Monday, November 06, 2006

Pretty chill weekend

Feeling pretty mellow after a relaxing weekend spent around the neighborhood. Didn't do much other than start looking at the immigration papers, watch a couple of DVDs and take a couple of walks.

This weekend, I finally got to see why there are flags advertising Utsunomiya as a big Jazz town. There was a bit of a festival going on with stages setup around downtown and bands doing their thing. These three were playing at the newly built $1,500,000 outdoor concert hall along Orion street.

Yes, the festival was named the Miya Jazz Inn... very sad to see such a lack of English skills at the city level, what is it? A jazz hotel? Anywho... lots of people out and about listening to the bands, a few of which were actually playing Jazz to my surprise. The reason Jazz is supposedly such a big deal here is that a famous jazz musician was born and raised here, not sure who though.

I was kind of excited when I first saw what ended up being 3 festivals (Gyoza, Jazz and Halloween) being setup as it usually means great yatai foods... unfortunately, the traditional yatai (Oconomiyaki, Tacoyaki, Yakisoba, etc) were not set up! There were a few places where you could get gyoza, curry or oden, but the lineups were long and I didn't have the time to wait during my break on Saturday. Here's the curry stand from Mahal, a new Indian place which setup in town, complete with a street side tandoori oven!

They did however have some activities for the kids, including this mini-climbing wall.

After walking around and grabbing a coffee, we headed back home and enjoyed a bit of time on the roof admiring the stunning sunset.

It went down relatively fast, within 5-10 minutes, it was completely gone.

This morning we lazed around and watched a movie while huddled under my kotatsu. Fall really has set in here and it has been a little damp lately. We finally did decided to leave the house and went to Yarra for lunch which is always great. It was nice to spend a little time in my old neighborhood. We then dropped by the immigration office where I picked up the forms for my re-entry permit for our trip in December, I'll take care of that this week some time.

I hadn't been to Chuo park in a while, so we decided to take a bit of a walk. I really do love this park, the leaves smelled wonderful and there were all kinds of people walking around. We even spotted a guy doing tai-chi. Even though it was overcast, still a nice day for a walk.

As we walked around, we came up on a few ducks drying themselves off on a fence. The first one flew off as I approached but another one let me get in real close, maybe 2 meters?

As I tried to get a little closer, it finally decided I'd breached it's personal circle and flew off...

A lovely afternoon. On the way back home, we spotted this amusing sign. Seems like something an NRA member would put up, seemed pretty out of place in a quiet Japanese neighborhood.

So that was about that, I pondered joining Matt for a drink with his 7/11 friend tonight, but have decided to be lazy and stay home. He lent me a bunch of Agatha Christie movies which I've been enjoying, I may just pop one of those in.


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