Their favorite masterpieces

I wrote that we visited Tokoname pottery path during GW.

(My past entry : http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2016/05/nostalgic-pottery-path.html )

My children tried ceramic painting there.

They finished biscuit firing and glazing and delivered to our house last evening.

Since they were looking forward to seeing their plates, they hurried me saying:

"Come on! Open up the box! Quick quick!"

"Wait a minute. Look! This is yours!"

I unwrapped my 7-year-old son's plate first.

"Wow! Cool! I did a good job!"

He was glad to see his plate.

"Here you are. Your plate is colorful!"

I told my 5-year-old daughter.

"It is nice, isn't it?"

She said proudly.

My son painted a dinosaur and my daughter painted a girl and flowers.

My children and I also tried ceramic painting last year of GW.

We are using the plates and cup still now.

Tokoname ware is one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan.

The pottery are really tough and practical.

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Nagoya specialty : Fried Chicken wings produced by Furaibou (風来坊)

I went to the hair salon yesterday afternoon.

When I finished having my hair cut, it was already 6:15pm.

While I was walking the underground shopping area of Nagoya station, I found the store of Furaibou.

It is the name of the company whose fried chicken wings are very popular as one of the Nagoya's specialties.

Furaibou's Tebasaki (風来坊の手羽先) is deep-fried spicy chicken with sweet and savory sauce.

I was hungry and really wanted to eat it, so I bought it and went home.

It goes well with beer!

Although it was spicy, my children were able to eat it, especially my 5-year-old daughter liked it.

If you have the oppotunity to come to Nagoya, please try it!

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Shortened pencil

I always do the laundry in the morning.

When I tried to take the washing out from the washing tub this morning, I found a shortened pencil.

It was my 7-year-old son's.

I was going to throw it away, but I stopped it because I knew he likes the pencil very much.

He has used the pencil to try to shorten the pencil as possible.

He showed it happily to me last night.

"Look mom! How short it is!"

"But you can't write anymore!"

I said.

"I don't care."

He put it in his pencil case.

After that, he might use the pencil and put it in his pocket.

As a child, some my classmate boys also liked gathering shorten pencils.

I wonder why boys like it.

I searched the Internet how to use shortened pencils on the Internet, and I found some usage.

I was surprised that a lot of people have a eco-friendly mind and thought it is good to take care of your things.

I thought it will be fun to think how to be able to use short pencils  with my children.

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All-you-can-stuff sales of clams

My family went to the morning sale of the supermarket near our house.

It was rare that my husband also wanted to go with us.

I told him that it is interesting to see those who rush into the store to buy something for sale and he wanted to see them.

We reached the supermarket at 10am.

There were many people there.

We found some all-you-can-stuff sale.

My husband and 7-year-old son tried to stuff oranges, and my 5-year-old daughter tried to stuff onions into the plastic bag.

They were able to stuff 9 oranges, and we were able to stuff 11 onions!

After that, we found all-you-can-stuff clams for 500 yen.

I like clam (Asari) very much!

My children and husband tried and enjoyed it very much!

I made clam chowder.

It was nice!

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Prepare for Eiken Grade Pre-1

I started studying Eiken Grade Pre-1.

I bought the past question collections and tried it a little yesterday morning.

I was surprised that the vocabularies in the questions were too difficult for me.

I didn't know all vocabularies of the choices of some four-choice question, so I couldn't choose the answer.

I was shocked and lost my confidence which I got from the TOEIC test.

I keenly realized my lack of vocabularies.

I only have a month but a month may be enough.

