Category Archives: Personal

Adventure in Osaka kids alone! Day 2

Updated on : March 26, 2014   *  Last modified on : October 25, 2016



The second day of the trip!

The girls woke up a little past 7am, pretty surprised to wake

up early after long day trip the prior day.







The girls took a photo with strawberries resembling a TV magazine “Television”.

The actual magazine is taken with lemons it seems…..


The destination of the second day is Umeda, north area of

Osaka. Going to Hep five to shop and get on the Ferris wheel on the

building roof.


Hep Fiveでお買い物&観覧車に乗車!





Spending the time around Umeda area till 15:00, the girls headed back

to their home to Shimane.

Oh day 2 became a lot shorter than I expected.


Well, well it was fun having the girls!!




Adventure in Osaka kids alone! Day 1

Updated on : March 26, 2014



Hi there!


Today I am writing about my niece and 3 of her friends graduation trip

to Osaka last week! In Japanese… it would be


子供だけで 大阪探検!1日目 かなw?


This entry, I will try to write a bit in Japanese so my niece and her friends

will know what is written =).

Has gotten pretty long so just check the photos if you like!


As many of you know, the school year start in April in Japan.

My niece has just graduated from junior high this March, so

she and 3 of her friends planned a trip to Osaka for their graduation.

It was trip alone for the 4 kids!!


Leaving Shimane 7:00 am took about 4 and a half hours drive on

high way bus (the red dot on the left of the map below to the right dot).


Here is the photo from the moment they got on the high way bus.

We are ready to roll :D!!!



From the left to right, Tomo-chan, Kan-chan, Meru (my niece) and Non-chan!

Good friends from volleyball club.




The  bus arrived to Umeda station, Osaka before noon.

The kids headed to Shinsaibashi to roam around.

The destinations are Johnny’s shop, Adidas shop in

America mura (American village).

お昼前に大阪に到着、→ 心斎橋に移動~。



After shopping, ate Takoyaki at Sankaku Kouen park.

Sounds SO OSAKA!! The weather was really nice too!



1395746656071  1395746651079 1395746661976


After the light lunch at Sankaku Kouen, the girls headed to Dotonbori.

One of the major spot in Osaka south area where there are bunch of

restaurants and shops. The famous Glico man is also here.

Yes yes they took the photos with the Glico man of course XDDD.


1395746636786 1395746644281


This guy is also famous around Dotonbori area.

Kuidaore Taro. Man I did not know his full name till now :p.



Looking for place to eat and decided to eat in

Osaka Osho, raman and gyo-za restaurant chain.



1395748284146 1395748295502


After supper heading to Nara via Kintetsu line.




Happy Tomo-chan to finally see the train to catch.

Running to the train!



Taking a photo in the train as well XD.



After 40 minutes travel by the train + 20 minutes drive by bus,

arrived at my place! Welcome~~~~!





2 shot with my niece Meru-chan!



My room is really small so we all needed to sleep on the floor.

From the left, Tomo-chan, Non-chan who fell a sleep at first

then Meru and Kan-chan :D!





Tomo-chan went down around 0:30 I think.

Meru, Kan-chan and I stayed up late to watch some videos on YouTube

and some videos on their cell phone.

I am glad I took a nap in the evening otherwise I would surely fell asleep

at first no doubt!







Uploading here since it is getting pretty long!

~ To be continued ;)! ~



The Right Turn Clyde Band

Updated on : September 6, 2013   *  Last modified on : November 8, 2016



Hi there!


I am writing something personal today!

It is about my friend’s band

“The Right Turn Clyde”!


Today is their 9th anniversary!!

        Congrats the Right Turn Clyde!!


The Right Turn Clyde


One of my good friends from the US, Stan Grady (2nd from the left :D)

is the keyboardist of the band!

He sing the lead, backup and also plays the keyboard!

The neat part of this band is all the members,

Stan the keyboardist, Tony the drummer, Mike the guitarist and Barry the basis

everyone can sing the lead as a singer!! Pretty cool, isn’t it?!





Stan  Stan's Stan's2 Stan3


Stan is one of the very good friends I made while I was in the US as

an exchange student while~~~ back XD!

We had the same chorus class.

