Thursday, October 8, 2009

Typhoon No. 18- Volendam cancels stop in Yokohama

Opened the Tv and was surprised to see that the news about Taifoon No. 18 are presented on all channels. At the moment it seems that the taifoon left Tokyo area and is heading towards the North.

On October the 6th, Volendam, the holland cruise ship coming from Canada and heading for Australia, had to cancel its stop in Yokohama because of the coming taifoon.

Goodbye Volendam

Volendam leaving Aomori

On this day I was asked to help as an interpreter, helping the customers from the ship and the local authorities. It was a full day filled with a lot of talking, meeting many nice people coming from all over the world.
During the departure Aomori Nebuta participants and children from a local kindergarten playing the drums, wished Volendam farewell.

Hoping that this taifoon will be a calm one!

Simple Google magic

You can try it too!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chicken Little Singing Dragostea din Tei


Monday, October 5, 2009

On top of Hakkoda 八甲田の紅葉2009




Sukayu Parking from above


Aomori from OOdake




9時間で12km 歩いて、八甲田の紅葉を見って、友達と楽しい登山していい一日でした。

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Honda U3- X

Also called indoor mobility device or personal Howercraft,
Honda U3-X (watch) was presented by Honda`s officials on September the 24th. The new concept is supposed to be used indoors in airports and hotels.
via TokyoMango

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sasuke 2009

Every year more than 100 candidates attend to complete a four stage competiton called Sasuke (japanese). They are challenged to finish every stage using their body strenght. They need to jump, reach on different things, hold tight to things, cliffhang, run, in order to finish the stage. All 4 stages are different and are getting difficult to finish stage by stage.

I am always looking forward to watching Sasuke every year. Today I came home late and the show already started. Grabed a cup of tea, some snacks and while watching the TV, I was holding tight the cup of tea in one hand. With the other hand I was nervously eating the snacks.

Makoto Nagano (japanese), the ninja warrior of Sasuke made it up to the 4th stage again. He managed to finish the 4th stage during the 17th edition of Sasuke. This year, Nagano Makoto and a 24 years old competitor made it up to the the 4th stage.

Nagano Makoto winning the 17th edition of Sasuke 2006.
Nagano Makoto during the 3rd Stage- Sasuke 2008.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Romani in Japonia

Cateva detalii surprinse de Andrei Plesu in calatoria sa in Japonia.

Andrei Plesu-Romani in Japonia
Asculta mai multe audio Diverse

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heartwarming Comedy- The Yellow Smiley Face

I needed to see this video- never lose your patience when somebody is trying to find "the blue button". A heartwarming comedy that needs to be seen :)

via Laura Driha

The Yellow Smiley Face- directed by Constantin Popescu; produced by Saga Films Romania

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inakadate Rice Field Art 2009

Today I managed to go to Inakadate village and see the rice field art.The drawings on the rice field are created by planting various types of rice. Planting the rice field starts in late April and the drawings become more visible every month. The peak is in September.

Volunteers are helping at planting the rise and on the 4th of October they help at the crop.
Visitors take an elevator situated in a nearby building that looks like an old castle, to the 5th floor, then walk the stairs up to the 7th floor. From there visitors are able to see the drawings.

Sengoku Warrior Rice field

This year a Sengoku warrior and Napoleon were the two main characters.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Românii, fără viză în Japonia

"În mai puţin de două săptămâni, românii vor putea călători fără viză în Japonia, informează Ministerul Afacerilor Externe. Decizia este valabilă doar puţin peste doi ani." -- Românii, fără viză în Japonia
Românii nu vor mai avea nevoie de viză pentru Japonia ::

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hiranai Nebuta Festival

Small but lively nebuta float passing on the streets of Hiranai.

Appearently the Nebuta started in this small city, when Hiranai and Aomori were still considered one city.

Shamisen in Aspam- Aomori

Passed by the little stage under the escalators and couldn' t pass by without taking this short video.

After this performer came this man singing these amazing songs using only his hands (soon).

Trip to Tokyo

Rushing on the streets in Roppongi, trying to find the right trains in all the crowded stations, searching for cool places remembered me of the never changing, busy, hot and crowded at every time of the day, Tokyo.

In the evening we had dinner at Darie, the romanian restaurant in Ginza( feedbacks with photos). It was as delicious as the last time I visited it!

I might go to Tokyo again soon. What recommandations do you have? Restaurants? Clubs?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Typhoon No 9 is approaching

Yesterday the weather forecast announced heavy rain and strong wind.At the moment only the wind is here,but the 31℃ pulled everyone out of their houses on the beaches.

