Updated my diary blog.

So I’ve finally got around to update my other blog “Japan Diary“, which is a blog where I’ve translated the diary I kept during the time I travelled around Japan 2 years ago for nine weeks and met my now-husband. In this diary I’ve tried to keep a light and fun tone including a dose of self-irony and of course diary-like honesty, while I describe the daily events that took place while living with different Japanese families around Japan. And of course especially the events that led to me finding, dating and marrying my Japanese husband. I’ve included a small preview below and the link.

March 20th (2010) “A trip to a bridge, which lead to awkward and beyond”
This is the day I’ve often later told to friends and family in an edited version. I don’t think I’ve felt ashamed, but maybe I knew that what happened didn’t really live up to people expectations and it certainly wouldn’t be used as input for the perfect romantic movie. Though, back then I told the truth to my diary and I’ll tell the truth on this blog as well. Maybe it’ll make a good laugh.

…The question startled me and I desperately tried to pull out yet another fake laugh. This question was surely a step up from the other suggestive things he had asked me the past two weeks, but I still couldn’t imagine him being serious about this.

“I kind of think this is the wrong place” I said, trying to sound nonchalant.

“Do you know love hotels? It’s a place you can go for like 2 hours.”

I turned my head to face Hiro, who had leaned his seat back and was looking straight at me. I searched his face for hints of an upcoming laugh or smile, which would reveal the fact that this was just another joke, but his eyes kept their gaze and he looked at me with a serious look. His hand reached out for my hair, which he once again started touching, while I blankly starred at a spot between the car window and his face…

Read the beginning and the rest here: Japan Diary from 2010

Rules of Japan

Back in January I wrote about a book called “Osaka Rules”, well later on during that trip I decided to buy the rest of the books in the series. When I went back to Japan in March, a new one had been released “Hokkaido Rules”. So now I have the following (from top left): Hokkaido Rules, Tokyo Rules, Osaka Rules, Nagoya rules and Hakata Rules. There is also a “Okinawa Rules”, but I haven’t bought that, yet.

These are very fun and interesting book about social “rules” in different areas in Japan. Even my husband had a lot of fun reading them. The books ranges from everything when it comes to “shopping”, “food”, “words”, “living” and etc. in the certain area of interest.

Like Tokyo people loves to shop expensive brands, in Osaka you should not use the word “jyan” and people in Hokkaido are well prepared for the cold winters. The rules are well written, in a more easy Japanese, in well-divided categories and some rules are even followed by a page of humorous manga to explain further.

I wonder if more books will come, like Hiroshima or from an area in Tohoku.

Japan Road trip.

From Friday to Monday my boyfriend and I went on a road trip here in Japan, so I got a chance to see some of the places I haven’t yet seen. The road trip included the following places; Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Yamaguchi.

Around 7 o’clock the two of us got in a car in Miyazaki and began the trip towards Kumamoto. This included a lot of driving along mountain roads, which presented a beautiful views.

We drove to the city of Hyuga and got on the high way and continued towards the famous Takachiho Gorge and got closer to the border between Miyazaki prefecture and Kumamoto prefecture. Finally a small sign announced that we were leaving Miyazaki and entering Kumamoto. We continued our course to Kumamoto city, so see the main attraction of this prefecture, Kumamoto Castle.

Kumamoto Castle.

Around 11 o’clock we arrived to Kumamoto city, which was a lot bigger than I thought. I was surprised to see the many tall buildings, big amount of busses and trains and shiny department stores. Maybe because I’ve spent too much time on the Miyazaki country side. Since of course Kumamoto city is no match to cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.

Kumamoto city from Kumamoto Castle.

After spending around an hour on the castle grounds we returned to the car to continue our drive, now towards Fukuoka city. Around 4 o’clock we reached Hakata, Fukuoka centre. Our reason for coming to this city was not sight seeing though, since I’ve already spent two weeks in Fukuoka prefecture on an earlier occasion. Fukuoka was the stop between Kumamoto and Nagasaki where we changed from the older car we were using to a newer rental car. Around 6 o’clock we once again hit the highway and drove to the final stop for this day, Nagasaki. A few hours later we arrived. I was quickly impressed by Nagasaki city, with all the steep slopes, the cities flashing lights and the Chinese decorations. Before checking into our hotel we went to Mount Inasa to see the famous night view of Nagasaki.

Saturday we started out with looking around a bit. Trying to get a feel of Nagasaki city, which definitely has not only a China town, which most Japanese harbor cities has, but overall the whole city was decorated with red, Chinese lanterns and big dragons.

After the quick look around we drove to The Peace park.

Then we drove to Shimabara, a one and a half hour trip, to see Shimabara castle.

Shimabara Castle

After that we drove around Nagasaki prefecture a bit and then we once again got on the Japanese highway with Iwakuni in Yamaguchi prefecture as our destination, which was a 6 hour drive. We checked into the hotel and then it was time for bed. The next day we went to the city’s main attraction Kintai-Kyo bridge and Iwakuni Castle.

Kintai-Kyo bridge.

Iwakuni castle.

The falling snow just made everything even more pretty and captivating. After at have spent time looking around we got back in the car and got ready t return to Fukuoka. Around 3 o’clock Sunday we returned to rental car and got back to the car we brought with us. We then went to Kitakyushu of Fukuoka and checked into our hotel there. We spent our Monday in a amusement park, which was pretty empty because of the cold weather. Then it was time to return to Miyazaki, on our way home we passed through Oita prefecture, which marked the last prefecture I could cross of my list on Kyushu. Meaning I’ve been in all Kyushu’s prefectures: Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Saga, Fukuoka and Nagasaki.

View of Beppu (Oita pref.)