Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crap Weather

Last day of work for a week!!! C'mon Golden Week!!

The wind's been howling all night and it's victory at sea. Nothing much to do but study some Japanese and watch a couple of vids.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shumatsu 週末 Weekend

Had a bumper weekend. It started with a long day at work Saturday (been a lot of those recently so luckily only two days of work this week and then Golden Week!!). Straight after work I ran past Jusco and picked up a bunch of beer to take round to my new neighbour's house as she was throwing a small house warming party. Eri had gone to a lot of effort to stock up on food from Costco and some friends whipped up some Gyoza which were really tasty. It was really cool to meet her sister and partner that were visiting from Sydney. Thanks for you hospitality Eri and I hope we didn't out stay our welcome!!

Then Sunday I had a surf in the morning before succumbing to tiredness and taking a nap in the arvo only to be woken by my wife's call from Hawaii. At first I thought something must be wrong...perhaps I got the dates mixed up for picking her up or something....but it was just to share the great news that she had finished her course. I was so stoked but couldn't really tell her as I was caught off guard and was still half asleep.
However, after a long sleep Sunday, my batteries were charged again and I was up at the crack of dawn Monday.I paddled out and had a nice relaxing surf, only small but the water was warm and the sun was out.
Then it was off to the hospital to see about rehabilitation for my finger. It's still very swollen and the muscle has shortened a lot so it needs a lot of stretching and manipulation.
Then finally tonight, I stopped by Donya to see my favourite chef in town, Ken-san. He made a special dish for me that's not on the menu. Two of my favourites, avocado and Aji (Horse Mackerel) sashimi. Arigatou Ken-san!!!! Sugoi oishiikatta!!!! Gochisoo-sama.


BIG UPS to Aiko and the rest of the students that graduated from their Hula Course! It's been a mammoth 2 and a half years and lots of sweat and tears. I can't start to imagine how happy they all must be to have achieved such a lofty goal after all their hard work and endless hours of study and practice. So proud of ya baby!!! Big Mahalo to their Kumu(s) for his (and his assistants) patience, hospitality and kind words of wisdom and motivation along the way. Wahoo!!!! Time to party!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Good Luck Aiko!!

Aiko is away in Hawaii completing her Hula Course and has her Second Year Graduation!!! All the best and remember that you have all our thoughts and well wishes coming your way from Kamogawa!!!

Jun Ripping

Good friend and BBQ master, Jun, ripping! (photo: Maki @ Surf Shop Bloom)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Surfing Hisashiburi

Got wet today (first time in 2 months) and it never felt so good...

until I caught my finger in an awkward position, but still.

The sun was out, the water's warmer and the waves were shoulder high with mostly locals out.

Good times

Monday, April 19, 2010

While the cat's away...

I've been busy! A couple of days ago we had a wintry cold front that came through resulting in snow just north of here and a miserly 3 degrees for us in Kamogawa. With the wife away at the mo I decided to whip up a roast and stink up the house with the smell of meeeaaatttt. Actually didn't smell as much as I thought it would. The pork was lovely and tender and seasoned with rosemary from the balcony. I also through in some spuds, carrots and onion. Mmmmm....delicious.Then, as luck would have it, Sunday was warm and sunny so we busted out the BBQ and had an early birthday celebration for Dave's daughter, Mahina Ke Aloha. It was very small with just a couple of us but we ate a truckload! Wild Boar (Inoshishi), Scallops, Chicken Wings, Squid and Hot Dogs!Then today I went back to the hospital in Katsuura and had the Doctor yank out my pins. I wasn't sure what to expect and was anticipating some degree of pain, but actually it was pretty painless although I did feel a bit hot and queasy right after and needed some fresh air.....yeah, yeah...big pussy....I know.Step 1: Pliers and a good firm grip
Step 2; Yank! Camera shutter speed was delayed so I missed the action shot :(
And here they are, the 2 pins that held the bone in place while it healed.

According to the X-ray it all looks good. Just needs a bit of rehabilitation to get the movement back and it'll be as good as new. It was a beautiful day today so I took the scenic route home and snapped this picture looking back across Katsuura Bay at Katsuura township. I can't wait to get wet. My Doc gave me the all clear but be careful spiel and a friend hooked me up with waterproof bandaging until the two puncture holes have healed.

Thanks everyone for you help and patience over these last two months, especially my wife!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

See ya buddy

Saw off a buddy from work the other day at Casa, in Kamogawa. Nice food and pretty a cool vibe, worth keeping in mind to take my wife one day.
Anyway, he was always good for a chat and was starting to get right into his surfing so we always discussed wave conditions and new swell predictions.
He's off to university to study design up in Ibaragi (away from the beach).
Best of luck with your studies mate and feel free to drop by anytime you're down this way for a surf.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beach Time

Yesterday was nice and warm and sunny so I went for a stroll along the beach and wet the toes. It seems like the water is warming up which is good because when my finger is right I'm keen as to get out in the waves and get amongst it.

