Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oh no! Snow!

Much to my surprise we got a lot of snow yesterday, so much so that it was still on the ground the next day (though most of it melted today with some rain in the afternoon). On my way home from school I got caught in a pretty heavy snowfall (on my bike):

After Ena came home we went over to the shopping centre across the street and she made a snowball:
This was the view this morning from our window:
We saw my friend Augustine and his wife Anna from the Philippines making a snowman and joined them for a little while:

We tried making a little boulder of our own but I gave up half-way through because my gloves got soaked:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Downtown Fukuoka - rained out

We had a day off together on Sunday and tried spending it downtown. Unfortunately it stated pouring rain in the afternoon, but not before we had done a few things. First we took a walk along one of the rivers near Nakasu Kawabata station:
Then we happened along a shrine which had this absolutely massive float (a portable shrine basically) that they use in festivals:
Then off to Canal City to escape the rain (I think my expression is "nonplussed"):
We stopped at a cafe on one of the upper floors for a drink and cake:
And then we went to see nearby Sumiyoshi shrine and get our fortune told. Thats where the rain started to come down pretty hard so we called it a day after that:

Kyushu University Hakozaki campus

I did a little exploring of the Kyushu University campus on the weekend. I usually just stick to the part of the campus around the law building, but the rest of the campus is kind of interesting too. Its got some nice older buildings like these ones:

And some palm trees:
And the main gate:

A sign of things to come though is this nice old building, which sits abandoned with its windows broken, weeds growing everywhere and its doors boarded up:

Our campus is in the process of slowly closing down. They are building an entirely new campus in another part of town and as each new building there is completed another one on our campus closes down for good. In about 6 or 7 years or so the whole place will be abandoned to its fate (not sure but I've heard they are going to turn it into a park). So parts of the campus have the look of a ghost town, which is kind of eerie and a bit sad. This building has some nice architectural elements that are rare, but its probably going to be torn down in the near future. I thought I'd take some pictures of it for posterity's sake while it was still standing!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hair Cut in Takamatsu

While we were in Takamatsu Fumiko was nice enough to give me a haircut, so now I look handsome. This is the first time I have ever been photographed while having my haircut. First I got a shampoo:

Then the haircut proper:

And voila:
We liked the haircut so much Ena and I went downtown so I could pose:

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Years in Takamatsu

We went up to Takamatsu over the New Year's break to spend it with Ena's family. These are some pictures with Ena's family:

It was my first time back there in about 4 years. I had seen Ena's parents a few months ago but it was the first time I had been able to see the grandparents in a long time so that was nice.

On New Year's day we climbed up a mountain behind their home to visit a temple. This is what everyone in Japan does on New Year's day to make their wishes for happiness in the coming year. Its quite a nice temple and mountain, loads of people were there (though most of them took the cable car instead of climbing up like we did). It is Temple number 85 on the 88 temple Shikoku pilgrimage route (about a 40 day hike that hardy pilgrims make around the island to visit the 88 temples of the Shingon sect). This is a picture of everyone lining up to make their wishes at the Temple's main building:
Ena and I at one of the vendor's stalls holding up a Japanese New Year's decoration:

Me ringing in the New Year: