Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crunch Underfoot

Frost formed on the ground in the morning.

It's my pleasure to crunch along the frost road. (≧ν≦)

Manhattan Clam Chowder

I found this new product in LAWSON.

Manhattan Clam Chowder!!

It's just like a minestrone!

Tastes terrific!! (^o^)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Treat my Grandma

I went to a soba restaurant near my house with my grandma, and there I treated her for the first time in my life.

She was so surprised and seemed to be happy.

And of course I was happy, too.

I'd like to use money for someone's smile. (^^)

Dead or School

The following video shows a group of Indonesian school children crossing a collapsed suspension bridge over a swollen river to get to their school.

It must be the world's most dangerous school run.

Children go to school at the risk of their lives every day.

Is school more precious than their lives...? (^o^;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yuki Abe return to Urawa Reds

I've longed for this moment.

Former Urawa Reds midfielder Yuki Abe returned to our homeland from Leicester City.

I think it must have been a hard decision for him to be back to Urawa Reds.

And some naughty boys may annoy him in the present team.

But I really want to say, "Thank you for coming back to Urawa!!" \(^o^)/

Monday, January 23, 2012

First Snow 2012

It's snowing now.

I really like to step on the white carpet!!

I also like to look up at the sky to see snow crystals.

Trees are dressed in white.

Why does snow excite me so much...? (^^)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Makino to join Urawa on loan

Urawa Reds newcomers appeared in a new uniform at Saitama stadium last Thursday.

Especially I look forward to seeing Japan's defender Tomoaki Makino, who joined the team on loan from Cologne.

My hope is that new Reds will bring us a stunning turnaround in 2012 season, so I expect a lot of Makino.

Anyway, the design of the new uniform is awful...
※ uniform info.→http://www.urawa-reds.co.jp/club/12uniform.html

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mihailo Petrovic

Urawa Reds finished a dismal 15th in 2011 season, but hope to turn things around the following 2012 season with the former Sanfrecce Hiroshima boss Mihailo Petrovic.

A 54-year-old coach took an oath in three articles at the press conference for his inauguration.

① Smile
Players should enjoy football first.

② Lay the foundation of the team
If we want to build a wonderful house(=team), we need to lay the foundation of it.

③ Open training
All the training will be open so that the team regain supportes' trust.

I know it must be a responsible job for Petrovic.

I want him to enjoy football, too. (^o^;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kouya Yori

Have a look at the following music video of Miyuki Nakajima's single "Kouya Yori", which was the theme song of Japanese drama "Nankyoku Tairiku (The Antarctica)."

The first scene seemed to be shot at Urawa's Sakurasou Dori, and the last photo studio scene was at Urawa's Suzuki photo studio.

Sakurasou Dori 

Suzuki Photo Studio

Anyway, this song is much better with the video. (^^)

Friday, January 13, 2012


My boss Mr. Ogura spent his winter holidays abroad, then he gave me some souvenirs.

Especially here are my favorite from Australia.

tie with kangaroo design and unique lines 

mug designed Aboriginal dot painting

It's hard to find such designs in Japan.

Now I use the mug that Ms. Araki presented me at my birthday last year, so I'd like to use this mug at home.

Well I look forward to putting myself in a "Dreamtime" with the mug and tie. (^∪^)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sawa win at FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011

Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa claimed the women's equivalent of the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or award at a star-studded ceremony in Zurich.

The 33-year-old Sawa, competing in her fifth World Cup, led Japan to glory with a penalty shoot-out win in the final against the U.S., and won the Golden Boot as the tournament's leading scorer.

Marta of Brazil and United States striker Abby Wambach were also nominated.

Japan coach Norio Sasaki was named Women's Coach of the Year, ahead of France coach Bruno Bini and the USA's Swedish coach Pia Sundhage.

Argentina's Lionel Messi followed Sawa to win the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or, the third consecutive year that he has won the prestigious award for the world's outstanding footballer.

Pep Guardiola, the Spanish coach of FC Barcelona, was the respective winner of the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football.

Votes were cast by national team coaches and captains, plus invited journalists.

Congratulations, Sawa and Sasaki coach!!

World Best Footballers

Monday, January 09, 2012

All Japan Basketball 2012

Toyota Alvark defeated Aisin Seahorses 69-65 in the men's final of All Japan Basketball Championship 2012 today, just after JX Sunflowers had won 78-52 over Denso Iris in the women's side yesterday.

I supposed that Aisin and JX would win in the each final.

But Toyota's Taishi Ito, who is only 182cm tall, gave more wonderful performance than I'd expected.

I was also excited at the powerful dunk shot by Aisin's 203cm-tall Richardson.

You can see all the results of All Japan Basketball Championship 2012 here.
http://www.japanbasketball.jp/alljapan/2012/bracket/ (Japanese)

High School National Football Championship 2012

Did you see today's final of All Japan High School Football Championship?

Captain Ryuji Izumi scored a last-gasp equalizer and then went on to win in extra time as Chiba's Ichiritsu Funabashi captured their fifth title with a 2-1 victory over Mie's Yokkaichi Chuo Kogyo.

What a dramatic game it was!! \(≧▽≦)/


I bought Ketsumeishi's best album "Kestu no Arashi".

Hip-hop music is not so popular now, but Ketsumeishi reminds me of my good school days. (^^)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Sweet Potato

Isetan Urawa holds the first round of Hokkaido fair from January 6th to 10th, so you can enjoy many kinds of Hokkaido foods on the 7th floor.

I bought Warakudo's Sweet Potato for dessert tonight.

You may be surprised at its size.

It's much bigger than usual sweet potatoes; it is about 20cm long and 400g weight.

Of course it tastes good!! \(^o^)/

Don't miss it!!

Anyway, "Sweet Potato" is a kind of Japanese sweets.

It just like a mashed sweet potato, or sweet potato cake.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Tuna Sells for Record ¥56.49m

The bluefin tuna, prized for making the finest sushi, fetched a record ¥56.49 million at Tokyo Tsukiji fish market's first auction of the year.

The winning bidder was Kiyoshi Kimura, the president of Sushi restaurant chain.

The tuna was caught off Oma, in Aomori prefecture, north of the coast that was struck by the devastating tsunami last year.

Mr. Kimura's bid was an effort to 'liven up Japan' and help it on the road to recovery.

Curiosity Cola

I tried this cola, which is said the best one in the world.


Its company says:
Indulge your curiosity with our stimulating recipe of herbal ingredients, recreating an apothecary's cola of yesteryear.
The result is a full-bodied, ginger infused traditional Cola that is curiosly invigorating!
Are you curious?
Give one a try!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Hakone Ekiden 2012

Toyo University won the annual Tokyo Hakone Collegiate Ekiden Road Relay for the third time in four years with a stunning record time.

Toyo completed the 217.9 km round trip between Tokyo Otemachi and Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture in 10 hours, 51 minutes, 36 seconds, more than 8 minutes faster than the previous record.

Toyo's Ryuji Kashiwabara, the God of the Mountains, broke his own record in the uphill 23.4 km fifth and final leg of Monday's race, and his success gave the team a commanding lead.

Anyway, my mother school Chuo University finished the race eighth, just earning a berth to the 2013 version of Hakone Ekiden.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 → 2012

We Japan had a serious disaster last year, and still now we're under reconstruction.

Monster earthquake and tsunami on March 11th left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing, and a lot of refugees living far from Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Honestly I don't know how to say to the sufferers.

I can't say 'Happy' New Year because they may have nothing to celebrate.

At the same time, however, all we learned the importance of gratitude for family, community and everyday life, and how strong our Kizuna (bond) is.

I really want to say "Thank you" to all of my family, friends, co-workers, students, and a lot of people offering a great support for devastated Japan.

May the gift of love, happiness, peace, and warmth be yours as you make a new start.

And I hope that you keep smiling every day of the new year that is filled with moments of laughter and joy.

Have a bissful New Year!!

January 1st, 2012

Takeaki Matsumoto

This is Saitama City's character "ヌゥ (Nu)" as a simbol of dragon year 2012.