pretty stragglers

Long before the sakura in the other parts of the region has fell off and turned lifeless brown on the road, the sakura in our neighbourhood still gives us much delight. These many-petaled ones took a long time to bloom. But they’re such a delight now that their peers has given the “stage” to them.


Mikoshi in Gumyoji

Hubs and I doesn’t really keep ourselves updated with the community billboard hence it came as a surprise to us when we went out the house and met some Mikoshi-costumed people and heard the boom of drums a few minutes after.

Right around the end of August, just when the peak of summer has just passed and temperatures have started to drop a bit, Mikoshi (神輿) parades are held all over Japan. The Mikoshi is actually a sacred palanquin where the spirits or diety of that particular festival are ceremoniously enshrined. Mind you, the mikoshis really are elaborately designed.


The Mikoshi is carried around by the people taking part in the parade.


The sacred palanquins are preceded by the drums, announcing its passage.


I once participated in a Mikoshi parade back in 2007 and interestingly enough, it was also here in Gumyoji. I can’t say though that I’d do it again. We didn’t wear tabi (足袋 or たび or the traditional Japanese socks) though like what this year’s participants did.


And it seems more elaborate this year because the priest paraded with the group.


Yeah there’s a high probability that I just didn’t notice the priest parading with us back then, laden as we are with the Mikoshi (yes, it is heavy!). But I do believe this year’s Mikoshi is more festive, more passionate, more feverish than it was years before. I could think of one reason why it is so but whether I’m right or wrong, it makes me happy that this kind of tradition that has been around for centuries is still going as strong as ever.

getting started

As what Hubbie posted previously, we’re now together, and we’re so thankful for it. Now I just have to secure my reentry visa and hope there’ll be no hitches so I’ll be able to return to Manila to do the last minute preps for our wedding. Both Japan Embassy in Manila and Japan Foreign Affairs here already assured us there’ll be no hitches but still, I want to be on the safe side… 😀 

Will try to post next time all the documentations involved with my migration and hope it’ll be of help to those who are also processing their papers. And I have to make time as well in making a feedback (and I have to find that feedback paper as well for their contact details!) to CFO’s PRISM. The way they handled and have handled Japanese spouses deserve setting aside some time to give my feedback. Please do expect a 2 page letter or so from me. When..uhm…until I have everything settled here.

Now, on to happy things. Hubbie welcomed me with one of my favorite things. Now, already 5 days after, they’re still as beautiful and fresh-looking as on the first day. Atsushi really did treat me like a pricess on my birthday. 🙂

i'm already 5 days old!

We’re trying to get our home organized and styled and it sure can be quite overwhelming!! But I am having a good time so I sure am not complaining. My most notable changes so far are the kitchen area along with the counter area and the bathroom sink (two places in the house that I am most particular with along with the toilet of course – they should be clean always, as much as possible!). Tidy frog can help me do the job.

Yesterday, I went to Maita Ward Office for my alien card registration. Walked from Gumyoji to Maita to try explore the place. Came along a furniture shop and finally found the dining table that I’ve been looking for. Eureka moment, yes! It’s wooden and it has chairs that has a slim, elongated back, which would help us exude the effect of having a bigger place than it really is. The wood color is quite dark but the chair upholstery is white so it’s just perfect. We can also have a light-colored table runner to, again, help us in bringing the effect of a bigger place. It’s quite interesting that the store people used a malong (traditional in Mindanao) as a table runner. It’s a sign?? hehe. It’s quite expensive though! And so of course, I asked for a discount – me in my broken Japanese (or more like one Japanese word at a time) and the store clerk in pure Japanese. We somehow understood each other though. He said that if I buy the one on display (it is in very good condition actually) and not have a new one made, we can have 30k yen discount (we can already buy two cabinets with that discount!). They’re open on saturdays so I can bring Hubbie along this weekend and hope he’ll like it as well so we can have a dining table already.

It’s just funny though, my audacity to do some haggling even when I only know a smattering of Japanese words. haha. Well, bringing along a calculator, or using your cellphone’s calculator is the only secret actually. All store owners, in any language probably, knows the english word “discount” 😀

The washing machine-dryer takes 6 hours to finish though, using the automatic mode. Totally not electricity efficient and not environment-friendly. Have to experiment using the washer only and try hanging the clothes outside. I worry about environment yo…

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