Archive for January, 2007


Saturday, January 6th, 2007

We went to Tokyo today with Akiyo, Akira and Mamoru to a Toyko firefighting event. The kids loved it, as they got to see firefighters and trucks and suits. Very neat. The weather outside was torrential rain and wind – and lots of it, so it was nice to be inside. The kids had a great time mucking about and they even got to ride toy motorised firetrucks with sirens!

Hakone trip

Friday, January 5th, 2007

We went to Hakone today and we had brilliant weather. The highway 1 down to Odawara is simply beautiful and we all enjoyed singing in the sun and looking at the lovely water.

We went to Gora first to have some lunch in a yummy soba/udon shop. Then we took the cable-car up the hill to where we could catch the rope-way (gondola) to the summit. The kids enjoyed the rope-way and didn’t seem too impressed with the cable-car, probably because we’ve been on a few in the last few days!

At the top of the rope-way was an amazing site of volcanic crater and sulfur steams rising out of the rocks. Quite an impressive sight. The view of Fuji-san was brilliant and we took probably too many pictures.

A long queue of people made their way to a hut on the hill, so we decided to go there as well. It turns out that that was where they boiled the Hakone eggs. These eggs are boiled in the sulfur water of the natural springs, and the sulfur turns the eggs black. We bought 6 of them to try them out and they sure are black. Jet black on the outside, and once opened, the insides of the shells are completely white, so it’s quite a contrast when shelling the eggs. The eggs were still warm when we got them (500 yen) and they tasted very delicious! Apparently eating them extends your life by 7 years! Yah!

There are some photos on the photos page.

New Years

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Last night we went over to Ann’s and Janni’s place for a New Years celebration. There was far too much food and a lot of drink which went down very well indeed. The kids went crazy around the house and they had lots of sweet food and fizzy drink (cola). Since we wanted to celebrate the new year together, the kids went to bed upstairs. Evan fell asleep pretty quickly at around 10:30, but Lauren was still awake at around 11:15. She was sharing the room with Andreas and those two were talking and throwing teddy bears at each other, while Evan slept. Once we separated the two, they both fell asleep.

We chatted until around 11:30 and then turned on the tele to watch the traditional Japanese new years celebrations. SMAP won the “contest” for the evening, whatever that means. I think they’ve been around for, like, 14 years or something.  Interestingly, at 11:45 or so, they play “Auld lang syne” on the TV, which I always associate with the new year coming in, and there were antics that looked like the new year had come, even though it was 15 minutes left! Anyways after that, at around 11:45 they switched to some ceremonies at some temples around Japan. Quite interesting, but it certainly put a damper on things. After the new year arrived, we chatted and drank some more, Julia threw up on her mother and we watched the Chinese celebrations on the Chinese channel. Annie’s Chinese, so she could understand it, but the celebrations were quite different to that of the Japanese ones. Anyways, quite interesting. We got home at around 2am or so, and the kids were up at 8.


Monday, January 1st, 2007

We went to the playground today with the kids and took Evan’s soccerball. He’s getting really good now and can kick it quite well. He also used to previously stop the ball with his hands, but now he’s doing it with his feet.

On the see-saw at the playground were three little girls, maybe 10 years old. They each had a kimono on, which we thought was an interesting thing to wear to the playground. They weren’t getting it dirty or anything, so I’m sure their parents won’t be too unhappy with them.