The class was really great!! Wonderful teacher, wonderful friends!!


When I first got to the US, my English was pretty poor.

I had hard time understanding if people spoke in the normal speed.

In the music class though, I was pretty comfortable with people in quite early time.

Maybe because I had the role to play the piano in the class, people recognized

me and said hi to me and stuffs ^ ^. Always warm atmosphere in the class.

Anyways it was absolute my No.1 favorite class throughout the year!


Oh, this October

they are having choral reunion!!

How I wish I could be there!!!!!


It would be SO GREAT to meet the friends from the class and also Mr. Gilliam, our teacher!!!

Every time I visit the US, I tried to see him (^-^).


Oh got excited about the reunion :p, let’s get back to the Stan’s band.



If you are living in or near NC,they seem

having some lives on September 7th, 13th and 21st.

Check out here for the details!!


If you have a facebook account and want to be updated on your timeline,

like their facebook page, then it will update you their info ;)!!


If you want to see their live performances,

there are quite many on YouTube!



About My Family

Updated on : August 27, 2013



Today, I will write about something personal.


I have been not feeling super well for past 2 weeks.

It started on August 14th.

Got better last Thursday on 22nd but still feel sad sometimes so guess still something is getting me.


As I have written a little about my family and my depression in an older post

Associating people from other countries”,

the family I grew up in is a twisted one.

It is called “dysfunctional family” in the psychological term.


Baby hand


I went to a festival with one of my band mates on August 13th.

I was thinking about going to the festival by myself on 13th or 14th.

We were chatting on LINE, and I had something to give him

so thought about meeting him up somewhere to give it and then

asked him if he would like to go to the fes with me and he said yes so we went together.


After the fes, we were chatting in his car as we sometimes do.

While we were talking, he mentioned something about his sister’s family.

The daughter of her sister is having hard time at the moment and stuffs.

Since I grew up in a stressful family for kids,

I was saying that she probably needs to do something she enjoys

not to care about the achievement, she probably is 20 years old now,

but probably cannot know what she likes to do,

what she enjoys if she could not train to feel it until now.

I also talked about my family stuffs.


I was living at parents house till early summer 3 years ago.


I wanted to move out someday

(I was at their place to rest since I have very severe depression on my early 30s)


but how I moved out was not something amusing.


I have 2 brothers. My middle brother has schizophrenia.

He was like a disabled man once like 9 year ago, but he got a lot better in years with medication.

Schizophrenia is an illness that he or she does not notice he/she has it.


It has hallucination and auditory hallucination as the symptom.


I assume it must be really hard if he/she sees or hears things without knowing they are false.




Anyways, July 3 years ago, I assume my brother had cut his medication

at some point probably because he did not know he was ill or something.

One day when my parents were gone,

I thought about cooking for myself before I went out that night,

asked him if he wanted me to fix something for him too.

He got raged and shouted something like “you don’t need to worry about meal”.


Since I did not know that he had his symptom back,

I got mad a bit and shouted “what is your problem” or something.

I was at the middle of the ladders since his room was upstairs,

I was talking to him from the downstairs at first but climbed a bit to talk to him.

While I was talking to him he looked like he was kicking me down

so I backed down the steps and tried to talk to him,

since the way he acted was quite odd and I started to think that something was going on with him.


He came down the stairs while we were talking,

he looked like he was going to punch me so I grabbed his arms to prevent it and asked him questions.


What I found out over the conversation was


that he thought I was poisoning my family when I cook.

He also said that I was putting something poisoning to the laundries

that he felt numbness (?) when he did laundry.


It was really sad that he thought that way,

I was sad the fact he was thinking that way but also sad since I believed he was only getting better.

After that, I called up my parents cell phones.

Mother I could not be reached but father.

I asked him to come home and talked what I found out over the conversation with my brother.


Since I needed to go out that night, talked with both of my parents the next day.

I really do not know how to describe their reaction though….


from that day and on for about 2 weeks,

I needed to go out at night to secure myself to the convenience stores

or at my friends’ house after my parents went to sleep.




I was scared since my brother was a night person.

I was afraid that he would attack me while my parents were asleep.