I am going to concentrate on studying for Eiken for a while, so I will stop writing my blog (but I will write this when I have something important I want to write).

~~~ Some notes of my unknown vocabraries ( examples ) ~~~

It is a dangerous adventure, a perilous adventure.

the Supreme court

conflicting views, conflicting ideas

a redeeming quality or characteristic, redeeming feature

an imposing figure, imposing structure, imposing ceremony

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When I was going to take my 5-year-old daughter to the nursery school yesterday morning, I found my 7-year-old son didn't put his kick scooter away at the entrance hall of our house.

I said:

"He did it again! Why doesn't he always put his things away?"

I folded it up set it against the unbrella stand.

Then I also found that a ball was on some umbrella.

"He is so sloppy.."

I was going to try to put the ball away.

Then, my son's kick scooter suddenly fell down on my right foot.


It was too painful.

I was lying at the hallway for a while because I couldn't stand up.

"Mom, are you OK?"

My 5-year-old daughter worried me and touched my right foot.

"Ouch! Please don't touch there!"

"But I wanted to do "there, there" for you."

She almost cried.

"Sorry, because it hurts too much."

I told her.

After a while, I could stand up and walk, so I took her to the nursery school.

But I had to walk with a limp.

After I came home, my foot still hurted.

I called my boss and explained what happened this morning to her, then asked her whether I could go to the hospital before I go to work.

She said yes then I went to see a docter.

He took an X-ray of my right foot.

He said there was no problem for my right foot bone, but I will feel a pain when I move my right foot for three or four days.

Actually, it was painful to drive my car when I drove to the clinic.

"Anyway, it was good for you that your injury was not so serious."

He said.

I hesitated to ask my boss and cowoker because we are busy recently, but I asked to let me take a day off yesterday.

Since I have to stand and walk during my work, so it was a little hard for me.

It is much better now, but it still hurts a little.

Maybe it will get well soon.

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Take all your belongings with you

Since he often leaves something at his school.

I checked my 7-year-old son's communication notebook from his elementary school last evening.

He wrote what to bring to school tomorrow.

I found he wrote he needs to bring his gym uniform and red and white reversible cap.

I asked him:

"Why did you write this? You said the teacher said you were able to leave them at school because the last week was during Golden Week and you didn't use it. So you didn't bring them home last Friday."

My son said:

"Did I say that? I brought them home. Where did you put them?"

I was surprised at what he said.

"What? You surely didn't bring them home so I didn't wash them last Friday. I asked you about it, right? They are at school, aren't they? Where do you usually put them away at school?"

"In the shelf where I put my Randoseru ( satchel for elementary school students) away."

"So was your bag and gym uniform there today?"

"Well, yes. Oh, no, no."

His answer was quite inaccurate.

"Which? Why didn't you remember? It is your responsibility, not mine!"

I was irritated.

But I noticed that what he said was a lie.

He only forgot to take his gym uniform and cap last Friday, but he didn't want to say that he forgot to bring them from school last Friday.

I asked him:

"How about your homework? Did you finish it?"

"Yes, but I forgot to bring home a Kanji handout at school."

I was annoyed at his answer.

"And you wrote you forgot to bring the napkin ( for school lunch). I told you that you had to prepare  your napkin last Friday. Did you forget it again? Oh, it is my fault. I often prepared it for you. It is your duty, not my duty. Whenever you forget something or you can't find something you want, you always blame it on me. It is not my duty. It is what you have to do by yourself!"

He always tends to depend on me.

He is still 7 years old, but I want him to do what he can do by himself.

It is sometimes good for him to be scolded by his teacher.

I think it is impossible to change him unless He thinks that he wants to change himself.

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Mother's day

My husband and I worked yesterday, so I asked my parents to come and take care of our children.

They went to the zoo.

Since it was a sunny day, I thought my parents would be tired.

After I finished working, I bought sushi for them and gave it to them for dinner, so that my mother didn't have to prepare for dinner.

Since it was mother's day yesterday, the seal had written on it " Thank you Mom" the package of sushi.

They ate it and went home.

After a while, my husband came home.

"Here you are."

He gave me a box.

"What is it?"

I asked.

"They are Kashiwa-mochi and Yomogi-mochi. It is mother's day today, isn't it? It is for you."

Kashiwa-mochi is a rice cake wrapped in a Japanese emperor oak leaf.

Yomogi-mochi is a mugwort rice cake.

Both of them are often made in spring.

"Oh, thank you! Actually, my children didn't make any presents for mother's day at the nursery school and children's house. So I didn't get any presents from them this year."

I told him.

"Really? Hey! Didn't you make anything for mom this year?"

He asked them and they answered while watching TV:


My husband was surprised to hear that and said:

"What?? Hey, let's draw mom's picture right now!"

"You don't have to!"

I told them.

"Maybe it is because the principal of the nursery school and children's house changed in April. They might have changed their policy or forgotten about it. Anyway, It doesn't matter. To take care of them is my duty, so they don't have to say thank you for me now.  If they thank me from the bottom of their heart after they grow up, I will be happy."

In my case, I deeply appreciated my mother after I got married, especially after my children were born.

