Hey everyone, it’s been a while!
Keith here with another blog to share with you all.
For those who have read my blogs before, you may remember I wrote a blog about me going on an adventure on my bicycle a while ago.
Well, recently I went on another adventure!
Last time, I followed Muromi River and ended up at Mt. Iimori (飯盛山).
This time, I decided to follow the coast road to see what kind of places I could see along the way.
If you have talked with me at the cafe before, you should know that I love the beach, so I was pretty excited to go along the coast to see them!
I left my house around 11:00AM. The weather wasn’t very good, but I decided that even if it rains, I am going on an adventure.
My first stop was Odo Park (小戸公園). The weather was still pretty bad, so I didn’t stay here for very long. I’ve heard the sunset is quite beautiful, so I plan to come here again sometime. Even though it was cloudy, there was a very nice view of the ocean and Nokonoshima (能古島).
After this, I continued down the road, reaching stop 2, Iki no Matsubara (生の松原).
I’ve been planning to come here for a while, and I’m happy I did.
I thought it was really beautiful with the beach right near the trees. I’ll definitely come back sometime when the weather is nicer.
I continued my journey and soon arrived at Nagatare Seaside Park (長垂海浜公園).
I’ve been here before and I really like this place. It’s one of my favourite places to just sit down and relax.
I wanted to stay for longer, but unfortunately it started raining so I had to leave sooner than I planned.
After leaving, I went along the coast for a while, staring at the ocean. It was great!
My next stop was a surprise. I crossed the road and saw an interesting sign. After reading it, it turns out I was at a place called Imayama (今山).
I didn’t stay for long, but I climbed to the top and saw a shrine (?). It was a nice place, I’ll probably come back some time to see if there’s anything else interesting nearby.
My next stop was quite far away. I was exploring all the roads and side streets, and I saw a sign pointing to a place called Imazu Undou Koen (今津運動公園).
I love parks so I decided I had to check this place out. It was really fun.
There were some students practicing tennis and some people jogging.
The weather had cleared up at this point, and the sun was shining, so I walked around for about 20 minutes. I also saw a few families walking around.
I was really happy the sun was out. Whenever I am outside and the sun is shining, I’m at my happiest!
An English phrase I like to use is “I am in my element”, which means that you are in a situation where you feel very comfortable and relaxed.
I hopped on my bike and continued down the road.
My second last stop was a place called West Side Beach. I didn’t swim here, but it seemed nice so I plan to come back sometime!
To be honest, I have no idea where my last stop was! It was a tiny little beach just near the coast road. I love swimming, so before I went home I had a swim here. It was completely empty, so it was like having my own private beach!
This adventure was one of the most enjoyable days I have had in my 3 years in Japan. Riding to places I have never been, swimming at the beach, just enjoying life!
I don’t know where I’ll go on my next adventure, but wherever it is, I’m sure it’ll be great!
I know some customers at the cafe enjoy reading my blogs, so I’ll do my best to post regular updates for you all! 😊
Nagatare Seaside Park (長垂海浜公園)
West Side beach
Hey everyone, Keith here again!
This blog is part 2 of my trip back to Australia this April. This time, I’ll be talking about my favourite place in Perth, Rottnest Island.
I talk about Rottnest at Global Cafe very often, so you might already know about it if we have met before.
Rottnest is a small island about 30km away from Perth. It’s very famous for a few things, but mainly its extremely beautiful beaches and an animal called a ‘Quokka’.
When people go to Rottnest, they usually hire a bicycle and ride around the island, visiting the different beaches along the way. I do this every time I visit the island too!
Rottnest is a special place for me (and many other people from Perth) because I have been visiting Rottnest since I was a child.
I love the beach, and Rottnest has some of the best beaches in the country.
My favourites are called ‘The basin’ and ‘Little Salmon Bay’. The Basin is great for snorkelling, and Little Salmon Bay is great for swimming and relaxing.
I went to Rottnest with my Dad in April and we had a great time. My dad loves the beach even more than I do!
