Author Archives: jules453

American Football (Ame-Futo) Season is Over…:(

I’m sad that football season is over. Football is my favorite sport to cheer for. Though the games are much longer than basketball, and the basketball games are more energy and support (from the students), football will always be my favorite, most likely thanks to my years of Pop Warner.
The ASIJ Varsity football team this year didn’t start off so great, they were crushed pretty badly the first few games, but then they picked it up for the end and won three games. However, they lost the game that decided whether they would be going to Far East (the league championship game) or not. In the league we play in, there are only about five teams to play in football so our season if very short with few games, I wish it was longer but, given the situation in Japan with the whole “American football isn’t a thing here” problem along with the fact that we have to travel about two hours to get to the nearest school, it’s easy to see why they have it the way it is.
As for cheer, this was probably one of the best ASIJ Varsity cheer squads ever. We hit stunts that had never been achieved before, we had the most material, and we had one of the largest number of seniors on the squad (eleven out of fifteen cheerleaders were seniors). I hope things stay this awesome for next season.

  

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Tokyo Street-side Art

I’m not sure how unique this is, but I noticed it while walking to dinner with my family a while ago. Average looking power boxes by day, turn into unique street art by night (with the help of blacklight). Walking past them during the day wouldn’t make you think twice that they could possibly have a unique feature about them such as this, but later…

Wow.

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Mt. Fuji

As you know, almost two months ago, my family and I hiked Mount Fuji. Now, by no means is Mt. Fuji one of the tallest peaks in the world, but it is one of the most iconic and the tallest peak in Japan. 

Climbing it was hard, but worth it in the end. I wouldn’t do it again unless I had to, but it was good once. 

Here are some photos from the hike. 
This photo is of what we had to carry throughout the two days. Also you get an idea of the terrain we walked on (though usually it was much rockier).

  

This photo was taken from the bottom of Mt. Fuji looking towards the summit, featuring the Snapchat Geotag for Mt. Fuji. 
  

Our feet in hiking boots on Mt. Fuji.
  

View of the side of the mountain and the top of the clouds. 
  

Just a bonus photo of Annie and I flying. 
  

Hiking Fujisan was a great experience and I learned a lot, from a little bit of Japanese to the culture of Japan. But, if you’re thinking of doing it yourself, beware to not get lavarock in your nose and ears. 

Kamakura

Last week there was yet another Monday public holiday, Health and Sports Day. The holiday commemorates the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, and exists to promote sports and an active lifestyle.

With the day off from school and work, we headed for Kamakura. Kamakura is a seaside Japanese city about 50 kilometres (31 miles) south-west of Tokyo; about 90 minutes by train.

Formerly the political center of medieval Japan, modern-day Kamakura is a prominent resort town with dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines. With so many options, we started by visiting Tsurugaoka Hachimangū. Built in 1063, this shrine is commonly regarded as the most important Shinto shrine in the city and the geographical/cultural center of Kamakura.

  
Our next stop was Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine. In spite of its small size, this Shinto shrine is the second most popular spot in Kanagawa prefecture (after Tsurugaoka Hachimangū). Its popularity comes from the belief that the waters of a spring in its cave are said to be able to multiply the money washed in it. So, of course, we had to give that a try!

Our last stop of the day was Kamakura’s most recognizable landmark, the Kotoku-in Temple. This temple’s Great Buddha bronze statue was completed in 1252 and stands roughly 13 meters high (43 feet). The bronze Buddha statue was preceded by a giant wooden Buddha, which was completed in 1243 after ten years of continuous labor; but, was damaged beyond repair during a storm in 1248.

Kamakura is simply a beautiful and historic city, with plenty of shopping, dining, and activity…a place that is near the top of the list of day-trips from Tokyo.

Tokyo Yakult Swallows ~ 2015 Central League Champs!

So, as you may have deduced from previous posts, we are Yakult Swallows fans.

Just a few minutes ago, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 11th inning, the Swallows beat the Hanshin Tigers 2-1, giving them the 2015 Central League Championship!

  

It is their first Central League Championship since 2001. It will be there last in the historic Jingu Stadium (built back in 1926), which is scheduled to be torn down after the season ends in order for a new stadium to be built in time for the 2020 Olympic Games.

 
Now it is time for the playoffs and (hopefully) a Japan Series Championship. 

Go! Go! Swallows!

Uncrustables ~ Savory Style (Part II)

As promised, we’re back with the last two entries from the Yamazaki ‘Lunch-Pack’ Shop. 

We will start with Potato Croquette flavor. This one is basically a hashbrown patty embedded in the soft white bread packet. Per the usual, we toasted this one up and it delivered just as expected…serviceable and solid, but no wow.

  

Saving the best for last, here we have Beef & Cheese! This one is downright delicious. The flavors are true and rich; balancing well with the bread. Just the right amount of meat and sauce; not too much filling and not too much bread. Kinda hungry for another one just writing about it.

  

Uncrustables ~ Savory-Style (Part I)

Time for lunch…so, we reached for some savory options that we picked up at the Yamazaki ‘Lunch Pack’ Shop.

First up today was Sweet Potato. Ok…so, this one wasn’t great. The texture was more creamy than hearty and the flavor was more bland than it should have been.

  
Next up was Beef Curry. If this were grade school, this one would end up with a solid “B”. The curry flavor was prominent and the consistency of the filling paired well with the bread.

  
Our final tasting for this post was Minced Cutlet. This one was our favorite of the three (although not our overall favorite for our savory selections…more on that one next time). The meat was plentiful and tasty; very satisfying when toasted up for lunch on a drizzly September day.

  
Be sure to check back soon for our final entry in this series; which will include Beef Cutlet and Potato Croquette.