Noh (能) is a form of theater involving music, dance and drama, originating in the 14th century. It was developed together with kyogen, which are comical pieces performed during interludes of the main noh performance. The dual art of noh and kyogen is known as nogaku, and was listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. – Japan Guide
24 Oct 2016 Leave a comment
11 Oct 2016 Leave a comment
Sado Kinzan was the most productive mine in Japan, annually producing nearly 400 kg of gold as well as smaller amounts of silver and copper. The mine was in operation throughout the Edo Period and served as a major source of funding for the Tokugawa Shogunate which directly controlled Sado Island and its mines.- Japan Guide
There were 2 routes to choose from, we chose the Edo period mine course since it would be more educational to see they managed the mine way back before industrialization. From the picture, you can observe that they dug really deep and extensively.
The black stripes at the back are when they hit an area with high density of silver and gold, a praying session would be in place where they pray that the ore would be soft enough for quick retrieval.
Then we spent some time in the exhibition hall, looking at models of life outside the mine where the families lives and how they cleaned the ores. A challenge area is also setup where if you can pick up this 12.5kg gold bar with one hand through the glass hole, you would be rewarded with a certificate (No, you can’t take the gold bar with you). Only 1957 persons have succeeded so far over the past 20 years.😛
08 Oct 2016 Leave a comment
Setting off from the bus station for our 45 minutes bus journey to Aikawa from Ryotsu port.
That weekend was the Tanabata Festival celebrations, some places in Japan still follows the lunar calendar for some festivals. Some families were preparing the bamboo for hanging the wishing stars.
View from our onsen hotel, Mancho in Aikawa.
Gone are the days where you can just lie down and be a vegetable when you check in. We still have to entertain an active baby who was crawling non stop and exploring many places.
Squid ink steamed rice.
06 Oct 2016 Leave a comment
It was a long long journey for us to head to Sado Island for our family trip. We had to take a train from where we lived to Omiya, changed to a 1.5 hours ride on the shinkansen, then another 1 hour on the jetfoil to Sado Island and another 40 minutes of bus ride to arrive at our accomodation in Aikawa.
It is about 15 minutes by bus from Niigata Station to the ferry terminal, but we took a taxi as we were rushing to catch the connecting jetfoil. It only takes 60 minutes by jetfoil to arrive in Sado Island (but almost 6000JPY for 1 way trip) and it is about 2 hours by ferry (but much cheaper at 2500JPY)
We chose to take the jetfoil so that we can arrive at our destination faster. I was initially worried that it might be a choppy ride but lucky for us, it was good weather and hence baby M enjoyed her first jetfoil cruise.
As we were at the port area and it was their Sea summer Matsuri at that time so we got to see many decorated boats
Breastfeeding seats on the jetfoil which was clean and spacious, a very good gesture for mummies.
Welcome to Sado Island
04 Oct 2016 Leave a comment
Hello all, welcome to my almost dead blog. Yeah, it is really mission impossible to keep up a blog (though I love to) when you are a full time working mother. After the baby sleeps in the night, the only thing I want to do is just chill out instead of facing in front of my computer. Now that I have some free time due to a small medical reason that would keep me home bound for a few weeks. I take the time to clean up my photos and go back to writing in this blog while I can.
Being a half baby with Japanese and Singapore heritage, Baby M gets to celebrate events of both races. We try to keep up to most of the main Japanese events even though we are now living in Singapore.
Omiyamairi (初宮参り) typically done 1 month after the birth of a baby for their first visit to the shrine. We only did it 4 months after her birth. We didn’t dressed up the tradition way when we visited the shrine but we did a photoshoot to commemorate the event.
We took family photos with us dressed in Kimono, Baby M with the traditional bib loaned from the studio but she donned the baby kimono hand sewed by great grandma and wore by her grandfather, granduncles, father, uncle and aunt. Typically, a girl would don the red/pink kimono wore by her mother but we decided that it would be more special to wear this boyish kimono instead.
Typically celebrated 100 – 120 days after the birth of a baby, Okuizume (お食い初め)is a ritual held at home and involves the infant being fed for the first time so that they never go without food during their life. We celebrated it for her only when she was 4 months since we were back in Japan for the New Year. The basic menu is one soup, three sides, and a whole sea bream. This combination is called an iwai-zen (“celebration meal”). The menu consists of
- Sekihan (rice steamed with red beans) A popular dish for auspicious occasions.
- A whole sea bream with head and tail which is also a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
- A simmered dish
- A pickled dish
- A clear soup
- A hagatame-ishi (“tooth-hardening stone”), “Biting” a smooth pebble is an act to ensure the growth of strong healthy teeth.
Repeated three times, the general order goes like this
Rice > Soup Rice > Fish Rice > Soup
Rice > Simmered dish Rice > Soup Rice > Pickled dish
Rice > Soup Rice > Hagatame-ishi Rice > Soup
However, Baby M started to fuss and hence we had to do this really quickly. The stone is usually picked up from the shrine but Sushi Papa says we would just make do with the stone from home (which was actually a piece of jade!)
Receiving her first red packet in Japan. Then another month later, she received her red packets in Singapore for Chinese New Year too.
March 3rd is Girl’s Day in Japan. The day is called Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) and on this day they wish and pray for the future happiness of all girls. Families who have girls would display their special Hina Dolls but they must keep these dolls before the end of March 3 if not it would result in a late marriage for the girls. Typically, a traditional placement of dolls is about 5 platforms ranging from the Emperor and Empress etc. In our case, we just celebrated simply by buying a card that represented the 5 platforms and bought some ready made sakura mochi. (a card is easy to keep right?)
We went back to Japan in early August to celebrate her 1st birthday with our Japanese family. We were lucky that during the week that we were there to grab a slot for their popular free 1st year tradition celebration in Akachan Honppo.
First would be carrying the Issho Mochi (一升餅) which is about 1.8kg on the back of the baby. Issho (一升) shares the same homonym with 一生 (lifetime)so this ceremony is to wish for the child through their life to be blessed with health, food and Enman (円満).
円満 represents perfection, harmony, peace, smoothness, completeness, satisfaction as well as integrity. It is ok for the baby to fall when carrying this mochi as this is to let the child know that life is full of ups and down.
However, our dear baby M did not make any attempt to stand or crawl with the load. She just moved a little with her tiny butt and just sat there looking at me. Well, at least she didn’t cry like the rest of the babies. haha
Next would be choosing their own career.
- calculator – engineering or science field of career
- pen – writer, artist, lawyer
- money – rich
- ball – sportsmen
- mixer – pastry chef or chef
- microphone – singer or actress
#omg time flies, baby M turns ONE today. Cannot believe that her birthing drama was like 1 year ago. We just had a simple celebration at home with @feisty_jester @stevenma168 @siibee Does the number 1 cake brings back any #nostalgic memories for you? I had it when I turned 1 and felt it quite apt for baby M too You only turn 1 once, and most of the time you only have 1 chance in life. So make the fullest of it. #cheers
We has a simple stay home birthday celebration in Singapore on her actual day and I requested for a “1” cake that I had when I was 1 too. Sometimes, really retro back in our days.
Life is no longer being able to go out with just a small bag, this photo is to remind me of the time I have to carry a full backpack with a baby in front of me and another carrier filled with ice panels and expressed breastmilk
Happy FIRST birthday, thanks to you we have such a wonderful year filled with tears and laughter.
25 Jul 2016 Leave a comment
So Pretty right?
Close up photos of the little people used in the themepark.
22 Jul 2016 Leave a comment
St. Peter’s Basilica, 1626
Neuschwanstein Castle, 1886
Palace of Versailles, 1772
Sagrada Família, started construction in 1882 and still undergoing construction
Arc de Triomphe 1836
Taj Mahal 1653
Are we done yet? No we are not, we still have some Japan sights to go! Stay tuned