Actually, maybe mothers don't want anything if their children are happy.

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Beautiful scenery from the skyscraper

Since I had something to do, I went to Nagoya with my children yesterday.

In fact, I didn't want to take my children to Nagoya because we had to take a train and they are easy to be tired.

But my husband worked yesterday, I had to take with them.

I thought it was not fun for them to accompany with my errand, but they were very excited when we were on the train.

They took their shoes off and sat down toward the window.
My 7-year-old son said:

"Wow! How tall the buildings are! There is not such a tall building near our house, is it?"

"No. Wow, look! The another line joins this line!"

My 5-year-old daughter said.

They were typical children who live in the countryside.

After I finished the errand, my son told me:

"I want to go to the sky promenade!"

It is the name of the observatory which is located the height of 220 meters of the skyscraper called MIDLAND SQUARE.

"But, maybe it is a little expensive."

I have been there once before, but I forgot how much the entrance fee was.
"Let's go to the entrance and check the entrance fee!"

My son said.

I agreed with him unwillingly.

We reached the entrance, and I found the signboard which said that elementary school students are for free  of the entrance fee on weekends.

I changed my mind and said:

"OK, let's go!"


They were glad to hear me.

I was surprised with the beautiful scenery.

This is the southern view from there.

We could see the JR lines, the Spiral Towers, and Nagoya port.

This is the eastern view from there.

We could see the TV tower, Aichi Art Center, Nagoya highway, Higashiyama park, and so on.

This is the northeastern view from there.

We could see Nagoya castle which is famous for its golden grampuses on the roof.

This is the northern view from there.
The big building named DAINAGOYA Building was rebuilt two month ago.

The view was really beautiful than I expected.

We enjoyed looking at the view for a while.

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Karate practise

My husband took a day off to take a medical checkup yesterday.

I told my 5-year-old daughter about it, she told me:

"So I want to go to my brother's Karate practise with Dad today!"

"You should ask him whether he will go."

I told her.

After a while, she said:

"He said he will go with us!"


I thought he didn't want to go, so I asked him:

"Are you going to go with us?"

"Yeah, OK."

He answered.

My son said to his dad:

"Oh no! I don't want you to come."

But he looked glad.

We always take my son to the karate practise and go shopping, then come back to the practise hall about 15 minutes before the practise ends, so that we can see Kumite practise which is a simulation of real fighting.

When we came back, they were practising Kata practise.

Kata is a sequence of basic movements which represent various defensive and offensive movements.
Then they started practising Kumite.

My son's opponent was his teacher.

He fought aggressively, but he couldn't do the basic movement and moved too actively, he was often taken his tail by the teacher.

Since my husband did Judo when he was a student, he was interested in his son's fight.

He said:

"He did very well, but he left himself wide open for an attack."

In my point of view as his mother, he did very well.

But his point of view as his father was quite a different from mine.

It was really interesting for me.

After the practise, the teacher told my son:

"Your Kumite was really good. Fantastic! You should practise the basic movements harder, or you will surely be strong. When practising Kata, you were thinking another things like "what am I doing after the practise" or "I want to watch TV". Keep up the good work!"

He looked glad to hear what he said.

After we came home, my husband started teaching his son where to correct his movements.

Then they practised a while again together.

I thought that it is good for my son that his father goes to his Karate practise.

He will be able to give him some advise.

By the way, speaking of my 5-year-old daughter, she is not interested in Karate at all.

She never watches her brother's practise.

She was clinging to her father during his practise.

I don't know why she likes to go to his Karate practise.

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Nostalgic Pottery Path

My children and I visited my parent's house 2 days ago and stayed there one night.

My mother and we went to Tokoname pottery path yesterday.

Tokoname-city, which is my hometown, is famous for its pottery and it is one of the "Six Ancient Kilns of Japan".

The pottery path is the promenade where there are many factories of potteries which had been used before, and we can walk through many narrow alleys like a maze, see many potteries, and enjoy local foods in many restaurants.

These Ojizo-sama (Jizo; stone statue which is the guardian deity of the local area or the guardian of children) are made of pottery.

They had calm looks.

 Pottery raccoon dogs and owls.

A lot of Manekineko (Lucky cat).

My children tried ceramic painting.

This is my 7-year-old son's work.

He drew a dinosaur on the plate.

This is my 5-year-old daughter's work.

She drew a girl and hearts.

They enjoyed painting very much.

The workshop staff will bake the plates and send them to us next month.

I found the old post which was used when I was a child.

Such kind of post is rarely used recently.

I reminded me of my old days.

This climbing kiln had been used until 1974 and was designated as an important national cultural property in 1982.

I was playing around there when I was a kid.

But there is an enclosure around there now, so we can't enter into the enclosure.

Since it was during Golden Week, we had early lunch before the restaurant would be crowded.

It was really nice even though it was not so expensive.

We enjoyed walking the pottery path.

It was the place where I ran around with friends when I was a child.