For 2 weeks, I tried to find somewhere I can stay for a while at night

until my brother got better to secure myself near my parents house

but I did not have the luck so I decided to move to one of my close friends from university in Osaka.


It was sad that my parents did not care enough to make me feel safe.


As I write this, I wonder why they were OK with me going out every night

to the convenience stores or friends’ house and did not do anything about it.

I did not notice that back then. Actually I noticed it now. It is really weird.

I don’t think I would be OK with that situation if I was a parent……



I talked to my band mate a short version of the above story

and he said he was sorry for me,

he said “it must be hard to go through”.


The word he said to me along with the story about his sister and his niece probably got me.

Non of my family said “it must be hard for you” to me.

When I went to Shimane to see my niece in June,

I had a little talk with my eldest brother about my middle brother and also our family issues.

All I heard was very harsh things for me.

We talked on the first night I got there and I felt like going home at the very first night I got there.

Didn’t leave since I went there to cheer my niece Karate tournament on Sunday

and it was only Thursday.


I really did not know what was upsetting me this time after about a week later.

Apparently it is because that someone else gave me warm words to me but not my family.

The band mate and my eldest brother is just an year difference

and I feel like him a bit like a big brother so I got all confused with his word I guess.


Why a stranger can be warm to me and not my family?

Why do they hurt me?

I guess they do not mean to though, it still hurts.


After 2 weeks from the talk, I still feel a bit powerless.

Got a lot better than the first week though…..


The good thing is that I know more about my family now.


I sort of believed that my family would help me in need. I know now that they don’t.

It is sad to notice that but better than not knowing it.

If I had noticed that my eldest had been hurting me all years since I was like 18,

I would not have talk to him our family issues in June when I went there.

I was so open to hurt since I just did not recognize the reality.


It is kind of odd that I believed that my family is the family who helps me in need though.

Someone who I can talk to.


Maybe because it was nice to believe.

People believe what they want to believe,

so probably that was what I was doing.


Last November,

I found out that my middle brother’s symptom got all worse

that my parents could not ignore anymore.

They left him in-medicated for good 2 and half years after I left.

That upset me SO MUCH, that I cried so much back then.

I started to take counseling after last November.


I thought my problem was resolved in my 30s

when I understood that my mother’s unhappiness was not my fault.

Not because I was born.

My suicidal feeling was gone after I understood it,


but looks I still have subjects to solve.



I think that is to recognize what my family really like.

If I understood my parents correctly,

I would not get shocked when I heard about my middle brother got all worse last November.

Think back that they cared less for my safety 3 years ago,

it was quite obvious that they were capable for it.


I really want to be happy.

I mean I am usually quite a happy person, but get upset sometimes with my family issues.

I do not know how exactly but I really want to solve this,

so I can maintain my happiness as long as I can.


I know I am not the only one with weird family.


I really want to be happy and I really want everybody to be happy.






Live night!

Updated on : August 16, 2013   *  Last modified on : August 18, 2013



Hey~, how are you doing?


Last Sunday, one of my band guitarists

(we have 2 guitarists in the band) had a live with his other band

in Osaka. So we went to see the live!


It was the 7th anniversary of the bar they played in so we got free drink.

Paying the 3,000yen at first then we did not have to pay anything for drinks.

I have not been too much live bars but guess it was pretty cool treat :D!


OK~ pasting the cute photos first :D.


This is the son of the guitarist, Juma-kun.

Isn’t he cute??  He is 3 years old.


The second is Juma and me. I had to put this one up since this is good photo of mine XD.

Juma-kun Juma and me

Juma me and Mine-san

This is Juma, me and Mine-san. Mine-san is the other guitarist of my band.

He was shouting out laud at the live and he lost his voice the next day XD was so funny!!

Mine-san is not the father of Juma ne, the guy in the photo below on the right end

(with a guitar) is Juma’s Dad, Hisato-san.


Hisato-san has a studio at his work (he runs a gardening company I believe)

and we go there every once and then. Pretty cool to have a private studio!!



Izu-yan, the vocalist.

His eyes are really strong (not sure how to say it in English properly) that I kind of

wanted to put my eyes away from him but couldn’t… haha, kind of his eyes caugh my eyes

and never get away.

