the bay, making it the fourth longest underwater tunnel in the world.

Route, showing the Aqua Line

Route, showing the Aqua Line

It is not cheap to use. As we used it on the weekend we were charged 800 円 (5.43 GBP) each way. During the week that would be closer to 3,000 円 (20 GBP) each way. We found it fascinating, and the part that is a bridge is beautiful as you just don’t expect to come out of tunnel on to a bridge that is out in the sea.

Tooth Pain

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

I have had a crack in one of my back molars for years.  This didn’t seem to be causing a problem but my dentist told me that it needed to be capped and not just filled.  At the start of that appointment my tooth wasn’t sore, but once the dentist had finished exploring with a drill that was no longer true.  He also wasn’t able to cap the tooth as he suspected I need a root canal treatment.

Having the root canal took two appointments with an endodontist as I apparently have tiny narrow bendy root canals that needed widened.  It was not a pleasant experience.  My mouth is small, my teeth are large, and my jaw doesn’t stay open wide enough.  It involved having a block jammed into my mouth to keep it open, and lots of drills and long pointing things.  The worst part is not the pain, it’s not knowing what is happening or how long it will take.  There are so many scary looking instruments and the smell of burning didn’t help.  The anesthetic also made me feel shaky and queasy.

Now I need to arrange more appointments to have the cap put on.  The endodentist suggested that I leave it for a week to give myself a break from mouth pain.

Tambara Lavender Park

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

We took a day trip to Gunma Prefecture to visit a lavender park. I was really impressed with what frozen things do in summer.

Tambara Lavender Park, Ski Slope in Summer

Tambara Lavender Park, Ski Slope in Summer

Tambara Lavender Park

Busy Month

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

A few unexpected things have happened this month that have taken me away from my computer.  Now that I’m trying to get back to a routine I’m having problems with a tooth.  I went to the dentist with a crack in a back molar that will take 5 visits to the dentist to fix.  I haven’t met a person who likes having dental work done so you won’t be surprised when I say that I’m not enjoying it.  At least I’m being given strong painkillers.

I have been getting more involved with English theatre in Tokyo over the past year.  Black Stripe Theater is putting on The Dresser, by Ronald Harwood, in September and I’m working on the costumes for that.  Tokyo is not the easiest place to find clothing suitable for a play set in 1941 in Britain, but I’m enjoying the challenge.

Hanabi

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

Tonight we went to see the fireworks on the Sumida River.  In the past we have tried to find somewhere to sit but that takes a lot of preparation.  This year we decided to walk along the river during the display.  Even though there were tens of thousands of people outside there was still a route that was clear.  We ended up with a better view than we had in the past and we got to exercise.

Sushi!

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

My first lunch time back in Tokyo and I had to resist buying far too much sushi.  I miss it when I travel.  I sometimes buy it in other countries but it’s not the same.  I worry about eating sushi in places far from the sea, or in places where raw fish isn’t commonly eaten, so I tend to buy rolls that contain vegetables or cooked fish. But never avocado as I can’t stand the green mushy stuff and hate that American sushi chefs are fascinated with it.

I did get a shock in a Japanese restaurant in Florida as they served an “Atom Bomb Roll”.  This horrifyingly named roll contained salmon and spiced tuna.  I can’t imagine that anyone Japanese was involved in that restaurant.  Oddly named sushi seemed to be a theme as they also had a “Beauty and the Beast Roll” that contained tuna, eel, crab, avocado, and cream cheese, which sounds disgusting.   Thankfully today’s sushi was amazing.

Back Home

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

I’m really pleased to be back home. But there is one thing that I really didn’t miss…

5.3 Quake in Ibaraki

5.3 Quake in Ibaraki

… my apartment block jerking and swaying.

Peaceful Japan

Friday, July 8th, 2016

I was reading the Global Peace Index 2016 [PDF] today.  Of the 163 independent states and territories ranked Japan came in at number 9, Ireland at 12, the UK at 47, and the United States of America is at 103.  I’m always surprised by how poorly the USA performs in these studies, as the parts I visit appear quite safe.  But there is no doubt watching the news tonight, from our New York hotel room, that the country seems anything but safe.   I’m also stunned that the index lists the national cost of violence in the USA as $2,028,740,716,654.  A number that doesn’t appear real.

“The 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows the world became less peaceful in the last year, reinforcing the underlying trend of declining peace over the last decade. Results also show a growing global inequality in peace, with the most peaceful countries continuing to improve while the least peaceful are falling into greater violence and conflict.”

Big River

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

I have been busy rehearsing as part of the ensemble cast of Big River.  The musical opens on the 19th May, so not long to wait now.  The city is getting warmer and I am finding it hard dancing in layers of clothing in hot rooms.  It will be hot on stage, so I will just have to get used to it.  I am so glad that during the performance each dance only happens once, unlike rehearsal where the point is to keep doing them until they are right.

It’s been fascinating doing theatre work again as technology has changed so many things.  Now rehearsals are organised with web-based project management tools.  Nearly every cast member is carrying a device capable of recording the rehearsal.  Choreography steps are videoed so you can review them at home.  There are apps to help you run lines.  And microphones are everywhere.  I’m not completely thrilled about the microphones, as it changes vocal technique, but I love most of the other changes.  Now if we just had air conditioners that didn’t dry out the throat…