SEASIDENice right-hander walling up @ B-side
Another one slips by unriddenAbove and below: Nako-chan Pro Bodyboarder

Above: How fun does this look? It's about chest high and no-one on it
Below: looking back at my place
Ogura-san, local old boy about to paddle out at KakouAbove and below: TakejiYoshi Ogawa
Unknown on a leftTako-chu coming in after a fun surf.

Shower Time!

5 more sleeps 'til the wires come out (provided the X-ray is all good)!!
I started out taping a shopping bag around my wrist each time but found this gift bag from Jusco with side ties fit perfectly. So much less hassle and it's re-usable!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who's Your Mother????

This really grates me when I see this kind of thing. If I ever catch someone doing this I'm gonna whip their ass...even with a bust finger...GRRRrrrrr!!!!!

This has been sitting there for about a fortnight and everyone just walks past it???? I finally went into the store nearby and asked for a plastic bag, picked it up and took it home. I had intended to sort the trash into the correct recycling bins for collection but the condo manager took pity on me (or thought I'd mess it up) and offered to do it....gomen ne.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Good friend and Pro Surfer, Sei Nagai, recently started working at Buono Restaurant at the Familio Tateyama Hotel. Familio, while having both accommodation and a restaurant, also has a variety of sporting facilities such as a Beach Volleyball court, Yoga, Futsal and Tennis courts, as well as offering outdoor activities such as Sea Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

Buono offers Itailian fair and had a killer lunch deal that runs from 12~3pm. It's open right thru until 11pm with afternoon tea, dinner and a bar from 8pm to close.

Lunch is just ¥1480 including tax and you get a kick ass salad to start things off followed by a choice of several pasta dishes or pizza (Aiko got the Cabonara and I ordered Pizza. Both were delicious). Then to wrap things up they throw in a gelato ice cream (tomato flavoured) and choice of either hot or ice coffee. And to top things off, was the fact that they had an opening campaign with a further ¥500 off the price, so we ate for less than $10 each!!!

Thanks Sei!!
Good luck with the new job!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Tateyama, about 35mins drive south of Kamogawa, is host to an old Japanese Castle situated in the grounds of Shiroyama Park. At the base of the hill is a large number of cherry trees which also line the path up to, and surrounding, the Castle itself.
From the top there is a nice view out over Tateyama and Tokyo Bay. This Sunday was particularly busy with people doing their annual 'Hanami' (Blossom watching) and the blossoms didn't disappoint. It is also a rather common tradition to picnic under the trees and drink Japanese sake and beer with friends and work companions. (Still a bit cold if you ask me) I guess it was probably the peak day of the year with regard to the amount and extent of the blossoming so we were fortunate to have the time to go and see for ourselves.


(The packaging depicting a chef grilling the meat over hot coals)
One of my student's brothers went up to Sendai and bought back some of the local delicacy, Gyuu-tan. My Grandad's mouth woulda been watering in his grave as he used to always request the tongue when we had a beast slaughtered on the farm. Back then I had no appreciation for it, but these days I love it!! Thanks fellas.(Inside the box were 2 packs)
(The finished product grilled with fresh Rosemary from the balcony and Hawaiian salt seasoning with a touch of lemon juice waiting to be devoured...mmmm....delicious!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Had a fantastic time in Tokyo the other day. A flatmate from Dunedin days was holidaying in Japan with her husband and daughter. We hadn't seen each other for 12 years or so we calculated, but it seemed just like yesterday!! Unfortunately, not living in Tokyo, I'm not the best guide for those looking to take in the sights. However, we still managed to see around the Asakusa area and sample some Okonomiyaki in a local restaurant.

While there, we also saw the new TOKYO SKY TOWER currently under construction. As it happened, that day it officially eclipsed the TOKYO TOWER as the tallest building in Tokyo. When completed, it will be 634m high!! Construction is expected to be completed in 2011. (above is what it's expected to look like)

Then we took a cruise down the Sumida River back to the Hinode Pier, which is just by the Rainbow Bridge and a short walk from Hamamatsucho Station on the Yamanote Line which circles inner Tokyo. It was really busy as the river's edge is lined with Cherry trees and Japan is in the grip of 'Sakura Fever', a week in which the Cherry trees blossom.

It is customary for friends and workmates to party in the parks under the trees and even has an official name 'Hanami', often with office juniors sent down with blue plastic sheeting to mark out and hold a space all day until the others finish work and come down with the beers and food. A lot of the local breweries release special beers or packaging just for the occasion.

I feel sorry for them this year as it's super cold. Apparently it even snowed in Kamogawa while I was in Tokyo!!

Finally it was back to their accommodation near Tokyo Tower and a quick dinner together before parting ways.

Thanks Amanda, Rich and Soph. I had an awesome time and hope that you guys get some great memories from the rest of your holiday. Hopefully it won't be 12 years until our paths cross again!!