Tommorow I am on my way to Tokyo. Hope the Thyphoon doesn't make us big surprises.

I'll post soon about this summer in Romania and Aomori Nebuta (Aomori Nebuta- wikipedia).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Snowing on cherry flowers

Everyone thought that the cherry blossom season started earlier this year, and that was a fact. The trees around Aomori were in almost full bloom this weekend. The temperature went around zero on April 26th, and instead of seeing a "rain" of cheery flowers falling from the trees... BIG snowflakes covered Aomori. The highway was stopped for the rest of the day.
The main attraction of the day was SakuraGawa Dori again. When it started to snow, the street was quiet but while the snow continued to fall, the street was crowded by cars stopping and taking pictures of the view. Televisions and newspapers( video Web 東奥 photographers didn' t miss it either.
I asked a lady that couldn' t take her eyes of the cherry flowers covered in snow, if this is normal for this time of the year. She said that she is 53 years old and she had never seen the city covered in so much snow during cherry blossom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Earthquake In Japan and Romania

Sannai Maruyama
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
While watching a movie, the bed started to shake and I said to myself- " Just another train rushing near the house". But this time- the train was "longer" and "pushing on the tracks harder than before". It was an earthquake that soon stopped.
To my surprise, I have found out that it was a 5.0 earthquake- according to USGC
I checked USGS because I heard that a 5.3 earthquake "shaked" Romania for a few seconds.

I have found a few important advice to follow before, during and after an earthquake that are applied in Japan
What to do in case of earthquake

桜川通りー青森 Aomori Cherry Blossom

Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Funniest thing happened today... in a long while. Woke up, looked at the clock on the wall with different sized numbers. It was time to get up! I had time to pay a visit to the most beautiful street in Aomori during spring. Got there, took a few shots and headed for work, just in time..... to realize that I got there one hour before the work starts :))

Great! One more hour to spend taking pictures at Gappo Park (wikipedia).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Iwaki on April 19th 2009

Iwaki on April
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The weather was GREAT!
Left the city at 7 a.m. and parked the cars at the bottom of the Yayoi course at 9:30. After all the gear and accesories were prepared we left towards the bus stop (15 minutes walk). The bus schedule was different from the one we knew; 1 hour and a half to wait for the 11 o`clock bus ?!?
The lady that owns the shop located near the bus stop, was so kind to tell us that a taxi can pick us up and take us to Iwaki Skyline for the same price, and so we did. The 50 minutes hike, up to 1500m was hard enough, but it was worthwhile. The clear sky gave us the chance to see the 360 degrees panaorama over the Tohoku area.
There were 3 degrees on top but because the wind was almost absent it felt warmer. After we had lunch( some of us had HOT noodles- prepared guys), we packed and prepared for the long ride. It was hard to leave the beautiful view from that altitude( an airplane was flying under).
The long ride on the Yayoi Course slope was more than we were aspecting and went down slowly enjoying every bit of it.
The traverse we had to take down the mountain put our legs to work, but we had to do that in order to avoid falling into the river that goes underneath the snow on the valley. Compared to other years, the snow melted faster- we took a 15 minutes walk throw the forest to arrive at the cars.
To finish the day properly, Dake Onsen was the next stop for a hot spring.

Today's photos- Hiking Iwakisan on April 19th, 2009
Iwaki mountain Map 岩木山地図 (pdf)
Spring Ski Courses Iwaki mountain 岩木山春スキー コース情報 (pdf)
Thank you よっちん

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Early Cherry Blossom

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The cherry blossom has started 7 days earlier in Tohoku, compared to other years. Hirosaki park was crowded for this period of the year and early visitors were taking pictures. I was one of them:) Thanks to Mr. T. we had a delicious tempura and relaxed at Turu no Mei Yu Onsen
Tomorrow I'll be on my way to Hirosaki again to climb mount Iwaki. Hope the weather will smile to us.

