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Japan Blog: 2007 archive

Dec. 7, 2007
Major Multimedia Update (Part #2)
and summary of happenings over the last year

...and 7 months, 6 days later, he posts an update about "part 2" of his multimedia update.

Yeah, I've slacked off on the Japan Blog. I've been keeping myself quite busy and thus this stuff has been continually shifted to the back burner. But now, things are up to date.

The media section has received some more updates. Most of the stuff in 2007_01, and everything after, is all new. All videos now have thumbnail images, by the way. Please check it out.

Coming up next: an explanation of what I've actually been doing here in Japan over... well, pretty much the last year!

January (photos) (videos)

January was a pretty big month for me. It was my first Japanese New Year celebration, and I was fortunate enough to have a Japanese family to spend it with. My long time pen pal, Yukari, asked her family to let me come visit on New Year's Day. I was fortunate to be able to have authentic osechi-ryouri, special food prepared for New Years here in Japan. And this was also when things changed a little bit for me: shortly after New Year's, and after spending a bit of time with Yukari over the holiday, we got to talking. And we decided, that our relationship had gone beyond just being pen pals.

So yes, it's official: I do have a girlfriend, and it is the Japanese girl I spent a lot of time talking to before I left for Japan. (And at the time of writing, we've been together a little over eleven months and are still going strong.)

Other happenings in this month: together with Yukari, I went to Katsurahama in Kochi-prefecture. Katsurahama is a very famous beach with a gorgeous view, and it also has a statue of Sakamoto Ryouma, a hero during the Meiji Restoration. It was very impressive; there are photos and videos from this visit in the media section.

April (photos) (videos)

April means cherry blossom viewing season in Japan, and I definitely got to take part in that. I went to a viewing party in front of Himeji castle and met up with other foreigners and Japanese people to enjoy the sights and talk about whatever comes to mind. Got some nice pictures, check them out.

August (photos) (videos)

August and September are well known for the various "Yosakoi" celebrations across Japan. I went to Kochi to meet up with Yukari and enjoy the Yosakoi festival there. Little did I know that this was no ordinary festival: this year, Kochi was hosting the National Yosakoi Competition (Yosakoi Zenkoku Taikai). I had never been to a Yosakoi festival, so experiencing something on this scale was flat-out awesome. Definitely check out the photos; there's some good ones. The videos are cool too, but the audio is not so great. However, nothing can compare to being right there in person... This has to be my favorite Japanese festival yet.

September (photos)

September's big event was the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, held in Osaka. And thanks to connections, I was able to get in for FREE. (Thanks Yukari-chan!!!) Aside from that, I visited Kochi again, during which I got a couple more pictures: one of a river in Kochi where you can see some people fishing in a traditional Japanese fashion, and another which is a funny Engrish sign I saw advertising a store in Kochi.

October (videos)

In October I got to go to a festival similar to the Himeji Matsuri I went to during my first year in Japan. This time, I got to go together with Yukari. I did not take a lot of pictures since there wasn't much new to see compared to what I took last year, but this festival was bigger and better than the one I went to before. However, there was an event unique to the villages holding this festival, and I was able to get some videos of it.

November (photos) (videos)

Just this last month, I went with Yukari to Kagawa prefecture. We mainly just wanted to go "somewhere" outside of Kochi together, and we decided that visiting Konpirasan and climbing the 800+ stairs to the temple there might be fun, followed by going shopping in Takamatsu. (Later I learned that there's even -more- stairs at Konpirasan, so I guess we only thought we had climbed to the top.) Anyway, we had fun, took some pictures, and enjoyed the day.

And that, my friends, is about it! Now I'm getting ready for my first trip back to the States in a year and a half! I'll be stateside from December 22 through January 8. I'm anxiously looking forward to it.

- Paul

May 1, 2007 (2007年5月1日)
Major Multimedia Update, Part #1

Okay! Finally I've taken some time to update this page. A lot of stuff has been going on, but today I've been really busy, so I'm not going to explain everything right now. However, there's a pretty important update today!

New section of japan blog: Media

The new media section contains all the photos and videos I have captured from my cell phone while here in Japan... with the exception of some recent photos I lost due to putting my cell phone through the washing machine. Don't expect commentary and don't expect everything to make sense - this is simply a dump of all the pictures/videos I've taken. I may add comments at a later date.

The pictures should be viewable on just about any computer without a problem. If it seems like a picture is missing, then just try to click on the link and it should show up. I haven't uploaded any preview images yet, so my apologies; you'll just have to thumb through by hand for the time being.

The videos are in .3g2 format, which is a video format used by many cell phones. I've heard that RealPlayer is capable of playing these files properly. That said, many of these videos are not so interesting, really. I probably wouldn't bother going through the hassle of looking through them - stick to the pictures.

In future updates, which should come within the next month (!!), expect more media to come. I have yet to upload my pictures and movies taken via my digital camera. Also, I will upload some thumbnail pictures to make things easier to browse through.

For those who have been waiting for this update: Enjoy!

- Vultaire

Japan Blog for 2006