First, we had lunch at the famous Rottnest Bakery. Then we cycled around the Island and visited 4 different beaches, then sat down at the hotel restaurant with some Fish’n’Chips and a beer. I’ll hold these memories for many years to come.
Earlier I mentioned the ‘Quokka’. They are often called “The happiest animal on Earth”!
They’re a really cute animal, very famous for smiling.
Quokkas can be found in a couple of places in Western Australia, but mainly on Rottnest Island. They have no major predators on Rottnest, so they are extremely friendly and not afraid of humans at all! They walk around on the street and will often walk up to people to say ‘hello’! You aren’t supposed to touch them or feed them though.
‘Quokka selfies’ have become pretty popular lately. I’ve never taken one before, but I’ve seen lots of them before, and the quokkas always look really cute.
If you go to Perth, Rottnest is definitely a must-visit place!
If you have the time, I definitely recommend staying there for 1 night. There are different types of accommodation ranging from cheap to expensive.
If you don’t have the time, you can do a day-trip which is still very fun. Take the early ferry to the Island and the latest ferry back to the mainland to get the most out of your day.
I was in Australia for a whole month, and my day on Rottnest Island was definitely the highlight of my trip. I really miss Rottnest so I hope I can visit it again sometime soon!
‘Little Salmon Bay’
‘Fish’n’Chips and a beer’
Hey everyone, Keith here!
I recently went on a little adventure during my day off, and thought I’d share it with you.
I live in Atago, near Muromi station. Every day when I travel to work, I need to cross Muromi Bridge. When I cross it, I can see Fukuoka Tower to the left, and a mountain range to the right. I’ve always wondered just how far away those mountains are, and whether or not I could climb them!
On my day off, I decided I would get on my bicycle and ride in the direction of the mountains and see what happens!
I was a little worried because my bicycle isn’t exactly…good. I bought it for 1000 yen about 8 months ago! But, luckily, there was no problem.
Anyway, I set off at 9:00am. It was a beautiful day.
I followed Muromi River to get to the mountains. I had never been this far downriver before, and I saw lots of really beautiful places near my house.
It turns out the mountain isn’t as far as I thought it was! It was only around 7km from my house.
I didn’t even know the mountain’s name! But, when I got there, I found out it was Mt. Iimori.
Now, I had NO experience climbing mountains, so I did not know what to expect.
It was a lot of fun to climb Mt. Iimori, but it was pretty tiring. It was also pretty hot outside, and I was covered in sweat.
During my climb, I met a really nice lady who was resting near the top. We had a conversation (in Japanese) about Australia and where I was from.
A couple of minutes later, I finally arrived at the top of Mt. Iimori!
The view of Fukuoka was breathtaking. Absolutely beautiful.
I also met 3 more people at the top of Mt. Iimori, two ladies and a man. The 2 women were resting at the top, and they greeted me when I arrived. I sat with them, and we talked (again, in Japanese) for about 40 minutes!
We talked about all sorts of things. Australia, Japan, Fukuoka, jobs, dreams etc. They were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life!
A man arrived later, from the other side of the mountain. He seemed to be a hobby climber, and said he was climbing two more mountains later that day! I was amazed, because he was around 60 years old, but still very fit!
He offered to take me to the other mountains with him, but I had to politely decline because I was a bit sick on this day and didn’t want to overdo it.
Anyway, after saying goodbye to my new friends I began my descent. It was much, much quicker going down, but a little dangerous. I don’t have mountain climbing shoes, so I almost fell down a couple of times!
I was really tired during my journey back home, so I went really slowly, just admiring the beautiful scenery of Fukuoka.
I’ve decided that from now on when I have a day off, I’m going to ride my bicycle somewhere in Fukuoka I haven’t been before, so you can expect more blogs from me in the future!
That’s all for today, I hope you enjoyed reading!