Full bloom at Hirosaki Park April the 22nd video source 東奥

Hirosaki Cherry Festival begins April 23rd video source 東奥

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hakkoda Odake- Hokiba

Hokiba from Oodake
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
My face is sunburned, my muscles are sore, BUT! It felt so good to be hiking again Hakkoda. Met Olivier in the morning, parked his car on the other side of the mountain at Hokiba. Took the 9:20 gondola and hiked up to the cabin. After the hike that squzzed the cigarettes out of me, we arrived at the cabin at 11:30. We had lunch and a 10 minutes break. On the way up Oodake(八甲田大岳ー日本語), Mr. N was kind enough to tell us about his hikes on Hakkoda and the Hokiba Course((箒場岱コースー日本語)
More photos down this set.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Golden Line 2009

Golden Line 2009
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The Hakkoda walk gathered about 550 participants(movie) in only one day this year(Web東奥). I was there on the day the traffic opened and went straight to my favorite spot along the road.
Just before the Golden Line starts, there is this tunnel that goes from the road straight to Sukayu.

TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE opens up at the end of April. The snow corridors here reach up to 20 meters.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hiking with the Hakkoda Guide Club

After the busy weekend at Aoimori Arena with Kids Campus, I was prepared for two days of staying around the house... But no, the weather was just perfect for visiting Hakkoda. The previous days new powder covered the icy bottom. Went straight to Hakkoda Sanso where Hakkoda Guide Club is located. They gave me the beacon and asked to be ready for the 9:00 a.m. gondola. I was soon introduced to the guides and we were ready to hike. I was one of the three snowboarders that joined the group.
On top the visibility was very low but almost no wind.
We had a few breaks, put on the snowshoes 2 times and arrived on the spot after a very pleasant hike. The guides were very friendly and made everybody feel comfortable in their presence on the bad weather conditions.
We shreaded the sweet powder on the Tashiromotoyu Course and Kamosika.(Hakkoda Ski Course Map)
On the lunch break meeting Mr. Waka's family and talking about common hobbies was a pleasure. Hope to meet them again this year.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lexus IS F test drive

Lexus IS F
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The rain that is aspected to fall today didn' t stop the Lexus IS F to pay Hakkoda a visit. The kind personnel from Lexus Aomori showed me LS 450L, RX450h, IS 250 and CS convertible. Tea was prepared while waiting for the Test Drive car to arrive. Lexus IS F was waiting for me to push the START button- and I did. Elegant on the outside, sport design in the inside keeping the luxury lines of any Lexus car. Changing from automatic to manual( 8 gears) on the mountain curves enlightened me of what a 5L engine can do. All the commands are close to the driver, the comfortable sport chairs and the inside comfort are making the ride so easy.

Inside Lexus
IS 250,
RX 450,
CS Convertible

The Bowl- Shimokura&Gentem

Shimokura- Bowl
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
On March the 14th, Shimokura Ski resort(map) and Gentem gave the snow lovers the chance to ride inside the bowl on Gentem Sticks. The wind was so strong that I had to keep my balance while standing on the edge of the bowl; but the sun smiled at us all day.
It was the first time to ride inside a bowl- smashed my butt everytime. Riding a Gentem- I was surprised how light it is and how easy it is to ride it. Tried two: Float deck and Independent- both amazing, easy to maneuver.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Snow wall of 5 meters- The Golden Line

Hakkoda Walk 2008
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Today the Golden Line(video- toonippo) was uncovered from the snow that reached up to 7.5 meters this year (Web東奥- japanese). The Golden Line will be open for the famous "Hakkoda Walk" starting from the 27th and opened to the traffic starting from April. Hope to get there these days. More details about the Golden Line on flickr at the bottom of the photo.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Winter shapes
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Driving around town looking for an internet connection was an unusual thing to do. Thinking that an internet connectin can be found almost anywhere, I didn`t go back home and checked a bread shop where once there was a PC online, checked the hotel reception but without a personal computer I wasn' t able to connect and so on. I was asking for too much.

It's been another busy weekend. Hope you celebrated women's day the way you wanted. In Japan, as I was saying on Valentine's Day women's day will be celebrated on March the 14th. In Romania and 14 other countries Mother's day is celebrated on March the 8th.

Cate pahare ati baut azi? Pana la ora asta nici unul. 40?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Japanese passport

Three riders
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Am reusit in sfarsit sa adaugam un "O" care lipsea din numele de familie, si schimbarea a cerut timp si ceva aprobari. Numele de familie romanesc a fost adaugat ( intre paranteze) si urmeaza ca mai tarziu sa fie adaugat si prenumele romanesc, dupa o reeditare a pasaportului si dupa ce vom avea un document care sa ateste prenumele romanesc. Litera "R" din prenume a fost inlocuita relativ usor cu "L" cu toate ca intelesesem ca uneori nu se poate. Asadar si prin urmare, transcrierea numelor din kanji in alfabet poate fi uneori o adevarata aventura; scrierea numelui de familie romanesc in pasaportul japonez se poate face intre paranteze, "R- ul" si "L- ul" nu se impaca prea bine uneori. Ambasada romana din Tokyo este mereu de ajutor.