About the eye power, we call it “Medikara” in Japanese.

Write like this ne XD.


meaning a person with strong eye power? or eyes with the power if that makes sense.

You can get the image with this illustration right XDD??

Adding the description of Medikara since I have asked~~ :).
Thanks for the question corny-chan :D!!

“Medikara” is the impression that the eyes expression or the look give.
The person who has strong medikara give impression of strong will and inner strength.
Medikara is also said to show the person’s inner state, if you are happy it strengthen and
if you are sad it would be weakened.
The person with no medikara is called “dead eye” XDDDD.
The expression “Medikara” is rather new. It used to be called “Ganriki” or “Ganryoku”.

There were 3 bands performance that night.

My band guitarist’s band went first and the second one was guitar and Niko, a Chinese

2 strings instrument.


Hummmm cannot find the similar music that the guitarist played on the net.

It was SOOO COOL! It’s pity that I cannot share his music here!!!


For the Niko (erhu) play, you can check it out here.

This is her (Kimura Haruyo) homepage.


These guys were the 3rd and the last band.


Each band played for about an hour.

All bands were well. I was quite stunned with the Niko (erhu) and the guitar play though.

We stayed there from 19:00 to 23:00 that night and ended up missing the last train :p.

Stayed at our band vocalist Kine-chin’s place :p :p :p.

He had to work the following Monday….. hope he did not hate us….



My karate kid, Merumo

Updated on : July 29, 2013   *  Last modified on : November 14, 2016





How are you doing today?

Did you have a nice weekend?

Me? I DID, I DID, I DID o(^-^o)(o^-^)o!


I went to my first H!P concert ever at Orix theater in Osaka on Saturday July 27th,

will write on this a bit later!

And met up with my lovely lovely niece at night and the following Sunday!

My niece does Karate

and she came to Osaka for a karate tournament.


My niece after the tournament with trophy + me :p.

She got the 3rd place! Good job Merumo!!


Meru and me


Don’t we look alike?!?! Kya——– ehehehe!

I just love this girl so much!!!!!


This is before the opening. The kids get together accordance with their age and lined up.

Byakuren Kaikan 2013, Opening

The tournament held on Sunday was the national tournament of Byakuren Kaikan.

There are several branches of Karate, and my niece belongs to Kyokusin kan.

My niece loves karate very much and she travels around to participate in the tournaments.

Even with the different branches. That seems a bit rare.

I am very happy that she has something that she enjoys that much!


On the tournament, the way they carry out the tournament is different on branches

and so as the rules.

At Kyokusin Kan tournaments (the one my niece belongs),

they have enough intervals between the matches so kids can get enough rest between the matches,

but Byakuren Kaikan’s match the one we attended this weekend,

the matches just go on until they know the top 2.


The kids gotta to fight every other match in Byakuren Kaikan tournament,

so it almost non interval between the matches. One match takes only a minute and a half.

So in the tournament of Byakuren Kaikan match much stamina is required.


This is my niece before the first match (the one sitting on the floor at the middle), with lots of tense.


Meru before the match


Looked very pale. She gets VERY nervous before the first match every time.

She does well even with the nervousness though.


I could not take the photos of my niece when she fought since I got in the area and cheered her,

but this is the girl who beat my niece.

Strong girl

She is 6 cm taller than my niece plus 16kg heavier than my niece!!!

She looked in different standard from everyone else!!


My niece fought pretty well with the girl, gets 1 draw from a judge.

2 out of 3 judges thought the other girl was better. Seemed pretty fair.


The match started at 10:40 in the morning and ended at 11:00 already for my niece Sunday XD.

It was the quickest tournament ever!!!

We could stay and watch the other matches but since my niece wanted to go to Johnny’s shop

(Johnny’s is a Japanese men’s idol) and other shops in Osaka,

so we decided to roam around together and have fun!


Maybe write on that in other post ;)!

It was just a lovely day with my niece!!!!


If you wanna see more Karate kids photos,

you can check this blog out!

This is my sis in law writes on my niece Karate Dojo (photos by my brother).
Many photos of genki kids! You will probably enjoy it!!




Going to Shimane yay!

Updated on : June 12, 2013



Hello there!!

