Monthly Archives: August 2009

Experiences News

More rumblings

Another earthquake struck early this morning at around 05:07 – the first earthquake in I don’t know how long that was strong enough to actually wake me up!

Apparently it was less strong than the previous one 2 days ago (6.6 instead of 7.1), but this time it was NOT offshore and thus did more damage.   A tsunami warning was also issued, though the wave that struck was relatively tiny at 30cm high.

It’s been a quake-filled few days apparently, with a 7.6 shock also hitting India today but also thankfully no reports of casualties.

Me, I woke up to the sound of rattling but after not hearing anything falling over, squinted at my watch, realized I still had a precious 30 more minutes of shut-eye left, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  Ya really do get used to anything.

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Food & drinks


I stumbled across this recipe for making stuffed mushrooms and… dang… that’s real incentive for me to get a microwave oven!  It looks so good (yes, yes, I know it also looks incredibly calorific but c’mon!) that I’ve got to make this some time!

The Pioneer Woman is another site that’s going into my bookmarks 🙂

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Experiences News

Nature’s fireworks

Have to say, Japan has not been having much luck this year in regards to viewing Nature’s events.  First the day of the eclipse was too cloudy to even tell that half of the sun over Tokyo was covered by the moon, and now on the night of the Perseids we have a typhoon hitting Japan!

Oh well, for anyone reading this site and having clear night skies, be sure to look towards the heavens at night for the next couple of days as the Perseids reach their peak.

I will try to see if I can spot any myself, though I can’t stay up late since I’m on early shift at work. 🙁

More Reading:

English Wikipedia:
English Images of Perseids to date:
Japanese Information:


It’s raining, it’s pouring

And boy howdy is it raining… the walk from my station to the office, roughly 5 minutes, left most of my lower body drenched despite the use of an umbrella.  Luckily I have a spare pair of shoes at the office or I’d be squishing along all day >_<;

I think this is all due to some tropical storm/typhoon, hence also the near 100 percent humidity…

To “celebrate”, I’ve gone and added a weather “widget” (WordPress really has all sorts of plugins out there!) to the right – now you can see just what kind of weather I’m experiencing, as well as the following day’s forecast! 🙂

Experiences News

I definitely felt this one!

Around 20:00 Tokyo time, an earthquake measuring between 6.9 – 7.1 on the Richter scale rattled most of Japan.  I was sitting home, eating dinner and watching TV, when I noticed my shelves start shaking, the dishes in the sink clattering, and the building begin to sway.  I know that earthquakes take place all the time (this is Japan after all, where 20% of the world’s earthquakes occur) but this is the first one I’ve physically noticed in a very long time.

I was a little concerned because I honestly haven’t felt such a strong one in…probably years.  It was strong enough to knock down a flashlight that was sitting atop of the drum!  Luckily nothing was damaged (at least externally, hope nothing in the building was rattled too badly) and my bookshelves held up just fine – I have to say I’m really glad I bought the supports for them!

I don’t mind small earthquakes to be honest – my take on the little ones (even ones like this that shake alot but don’t really do too much damage) is that they act as sort of “stress relievers” for whatever pressure is building up beneath the earth’s crust.  Given Japan’s location (right atop a spot where 3 continental plates meet and grind against each other), there is always talk of the “Big One/Tokai Earthquake” so the more of these small quakes we get, the merrier I say!

(The image below is taken from the Japanese Meteorological Agency, showing how today’s quake impacted Japan)

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Experiences Travels

A trip to Izu

Sorry for the lack of posting again lately… work has been extremely busy and honestly after spending all day working on or in front of a computer, I don’t always feel like coming back home to sit in front of one again.

Today I thought I’d put up some pictures of a one day/night trip I took with a friend and his family a couple of months back to Izu.  It was actually my first time there (in my whole 7+ years in Japan!!!) and it was really nice to relax among friends, play with children, and get out of the city (and work) for an all-too-brief period of time.

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The trip to Izu is fairly quick – about a 3-4 hour car ride (the family had a car).  The place we stayed at was a lovely cottage up in the hills (more like a mountain actually).  Not quite a resort, but more a mountain “getaway” area of sorts containing several individual cottages that families could rent out as well as a hotel/inn for smaller groups.  Since we were a total of 5 people (3 adults and 2 kids) we stayed at one of the cottages, a spacious wooden dwelling that could easily have held at least 6 people.  There was an onsen at the place as well (we never used the shower in the cottage!) and the food…oh the food was bountiful and de-li-cious. (at least the dinner – breakfast was your standard fare)

Izu (at least to my knowledge) is known primarily for its islands.  I remember back in college one of my professors would rave about going around the Izu islands for fishing.  In a similar vein, Izu is also popular for its beaches, and the one beach we went to certainly did not disappoint.  Crystal clear water (though still chilly at the time since it wasn’t yet summer), white sands and open space – it’s a great place to spend a day exploring and swimming.  The beach we visited also had some cliffs and rocky outcrops nearby, most worn away to rocky outcrops.

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In particular there was one that had a tunnel of sorts, created by the water pounding and drilling into the stone over the years.  The gallery will show some of the pictures I took and I will say that I was highly highly tempted to try crawling in there to see what I could find, but in all honesty I chickened out because 1) I didn’t have a flashlight, and 2) I’ve seen too many horror movies where one see the chirpy adventurers go poking about holes or caves in the ground and end up being messily killed by some creature.  I always scoff at how dumb the adventurers are for going into these creepy dark places – but I must say that I can better understand the tug of curiosity that leads one into such situations.  Next time I’ll bring my flashlight – and maybe a hard hat.

Overall it was an extremely relaxing trip, I had GREAT great fun playing with the kids, K and Y (full names withheld for privacy reasons), and I’m really grateful to my friend for inviting me along.  It’s the kind of place that’s really difficult to get to and enjoy without a car.  Hence why I’m seriously considering getting a license in the coming months despite the insane cost… >_<

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