Saturday, January 31, 2009


So, we have been kind-of quiet lately.
I know over the past 4 months (yes... it's been that long) we have been exploring and just getting out and about.
I feel like this month, after Enoshima... we have just been super home bound.
We have had a few dinners out and of course the fruit and veggie shopping, but that's about it.
This weekend i was thinking, Finally ~ we will get out and do some exploring... but it rained yesterday and today. We still have tomorrow, but i doubt we will be going anywhere, as the week ahead looms.

On Wednesday i did head out to 7-11 just outside of Jimmuji Gate and grab a few things.

This picture is where we leave Ikego Base Area and cross into Jimmuji Train Station. If i was just riding the train i would scan my Suica Card, but because i am just passing through i have to buy a Ticket. I have to scan or add my ticket to the wicket (far left side) before i enter.

Here is a "Route Map" they have posted. I just thought for you Family and Friends who have never been to Japan... this is pretty Intimidating! (for even me!) One thing is true... Trains in Japan? Easy!!!! No Worries! ;)

(Yes, we do have 7-11 here in Japan. It doesn't have Big Gulps and Hot Dogs... just Japanese Snacks/Drinks and Manga. ;) haha)

I had the 'day off', as the kids were in school. I just went to 7-11 and bought a bag full of things to try & vegged w/ my Wiimote and had a nice relaxing afternoon chatting w/ Kitty on Wii Speak and playing Animal Crossing... just plain 'ole chill'n!

Here's a few photos from my 7-11 visit.
7-11 is just outside our pedestrian gate, just a 2 minute walk. The catch? We have to walk through the Train Station. The Train Station charges a fee for passing through. It is 130Y ($1.30) each way. So, when i passed through i payed $2.60 'round trip' just for the convenience of not having to walk out the main gate and take a 30 minute walk down to the 7-11.

This pic is the 1st thing i had to have a picture of ...
This Parm Cheese is the size of an American Slice of Cheese. So SMALL!
It's also pretty pricey, even for Japanese Standards, IMO. With the Yen Rate what it is right now... It's close to $3.00!!! WOW!

Sushi Sandwiches!! LOL ;) They have EVERYTHING in Japan!

One thing i have decided i DONT like (Gasp!). After seeing this "bread" on Katie's Blog a few months ago... i thought, WOW... i think i wanna try that. Well, i did and DONT like it... and i like Everything. haha It's bread, mayo and corn... w/ a tiny bit of cheese. EW!

I took a look in the Freezer Area and found something from my past. While living in Sasebo i bought these Mikan Sherbet. Mmmmmm They are delish, and come in a 'keepsake' container! And, they were 188Y ($1.88) WOW! ;)

If you remember in my Sushi-go-Round post... i tried these Fried Potato's w/ Honey & SSeeds. Well, i found them in Kit Kat Flavor! NO JOKE! ;)
They taste Just like the Potato... but with a Kit Kat Texture! Talk about Weird Goodness!

Oh, and Night Club Pringles... I had to buy them!! haha
They are Black Pepper Pringles, i think... and were good. I just loved the name. :)

On another note...---->

Olivia got her report card on Thursday and all is well. She is doing great... and her teacher said..."One could only wish for a classroom full of Olivia's...".[or something similar] ;)
So sweet of her to say that.
Olivia is working well all around but especially Math. Math is her Strongest point, and that's No Shocker! ;) (as Ethan is a Math wiz)
Also... she has already surpassed 1st grade requirements for reading. I am super glad about that considering that we moved during 1st grade & I was worried that we would have a delay problem because of the whole move.

That's it from here.
Please Look Forward to a Blog about Ethan's SUMO Trip. Last week i bought Ethan a trip ALONE to a Grand Sumo Tournament!! :) He is excited to go... and i am excited for him (and for the alone time). I am also thinking this gives me a "Alone Trip" in the bag for the future! YEA! ;)
Ok! see ya!......................

