A Rare Sunny Day in November, Northern JAPAN, Niigata

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

Walking along a river bank, I saw a big tree near a Japanese Shinto shrine “Jinja”.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

In this small rural town in suburb of Niigata, there are several Shito Shrines like one in each village. It is interesting that most of those shrines are located near to the river bank. This one is relatively small. But an old person was cleaning fallen leaves at the shrine when I walked by there. I guess many people in the community have believed this shrine from the old times.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

November is the month of Chrysanthemum. In Japan, schools have a cultural festival on November Third. When I was a kid, I saw many chrysanthemum flowers in classroom in the day of that festival in the elementary school. It was a contest. There were many people in this town, whose hobby was growing big flowers of chrysanthemum. I am just wondering if such a hobby is still popular or not. Because it was more than forty years ago when I saw a lot of chrysanthemum flowers contested for their beauty in the festival. Now is the time of 21st century, people are busy for anything IT or whatever, efficiency and effectiveness on time and cost are most important even in people ‘s daily life. So my question is whether or not people have time to grow chrysanthemum as leisure in their free time .


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

Oh, by the way, chrysanthemum in cultural festival competition is the different kind from the photos that I show you here . Those are like one big flower on the top. Chrysanthemum in these pictures doesn’t need much care if not nothing. Their underground stems make buds in every spring, and bloom in fall without much care by people.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

A path on the river bank. Many places of Japanese soil was intruded and covered by yellow flowers of tall goldenrod that came from north America. You can see their yellow flowers anywhere in this time of the season. But it seems that Japanese pampas grass “Susuki” is still surviving on this river bank.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

Yellow ginkgo tree in front of another shrine.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

A lot of persimmons are left on the tree.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

Sparrow s are anywhere , but it is very rare to see a white-eye bird.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

They are eating persimmons!


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

Does it taste sweet?


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

I walked down to the river. It was used to be a landing place for a boat. I guess that water transportation was common in Niigata plain area in the old times.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

Standing by the river and seeing just water surface make me feel good. The mountain behind is often appearing in my photographs. That is Mount Sugana in Gosen-city.


Digital Photo taken in Niigata JAPAN

I walked several miles. Gotta go home now.

Afternoon Walk under the Late Autumn Sunshine in Niigata, JAPAN

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)

I took a walk on Thursday afternoon. Actually it was between two conversation classes on that day. I expected that I could take a photo of Iide Montain that had been “more white”.

a chrysanthemum flowers and Yahiko Mountain in Niigata Plains


Susuki, a wild plant that can be seen anywhere in fall season in Japan


Rivers


Snow covered Iide mountain in November, view from Akiha-ward Niigata-shi


The audio embedded below is my electric bass play. I usually play a bass with two fingers. I don’t like to use so-called “pick” which is a triangle plastic piece. Let alone “SLAP”. But I played this by slapping as a kind of practice for the technique that I am not good at. The piece is “Chorus of frogs (かえるの合唱)” which is a very famous song in Japan. It is said to be an old Deutsch traditional folk song, but I am not sure.

Wet and Chilly, a Dark Autumn Sunday in Niigata, JAPAN

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)

This is a blog post only for the purpose that I wanted to upload something. Today is Sunday but now almost over. I have been exhausted by hardworking for online classes. I should have taken a rest whole of yesterday without uploading a blog post which was actually so unpopular that no one visited.

a persimmon on the cutting board

Walking across railway, I got to rice field. The sky was dark because now it is late autumn. This is my hometown in Niigata Prefecture, JAPAN. Climate at this time of year is always like this. It’s wet and chilly. Living here under this circumstance might make you nerve wrenching. But you know, you can never have a choice for your birth place.


pieces of persimmon ready for eating

Cherry trees “Sakura” are Japanese favorite. People want to plant sakura trees anywhere. Yes it is beautiful in blooming. But I’d say their leaves are also beautiful in autumn.


View of Iide Mountain, from Niigata

Leaves had become beautiful, but it was a sign that they would soon be falling down onto the ground. They will turn to be soil that is where they came from, I am not sure, though.
Actually when I took photos of these leaves, rain became strong. I gave up taking photo like yesterday, and went to a supermarket. I bought some foods like fish and chicken for supper. I planned to cook fish today and chicken tomorrow. Since I got rosemary, I am thinking to cook chicken with tomato sauce and rosemary.


On the way back from the supermarket, I dropped by a small park. No kids were there.


The sun goes down and it’s getting dark.
17:30 – Cooked supper
18:30 – Ate supper
19:00 – Checked students’ homework
21:00 – Wrote this post
22:00 – Uploaded this post

Late Autumn in Niigata under the Dark Sky

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)

a persimmon on the cutting board

So I decided to eat this bitter persimmon because part of it became so soft.


pieces of persimmon ready for eating

Some slices that were so soft were sweet a little. Some slices that were not so soft were tasted as if remaining some bitterness. My conclusion was simple. Sawashi-gaki was far better than this. I mean, sawashi-gaki is persimmon that got rid of bitterness by strong alcohol.