How are you doing today?

It is 4:25am. Hum, come to think about it, I have not slept yet tonight.

Went to bed once but did not fall in sleep so got back up and
started to pack for my trip to Shimane today.




I started my PC as I always do when I get up and then it showed me the blue screen
with that error message orz, so I was kind of trying to figure out how to fix it.

Eventually recovered to a recovery point a couple days ago and it got back to normal, phew!

Last night I was talking to my sis in law and my niece on Skype since I am visiting them
today and my sweet niece said

“I thought you would come earlier than that.

I am getting out school around 16:30. I could pick you up”

Pick me up with her bicycle and

even with her friends like 6 of them she said XD!!


She is just SO SWEET! Oh my niece is 15 years old now (*^ ^*).

I am excited to see her, but I am very very happy that she is excited to see me too.

She is having a Karate tournament on Sunday this week (16th),
so I am gonna go cheer her up!!

She started Karate at her 3rd grade and she became so good at it!!

Seems she really like Karate. So will probably update my next blog from Shimane!!

Have a great day!!



P.S. Oh forgot to mention :p, the green line on the map above shows the path I am traveling.

Well not exact path but wanted to show you on the Japan map =D.

It will take about….. 7 hours in total by train and highway bus!




Nick from 20six blog

Updated on : June 7, 2013   *  Last modified on : February 3, 2017



Hi there! It is Saturday morning. 8:30.

How are you doing? I am doing fine!

As I started a part time job last week at a nearby restaurant, I am kind of hectic but doing well!


I am traveling to Shiga today for a band practice!

I joined a band as back chorus the end of April! The band is pretty much fun!

A metal band with 5 guys singing about HEALTH XD!! The lyrics are SO FUNNY~~~~~!!!!!



As I wrote a bit of myself, why I started to do what I do (help people from other countries

buy stuffs from Japan) the other day on titled “Associate with people from other countries”,

I got several comments via facebook and emails. Thank you so much!

It made me really happy that people enjoyed reading my personal stuffs (*^ ^*).

So I am writing a bit more on it today.

On the last blog, I wrote about I had a blog titled “Peep at Japanese Life” and made friends

from other countries. So here is the sequel of the story~~~


One day, a friend from the site Nick asked me


“Topo, is that possible for you to help me find


the CDs of my favorite band?


I looked all over in London and could not find them.”


* Topo was my handle name on that site by the way.


So I said “Yeah, sure.”

Nick gave me the names of the CDs he was after.

The following Sunday I went to a CD shop and looked for the CDs.

The shop did not have them at that moment so I ordered them and picked up the

next week.


The CDs were from the band named “The Yellow Monkey”.

After picked up the CDs, I forwarded them to Nick via mail.

In several days, the parcel got to Nick and


he wrote about the parcel and me with some pictures on his blog.


Seems it made him SO HAPPY!




I initially asked him 1,000yen for doing it, but he sent me 3,000yen and he seemed SO HAPPY!

Here is the note Nick made with his paypal transaction.




Oh seems he paid more because he was late ( *´艸`), I really did not remember that way :p,

but anyways I was very happy that the simple tasks made him SO HAPPY!


Back at the time, I was resting at home not working so I thought,
hey! if this would make him SO HAPPY, probably there are more people who would be happy
purchasing stuffs from Japan, maybe I can sell stuffs abroad via Internet.

Then I opened an account on eBay.

As I checked my paypal history, it was the exact same day I opened my eBay account
with the day I received the payment from Nick XD.

I knew I moved pretty quick on it, but really did not know it was the exact same day XDDD!!


So this is how I started a store on eBay.

