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A life in Japan...from Osaka - My Daily life


My Daily Life

Shelter cafe for cats
(Hogo Neko Cafe)

I went to a shelter cafe for cats.
Most of the cats here are injured
by car accidents, abused, or lost
their family.

This black cat was nearly killed
maybe by car accident when he was found.
Everyone including doctor thought
he could live only a few days.
But now he is recovering little by little.

This cafe is run by volunteers.
Many volunteers are working here,
but they said still not enough.
I cannot be a volunteer yet, but
I can visit here as a customer.

Customers pay a little money
to stay in this cafe.
It is the money to run the cafe.
We come here and play with the cats.
They really love to play.

Customers often donate foods and toys
for the cafe.

Some of them are really friendly and
ask to play with or sit on our lap.
But some of them are too scared of people and cannot come down.
I hope all of them can relax and
not to be scared anymore.

Bon odori

Bon odori is a festival in summer.
It is held in everywhere in Japan
around Bon season. Usually held
in the parks or ground of schools.

Obon is a special period of time
when ancestors spirit come back
to this world.
We welcome them, and send them off
with Odori, the dance.

There is Yagura, the stage in the center
where singers and instrument players
play music for the dance.

Musics are different in each area.
Osaka has Naniwa Ondo, and Tokyo has
Dai Tokyo Ondo. Ondo is a music or a song. They are traditional ones.
There are also Doraemon Ondo and other
Pop Ondo for kids and young people, too.
People goes around and around of Yagura dancing.

We wear Yukata, summer kimono.

There are many stands of foods and games.
These stands are held by volunteers
in local area or PTA of schools, so
the price is very low compared to
the professional ones in big festivals.

Games look like hand made.
It is still fun.

We got small toys for prize.

I met many school friends and
it was really fun night.

Tenjin-matsuri (festival)

Tenjin matsuri is one of the three
biggest festival in Japan.

It is to worship the God in
Osaka tenmangu shrine.

Many people are gathering to see
the fireworks on the last day of festival. July 25th.

I don't like the crowd, but
watching fireworks close is really

It was very beautiful.

Camping in a park

There are not many places to camp in Osaka City.
Tsurumiryokuchi park has a small camping site.
It is a public site and it is free.


Our school year ended on March 22nd.
We had a ceremony called 修了式(Shu-ryo-shiki) to end the grade 5.
We have two weeks spring break to start the grade 6.

My friends and I went to Karaoke!
We go, and stays there for 8 hours!
Crazy? hahaha.

We sing and dance there,
but also we played games, chatted, making crafts,
had lunch and snacks. Drinks are free.
We use the place like our secret base.
It is so fun, so we love going Karaoke.

Our parents are on the next door having mom's talk.
8 hours were not enough for the fun.
I want to go there sometime again, soon!

By the way, the girl on the right is my best friend.
We live in the same floor of the apartment, and both grade 6 now.
The other girl is her sister.
Their mom is an Indonesean and she is my mom's friend.

Cherry blossoms watching

Ohanami season has come.
Japanese people love flowers in each seasons,
especially cherry blossoms, Sakura.

We have Sakura blooming forecast on news
to check the date of starting to bloom.

Someiyoshino, the most tipical cherry blossoms
we see throughout Japan, is originally from one tree
and they have same genes.
Therefore, they bloom all together
at the same climate condition.

Just started to bloom yesterday,
and today, we had Ohanami,
a picnic or party under cherry tree.

We went to Tsurumiryokuchi park in Osaka.
This park is used for Flower Expo in 1990.

My grandma joined.

We had lunch, and sweets.

We celebrated spring coming with Amazake,
the white sake made by grandma.
Of course it is non-alcoholic.
Many people get really drunk at Ohanami.
Happy spring coming!

We played some sports and card games, too.

I enjoyed Ohanami very much.


After passing Setsubun, we prepare for spring.
We have Hinamatsuri on March 3rd.
(Some towns or villages follow traditional calender
and celebrate it in April.)

It is also called Momo-no-sekku, meaning peach festival.
It is to celebrate and pray for the girl's health and happiness.

What about boys?
Yes, we have boys day on May 5th.

Here is my Ohinasama, Hina dolls.

This couple are called Dairi-bina.

My grandma gifted me when I was born.
She says the women's face was so calm and pretty,
and hoping me to be like her.

My mother requested Dairi-bina only for the gift,
Because we have no place for full set of Hina-dolls.