Sunday, January 25, 2009


So, about 10 days ago while Evan was at school (Olivia too) I went to a Sushi-Go-Round.
My neighbor asked if i wanted to go, and of course i said YES.
I just love experiencing Japanese Food.
So, she drove, and we headed toward Uraga.
We took 16 south until it turned into 230 i think ... i don't know. HaHa... but i do know we followed the signs for Uraga. We JUST passed Uraga Station (Keiku line) and the Sushi place was up on the right. It was on the 2nd floor of a building.
This Sushi place had a lot of 100Yen sushi. It also had Sushi and Salads and such that were more than 100Yen (1$) .
It was fun, and Delicious!

When we got to the parking area they have Paid Parking. But, it's all Automated. You pick the # spot you want... pull in and park.
Then go eat.

This sign is just letting you know about their time and rate and how it works. Also there is a Phone Number... and emergency phone box.

When we were done eating we paid. The cashier gave us a ticket for parking.
We walked up to the machine and we entered our # and entered the card and it said 0Yen due.
Because we ate at Sushi we got Free Parking.
:) We had a certain amount of time to move the car before the timer popped up again.

This particular place had a "how to" in English!
I mean... I am having it Easy in Yokosuka. I was not as lucky at most places in Sasebo.
We would always just go in the place... smile and point. haha! It was always a Nice Surprise!
Almost every place we have been to in this are has English Menu's.

This is a Hot Water Dispenser at the table! Yup... just for Green Tea.
Thats my friend making me a cup! :) Such a Sweetie!

They offer the powdered type here, and at most places.
I enjoy green tea all ways... All the time.

At a Sushi go Round,....... the sushi goes around the restaurant. All you have to do is grab what you want. That's it... Easy! You eat until your done, and they count the plates.
The color of the plate tells how much $ money.
Drinks and Desserts go around the belt too!

This was my Favorite!!! It is Rice and Shrimp and Avocado and Onion and Mayo. Now, i am NOT a big Mayo fan... but it was good. 2 pieces for 100Y or 1$.

No... i did not eat this...
You would NEVER see Squid like this in America... haha! ;) !
I do like squid on my sushi... w/ wasabi and it has to be a piece of squid... not the whole squid!

My kids would be in heaven w/ Peel and Eat! :) and i would be too at 1$ per bowl! ;)

This is a Fried Japanese Potato... dipped in Honey and it was Soooooooooo Good!

YUP... 100Y and these were not small and sooooo good!

Here comes Dessert!
Choco Ice cream sitting on Frozen Banana's.
Also under the ice cream were Frosted Flakes and a Jello like substance.
All together with choco syrup and whipped cream LOL
What a Combo... but it was So Good for 250 ish Yen... or $2.50.

I was MORE than stuffed and it cost me under 1,000 Y (10$)

YES, i am a Food Lover... and a lot that i love about Japan is the Food. :) This should be called Our Crazy Navy Life & A's Love of! haha

Oh, here is how they lock your car until you pay the fee for parking.
Dont you think this is a GREAT idea? America should catch on!

Date Night [January]

Last night was our Date Night we have once a month.
We did not plan anything, as we had a busy day ... so we just dropped the kids off... and headed out.
Last Month when we went on our date we saw this Very Busy, and Smelling good Yakiniku. We did not feel like waiting, so we moved onto a Yakitori place.
Last night we waited and Enjoyed a Wonderful Yakiniku Dinner. Mmmmm!!
Here are some photos for your enjoyment.
To reach this Yakiniku from Ikego.
~take the keiku line from jimmuji to kanazawa-hakkei.
~exit station
~walk strait until you reach 16. (about 2~5 minutes)
~take a left on 16 and walk about 10~15 minutes. (passing Daiei)
~ you will see Denny's... and upstairs from Denny's is this Yakiniku place.
There was Table style and Tatami style seating.
We waited a good 3o minutes. We were also there at Rush Hour on a Saturday night.
It was DELISH!