It made me feel nostalgic.

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The result of theTOEIC test

Two happy things happened to me yesterday.

First, I recieved the result of the TOEIC test which I took last month.

Before seeing the result, I was nervous because I didn't think I did well on the test.

But, the total score was 850 (full marks is 990) , the listening part was 460 and the reading part was 390!

Last time I took the test two years ago, the total was 780, so I got 70 points more than before!

I was really glad to see the result, but I need to improve my reading skill more.

I will take the Eiken Grade Pre-1 in June.

I will keep studying English from now on.

Second, my mother called me and said:

"Thank you. I received the album which you made for me. I am really glad. It is my treasure!"

(I wrote about the album which I made for my mother as a present for Mother's Day in my previous post.)

I was really glad to hear that she liked it.

I thought I could give back to my mother a little.

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Family trip to Nagano

My family went on a trip to Nagano prefecture from April 29th to May 1st.

First day, we left our house at 4:40am because I wanted to avoid the traffic jam on the highway to Nagano.

It was a long drive, but it was fun for me.

First, we visited "Togakushi Kid's Ninja Village".

It is an amusement park where the theme is Togakushi-ryu Ninja.

Togakushi is the name of area in Nagano city.

Togakushi-ryu is one of the historical traditions of Ninjutsu known as the "School of the Hidden Door"

There are various kinds of field athletics, and there are some Ninja themed exhibits and activities in the Village.

Children can experience training as Ninja.

My children rented Ninja costumes, so that they could enjoy field athletics activities.

I took photos of my children who wore Ninja costumes on the roof.

My son trained to walk on the tightrope over a high place.

It is called "Mizugumo no jutsu", which is known as Ninjutsu for walking on water.

My children were able to cross the water place.
Watching them crossing the water made me feel uneasy because I saw some children and their parents fall into the water.
It was a really cold day, it was snowing there even though it was during Golden Week!

I guessed that those who fell into the water must be very cold.

This training is called "A little monkey climbing on the rock".
We also enjoyed an attraction called "Karakuri-Yashiki".
It is like a labyrinth.
The door to the next room is hidden in the first room, so we have to look for the door.
Doors are opened by pushing, pulling, and sometimes revolving.
It was really fun to try to find the doors and open them.  

This is the room in Karakuri-Yashiki in which floor is inclined.

There is an museum related to Ninja in the Village.

I found the old Japanese anime called "Hattori-kun".

These are Shuriken (throwing stars), which are Ninja's weapons. 
Togakushi Kid's Ninja Village was really fun not only for my children but also my husband and me.
After going back to the Minsyuku (inn), we went to the Chu-sha (middle shrine) of Togakushi Shrine.

It is a big traditional shrine with a long history.
The three big ceder trees are more than 800 years old.
Next day, we visited the Oku-sha (upper shrine) of Togakushi Shrine.
We needed to walk 2km to reach the Shrine.
The guardian dogs in front of Zuishinmon (a gate to the shrine).
This is the big Zuishinmon of the Oku-sha.

We bowed and went through the gate.

There are a lot of tall ceder trees on the approach to the shrine.

They were really magnificent and I felt the spirits and power of nature.

The shrine's approach was like a steep mountain path.

We borrowed the ski stocks for free at the parking area, it was really helpful for me when climbing the steps.

I was surprised that my children could climb there without complaints.

The Oku-sha was located at the foot of Togakushi mountain.

I was very glad to reach there.
On our way to the parking area, my son told me:
"I want to go to the wash room!"
"What? We need to walk about 1km to the parking area."
"I can't stand it!"
He said.
"I want to go to the wash room, too!"
My 5-year-old daughter also said.
"OK, let's run!"
We run to the restaurant near the entrance gate of the Oku-sha.
It was a long way, but they could run.
We ran into the restaurant and asked to the staff,
"Excuse me, may we use the wash room?"
"Sure. There is the wash room."
They made it.
I was surprised that they could run such a long way.
After that, we visited Togakushi-ryu Ninja museum.
Its Karakuri-Yashiki was also interesting even for adults.
I found that some tourists from abroad enjoyed finding the hidden doors.
My 5-year-old daughter was scared of the Karakuri Yashiki, so she was crying all the time we were in the house.
We stayed at the Onsen ryokan (hotel with hot spring) at Yamada Onsen.
The dinner and breakfast were absolutely amazing!
This is an appetizer from the dinner.

This is a breakfast.

The ryokan has a long histrory, it opened 1769!
Its open-air hot spring is splendid.
It is situated on the big monolith and we can see the beautiful valley from the hot spring.

The view and sound of the river really helped me relax.
Last day, we went to Zenkouji temple.
It was one of the most famous temples in Japan.

When the Nagano Olympics was held in Nagano prefecuture in 1998, the Opening ceremony started with the sound of bells of Zenkouji temple.
There were a lot of tourists there.

It believed that we can recover from our diseases or we can prevent getting diseases if we are exposed to the smoke from the incence barner.
I bought "Ema" and worte my wishes on it and hung it on the prepared space like the photo below.
It was really a fun trip for us.
I found that my children grew emotionally and  physically as a result of this trip.
What I was happy about was that my children really enjoyed this trip.
I hope they will remember it when they grow up.
Thank you for reading my long long trip diary(^^)!
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