I’m a Guest on the Just Japan Podcast!

I mentioned this earlier this week, but now that it’s officially available, you can listen to it! I was asked to be a guest on Kevin O’Shea’s podcast Just Japan Podcast to talk about our move from Japan to Canada. The title of this episode is Leaving Japan. It’s the 95th episode.

justjapanpodcast95leavingjapanI encourage you to go on over to Kevin’s website and listen to the podcast. It’s about an hour long, so give yourself some time to listen.

If you’re wondering how we did it, it was pretty simple. We talked on Skype, and he recorded our conversation. That’s about it.

I’d like to thank Kevin for inviting me. I’m looking forward to doing it again. He suggested that we do another podcast a few months after we’ve moved to Canada to see how we’re doing.

If you’ve listened to it, let me know what you thought in the comments below.

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Another Walk – Unexpected Festivities

On Tuesday, we went for another walk. It was the last day of our holidays, and we made it a pretty interesting walk. We walked in an area we’ve never been to before, and had a very good time with some festival food.

Here, we walked down a street we’ve never been to before. As someone who likes exploring, this was all very interesting to me.

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We left the hilly area and entered the Sagami plain area of Kanagawa. It’s pretty flat.

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Welcome to Samukawa! I’d been there before, but not around Samukawa Station. Only Miyayama Station.

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The road approaching Samukawa Shrine. I was there once before, and it was somewhat busy. However, it’s still the New Year period. What would we see?

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Surprise! Ume blossoms! That’s three weeks early. It’s been a warm winter so far.

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Samukawa Shrine! That’s a very big torii, or shrine gate. The traffic was incredible here.

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Here’s the bridge and gate entering the shrine grounds. The bridge was actually quite steeply arched.

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On the ground is part of the original torii. On the left is a lantern.

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It’s busy. Much busier than I’d seen before.

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Lots of food stalls here. Looks like we found where we’re getting lunch.

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Amazing! This is the inner gate into the shrine. And it’s so crowded.

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A closeup of the gate. Very colourful.

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You can see the shrine through the gate. And that’s a big paper lantern.

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The main hall of the shrine. There’s a lot of gold there, actually. In the shrine grounds, there were probably several hundred people.

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Another shrine building. You could buy many things there.

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People tying omikuji (fortunes) to ropes.

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Time for lunch! With it being like a festival, and so many food stalls, I had some very typical festival food. This was my frank.

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And jagabata, or potatoes with butter. Delicious!

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After eating, we starting going home. Here is the same river we saw the day before, the Megujiri River. Very rural in this area.

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Some old farm buildings with the Tanzawa Mountains in the background.

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It was quite the walk. It was actually my third longest walk ever at 18.97 km. I had blisters on the bottom of both big toes. It was getting difficult to walk at the end.

Walks like this are great. We encountered something unexpected, a festival-like atmosphere at a famous shrine. With less than three months to go in Japan, I think we may take a few more of these walks and discover some new things or visit familiar places.

Have you ever gone for a walk or drive and found something unexpected?