I wrote a few months ago about how my Friday Japanese class is moving location.  It changed from a building near my home to a learning center (Shimizu Learning Center) on the other side of Shinobu Mountain.

I normally NEVER go to the other side of the mountain.  Not very adventurous, am I.  I come to the other side of the world just to putter around in my tiny little neighborhood.   So to get to my Japanese class, I rode my bike through a tunnel in the mountain to the other side.

And what did I find?

The Japanese suburbs.

It is very residential, and dare I say it, boring.  Just very normal and monotonous.  So yeah, I have to explore and see what is there.


Lots and lots of lots of houses in this neighborhood.  This is a photo of a pretty (although tiny) backyard.


Shimizu Learning Center has a library!  How did this escape my notice!?  It’s smallish, but quite nice.  There was a tiny selection of books in English.


Obviously, I was out and about taking photos just before Children’s Day.  This is a preschool.


A park in the area. Something about this park reminded me of America.  The fact that it was quite large and open, I guess.  That’s Mt. Shinobu in the distance.


This is a funny story.  I was in Japanese class and a classmate from Nepal told me about a new Nepalese restaurant and gave directions.  I have never had Nepalese food and wanted to try something exotice.  Japanese food is no longer exotic to me!

So I found what I thought was perhaps the restaurant.  I said, “Neparu no resutaran desuka?”  The staff–three people, to be exact–was totally confused.  They did not understand my question and said, “Nippon no resutoran?”  (Nippon means Japan….so they thought I was trying to say that.)  I looked at the food in the glass case and realized that it was just a very typical Japanese restaurant!  Nothing special for me.

However….there were no customers.  And the staff had looked overjoyed when I walked in.  I just couldn’t turn around and leave.  So I sat down and had 800 yen curry and rice (shown above.)  That is an expensive price to me–I can just run home and find something in my kitchen much cheaper.  Plus curry and rice is a completely normal food in Japan.   We eat it all the time.  So I was disappointed.

The next day, the big earthquake in Nepal occurred….so I was quite disappointed I never found the Nepalese restaurant!


This is heading back home.  That is Shinobu Mountain and beyond it is my home.  So I have to ride my bike about five minutes through its dark and narrow pedestrian tunnel.  Not exactly for somebody who is fearful of enclosed places or fearful of heaps of soil and rock breaking loose and landing on your head.  Not that I think about those sorts of things…