Originally, Hina dolls are set of seven layers,
like this...

This is me when I was a baby!
I had a photo shoot in a studio.

This baby is my mom and her grandma.
She got the full set of Hina-dolls.

It is very nice, but takes a lot of space.
My mom didn't like that, because she knew
it is hard to maintain every parts,
and stock them whole year in a small house.

Grand parents gift Hina-doll set, and
uncles and aunts gift traditional dolls
in a glass cases like this.

This is also my mom. She got these dolls.
My mom's sister got some of these dolls,
but not Hina-doll for her own
because she was the second born...
Not fair?...I think so, too.
Tradition is sometimes very strange.

We get rid of these dolls when the girl
goes out of house or when they got married.
Some people keep it and pass it to their daughter.
Some people believe it is not good to pass them
to next generation, according to the history of Nagashi-bina.
Nagashi-bina is for recieving all the bad luck
instead of the person and floating in the river to go away.
It depends on what they believe.

Today, many people live in an apartment.
So smaller Hina-doll sets are more popular.
Some are small seven layer in a glass case.

But I like decorating each parts with my mother.
Listening to Hinamatsuri songs from music box.
(Many Hina-doll sets have music box in it.)

I found this youtube for you.
Hinamatsuri song

So One layer Dairi-bina is just good to enjoy decorating for me,
and good that doesn't take much space for my mom.

Hinamatsuri Dish

Special food that we eat for Hinamatsuri is
Chirashizushi, Hina-arare, Soup with clam,
Hishi-mochi, and Sake.

Chirashizushi is a kind of Sushi.
We put ingredients in sushi rice, or on the top of it.

This year, my mom and I made Chirashizushi cake!

My mom put Hina made by egg and nori. Cute!

Clam is representing a good couple, never be apart.
We put in Osuimono, the dashi-soup.
My mother doesn't like clam, so we put canola flower instead.

Hishimochi is set infront of Hina-dolls.
It is not a real one, but representing spring to come.
My mom said she had the real ones when she was a child,
because her grandma made mochi and sent the box to her.
We don't see them in supermarket today...
Its colors are representing the spring to come.
White for snow, green for grass or leaf bud,
and pink for flower to bloom.

Instead, we had strawberry sweets to feel spring!

Not traditional at all, but I enjoyed the spring coming.

Hina-arare is rice made sweet snack.
Colors are just like Hishimochi.

Carmel corn snacks which kids loves,
have Hinamatsuri version in this season.

They have special peach taste.

And Shiro-zake is a white sake.
My grandma often makes white sakefrom molted rice.
It is sweet, and non-alcholic. I love it, too.

Not everything is traditional to celebrate the event,
but the mind of loving the season changing, and praying
for children's health and happiness is always the same!

Hinamatsuri Wikipedia

Setsubun and Mamemaki

Setsubun is the day before a season change
on the traditional calender.
Feb. 3rd is Setsubun for spring.

On this day, we have a special event.
Mamemaki, Throwing roasted soy beans away.

It is to drive the demons (Oni) with bad luck away
and also bring good luck(Fuku) into the house.

Kids often make Oni masks in school as a seasonal craft.
Or if you buy roasted beans in supermarket,
mask is set and sold.

This year, all of the mask has been sold out,
and we didn't make in school.
So I quickly made the mask in 5 minutes.

It is a roughly made one, but good enough.

Last 10 years, my dad had been wearing Oni mask
and had been attacked by mom and me.
So, this year, my mom took turn to become Oni.

The way of mamemaki is different in every area or family.
A person wearing demon mask runs around the house
and chased by other family members attacked by beans.
We call "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa Uchi!", and throw beans away.

We do this for every room in the house, including bathroom,
stockroom, balcony...all the windows and doors.

Bad luck go away!
Good luck come in!

Of course, we have to clean up this mess.

We compete the number picking up the beans, and I won!
It is the best and fast way to clean up, no?

We have more interesting event on Setsubun. Please check!

Setsubun Wikipedia English

Setsubun and Ehoumaki

Food for Setsubun is special, too.

(photo from wikipedia)

First, we eat roasted beans.
We eat the numbers of beans as your age plus one.
Eating 12 roasted beans is easy.
My parents have to eat more than 40 beans...
It is not easy.

