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Old Otsu Town Hall

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Old Otsu Town Hall
In Otsu we had lunch in this old building – it`s the old Otsu Town Hall (旧大津公会堂), built in 1934. I like* old buildings like** this. I`d like to know more about it, but there isn`t much information about it in English online.

By the way, can you see the black cars in the old photograph? They look a little like the 1936 Toyoda model aa, which I saw at the Toyota Museum in Nagoya. However, I`m pretty sure the one on the right is a 1934 Chevrolet master series DA. I`d like a car like that!

Vocabulary:
*like = 好き
**like = 〜ような
`d like to + 動詞 =〜(動詞)し たい
`d like + 名詞 = (名詞)がほしい
#旅行 #車

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End of Year Shrine Visit

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End of Year Shrine Visit
Happy New Year! On the last day of 2019, I went to Ise Shrine in Mie with my family & my wife`s relatives (親戚). After visiting the shrine, we walked along Oharai-machi for a while*, then ate udon noodles at a shop called ふくすけ. It took a while** to be served, because there were a lot of customers. After that, while*** the others were watching a taiko drum performance, I bought a couple of postcards at my favourite postcard shop, 徳力富吉郎版画館. I sent one to my parents & the other to my brother.


Vocabulary
* for a while = 暫く
** take a while = 時間かかる
*** while + 動詞 = (動詞)している間
#旅行

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Maizuru Red Brick Park

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Maizuru Red Brick Park
I`ve visited old red brick buildings in Handa & Tsuruga, but this collection of buildings in Maizuru is much bigger. It was interesting - I like these kinds of places. Also, because Maizuru is a JMSDF (Japan Marine Self-Defense Force) port, you can see their ships nearby. If you`re into that kind of thing, you should visit Maizuru.

Vocabulary
- What kind of...? = どんな...?
- This/That kind of... = こんな, この種な / あんな, その様な...
#アウトドア #旅行 #建物 #ボート

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Ise Shrine & Oharai-machi

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Ise Shrine & Oharai-machi
Happy New Year! I didn`t blog during my New Year holiday, but this week I`ll blog about what I did.

On December 31st I went to Ise shrine in Mie Prefecture with my family & my wife`s sister`s family. After visiting the shrine, we walked around Oharai-machi. I don`t usually drink sake, but my wife`s sister & her husband made me drink sake with them at a sake counter bar, then we all watched a taiko drum performance, ate beef croquettes, & looked at some shops. Even though it`s winter, my kids wanted to eat ice cream. It`s holidays, so we let them. Strange kids.

Vocabulary:
- make + 誰か + 動詞 = 誰かに好きではない事をさせる(強制的な感じ)
- let + 誰か + 動詞 = 誰かに好きな事をさせる(させてあげる感じ)
#旅行

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Zoo Trip

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Zoo Trip
On Sunday, school staff & students visited Higashiyama zoo in Nagoya. It was a nice day - a little cloudy so not hot. The 6 girls in my group were well-behaved & enjoyed looking at the animals & hearing my interesting animal facts e.g. that hippos are the most dangerous African animal (did you know that?). The most popular animals seemed to be the koalas - it was a little crowded there.

Vocabulary:
Be careful: cloudy = 曇り crowded = 込んでいる
#動物 #旅行

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Magical Miyako Island

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Magical Miyako Island
Last week I visited Miyako Island with my family. We spent a lot of time in the water; my kids enjoyed playing in their swim rings (浮き輪) & I enjoyed snorkeling. I saw a lot of colorful small fish, but not many big fish. We also collected a lot of shells. I`m thinking of making (作るうと思う) something with them for our school`s craft event in September.

The weather was good - a lot of sunshine & not much rain. As for food, I ate a lot of Okinawa-style noodles, & of course drank a lot of Orion beer. I had a lot of fun.

