We went to a mountain to collect pine cones and other natural materials as symbols from the winter season.
We pounded rice very well. It is very soft.
Just before the Winter break, there was a science exhibit at school:
And a musical performance:
We celebrated Chanukah.
Also, ook care of a
piece of crap worthless cute dog (which bit me and bit a hole through my favorite shirt. Now it will take months to find a replacement shirt.
At the beginning of the Winter break, we went to an outdoor modern art installation:
We also climbed a few local mountains.
In Yokohama, we celebrated New Years and rang in the year literally on a bell at the local temple (at the top of a mountain).
On January 2nd, went to Costco. Note to self… do not go to Costco on January 2nd.
On January 3rd, we celebrated Haga’s grandmother’s 100th birthday.
We had a big party.
Grandma received a certificate of recognition from Prime Minister Abe (who I think of as a less crude version of Trump, but this is a nice gesture).
There were performances…
And we made sure everyone know their age…
He is number 21, the tallest in his team.
Akiva plays a first base.
So it’s been a while. Whithout further worthless words on how long it’s been, here is the fall update for the Covners in Nagoya.
Haga and Kenaz had their Birthdays. And so we did a sushi party.
For Kenaz’s birthday, we went to the trampoline park, where the kids created opportunities for injury.
We also had Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We didn’t go to any Jewish community because there are none in Nagoya. And our bread was not round. I will work to improve on this for next year.
Other things of note… we went on a major (by my standards) road trip for 4 days. ON the first day we went up into some mountains (update on the name later). We first walked in a redwood forest, then travelled up to 2500m elevation.
There was ice there, and after we left, snow.
We stayed at an onsen… a Japanese bathhouse resort. We slept in a tatami room and bathed at the public bath. The water is heated by the volcanic activity. Outside the whole place smelled of sulfer. We were not allowed to go to the vents because the sulfer gas was too thick.
Alpine meadows were really beautiful. But this is off-season. In the winter, the whole place is snowed in; in the Spring, it’s covered in flowers.
We hiked down 1000m (and about 3 hours) to a bus stop at a lower level. Our hike followed a creek bed through mountain bamboo forest. It was rather slippery, but thanks to my REI – bought Keen boots, I didn’t suffer any injury.
We later drove to another guest-house. From there, the next day, we went to this village that is a UNESCO site. The traditional houses with grass roofs are famous in that area.
The village was beautiful. However, I believe in seeing this for what they are. The village was actually a secret military – industrial factory where serfs manufactured silk and gun-powder. They also took care of VIP prisoners at a near-by penal colony for samurai. Underneath this grass-roofed house was a large compost pit. Straw was mixed in with Caterpillar manure and compost. After months, this mixture would be mixed with charcoal ash and then boiled. The resulting material would then be brought to another side and mixed with sulfer.
Other things that have happened: Halloween.
Akiva had sports practice so couldn’t really get up into a costume. Kenaz went to Halloween activities at school as a Cereal Killer.
Haga dressed as a cute hippy chick.
Note: in the end, Akiva decided to ally with Kenaz and defeat Grandpa, who had cheated heavily.
So it was my Birthday. Not saying my age because I stopped counting. So there is that.
Akiva and Haga were on separate school trips, so we didn’t celebrate much on my birthday. Kenaz and I hung out and ate ice cream after school.
Next day… beach.
And after beach, went to Costco… pizza and sauerkraut.