I’ll have another チャリ adventure blog for you in the future!
mountain range 山並み、山脈、山岳地帯
set off 出発する
turn out 〜 〜であることが分かる
almost fell down 転びそうになった、危うく転ぶところだった
Hey everyone, long time no see!
It’s been a long time since my last blog. I was too busy with study and I kept forgetting to write them.
I recently returned to Australia to change my Visa. I arrived back in Japan about two months ago.
For my first blog since coming back to Japan, I thought I’d tell you all about Australia. I was there for a whole month, so I have lots of photos to show and stories to tell!
This blog is all about my hometown, Fremantle. (or Freo as us locals say!)
I was only there for a day during my trip, but I was able to visit some of my favourite places.
Freo is famous for a few things. Number one is the restaurants!
Freo is well known in Perth for having some of the best restaurants in the state, especially Italian and Asian restaurants.
My favourite restaurant in Freo is a place called “Taka’s Kitchen”. It’s a cheap Japanese restaurant in Fremantle’s food court.
It isn’t super high-quality or expensive. It’s cheap, normal food.
But, I’ve been eating at Taka’s Kitchen since I was 4 years old! So, it holds a special place in my heart.
I was really happy to eat there again. It tasted really nostalgic!
For the rest of the day, I just walked around Fremantle, seeing some familiar places.
I went to a place called “The Roundhouse”, which is small building that was used as a prison in the past.
My last destinations were the “Esplanade Park”, a park close to the harbour, which is Freo’s most popular spot for families and “Little Creatures”, my favourite brewery/bar in Fremantle.
It really did make me happy to visit my hometown again. I hadn’t seen it in two whole years!
I love Fukuoka, but I do miss Perth and Fremantle. I hope I can go back to visit again sometime soon.
it holds a special place in my heart・・心に残っている
The first photo– “The heart of Fremantle”
I am from Nevada. Most people I talk to at Global Cafe have never heard about Nevada, or at least don’t know where it is. Nevada is a state in America, on the west coast, right next to California. Most or all of Nevada is a desert and very dry. By the way, dry is much much better than the humidity of Japan!
Nevada is probably best known for a famous city. The sin city. Las Vegas.
Nevada was the first and only state, until the 1990’s, where gambling was legal. This is the reason Nevada, and Las Vegas in particular, became the center of Gambling in the U.S. In America, gambling has a bad image, and is associated with debt, drugs, gangs, etc… all of the guilty pleasures. My image of gambling is different.
I was born and raised in Nevada, so for me gambling is common, everywhere, and boring. I have no interest at all. In fact, it is something my parents did sometimes for fun so that makes it especially uncool! In my hometown there are slot machines everywhere. At the convenience store, the supermarket, the bowling stadium… everywhere. Every time I visit home, the rows of machines in the airport terminal greet me and remind me of my childhood. To me gambling is boring.
My parents used to go out on friday night to a casino to relax and have some fun. They would go play the nickel machines (gambling machines that cost only 5 cents to play). I guess my mom was really good, because every week she would bring home cases (one case is 24 cans) of soda that she won. I guess cash is not the only thing you can win.
There is a responsible way to gamble. You give yourself a limit, perhaps a hundred dollars, and you play that freely without worrying about money. When you lose all that money, you have to stop. If you have enough self control to stop yourself, you can enjoy gambling. If you can’t stop, and you play past your limit, you have a problem and you should never gamble!
As for me, I have gambled once. When I turned 21 years old, I went to the casino, put a quarter in the machine, and one second later lost it. Is that fun? I don’t know. I have never felt the desire to go back. I don’t like throwing away money…
Sin City・・Sinは罪悪、罪業のこと。Sin Cityはラスベガスの俗称。
The first time I came to Japan many years ago, I was in the Airport and I needed to use the bathroom after the long flight. It was not what I was expecting.
I entered the bathroom and the first thing I noticed was that it was so clean. Much cleaner than almost all public bathrooms in America! And it was bright. My image of public bathrooms in America is dark and dingy. I went to use the toilet, but I was surprised to see the door to the toilet stall stretched from the floor to the ceiling! This was very strange!
