Monday, January 31, 2011

Back in Japan!

 I've just returned from a fantastic whirlwind trip home to NZ. We timed it perfectly between tropical cyclones and scored great weather and surf. It was also amazing to catch up with my Mum, Dad, Nana, Sister, Nieces and Nephews, and a couple of Friends along the way. A huge 'THANK YOU/ARIGATOU/MAHALO' to everyone that helped us along the way with cars, places to stay, dinner, bus/airport drop offs and pick ups, etc. Photos will follow, but just give me a little time to digest everything that has happened in the last week.
Back in Japan, we were greeted with -1 degree temps at Narita Airport. The car was all iced over, but the sun was out. Then in the evening it started to snow! (photo taken from the balcony)
 Apparently in Niigata, they've had constant snow the last couple of days and there is now 4m of snow lining the streets! Still life goes on and the young volunteer to shovel snow for the elderly, fisherman head out to sea, and the school bell signals the start to classes.
This morning's sunrise with the ocean looking more like a bath as the steam rises from the surface in the golden light.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


One more day of work before we head back to NZ for a week for some time with the family! I'm super excited and am looking forward to the summer (as it's freezing outside today with the windchill!). Fingers crossed the great weather they had in early January sticks around and there are some waves! Now all I have to do is pack...easier said than done.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Apple Pie

We had a couple of apples lying around that we were given, a leftover pie sheet in the freezer and some time to burn this weekend. My wife decided that she wanted to eat apple pie. I vaguely recalled making apple turnovers back in Junior High School, so I googled a recipe and the rest was history.
Adding the filling to the pie (sliced apples pan fried with a little butter, cinnamon and brown sugar with a touch of corn starch added to thicken the syrup)
Baking away in our old trusty microwave/oven/grill.
The finished product hot out of the oven and smelling fantastic.
Half now and half later... :) Complimented perfectly with a hot cup of coffee from Hawaii and some vanilla ice cream from NZ!

Fishing Hazards

Dad's a good keen fisherman. So, when I saw this video I (cracked up and) thought I better post it to warn him of the hazards. Hilarious DADGUMMIT!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Storm Brewin'

 We went down to Tateyama near the southern tip of Chiba Peninsula today to do some last minute shopping for our trip. It blew a gale in the morning, and although the wind died off, the clouds looked foreboding across Tokyo Bay as we looked out across to Mt. Fuji.
 Mt. Fuji across Tokyo Bay.
 Storm clouds brewing to the west.
While we were shopping the snow started to fall. I stopped in Wada on the way back and took this picture. It's not that often you see palm trees and snow in the same photo!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Keen as mustard!

What better way to spend your weekend....well, maybe if you're a mad keen fisherman, but not me. It's freezing outside today and these guys are camped on a rock for the day. CRAZY!!
I hope the fish are biting!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Sure, it's nice and sunny out, but pretty damn cold! 
 I can't wait for a little slice of summer soon! I hope the weather cooperates on our little trip south.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ENISHI Family Sale

 Every year ENISHI do an annual 'family sale' with big discounts on the range of clothing they produce. They had another good turnout with the morning apparently very busy. Toshiyuki contemplating life as he takes a break from the sale.
 Jin-kun enjoying the midday sun and all the visitors that came to 'hang out'.
 Tao-kun entertaining himself on the swing while mum and dad work.
Aiko outside on the deck after looking through the sales racks on a beautiful, but chilly day.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Stuffed  and grilled zucchini for dinner the other night went down a treat. Might have to make these again :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011


A good friend of mine took this photo of me late last year, printed it and gave it to me as a gift. I finally picked up a frame from IKEA and mounted it. Now I've just got to find a space for it on the wall.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Home and Away

 A jetty somewhere in Kamogawa (photo: Dave Yamaya)
A jetty somewhere in NZ (photo: Rambo Estrada)

Monday, January 3, 2011


 I woke January 2nd to find the swell had built significantly overnight closing out much of the beach, but the point at Maruki had some good lefts on offer. The clean up sets were breaking way out and after watching it a bit and waiting for the lineup to become a little more organized, I paddled out with friends Dave and Junji. We were soon followed by Taro and after enjoying the empty lineup and proving it surfable and manageable were joined by the crowd congregated in the carpark.

 The swell dropped a little and there were some good ones coming through although you had to be selective and a bit lucky in order to find one of the gems. These pictures below are taken after I finished surfing. Apparently the waves pumped in the afternoon, too.

This last photo was one I found from just up the road, same day, same time.


Thank you everyone for the X'mas cards and messages. I hope you all had a good Christmas, too.

New Year's Day

 The first sign of light for 2011!
 The sun just starting to peep over the horizon @ 6:40am.
 People gathered at the beach (note the nice frosty white sand. Brrrr).
 Happy NEW YEAR 2011 from the Land of the Rising Sun.
 It's also the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese which is the same as my birth year.
 Fun surf @ Kakou with only friends and really fun waves!
 Ozoni soup, a traditional New Year dish, at DONYA in Kamogawa for lunch.
 Kuro mame, black beans, with a touch of gold.
 Another surf with good friends Jun (pictured), Enishi, and Ponta surfing the rights @ Kakou in the afternoon.
The Orange (Y-Kun) and the Lemon (Mi-chan) enjoying the fine weather while the dad's surf.