View of Iide Mountain, from Niigata

I went out with my Olympus camera when I finished the online conversation class for sophomore students at 4p.m. on Friday. So it was getting dark already. Now it is late autumn. The top of the Mountain IIDE was already covered with snow.


I heard these days voices of swans flying over my head, I mean, in the sky. They are coming from Siberia to Japan to spend winter time. I saw one of them on Saturday morning. She/he was alone, though they are always in herds. I wished her safe migration.


Leaves in my garden have turned to red and yellow, although this happens in everywhere in northern hemisphere in this time around, anyway.


This region is cold, so it is impossible to raise rice crops twice a year. The paddy fields are left as-is through the winter.



Farming people like to plant flowers at the edges of their fields. When I took these photos, rain started falling. I gave up taking photos and came back house.


I wish if I had more time to practice this.

Morning Market in Niitsu, Niigata-ken, JAPAN

Because of corona virus pandemic and my hectic job for online teaching, I don’t have chances to go outside for these months. If there is a chance for me to go outside world, it had been to go for a walk one hour, or to go shopping in the morning market in Niitsu. I went to Niitsu this morning. And what I saw when I got off the train was a locomotive pulling passenger cars. The steam locomotive runs only on the weekend as a sightseeing train.


But anyway, my destination is here, the parking lot that turns to be a morning market on the dates with 1 and 6.


Every time I come to Niitsu morning market, I buy Kimch from Ms. Minami Yamashita.


This is her cooler box. There are three types of Kimchi; Chinese cabbage, Radish, and Cucumber kimchi(s).


山下南さんのキムチ、販売場所と時間

This is the information of her Kimchi selling. Her Kimchi is available in Niitsu, Gosen, and Suibara.


Another shop.


I was interested in mushroom of 250 JPY, but I didn’t buy them.


Flower shop.


I bought one basket of these Shuyo-Ringo(s).


So this is a photo of what I bought today in the Niitsu morning market.
8 apples “Shuyo”: 800yen
11 persimmons: 500yen
1 Chinese cabbage Kimchi: 500yen
1 Radish Kimchi: 500yen
2 Pears “Niitaka”: 400yen
1 Radish with green leaves: 100yen
1 Bitter persimmon: 100yen
——– 2,900JPY in total

There is an issue about persimmons. Since Niigata is in northern part of Japan, most of persimmons here are bitter because of chilly climate. You can get naturally sweet persimmon, if you were in Hiroshima or Wakayama because they are warm places. The issue in Niigata is how to get rid of bitterness from the persimmons. There are three ways to do that:
1) To make persimmon dry fruits; You peel off, tie with code, and hang them outside under the roof. You might need some nets as a protection preventing birds from eating them.
2) To use chemical reaction of strong alcohol; You put the upper part of persimmons into alcohol that is stronger than 40%. And put them into plastic bags to keep them airtight for several days.
3) is surprising one, You just keep the bitter persimmon until it gets sweet. I don’t know how long it would take. There is a moment between ripening and rotting. So it must be a very short period of time. In that moment, the bitter persimmon becomes sweet. It is not “You eat when you want to eat”, but you have to eat when it happens. I know a person who said that it tasted rotten when she ate this type of persimmon. She said she would never eat any kind of persimmons again. So it seems that bad experience left trauma about persimmon.

Today I found this type of bitter persimmon. A lady explained to me. She raised her sample persimmon. “See, this is a little early. You keep it more time, then you can eat this sweet”. I have been interested in this type of bitter persimmon for so long. I asked her to sell that sample to me. It was 100 yen. Shown in the photo is the one. Part of it looks ready but other part of it looks still early to eat. I will tell you the result.

At the End of October in Northern JAPAN

There were a little chilly autumn days recently. I thought the mountain Iide might have got snow on the top. As I expected, I found that there was snow on Wednesday 28th.


These sparrows had been somewhere for one month or so. It was the season that there were a plenty of rice grains in paddy fields. They liked rice better than bird seeds that I give them. But now the season has changed, they have com back to my garden.


A ginkgo tree has not become yellow enough. It would be still earlier to be the best color.


Another yellow thing in autumn is this introduced species from north America. You can see this flower anywhere in Japan at this time of season.


A river and the mountain Sugana-dake. Soon the leaves will be yellow and red on the mountains.

Weekly Logs: Sep.21 – 27, 2020

Photographs on the week (Another blog of mine)

Monday, September 21
I taught two classes in the morning and in the evening as usual. In addition to the classes, I had to instruct a nominee of speech contest. I sent her my handwriting that indicate low-high accent of Japanese in red ink.in

Tuesday, September 22
I taught two classes in the morning and in the evening as usual. Both were business manner classes.

Wednesday, September 23
I worked all day except one hour from 2p.m. I went to a dentist. Thanks to national health insurance, Japanese can see a doctor with reasonable cost. I got strange feeling in my mouth because of an aesthesia.

