imperial palace

2020-10-15 TOKYO, JAPAN -- I enjoyed visiting the Japan Camera Museum, walking near the Imperial Palace, and attending a cooking demonstration at Rational Japan headquarters.

The Camera Museum is deceptively diminutive, but has a massive collection and knowledgeable staff.

The Camera Museum is located next to the
British Embassy. The embassy faces the moat of the Imperial Palace. The embassy walls are Japanesque, and match the walls of the palace.

Although I live in Tokyo, I hardly know the place. I walked through Kitanomaru Park in the rain.

Shimizumon, a gate dating back to the early times of Edo castle, stands surprisingly historic and unnoticed in downtown Tokyo.

The moat looked menacing in the cold autumn rain.

Just several blocks from the palace, I got lost amidst the winding streets of downtown Tokyo. Sun blocked by clouds, horizon blocked by tall buildings, no way to get bearings.

Luckily, I came across a landmark, the Kanda Catholic church.

Haha, then I got lost again. My destination is a big, tall building, but it was hidden behind a row of smaller buildings. I walked around the block 3 times before I found the entrance.

Rational's demonstration kitchen is well-equipped with their latest products.

Rational has a reputation for feeding their customers well.

daughter and her famiily

2020-10-14 CHIBA, JAPAN -- A star former student of ours introduced us to her husband and baby boy.

I practiced trumpet while waiting for them at a river bank. The river seems popular among water skiers.

What a wonderful young family! We are so happy for them. Too bad we couldn't hold the baby because of COVID-19 pandemic.

They took us to an observation tower where we could see all the way down to Yokohama.


2020-10-12 CHIGASAKI, JAPAN -- Rain finally stopped. We saw Fujisan (Mt Fuji) this morning from the beach. No snow on the peak yet.

Apologies for the poor-resolution photo from my iPad.

bigger monitor

2020-10-10 TOKYO, JAPAN -- I brought home my mom's old computer monitor. This monitor broke a while ago. (I recommend against buying this make and model, unless you buy through a vendor that takes your side when you need repairs. The monitor does a fantastic job when it is operational.) I got her a new, different monitor because she needs to work. I got the old, repaired monitor, and set it up in my room.

First things first: clean the windows so we can leave them open while we set up equipment. Alas our house is in a dusty neighborhood, and our windows get dirty quickly. The rain made it easier to wipe the dirt off the rails and screens. Can't let that dust blow into the house!

My old setup. Dual monitors, 1600 x 1200 pixels. I've been using dual (or more) monitors since 1996.

Remove everything, clean everything, and place everything back.

Tall monitors are good for posture. Keeps my neck and spine straight. Less pain.


2020-10-08 HIRATSUKA, JAPAN -- We ate at a restaurant for the first time in 7 months. The last time was on 2020-03-16, when we ate at the Mazatlan Mexican restaurant in Depoe Bay, Oregon.

The store had just opened for business. Noriko declared the place would be deserted long enough to have a quick bite.

Japanese-style hamburgers come on a skillet instead of buns. They mix lots of chopped onions with ground beef, so the patties are soft and moist.

The restaurant uses a
Woodstone grill to cook hamburgers on tiny skillets. The most common use of Woodstone grills is for baking pizza, I believe.

Kero has an idea! Let's eat out more often! Jump in to a store just after opening, and get out before the crowds arrive.

After our early lunch, we walked through the mall, and admired the illuminated bamboo Halloween decorations.

I wonder how they cut the holes. Lasers?


2020-10-05 TOKYO, JAPAN -- 3 kilometers north of our house is Hinasakudo, a sweet shop that sells gekotan cakes. Gekotan means "Croaky", a diminutive form of the onomatopoetic word for "ribbit". An easy reason to walk half an hour to fetch a baker's dozen.


An artist was commissioned to design the branding irons and wrapping paper.

I bought 2 each of all 7 flavors. Some flavors change by the week or by the season. More reasons to shop!



2020-10-05 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Noriko mailed in our census form. Japan has held censuses every 10 years since 1910.


thai curry at home

2020-10-04 TOKYO, JAPAN -- My brother gave an assortment of heat-and-serve curry sauces.


We steamed turmeric rice. Nice way to finish last year's crop of rice. We start enjoying this year's crop later this week.

Quick and delicious.

temple fair

2020-10-03 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Every "3" day (the 3rd, 13th, and 23rd of each month) a neighborhood Buddhist temple has a street fair.


The fair is for local folk.

Today might be one of the last fairs that goldfish are sold this season.

We enjoyed
deep-fried bean-paste buns.

wildfire support

2020-10-02 OTIS, OREGON, USA -- Our friend Frank King lost his house in a wildfire. I am in awe of the outpour of support from his friends and neighbors. Noriko and I wish Frank and everybody else affected by the recent disaster in Lincoln county to be safe and as comfortable as possible during this most difficult time.

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