And I will be meeting another English man via eBay

who is a big H!P fan and will be my other key person

with what I do now =D!


~~~~~ to be continued ~~~~




Associating people from other countries

Updated on : June 3, 2013   *  Last modified on : February 3, 2017



Hi! How are you doing?

I am doing fine!

We are having such a wonderful sunny day despite we are in the rainy season =D.




Since I have been helping people outside

to buy stuffs from Japan for 7 years


mostly people of  Hello! Project fans,

I often asked if I am H!P fan myself. As the matter of fact, I am not (>_<)!!

Every time I got asked, I feel like, would it sound all right…..

most of the time it looks all right, so I guess it is ok (I hope!).

The LovendoR live I attended last month (May) was actually the first live I joined.


I really enjoy get to know people from other countries.

I believe this is what I was born with =D.


When I was 4th grade,

my parents house was up on the hill kind of,
so I needed to go up a long steps to get back home from school.

One day of my 4th grade year, when I finished climbing up the long stairs

and I thought


I want to become friends with all over the world.


It is funny why I thought that on that day, but I clearly remember that
I thought it at the top of the stairs (^ – ^).

So without knowing, the situation now is

pretty much the dream comes true situation for little Nozomi.


Pretty neat to think about it.

I will be kind of a long story so I will make this in several posts though,

about 8 years ago,

I made a blog on Japan named “Peep at Japanese Life?”.


Still old articles are there if you are interested in it.

Back then, I was resting at my parents house for depression.

I have had my depression since I was like 18.

Since back at the time, depression was not widely known in Japan
so I did not know what was wrong with me until I got 26 or so.

I happened to pick a book on depression at a book store and read it and found out that the thing
I was having was depression.

Fortunately I am all well know now.

I am not so sure if every one is familiar with the term “dysfunctional family”
but the family I grew up in is one of those and I got depression from the stress the family had.

I believed for a long time that my mother was not able to be happy
because of the birth of my brothers and me.

She stuck with an unhappy marriage because we were born.

I have been basically a cheerful girl, but when something happened,
I don’t thing something was such a big deal objectively, but it got me so deep and made me feel suicidal.
It was because I believed down inside that my birth was not right.

I did not realize that I felt this way until my 32 or 33, it was so deep down myself that I was not aware
that I was feeling that way myself. Might sounds a bit odd? But it was.

That thought of my birth being wrong for my mother was giving me real pain
but when I noticed it, it got all better.
Realizing that my mother being unhappy with her marriage was the choice of her lifted so much of
the burden I was carrying.

Mmmmm….. weird, it is getting somewhere else than the fun I have with associating
with people from other countries, haha! Oh well, I guess it is OK. It is about myself (^ – ^).
And I know there are people out there having the same kind of issues. Good to share I guess.


So early 30s, I encountered the most severe depression in my life and resting
without doing almost nothing.

Just sleep eat, that was about it I did. And then after a while I regained my energy
and thought to write an English blog.

And I did, and I made friends through the blog.


Unfortunately along with the major change on the platform on 20six, the blog platform
I used for blogging, many friends through the blog kind of spread away,
since the usage of the blogging became widely inconvenient.

I still have contact with some of them via facebook but lost contact with many of them. * sad *

Woooo this is getting pretty long so I will write more on the different post.


I met a guy from England through the blog

who was fan of a Japanese band “The Yellow Monkey” :).


He is one of the key person

with what I do now (helping people from other countries buy stuffs from Japan).

~~~~ To be continued ~~~~~





My special family in the US

Updated on : May 13, 2013


A couple days ago, I saw a photo of my special someone’s wedding photo on facebook.

She was one of the girls in the family who let me stayed their home for good 10 months in the past
during my exchange year in the US.

Last night, she sent me a message via facebook if I got the invitation.

She was talking about

the wedding invitation.


Unfortunately I did not receive the invitation in time,
but the fact that she remembered me to invite on her very special day made me very very happy.

Thank you so much.

Also her elder sister (my eldest baby sis for me) got married just recently as well.

Happy to know all the good news about you.

I feel very lucky that we are still in touch and think about each other.
I know that I think of you all very often but it is kind of difficult to know if you all do other way around
so I am really happy that you do too.

Actually I am crying with happiness now, haha silly me.

Happy wedding Kindra and happy wedding Lisa.


Hope all the better for you and your love one. I love you.
Thank you very much for having me and keeping in touch for this long period.

I really really appreciate it.

Thank you.

P.S. The family gave me 4 little sisters that I never had and parents in other country.
I am the baby in my Japanese family with 2 big brothers so it was very neat that I got
younger sisters ^-^.
I will just think about the wonderful 10 months I had with you all today for a bit.
It was very lovely. Lucky girl I am. Again thank you.