And, Ehoumaki.
It is originally a custom of Kansai (western) area,
but spread widely to all over Japan
by a comercial action of a convenience store
about 30 years ago.
The store named it "Ehoumaki"

Ehoumaki is a Makizushi (sushi roll).
Usually sushi rolls are cut into pieces to eat easily.
But Ehoumaki are not supposed to be cut.
It is called "Marukaburi" meaning eating whole at once.

My grandma made hand made sushi rolls with seven items in it.
Seven items are representing seven gods of good lucks.
The roll is too big and too long for my mouth and my stomach.
My mom cut it into half for my safty and for not having left over.

Every year, we have a lucky direction. It is called Ehou.
This year was "East-northeast".
Everyone sit towards the lucky direction, and eat Ehoumaki, silently.
You are not supposed to talk or laugh, or move around.
You must concentrate on eating it, and making wishes.

Recently, there are many kinds of Ehoumaki.
This is a rolled cake type of Ehoumaki.

Cute and Funny.
It has lucky direction on the package, too.
This might be easier to eat and kids would love,
but I like my grandma's hand made one better!

Bringing good luck is a little bit hard,
...but tastes really good and fun.


"Kaki" means writing, and "zome" means the first.
It is also what we do in the new year days.
The first writing in Calligraphy!

Usually, we write our new year's resolution
or the words to express happy feeling for new year.
However, we have an assignment from school to write and hand in.

This year's word was "Beautiful Sky"

Unfortunatelly, I am not a good calligrapher.
I practiced many times, but I was not satisfied...

It will be put up on the wall of the class room.
I don't like that...hahaha.

Happy new year!

Hatsu Hinode
The first sunrise of the year.

In Japan, it is a good luck to take "the first" of the season.
"Hatsu" means the first.
In new year days, we have many "hatsu" things to bring us good luck.

Hatsu yume is the first dream you see in the year.
It will tell you the fortune of the year.
Hatsu moude is to visit shrines to greet gods for the first time of the year.
Hatsu gama is the first tea ceremony,
Hatsu uri is the first sale,
Hatsu warai is the first laugh.

I hope you recieved many good lucks for this new year!

This is a new year dish called "Osechi"
Traditionally, each dish has meaning of happiness, long life, etc...

Osechi Wikipedia

My grandmother ordered this Osechi. She choose from catalog every year.
Modern Osechi has French and Chinese style dishes in it, too.
This year, we have a black box (you see in the photo above)
for Japanese traditional style.

She enjoys choosing different styles of Osechi every year.
I think it is a popular style now.
There are less people cooking all of these dishes.

My other grandma (mom's mom) cooks by herself every year.
She says "It takes a lot of time and ingreidents to prepare,
but young people don't eat much of traditional ones.
I will quit preparing it next year."
I know she said it last year, too.
but I hope to learn how to cook Osechi from her before she really quit.

This is last year's Osechi.
I like both modern ones from catalog,
and traditional ones cooked at home.


Nengajo is a new years greeting.

We don't have a custom to send Christmas cards,
but Nengajo is a tradition.

The cards are delivered on the 1st of January.

Designs of Nengajo is various.
Some are really formal, traditional,
and others are casual and pop.

These are some of we got for 2018.
As you see dogs on each cards,
it is a year of the dog.

2019 is a year of the boar.

It is based on Chinese zodiac,
and it is a year of the pig in China.
However pigs were not familiar to Japanese people
at the time it was installed,
so it became a year of the boar.

I was born on the year of the boar.
It comes around every 12 years.
My parents were born on the year of the tiger.

You can use any type of post cards,
but post office sell special cards
for Nengajo from November.

These are the standard cards good for printing.
Formal one and Casual one.

Both has the boar in the stamp part.
This special card has a small lotto at the bottom.

These are the ones I made for the next year.
I draw pictures and message myself
To send for my teachers.

We report how you spend the past year, and
send good luck for the coming year.

We have to make and post this before 25th,
to be delivered on January 1st.
So we become very busy choosing photo,
printing and writing messages for all the cards!

We send and receive more than a hundred cards,
but recently decreasing because of
SNS and e-mails are easier,
and the environmental point of view.

Christmas in Japan

Christmas season!
It is exciting!

Decorations and illuminations are pretty
in the town and shops.

Osaka Sky building

In this best season, I got the flue!
A type influenza...
I took the flue shot twice for this season,
but somehow I got it.
I was the first one in the class. Terrible...