Asteptand aprobarile mi- am aruncat privirea pe cateva afise destinate cetatenilor japonezi care vor sa calatoreasca in strainatate. Printre tarile mai putin recomandate se numarau Afghanistan- ul, Etiopia, Serbia, Bangladesh- ul si alte cateva. Ma intreb care au fost criteriile dupa care au fost alese. Romania fusese inscrisa pe un afismai vechi, ca tara afectata de gripa aviara din 2005.
Ce- am mai gasit? NHK WORLD de unde poate fii ascultat NHK Radio in 18 limbi(la versiunea in limba romana se lucreaza acum), viziona NHK Live sau diferite programe in fuctie de generic. Sunt chiar si cateva lectii de limba japoneza

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Y! Briefcase se inchide

Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Am primit un e- mail azi care m- a anuntat ca pe 30 martie 2009 Yahoo! Briefcase se va inchide. Asadar si prin urmare am fost rugat sa descarc fisierele stocate aici. Nu tineam minte sa fi avut stocat ceva insa spre uimirea mea am dat peste patul cu apa.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekend blizzard

Hakkoda Ropeway
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan

This weekend started with the blizzard that cut off power to 50.000 houses in Aomori and ended with 15 minutes of blue sky on Hakkoda. The blizzard stopped the train traffic between Aomori and Hatinohe on saturday morning( JR workers clearing the tracks). Searching for delicious Ramen(wikipedia) in Hatinohe I stopped to make a few exposures.
国際文化交流クラブvisited the 藤聖母園 this morning and we were able to see some of the children that live here. We wore shown around the facility and the library where the new books will be stored.

One year ago on the Y course on Hakkoda

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pe ulita...

Pe ulita...
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Fratilor e CRIZA.... de timp. Cea mai de pret avutie a noastra care, din pacate, nu tine cu noi. Ne ajuta daca ii dam importanta din timp insa este de o incapatanare crunta! Vine si pleaca mereu cu acelasi ritm. Vreau sa ma uit la un film recomandat de Adrian, si vreau sa stau citesc cat mai multe caractere de pe watasino burogu
Vestea buna primita luni este ca JLPT mi- au dat OK pentru nivelul 3. Vreau sa ma pregatesc pentru 2 insa... n- am timp. Japoneza trebuie citita, scrisa, mai ales caracterele Kanji( de nu stiu cate ori) ca sa se inradacineze bine. Insa timpul si nefolosirea lor duce la o rapida uitare. Nu, n- am nevoie de lecitina inca- sunt grele, sunt altceva.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Abundent Weekend

Abundent Snow
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
60 cm of snow covered Tohoku today. Snow didn`t stop from falling for 24 hours. Even the gondola stoped today because of the strong wind- 30m/s. It's something normal for the locals, but because the global warming is affecting us all, the snowfall was in the newspapers headers(toonippo). A few minutes ago a friend posted a link on a social network about the fires in Australia ,and here, the wind didn' t stop from blowing all day and it was freezing cold.

Colors Winter colors Purple blizzard

Fit in the snow
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Yesterday, on the to Hirosaki I was looking outside the car to see for my surprize that the snow is almost absent. Unbelievable for the Tohoku region- but this morning I woke up to see this.
I parked the car under a bridge so I can have a better view. It was freezing cold but, yes it felt good to take those pictures.

Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Met my friends this weekend and played for the first time Cashflow 101. It was so much fum but because I didn't have an English manual, all the discussions and actions were made in japanese. This time we got used to it so the next time will go smoother.
The picture was taken at a temple in Hirosaki after we had a delicious tempura soba- (perfect for healing my stomach)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day in Japan

Valentines Day in Japan
Originally uploaded by Danny Choo
Esti barbat, esti norocos- in Japonia pe 14 februarie EI primesc cadouri( ciocolata) de la ELE. ELE vor face cumparaturi si vor inmana ciocalata catre barbatii, colegii de servici si amicii cunoscuti. Aceasta poate fii de doua feluri: Ciocolata Giri- care se ofera colegilor de servici, prieteni, amici si nu are o seminificatie romantica;
Hon- mei este ciocolata oferita de ELE catre soti, iubiti sau viitori... si sunt "incarcate" cu sentimente iar ciocolata este facute uneori chiar de ELE.

