Back-to-back Champions!

Good morning everyone,

It's looking like we can expect nice weather for the next few days-with daytime highs in the high 20s and mostly sunny weather. The end of the week and the weekend aren't looking so good though...we may see some rain on Friday and Saturday.

The Hiroshima Carp clinch their second straight Central League championship, the team's eighth overall, with a 3-2 win over the Hanshin Tigers on Monday afternoon. Two days after they were denied a chance to clinch at home, a huge number of Carp fans invaded the Tigers' home, historic Koshien Stadium outside Osaka, and erupted after Shota Nakazaki sealed the victory with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his eighth save.

That made this year the second year in a row that they won the Central League Pennant on the road. And the first time that the Carp had won back-to-back titles in 37 years.

So, while that made for some excited fans who trekked all the way to Osaka, those of us back here in Hiroshima had to make due with watching the game on tv followed by the tradition of tossing the manager up in the air.

Oh, and the live interview with the manager was televised as well. It was pretty exciting! He said 'Honto ni' a lot! Ha ha!

Speaking personally, the best part was when the restaurant manager gave everyone a drink on the house after the Carp won. I  had planned on having one beer, but decided to have two. Then, the game was almost over so I had one more...and then he gave us our free one. I had a lot more to drink than I had planned...luckily, I'd walked to the restaurant...ha ha!

Anyway,  I suppose there will be a sale on at some places today. Will you go? Unfortunately, I won't have any time today or tomorrow...

With any luck, I'll be able to go to the sales when the Carp win the Nippon Series!

Go Carp Go!

Have a great day!


Some more reasons to head to USJ in Osaka

Good morning everyone,

Did you survive the typhoon yesterday? Today should see the weather turn nicer and the rest of the week isn't looking too bad-daytime highs will finally be below 30C for the first time in what feels like 6 months...ha ha!

The Universal Studios Japan theme park gets its name, of course, from Universal Pictures, one of the oldest and most successful film studios in Hollywood. In recent years, though, the Osaka theme park has been reaping huge benefits from the booming popularity of Japanese anime and video games.

USJ regularly salutes a few different Japanese characters or themes each year as part of its Universal Cool Japan project. Past collaborations have produced attractions that let guests step into the worlds of hit anime including as "Neon Genesis Evangelion," "Attack on Titan" and "Great Detective Conan", as well as video games such as "Resident Evil" and "Monster Hunter."

The park has just announced the lineup for the upcoming 2018 version of Universal Cool Japan, and we now know that "Conan" and "Monster Hunter" will be back in upgraded forms. But the real excitement comes from Universal Studios Japan’s new team-up with two of the most popular franchises ever to come out of Japan: "Sailor Moon" and "Final Fantasy."

The only specifics known so far are that the "Final Fantasy," "Conan" and "Monster Hunter" attractions will open on January 19, with "Sailor Moon" joining them later in the spring, and that the limited-time Universal Cool Japan 2018 attractions will be in operation until June 24.

Between this and the upcoming Nintendo area at USJ, it’s starting to feel like not being able to use Disney characters for the park is actually a blessing in disguise.

Are any of these tempting you to head to USJ for the first time? Or maybe give it another try? I'm thinking about it..

Have a great day!


Suddenly, I don't feel so old...

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be a wet, windy day out there. If you're heading out, take care. If you're looking for me outside, you'll be disappointed. I'm going to be sitting on my couch all day eating junk food and watching tv. Tomorrow may start out rainy as well, but hopefully it'll clear up later in the day.

The number of centenarians in Japan totaled 67,824 as of Friday, hitting a record high for the 47th consecutive year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.
From a year earlier, the centenarian figure based on basic resident register data rose by 2,132, according to the ministry's report released before Respect for the Aged Day on Monday.

The number of people in the country aged 100 or higher, which stood at 153 in the first survey year of 1963, topped 10,000 in 1998. Since surpassing the 30,000 mark in 2007, the centenarian population has doubled in 10 years, the ministry said.

The latest survey also found that women's headcount increased 2,102 to account for 88 pct of the total. Men's number rose by 30.

There were 53.43 centenarians per 100,000 people nationwide. Among the country's 47 prefectures, Shimane logged the largest rate per 100,000, at 97.54, topping the list for five years in a row. Is this a good thing? I'm thinking it just means that there are no young people left in Shimane anymore...

How about you? Are you hoping to become one of Japan's centenarians some day? I'll pass. I'd rather be healthy and happy till my late 80s and then die in my sleep the day after my 90th birthday...

Have a great day!