We ordered a Special 3 set and Standard 4 set (meat's) and 2 nice sized plates of Veggies and 2 medium rice bowl's and1 GIANT beer and a Small Cola and a Kimchi Sampler for me (i love Kimchi!). All this came to about 60$ (6,000yen).

Enjoy the pictures!

Before we headed to Yakiniku we took a detour. We took them train to Kanazawa-Hakkei and got off. We hopped on the Seaside line and rode it 4 stops to the Seaside Paradise Exit. After getting off we took a foot bridge to the Seaside Spa and 'checked it out'. We will be going back, with Tattoo Covers. The manager knows we have tattoo's... but as long as we cover them, he says no problem! ;)
After that detour we headed back and had dinner.

This is the entrance to the Sea Side Line (Train). This Train line also takes Passmo or Suica cards. ;)

We got off at Hakkeijima.

As soon as we got off we were RIGHT at the Seaside Paradise Amusement Park. WOW! It's so close to our house! :)

This is the foot bridge we walked over to get to the spa. It's a big bridge! ;)Ethan is a goof!

We made it!

It even had a place to LOCK your umbrella outside! This tells you we live in a Rainy Area! ;) LOL

After we were done we headed to dinner.
This place offers a English Menu... w/ no photos. But, at every table there is a TV E-Menu. So, we flipped through that to see what looked good.

Our 1st plate of meat and my Kimchi. MMMMMMmmmm

Ethan w/ the sauces to dip the meat. mmmmmmmmm

Look at his HUGE 700 yen beer!!! As my friend Anne pointed out... look how big it is in comparison to the rice... and that's a GOOD size rice! LOL ;) haha!!!(yes, Ethan is a goof... w/ the pinkie finger. He is always joking!)

Our Table Grill.

If you can eat Corn on the cob w/ chopsticks... you've got talent!

Cooking the 2nd plate of Veg's and Meat's. I did not care for the bacon looking stuff. (who knows what it actually was... as we don't read Japanese! haha! All the rest was Delish though!)

When we paid ... we both got a free candy and ticket. We have to scratch it off and see what we 'won' for next time. ;)

And this is our ticket. (for those of you NOT in Japan... How interesting, right?) All in Japanese... you just get used to it. and i can actually figure out what we paid for... just to make sure we were not overcharged.... which NEVER happens here! ;) FYI!

That's about 60 US dollars depending on the yen rate. Right now... it's probably about 65~70 dollars for that meal.
Aunt Jackie... Getting hungry? LOL!

O's night out...

Olivia had a "night out" last weekend.

She was invited to a neat birthday party... she had a fun time getting all dolled up for the party.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine [Kamakura, Japan]

We have had a busy week... and it's been Fun!

Last Friday Kath & I went on a trip. We went with the Japanese American Society (Japanese who would like to make Friendships and Talk with Americans who want the same thing), we went to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. (Information on this shrine was taken from Winki as i did not feel like typing it all out myself. :) )

This shrine, which used to be also a Buddhist temple and far bigger than today, was originally built in 1063 in Zaimokuza where tiny Moto Hachiman now stands.
Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate, moved it to its present location in 1191 and invited Hachiman, to reside in the new location too to guard his government. Both the shrine and the city were built with Feng Shui in mind. In spite of all the changes the shrine has gone through over the years, in this respect Yoritomo's design is still basically intact.

Walking from the beach toward the shrine one passes through three torii, or Shinto gates, called respectively Ichi no Torii (first gate), Ni no Torii (second gate) and San no Torii (third gate).
Between the second and third torii, begins the dankazura, a raised pathway flanked by cherry trees.

This is the 2nd gate (the 1st gate is located at the water). The streets are lines with Cherry Blossom tree's. I can not wait to visit this shrine during the spring when they are in bloom!

The walkway between the 2nd and 3rd gate was not only lines with Cherry Tree's but also lanterns for the New Year Celebration.

Approaching the 1st gate (about to enter the Shrine area.)
After Entering the Shrine, we washed and cleaned our hands and mouths.
This was interesting! :)

A 1st look........

