Japan’s New National Holiday
Happy Mountain Day, 2016! If you don’t know already, today — Thursday, 11 August, 2016 — is the first-ever Mountain Day national holiday here in Japan.
That’s what today’s image on Google Japan is all about, if you didn’t know https://www.google.co.jp/
TBH, though R. has the day off work and school hasn’t yet started, we don’t have plans to do anything specific to celebrate. We figure we already spend a lot of time in the mountains – in fact we’re just back from our summer trip to the Canadian Rockies! – and besides, it’s uncomfortably hot on main-island Honshu in August. Besides, summer is a busy time in Japan, and the mountain trails and huts will be crowded with students and tourists and other holiday-makers.
We prefer to do our own thing, at our own pace🙂 We’ll celebrate the mountains we’ve been blessed with in our own way, as we always have…
Meantime, here’s Kachou Fuugetsu “Flower Bird Wind Moon:” a gallery of pictures from our outdoor adventures in Japan
Photos from Kichijoji, in west-end Tokyo
See more pictures from my adventures in Japan and the rest of the world on Instagram.
Omoshiroi mono “interesting stuff” photo gallery created on 5oopx.
I added five photos — originally taken on film back in 2015 — from neighbouring Saitama, Japan to the new gallery Omoshiroi Mono: Fine Art Photos from Japan at 500px.
Summer travel blogs and photos
Just to say, I returned to – an extended rainy season in – Tokyo from my summer trip to Canada late last week, and I’m currently posting blogs to Exit Booted and photos to Instagram from our backpacking trip on the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park.
Check out pictures on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tokyoaaron/?hl=en
Or follow the story as I continue to post it on Exit Booted https://exitbooted.wordpress.com/tag/berg-lake-trail/
Hibana: Spark in Kichijoji
Netflix’s first-ever Japanese TV mini-series “Hibana: Spark,” a comedy-drama about a small group of struggling comedians in Tokyo, is getting decent reviews on imdb.com (8.9 out of 10 stars), though considerably less well on the Japanese edition of Netflix itself (2 out of 5 stars). I dunno: my jury’s still out, if that makes sense. On the one hand, I kind of like Kamiyasan’s rebel-without-a-cause, art-for-art’s sake character, and his ambiguous relationship with Makisan is intriguing. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of manzai-style comedy, and a lot of the routines just don’t do much for me.
In any case, one of the biggest surprises about the show is the locations: a lot of the scenes are shot in K
ichijoji and nearby Kami Shakuji: R. lived in the latter when we first dated, and we both still spend a lot of time in the former. In fact, I was there today, and took the chance to shoot some rainy day pictures of the Harmonika Yokocho eating and drinking alley which figures prominently in Hibana, as well as some pictures of the new station building.
The tsuyu (“plum rain”) rainy season doesn’t kick off officially in Tokyo until June 8, but already a steady rain is falling from skies the colour of dirty rice water. And is forecast to continue to do so every day this week…
Actually, the weather changed abruptly around mid-morning Saturday, Tokyo time. Until then, we’d enjoyed a gloriously warm, sunny, relatively dry early summer – perfect for hanging laundry (just saying). Then, before noon, sombre grey clouds overcast the city, the temperature dropped — and my allergies went into overdrive.
Fortunately, Japan has very effective over-counter-allergy medicine. Unfortunately, the best of the weather may be behind us here in the Big Sushi – and the rest of Japan. The forecast is apparently for a “La Niña” climate cycle to replace the El Niño, bringing – yet another – record-breaking hot summer.
We won’t be alone. Apparently for the first time in history, the whole planet has been setting month after month of heat records since March of 2015, which is itself a record: never before have there been 12 consecutive months of record heat.