Apps to make life in Toronto easier...we need these for Hiroshima

Good morning everyone,

While it hasn't started raining yet, they are calling for rain all day today and tomorrow along with strong winds tomorrow. I wonder if we'll get hit by a typhoon-since I've lived here, we've never been directly hit by one. Maybe tomorrow will be the first...

Living in Toronto can be a nightmare if you're not connected. Mobile apps currently manage the way The People Of The Six operate and in most instances, it's for the better. Everything from groceries to bike shares to private nap spaces have become more accessible and to make sure you're not stuck in a bubble, here are ten apps you need to cycle through on a daily basis.

Breather

If you're a busy body who barely has time to breathe, then Breather is a miracle. It's been a clutch app for students and business types because it helps you find and rent "spaces" by the hour, allowing you to power nap in peace or enjoy 60 minutes of uninterrupted bliss (with Wi-Fi included).

Amsterdam BrewHouse

Drink Owl

Drink Owl isn't any ordinary drinking app; it's one that will help you ignore everyone's obsession with taking selfies with craft beer. In one fell swoop, it scans your surroundings for drink specials and happy hours taking place in the city - giving you the scoop on The Lakeview's $3 mimosas and Thai Spring Roll's $3.75 Sapporo pints. In short, here's to never paying $5 for anything ever again.

GroceryGo

Neighborhoods such as Cabbagetown and Kensington are overrun by grocery stores and due to their quantity over quality, it can be hard to keep track of who has what on sale. GroceryGo sifts through major grocery chains - including Metro, Loblaws, No Frills, Food Basics, and Sobeys - and provides side-by-side comparisons of items to show you which store currently has the best savings.

Just Eat

Pizza is always a great choice but change can be good and that's where Just Eat comes in. The online takeout service provides restaurants based on your postal code and even offers the option of paying ahead of time. The catch? Well there isn't one. Some restos hike up their prices by a dollar but the options make up for it as you can dig into pad thai, sushi, burgers, and nachos on any given night.

Bixi Bike Toronto

Ride The City

Cab drivers aside, riding your bike is one of the safest and cheapest ways to get around Downtown and Ride The City helps cyclists use that privilege. It pinpoints the locations of various rental shops and bike shares and utilizes the city's growing network of lanes to get you from Point A to Point B.

Spot

Similar to SportBuddy, an app that helps organize pick-up games and workout dates, Spot uses your location to alert you to news and activities that are taking place nearby. What makes the Toronto startup unique is it places a focus on student bodies and residences, presenting a "new standard for community chat" that's not limited to study groups and social bulletin boards.

Grilled Street Dogs

Street Food Toronto

You may think you want an app for doughnuts, but let's be honest: your heart really wants an app for street grub. Street Food Toronto fills that void as it helps users find food trucks in their area, noting when they'll be active, where they're going, and if you can dig into Beaver Tails on Saturday night.

TTC Streetcar

Transit App

If you're still stuck on trying to decide which public transit app is for you, then quit. The Transit App has become a unanimous frontrunner for all things navigation and compared to Rocketman and TTCWatch, it displays every nearby transit option - including Uber and bike shares. It also works in 84 other cities making it a convenient go-to when being a travel freak.

What do you think? Could we make any of these for Hiroshima?

Have a great day!


Are you busy on Oct 4th?

Good morning everyone,

It's looking like today will be mostly overcast and then we can expect rain for most of the day tomorrow and heavy rains and wind on Sunday as Typhoon Talim heads our way. At the moment it looks like it will pass south of us, but keep an eye on it as it could change direction. It's a strong typhoon so even if it does miss us, it could be a bit hazardous out there Sunday. With any luck, it'll pass by quickly.

Early fall is the time for “moon viewing” or kangetsu in Japan or is it otsukimi? I don't know what the difference is, but suffice to say that you can spend a nice evening enjoying the view of the moon, no matter what you want to call it...ha ha!

Since ancient times, Japanese people have admired the beauty of the moon. It appears in many traditional Japanese poems or fairy tales. People also celebrate the fall harvest at this time.

This event usually takes place on “Jugoya”, which is also called “Chushu no Meigetsu”, refers to the night of 15th day of August on the ancient calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, it refers to the duration between the middle of September and the beginning of October and it depends on the year. These year, it falls on October 4th.

These festivals take place in many places such as parks, buildings, towers, temples or shrines in Japan. So, you can have many choices to enjoy this traditional event.

A moon viewing tea ceremony is held in Shukkei-en Garden annually at this time.

  • ¥800 for the (more formal) tea ceremony in a tea house (honseki)
  • ¥600 to take tea in the gardens (nodate)

The garden admission fee is also required (adults ¥260) or combine your visit with a visit to the adjacent Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum for a discounted entry.

Sound tempting? Save a seat for me!

Have a great day!


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