I am OK now. I recovered after two days,
but I had to stay home for a week.

This year I was in charge of decorating the tree.

I was still in pajamas, but I did it!

This is our Christmas tree.

Gifts under the tree is few.
We could not go for Christmas shopping...

I think many Japanese are not strict
when it comes to religion.
So, Christmas here is more commercial
than religious or traditional,
and more like an event for lovers and kids.

I was so bored to stay home,
so I made a wreath, too.

Some of the parts are the ones
I picked up in the park in autumn.
I made reindeer, but my mom said it's a mouse.
Can't she see the cute horn there?

After I recover, I have to rush for Christmas shopping!

I hope all of you have a happy holiday!

New PC

I got a new PC for my birthday.
This is my first time to have PC.

My old i-pad was not working right.
So I checked messages on mobile phone.
It was hard.

Of course my parents are checking
how I am using it, but it is fine.
I don't know much about computer
so I need their help all the time.

I learned typing, and now it is much easier
for me to check and write messages!

I am very happy!
Autumn Festivals
秋祭り だんじり

On weekends in September and October,
you see Danjiri going on streets
everywhere around Osaka area.

Danjiri is a small shrine shaped cart.
People pull this cart and go around the town.

They play traditional instruments
and sing songs.

Danjiri stops in front of every house
hanging chochin lights.
People pulling Danjiri sing and pray
for a good luck.

After visiting houses in the town,
they come back to the shrine.

Each town has their own Danjiri.
4 or 5 Danjiri gathered here.

They have small stages to play music
and perform traditional dance.

The dance is called Ryu-odori,
meaning dragon dance.

Kishiwada city has the most famous
danjiri festival in Japan.
It is much more dynamic and dangerous
than local small ones.

Kids love the stands
of foods and games
at the festival.

Here we catch gold fish.
It is called Kingyo-Sukui.

4 new gold fish joined my fish tank.
The bigger fish is the one I got
6 years ago in the festival.

I got an apple candy, Ringo-ame
and fried chicken.

If you see Danjiri like this
you can follow the people,

So you can find Omatsuri
in the local shrine.
Please enjoy it!

Typhoon and Earthquake

On September 4, a big typhoon hit Japan.
This was the 21st typhoon this year.

We knew it was going to be the big one,
so we prepared for it.
No school, no work, no trains, and no shops opened by the time it's coming.

However, the damage was bigger than we thought.

Streets were in caos.
Our apartment lost the roof.
Huge roof parts fall off and crashed many cars.

Smaller ones flew away to everywhere
around the area and broke many windows.
Some people got injured.
I was really scared.
I hope there will be no more typhoon...

Two days later, there was an earthquake in Hokkaido.

Many people died and missing...

I remember clearly about the earthquake
which occured three months ago in Osaka.
It was really really scary.

The earthquakes occurs frequently in Japan.
It is said that there will be a megaquake soon.
We cannot avoid them, so we have to try our best
to decrease the damage.
Everytime we experience the disaster,
we learn from it and prepare
in a better way for the next one...

2nd term started

A school year starts in April in Japan.
After summer holiday(July 21-August 26),
2nd term starts. It ends on December 25.


I leave home about 7:45.
In my area, we go to school
with neighbors kids group.
It is called Tokohan.
1-6 graders go together in line.
My group has 8 kids.
The route to school had been changed
after the last earthquake.
We walk about 10 minutes to school.


This is my school bag.
It is called randoseru.
We use this one bag for 6 years.
I already used this for 5 years,
but it is working all right.
It is handmade, and very tough and strong.

There are many designs and colors.
In my school, kids can choose colors.
Boys usually have black or blue ones.
Pink, brown, purple and red are popular for girls.
My grand parents choose this for me.
I love my school bag.

Kura Sushi

Kura is my favorite sushi restaurant.

It is not a fancy restaurant,
but it is very reasonable, tasty, and fun.
So it is always crowded on the weekend.

Every 5 plates we eat,
we can play a small lotto game,
and sometimes we get small items.

This time, I got a Pokemon sticker tape.
My parents, grandma, uncle and I had 30 plates together.

I like it here, because they have sweets menu, too.

I always have more plates than my mom.
Do you like Sushi?

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A life in Japan...from Osaka - My Daily life (Countries of the World - Culture)    -    Author : Manaka - Japan

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Last update : 2021-12-01 >> Countries of the World >> Blog #31311

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