EI? Le vine si lor randul pe 14 Martie, zi numita White Day cand EI trebuie sa ofere daruri catre ELE. De cele mai multe ori EI ofera cadouri catre aceleasi ELE de la care au primit cadouri de Valentine's Day- mai sunt si exceptii uneori. Cadourile sunt deobicei ciocolata alba( de aici vine si numele zilei) insa mai pot fii oferite flori sau alte cadouri indragite de ELE. Happy Valentine!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Monsters meeting

The sky looked funny on the mountain today. Even it was 9 in the morning, the sky was orange at the horizon. We were lucky to find no tracks courses and the weather helped us- almost no wind. It was smelling like spring, even the spring bugs came out. In a month or two spring snowboarding is coming up next.

Today National Foundation Day is celebrated in Japan. The holiday was established in 1966 as a day to reflect on the establishment of the nation.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Going Up!

I can see you!
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Duminica- o zi plina; ne- am trezit, am luat sania si am plecat catre o mica festivitate a iernii din oras. Organizatorii au construit din zapada un tobogan imens inalt de 7 metri si lung de 25 de metri. ( ca sa va faceti o idee despre un festival adevarat urmariti Festivalul Zapezii din Sapporo pe blogul lui Muza- chan) . Dupa ce am inghetat bine am plecat catre Aspam unde, din intamplare, l- am putut intalni pe Kamen Rider Den- O; se facuse o mare coada de fani. Ajunsi acasa am continuat sa vorbim si sa ne luptam de- a Kamen rider. Frumoasa lumea copilariei- uneori ma pierd si eu in ea :) ar trebuii sa exersez mai des.
Seara, pentru o ora m- am intalnit cu cativa amici din Tokyo care au venit la Hakkoda cu placile pentru 3 zile- din cate am inteles 2 zile vremea a fost superba cu 30 de cm de powder

Snowboard Lesson- Grand Trick 今日のレッスンーグラトリ

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan

Trecuse o ora din editia a 48- a din ACC CM Festival Japan pe anul 2008, si dupa o pauza de 10 minute am reintrat in sala pentru a urmari spectacolul. Reclame radio si video din Japonia din 2008 se derulau una dupa alta, care mai de care mai haioasa, unicata, inedita. Unele m- au pus pe ganduri, altele m- au amuzat, unele mi- au adus aminte ca " Simple is best".
Ramasesera 10 minute din spectacol cand...ZZZZZzzzzz... ultima parte a spectacolului a trecut foarte repede. Cateva reclame cum ar fi cele de la o centrala energetica si alte cateva de la o renumita firma de telefonie mobila mi- au retinut atentia.
Mi- am adus aminte cu nostalgie de o emisiune de la ProTv din Romania cu reclame de la un eveniment international. Am gasit ceva asemanator aici.

Today's snowboard lesson- Rewind スノーボードレッスンーリワインド

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ce grupa sanguina ai?

Blood type socks
Originally uploaded by theshaggyshoggoth
In Japonia grupa sanguina este mai importanta decat zodia? De ce? Pentru ca grupa sanguina poate fii edificatoare incepand de la cautarea partenerului si uneori pana la gasirea unei slujbe. Nu de putine ori am fost intrebat ce grupa sanguina am, si din cate am inteles grupa mea sanguina are si parti bune si bineinteles si mai putin bune, ca sa nu spun ne-bune.

Tu ce grupa sanguina ai?
"A" sunt persoane sensibile, perfectioniste insa foarte nerabdatoare.
"B" sunt veseli dar excentrici si egoisti.
"O" sunt curiosi, generosi dar incapatanati.
"AB" sunt talentati, artisiti dar misteriosi si imprevizibili.
Determinarea personalitatii in functie de grupa sanguina nu se termina aici.
Blood type in japanese culture

Today' s snowboard lesson-360 turn 今日のスノーボードレッスン- 360 ターン

Interesting article about bloodtyping on

Monday, February 2, 2009

Obama in Japan!

Obama in Japan!
Originally uploaded by ben v
S- au vandut peste 400.000 de exemplare in care sunt explicate si traduse replicile lui Obama. Carti destinate invatarii limbii engleze au invadat piata din Japonia si din cate am observat si pe cea din Coreea.
Nu sunt implicat in politica si istoria nu este unul din punctele mele forte; ce pot spune despre Obama este faptul ca ii apreciez carisma.
Sper ca "gripa" ce a afectat America sa se imbunatateasca.
Pana atunci " Yes, we can!"