Natural English:
- In spoken English, it`s usual to use 'many' (with 可算名詞) & 'much' (with 不可算名詞 ) in negative ('not') sentences & questions. BUT! in positive sentences - 可算名詞 OR 不可算名詞 - it`s usual to use 'a lot of', or 'lots of' (casual style) in spoken English.
#動物 #虫 #旅行

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Onwards & Upwards from Otsu

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Onwards & Upwards from Otsu
The final leg of my cycling trip around Biwa Lake was up the left side, from Otsu to Makino. It`s quite a long way, but fortunately there were good bike paths & wide footpaths most of the way. There was also a lot of nice scenery. I enjoyed myself.

My destination was a scenic tree-lined road called Metasequoia Namiki (メタセコイヤ並木), which my wife recommended seeing. Have you ever been there? I reached it just before sunset. After that I caught a train to Tsuruga, on the Japan Sea coast, camped there one night, & returned to Ichinomiya by train the next day.

Vocabulary:
- footpath* (イギリス英語) = sidewalk** (アメリカ英語)
- *foot 足 + path 道/林道 **side 側 + walk 歩く
#旅行

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Biwa Lake Sunrise

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Biwa Lake Sunrise
I camped by Biwa Lake again. Although it was cold, I hardly noticed because I was so tired after riding all day. However, I got up before dawn the next morning. I hardly ever get up so early, so I hardly ever see the sun rise. I took this photo with my phone. Actually, I took a bunch of photos - when I`d finished, I had hardly any power left in my phone battery - oops!

Vocabulary:
- 'hardly' = almost zero, so 'hardly ever' = almost never, 'hardly noticed' = only noticed a little, 'hardly any __' = almost no ___, 'hardly anybody' = almost nobody
#旅行

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Kiyomizu Temple

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Kiyomizu Temple
I rode my bicycle across Lake Biwa & over the hills to Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. It was raining, & I wasn`t wearing* weather-proof clothes, so I bought a cheap raincoat at a convenience store (my old raincoat was worn out**).

When I arrived at Kiyomizu Temple, I saw a lot of people wearing* kimonos. Actually, most of them were Chinese, not Japanese, but they looked nice. I took some photos then went to Kyoto Station to catch a train back to Lake Biwa. I didn`t want to ride my bicycle back over the mountains. After riding all day I was pretty worn out***.

Vocabulary:
*wear = 着る
**wear out = 使い古す, worn out = 使い古した
*** wear out = 疲らす, worn out = 疲れ
#旅行

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Chat with Cat & Kayak Chap

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Chat with Cat & Kayak Chap
After leaving Hikone, I cycled south for a couple of hours, then stopped at a convenience store to buy food. I hadn`t talked to many people that day, but I talked to a cat outside the convenience store:

"Hello, cat! What`s up? Are you hungry? Nice cat, can I take a photo? Oh, thank you... Say Mee-ow...!" [I took a photo] "Okay, get lost (=失せろ)."

I don`t like cats.

Next I rode a couple of kilometres to a campsite, set up my tent, made a fire, & cooked my dinner. After dinner I went down to the lake to fish & drink beer. About 11pm, a car approached (近寄る).

I thought, "Maybe it`s security."

A man got out & asked, "What are you doing?"

Yes - must be security. I said, "I`m fishing."

He asked, "Where are you staying?"

Yep - definitely security. I said, "I`m camping over there."

He asked me a few more questions, & we chatted a little. Finally he said, "I`m here to go night kayaking."

Haha - he wasn`t security after all (結局). Indeed, he then went back to his car, got a kayak from his car, & went kayaking on the lake ...at 11pm ...in late autumn. What a strange chap (=man)!

Soon after that, I gave up trying to catch a giant Lake Biwa catfish (ビワコオオナマズ) and went back to my tent in the empty campsite to sleep.

I slept well.

Vocabulary:
- go fishing = 釣りに行く, fish (動詞) = 釣りする
- go camping = キャンプに行く, camp (動詞) = キャンプする
- go shopping = 買い物に行く, shop (動詞) = 買い物する
etc.
#旅行

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