Perhaps if you have traveled abroad to America, you know that the toilet stall doors and walls aren’t that big. They only go from your knee to your shoulder. If you want to see if someone is using the toilet, look down and you can easily see their feet. If they are standing up, you can see their head as well!
I have seen movies where someone is trying to hide in the bathroom. Because the door is so small, they can’t just enter the stall, they also have to stand on the toilet and crouch down so that their feet aren’t visible under the door.
Another common story is that someone using the toilet runs out of toilet paper! What do you do? You ask the person on the toilet next to you to give you some toilet paper. They just pass the toilet paper under the wall. There is plenty of space.
Another problem is that if someone on the outside crouches down onto the ground, it is easy to look under the door. Or if you are tall enough, you can look over the door as well. I am a guy, so this privacy invasion has never been a problem for me, but maybe it is different for girls?
This small door might sound strange. I do think the Japanese style is much better. However, the first time I used a Japanese bathroom and I closed the door, I felt very claustrophobic. The room was too small and I could barely move. What happens if the door locks and, for some reason, I can’t open it! I’m stuck! In America, I will crawl under the door. What should I do in Japan?
crouch down しゃがむ、身をかがめる
run out 使い果たす、（日用品や電池などが）切れる
privacy invasion プライベシー侵害
claustrophobic 閉所恐怖症の / 閉所恐怖症を引き起こす、狭苦しい
In my last blog I talked a lot about cake, and the strange cake that my mom sent me. This blog I will describe the process of making the cake. Because it was a cake mix, it was relatively easy. However, there were some challenges I faced.
First of all, this is Japan, not America, so I had to convert all the measurements from imperial to metric. For example, how many milliliters are in cup and what is 450 degrees in Celsius. Luckily, a tablespoon and teaspoon are the same in America and Japan.
The next problem is about size. In America everything is big. This includes the cakes and the ovens used to cook them. I have some cake forms so that is nice, but I had to cook each form one at a time, as both wouldn’t fit into the oven at the same time.
In the end, I was able to figure everything out and cook the cake. Here is what happened:
The cake mix and a chocolate frosting mix. This frosting is different than the cheap one I described before. This is ‘buttercream’ frosting, which is based on a lot of butter! That makes it delicious! Although it is still very very sweet…
You might wonder how it is even possible to make such a crazy cake. Well here is the process. The cake is actually just a normal sponge cake. The difference is, after mixing the batter, you have to separate into 6 different bowls. Into each bowl, some food coloring is added. Each bowl becomes a different color. You can see in the picture the 6 colors are red, purple, green, blue, yellow, and orange (the orange I ruined by mixing with a spoon that had just a tiny amount of blue color on it). When my wife saw these colors she was so surprised and said the only thing she could think of was paint!
Now you have to pour the batter into the cake molds. You just pour each color into the center slowly and evenly. After pouring, don’t touch it.
While it is baking, I made the frosting which is just a lot of sugar and butter.
The final product! You must be curious about the taste! Well, it tasted just like American style cake. Nothing special about the flavor at all. If you want to know the flavor, any normal American style cake will taste the same. Perhaps they sell cake mix at Kaldi?
To get a Japanese opinion, I had my wife try it. She said it tasted good. Just like normal cake. If only it was a normal color…
different than〜 〜と違う、 different fromと同じ意味で使用しています。different fromが正しい英語と言われていますが米英語ではdifferent thanもよく使われているようです。
Last month I made a cake. Not a Japanese style cake, but an American style cake. What is the difference? Quite a lot! Japanese cake is usually very small and beautiful with subtle and delicate flavors. Japanese cakes also have a lot of whipped cream. Most importantly, Japanese cakes are very very expensive.
American cakes, on the other hand, are more utilitarian. They should be big, sweet, fun and most importantly inexpensive. A beautiful cake is ok, but a fun cake is great! A common type of cake in America is the sheet cake. It is a big square cake that is covered in very colorful frosting that is sweet, cheap and, in my opinion, almost inedible. Perhaps you can imagine a big birthday party with twenty kids running around crazily and screaming ‘cake! cake! cake!’. The most important thing is to give them something before a mob forms!
Here is a picture my mom sent me from the supermarket. This is a nice supermarket so they don’t sell the super cheap sheet cakes, but they do have a selection of premium (for America) cakes.
It is common in America to buy cake mix at the store. I first saw this cake mix in the supermarket a few years ago on my visit to America. I was surprised by it. I imagined Global Cafe customers would be even more surprised since I have often been asked why American cakes are such strange and unnatural colors.
I didn’t buy the cake mix. I only took a picture. After showing the picture to customers many times and receiving a satisfying surprised/disgusted reaction, I regretted not buying the cake mix when I had the chance. Luckily, my mom was able to send me the cake mix in the mail.
The cake is called ‘Tie-dye’. Tie-dye was a fun way to make t-shirts when I was a child. You take a white t-shirt and bunch up the fabric in many places holding it in place with rubber bands. Then you dip the bunched up fabric in different colors of dye. After letting it dry you remove the rubber bands and spread the shirt out. It will have really crazy color patterns all over it. I recommend you search on the internet if you are interested.
Next Blog: Making the Cake
satisfying surprised/disgusted reaction 十分な驚きの反応 / 十分な気持ちが悪いという（嫌悪感の）反応
This year is the year of the dog. In America, I don’t think many people know about the Chinese New Years animals. The only reason I knew is that I had a childhood friend whose parents immigrated to America from China. He and I have the same birthday (born in the same hospital!) so I even knew that I was born in the year of the bird (or Chicken? Rooster?).
But speaking of the year of the dog, do you like dogs or cats better? I personally love both. I guess if I have to choose, I prefer cats. They are independent and low maintenance. On the other hand many people dislike that independence and prefer a dog who loves unconditionally!
I have a theory about dogs and cats. A dog is a domesticated animal. They look in human eyes and they have a biological reaction. They are almost enslaved by their need for human affection. It is this very fact that makes them so loving and sweet. The reason they are considered “man’s best friend”. However, how do we really know that we are a friend and not some biological condition?
On the other hand, cats are different. There is even debate whether or not they are actually domesticated at all! They don’t really need humans at all. But, if you have been lucky enough to actually become friends with a cat, you can be assured that they really think of you as a friend.
Therefore, my theory is that a cat’s friendship is much more reliable than a dogs. At least until you take out some canned tuna or catnip anyways… Either way I think both are super cute.
immigrate to— —に移住する
low maintainance 手のかからない、世話が簡単な
be assured that—- —だと確信できる
These days it is starting very cold outside. However, inside buildings, houses and apartments it is usually nice and warm. I did experience some culture shock when I first came to Japan.
I visited Japan for the first time in the winter time of 2004, just in time for the New Year. It was cold. I was staying with my friends family at their home in Sagamihara (Kanagawa prefecture). In the evening, the living room was nice and warm, hot actually, and I was comfortable. But then, I had to go to the bathroom… I went to the door and slid it open. A blast of freezing cold air from the hallway hit my face! I hurried down the frigid hallway and entered the toilet as quick as I could. But I realized my problems were actually just starting! The toilet was freezing too! I have to semi-undress in this freezing room?! I couldn’t believe it! At least the toilet seat was warm.
This experience was so new for me because, in America most homes use central air conditioning. This is a single air conditioner / heater system that heats or cools the entire house including the hallways, bathrooms and even unused rooms. Most people just set a temperature for the house, and the air conditioner keeps the house comfortable. I have heard Hokkaido is actually similar to this style, using heated flooring, although I’ve never been to Hokkaido to see for myself.
Now that I understand the way homes are warmed and cooled in Japan, I realize that the American style is very wasteful. But, when I am nice and warm while I walk through the hallway in the middle of the night, it sure feels good.
These are pictures of my parents central air conditioner and a vent that it distributes air from.