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Last weeks of summer

You can feel the summer is going away when the crickets start to sing in the evening. Walking home from work is my favorite part of the day because I get to listen to their quiet song along the way. When you live in Tokyo, the sense of tranquility escapes you almost entirely, emerging only in these scarce moments – in between the passing trains, on small streets where urban noise is not so apparent.. Autumn is my season, I love everything about it – the crickets, the cosmos flowers, the golden pampas grass and red leaves, Full moon festival, Halloween, warm sweaters and hot Starbucks coffee, deserted beaches, the smell of cold air and rainy evenings…

There is a lot to look forward to this autumn but there also has been a lot of great moments that took place in these last few weeks of summer thanks to my friends who always make my life special and bring so much into it.

Since, I don’t have much time to write about each and every one of those occasions, I decided to put everything in one post in a chronological order. ^-^

Right after I came back from Russia, I went to an onsen in Yokohama with Gow, Hitomi and Lisa. It was a great place with various saunas, rotemburo and massage options.

Then on the same day, I went to Odaiba to bond with my new Russian friends whom I met through a Facebook community. I am one of those silly girls who once in Odaiba, absolutely have to spend time at the beach, go shopping at Venus fort and ride a huge Ferris wheel near Toyota testing center. Luckily, they were the same silly kind so I really enjoyed that evening. ^-^

Then, we celebrated Dalrae’s birthday

and Dasha’s birthday at my two favorite places in Shibuya. ^-^ Actually, this picture of me, Dasha and Inna was taken by a famous Japanese actress Miki Maya. She was sitting next to us and kindly offered to take our picture!! I recognized her only after she gave me back my camera. She was absolutely gorgeous even without any makeup! I wish I could look like that at her age!! Her roles in the movies are always so strong. She is among a few Japanese actors who have real talent. I just love her! I wish I had courage to tell that to her…

After that, there was a Comedy night at Pink Cow which was especially funny this time thanks to a newcomer Mimi – Japanese girl with a beautiful British accent. Can’t wait to see her again! She is really really good!

Then, as usual this time of the year there was a Brazil festival in Yoyogi park

and Vincent’s final live all in the same day. His guest performers were soo good! I absolutely fell in love with his Chanson singer friend who was very theatrical in Edith Piaf kind of way. Vincent was at the top of his game as well, performing many of his original songs.

Then, Shelly was throwing the first ball at the Baystars vs Yakult baseball game so she got us all free tickets. I really don’t understand the baseball game but watching it with girlfriends while eating junk food and drinking beer made it really enjoyable.

Last week, I went to the movies to see “Smurfs” which was a great Sunday evening movie – silly and sweet. On my way back home, I stopped at the Belgium beer festival in front of Asahi TV station. There was a live performance of a very cool Belgium band and lots of beer. For 35$ you could sample-taste everything.

Then, I also went to Shibuya summer festival. The end of summer in Japan is the season of traditional local festivals where people gather on the streets of small towns dressed in summer kimono called “yukata” and dance, eat, drink and play various carnival games. I love it soooo much but because it is usually very hot and crowded and you tend to end up smelling like fried food – my husband is not a big fan so I had to literally drag him into the mayhem of Shibuya’s main shrine “Konno jinjya”. These kind of festivals usually take place around main shrines that also sponsor them.

Last year, I wrote about Azabu juban matsuri with more details on food stalls.

And finally Gow’s bday at the closing 57 club in Roppongi. It was the club’s last day of business so we had everything for free except the drinks. It was the cheapest most glamorous birthday party ever. ^-^

My birthday is coming in two weeks and Diana’s was two weeks ago so Gow chan was very sweet to put our names onto the cake as well. I even got some presents yay!

Yesterday, I went to Yokohama to see a new exhibit – a collection of installations and video art organized in one of Yokohama’s many warehouses. I liked some pieces like wasabi powder message board and trees growing sideways but most of it was too much out there. As much as I appreciate modern conceptual art, I would have loved a little bit more effort put into the execution of some pieces. Oh, but there was one cool thing that I really loved – a movie called “Clocks”. It is exactly 24 hours long and consists entirely of scenes with clocks from different movies with clocks in each scene showing the real time. I started watching it at 4PM and all the clocks in the movie scenes were showing 4PM – it was truly an elaborate project. ^-^

Die Katastrophe via skype

A few weeks after the big earthquake in Japan, I was contacted by a German production company and asked to give an interview via skype. They were making a documentary on the events after the quake and tsunami.

I was reluctant to participate at first because I live in Tokyo where nothing really happened except for panic and the disappearance of water and food for a couple of days. The radiation still scares us because the food comes from the affected areas but my story of not having my favorite salad for dinner or being forced to cook with mineral water is nothing in comparison to those who lost everything… But the girl who interviewed me said that they needed different stories from people living in different cities so eventually I agreed to do it.

So here is the documentary in three parts. It’s in German but I also have it in English now so when I have more free time, I will upload it on youtube. ^-^

Part I

Part II

Part III