Thursday, September 24
I taught three classes. I worked even in the night. It was almost midnight when I finished working

Friday, September 25
I lost my memory I don’t remember the day. But it was sure that I taught two classes that were conversation course for the second grade.

Saturday, September 26
I went to a morning market in Niitsu. There is one man who comes to the morning market in this time of season. He brings and sells his grapes. Unfortunately his farm couldn’t produce any “Kyoho” grape this year, though I didn’t hear the reason. He was only selling a tiny amount of “Shine Muscat”. One tray was 1,000JPY. He laid only three plastic trays of Shine Muscat on his blue-sheet. They looked clean green fruits. But I saw behind him, there were some grapes whose peel had got some stains. I asked him to sell me that brawn stained Shine Muscat by 1,000 yen. He got happy because he could sell unpopular grapes with stains on the peel surface. He put a lot on a plastic tray and sold it to me.

Sunday, September 27
I worked almost all day. But I took a walk just an hour from 3 to 4p.m. While walking I found a board as below.

I don’t think a dog can read that Japanese sentence.

Weekly Logs: Sep.14 – 20, 2020

Photographs on the week (Another blog of mine)

Monday, September 14
9:05 – 10:25 Reading for Second grade, Class F
16:25 – 17:45 Business manner for Fourth grade, Class A
The business class was about communication between colleagues.

Tuesday, September 15
8:55 – 10:15 Business Manner for Fourth grade, Class A
16:25 – 17:45 Business manner for Fourth grade, Class B
Between the two classes, I went to supermarket to buy food. And then I took a nap before the evening class that was the business class. I talked about team work in business, effectiveness on communication, and business attire.

Wednesday, September 16
I worked all day because I had to make two PPT slide shows for the conversation classes on Thursday and Friday. Since I had to teach three classes on Thursday, there was no time on Thursday to prepare for Friday.

Thursday, September 17
9:05 – 10:25 Conversation for Second grade, Class E
10:50 – 12:10 Business manner for Fourth grade, Class B
14:40 – 16:00 Conversation for Second grade, Class F
The toughest day of the week, but on that day, I was liberated from household, because my mom had gone for a travel, although I cook the meals only as household. Cooking only for me was far easier and less time consuming than cooking for two.

Friday, September 18
8:55 – 10:15 Conversation for Second grade, Class F
14:40 – 16:00 Conversation for Second grade, Class E
I wanted to go to bed earlier because it was the last weekday. But I proofread a draft of speech contest in which one of my students wanted to participate.

Saturday, September 19
I went to a supermarket in the morning hours to buy food and flowers. I wanted to offer new flowers by my father’s photograph, because my aunts and an uncle came to my house to pray. It was the time of the first autumn OHIGAN since my dad died. After they left, I went out for a walk and took some digital photos.

Sunday, September 20
I worked all day. Preparation for the classes on Monday was the only thing that I did on Sunday.

Weekly Logs: Sep.7 – 13, 2020

Photographs on the week (Another blog of mine)

Monday, September 7
9:05 – 10:25 Reading for Second grade, Class F
16:25 – 17:45 Business manner for Fourth grade, Class A

Tuesday, September 8
8:55 – 10:15 Business Manner for Fourth grade, Class A
16:25 – 17:45 Business manner for Fourth grade, Class B
Between the two classes, I went to haircut. It was only just 1,100 JPY. One customer who got haircut before me came back and claimed the finishing of his hair. At the time I had already sat on the chair in front of the mirror, but I had to stand up from the chair for him.

Wednesday, September 9
There was no class on Wednesday. I went to supermarket by walk at 10 a.m. because I wanted to do that before it got too hot. I saw a dentist at 2 p.m. Of course I kept working other than those two things.

Thursday, September 10
9:05 – 10:25 Conversation for Second grade, Class E
10:50 – 12:10 Business manner for Fourth grade, Class B
14:40 – 16:00 Conversation for Second grade, Class F
So Thursday is the toughest day of the week. Even worse was that the supplemental tests were required on this day. The test was for students who failed to pass the final examinations in the last semester. The command said that teachers had to register the scores by 4 p.m. on Monday. As was always, it is a short notice. Since I had to prepare for the PPT slides for Friday class, it was 3 a.m. in the early Friday morning when I went to bed.

Friday, September 11
8:55 – 10:15 Conversation for Second grade, Class F
14:40 – 16:00 Conversation for Second grade, Class E
I made eight students took my supplemental examination for conversation class in the last semester. I started giving test direction at 10 p.m. It was 9 p.m. for them, but it was late at night for me. All the students sent me their audio data by 11p.m.

Saturday, September 12
On Thursday morning, 10 students were absent from my conversation class because they had to take supplemental examination for computer class of the last semester. I’d say it was a bad scheduling. So I made a small session for those ten students on Saturday morning. The rest of the day was spent for making PPT slides for business manner class.

Sunday, September 13
Since the weather forecast said that a heavy rain was coming in the afternoon, I went to a branch library at 10 a.m. to return six books. On the way and way back, I took some photographs to upload onto my blog. I had been scoring the supplemental examination of composition all the afternoon.