This is where your fortune is tied.
I did buy a Fortune ticket (yes, they had English Translation)... It was a Good Fortune! :) I was told that i don't have to tie... i could keep it. So, i chose to keep it. :)

This is a picture of these HUGE SAKE Barrels. This is a Gift to the gods said one of our Japanese Friends. I wish i had a person standing there, so... you could see this was as tall as a 2~3 story building!

Walking up the Very Tall Stairs....
Before i went inside, I asked how to properly pray and enter.
I was told about clapping and bowing and praying. They wanted me to follow them as they did it.... As a Christian i was a bit on the uncomfortable side 'praying' at a Shrine... but i prayed this prayer:
"Dear God, Please forgive me if this is wrong, and i just wanted to learn more about the Japanese Culture... in Jesus name, Amen!"... LOL!

I dont think i did anything wrong, especially because i was praying to My God! :)

A view from the top. You can Clearly see the 1st and 2nd Gates... it was not clear enough to see the 3rd gate.

This tree on the grounds of the shrine (before you climb the stairs)... is over 1,000 yrs old. This is why it has a 'rope' around it.
I was told that the tree was young at only 200 yrs old when they 1st moved to this location.

Even though it's WINTER here and cold... we still have blooms all around!
This is a Chinese Plum Tree i was told... Beautiful!

After we toured the shrine we took a small garden tour, (on the grounds). It was just stunning!

In the garden were some just amazing flowers! They were all the same, just different colors. The flowers were being protected from the wind and rain by little umbrella's and tents. :)
All the rocks are from China as well... and are 'art'. (i was told)

As a side note: When visiting this Shrine as with MOST Japanese places there is NO Paper Towels or ways to dry your hands.
I was OK and prepared for this.
What i was not aware of was the lack of TP. There was NO TP!
And... I did not know this... It's SOLD outside the Bathroom for 100Yen... in a VENDING MACHINE!
Yup! Good thing it was #1......... LMAO!!!!!!!!!
Next time i will buy a 'square' before attending the restroom.
Good news is ... i was not the only one who was shocked by this. All the ladies in our group were too!!! LOL!

When we were done we went to a small place for lunch. This place was literally a Hole in the Wall (or building!)... It was VERY Cozy, and 'Japanese'.
I had a wonderful lunch, and visit with my new found friends.

(i did not take any pictures inside... as i thought it would be rude... also, it was very small... and there was just NO room!)

After the lunch we headed DIRECTLY to a tea/coffee house. It was small as well... but sat
a few more tables than the lunch spot. It was very English, and i loved it! Relaxing to say the very least! Now i know why Lunch (and dinner) in Japan can be SO Small and no one cares... it's because they Enjoy the After Dinner (or lunch) tea/coffee/drinks. It just finished the 'meal' wonderfully! I'll never go back to my American ways (when i am out and about w/ out my 2 crazy kids).

Here is a picture of the Tables we took up. Also... there was about 3~4 more tables in this small quaint place.
For 500Y per person... for a WONDERFUL cup of Coffee w/ Sugar and the Thickest Cream EVER... So Wonderful!

During this entire time... Ethan took over!
He took a 1/2 day on Friday and picked Olivia and Evan both up from school.
After school he took them to the mini mart for a Fun Snack.
He said they spent the rest of the time after school until i got home about 4:05 pm outside climbing the trees in my front yard.
Here is what i walked up and saw....

My baby in the TOP of the tree! omg! (she is in no way a monkey, so i thought!)

and ..............

Evan too! And ... that's no a Little Bush! LOL It's a nice size tree. haha
They had a blast w/ Daddy.

After i got home and Ethan had to HURRY and get ready for his Event.
It was a CPO Event... and so, no guests... which means no Me... :):) i was MORE than Thrilled to stay home and Veg! :)

This is him all dressed up (I'm holding his 'cap'... and yes... he should be wearing it. Also ... if your wondering why he is not wearing GOLD... it's because of his Broken Service... and Lack of Years in the Navy. (He is still a young-en!)