Minto's Sleep Talking

This is minto's private diary - be updated as there are some daily happenings, noteworthy happenings, mysterious happenings and paranormal chance at all!


Juliana's Tokyo-----!!!!!

Oh well, so long time no see. I've actually neglected to write my blog for a couple of months.
But I had an remarkable experience last Saturday so I decided to do it at this time.

The experience I had was one night event of Juliana's Tokyo.

Although the article which is linked above would be much detailed about the event, I try to describe my feeling then.

Actually I was one hour late for the party beginning because of an English regular lesson. But one of my friend got the special invitations from her friend so I just need to meet her near the venue and get the ticket to enter it. When I got to the venue, at about 7:30pm, there were hundreds of people and was a lllloooooonnnngggg queue there. They were probably who had wanted today's tickets but seemed not to get it after all...
After hanging around there for 15mins or so I finally met my friends and I got feather fan there!.

So what do you think I can dance with such a big fan??? Answer is - No!!! There's no room to dance
enough!!! Many standing people there...So the dance floor was as if it was a very crowded train or a sauna. We could call it hell...You could sweat when you were just standing there!!!

But we also had a ticket to the heaven though - actually our tickets were really exclusive ones, so we could access all area in the venue even the backstage! The backstage was really nice place - there was completely air-conditioned, cold free drinks were prepared and also quiet restroom. So we escaped from the main floor to the backstage when we felt terrible and sweaty. But it's sure we weren't DJs, dancers nor staffs...Anyway if we didn't have the special rescue we couldn't be alive there at the end of the party.


My First All Blacks (Classic) and 15 a-side Rugby

Japan XV vs Classic All Blacks on May 31st. – this match was full of new experiences for me. Not only was it my first time to see the All Blacks (even though it was only the Classic version) but also my first 15 a-side rugby match.

What did this mean? It means…finally I could see The Haka – the NZ performance before kick off which is dance-ish (and I succeeded in recording the real Haka with my camera).

Though the audience wasn’t so large because of heavy drizzle, the game was so nice.
Surprisingly Japan played very well against CAB. Specifically they tackled successfully many times. Unfortunately, I think Japan has never beaten the CAB. Anyway I’m really looking forward to next Japan game in the Pacific Nations tournament.


Hong Kong Part1

I recently traveled to Hong Kong for 10 days - I was there about 10 years ago when HK was still governed by the United Kingdom so I was really interested in how different it would be.

However I can’t really remember how HK was then…but I realised a massive change straight away - the location of the airport!!!! It used to be close to the center of city, so the aircrafts flew above the towering buildings and it seemed likely to hit something…but this time the flight was quite safe and I couldn’t see such buildings or anything else (although this was partially due to it raining).

I suppose I’ve been to the popular places in HK before so I’m going to tell you about the more obsecure ones where I went this time.

Conrad’s Executive Lounge and Room on 59F
What a fantastic room it was!!! I haven’t been to such a room before. If you want to know how the room was, well, please try to book it! But let me show you the landscape from there (though the weather wasn’t so nice then). Well I know this issue isn’t concerned about HK at all…but that doesn’t matter to me!

Kowloon Walled City Park
There used to be a notorious slum here until the mid 80's in HK but now it has become a quiet park. There were a few of walls with a round entrances, which seems to be quite popular among Chinese historical architecture.
Though the area around the park was still a bit unorganized it was very interesting as I could feel real local life in HK.

Ngong Ping Cable Car and Tian Tan Buddha Statue
These are located on Lantau Island and I guess many Japanese tourists wouldn’t know about them and also my guidebook (in Japanese) doesn’t have so mach information about them. I guess this is because most of all tourists from Japan go to HK for only 3 or 4 days. So if you have more time in HK I think they’re good to visit...anyway have you been on a cable car for around 30 mins !?!? Ngong Ping Cable Car runs about 5.7km and it turns left within 10 mins so you couldn’t see the last terminal from the starting terminal. Finally I’ve found the big Buddha statue on - I haven’t seen such an outside Buddha statue which was on the top of a mountain before so it seemed quite interesting view for me.


Removing my bad luck in 2008

I’m going to tell you my third visiting a temple in 2008 last Saturday. Last 2 visiting were for praying for good luck in this year, on the other hand this one was for removing bad luck for me.

We Japanese believe that every man and woman has 3 years bad luck terms in their own life 3 times.

Women’s bad luck terms:
1st - 18 years old to 20 years old
2nd - 32 to 34
3rd - 36 to 38

Men’s bad luck terms:
1st - 24 to 26
2nd - 41 to 43
3rd - 60 to 62

Basically the age is usually counted from 1 year old at a shrine/temple, so the age on the list above is one more than your actual age. In addition, women can allegedly remove their own bad luck by themselves by having a baby. It’s a useful custom...

This time I went to Jindai-ji in Chofu-city, the suburban area of Tokyo. This temple is the second oldest temple around Tokyo (the oldest one is Senso-ji in Asakusa). This temple is good at removing people’s bad luck. Though it is famous, I’ve been there just twice to just get off my bad luck in these 2 years.

We generally pray from outside the main building in the temple, but to remove the bad luck we do special things – we pay for the special praying fee and enter it. Actually we can enter it whenever you pay the special fee to pray something. Here’s the main building of Jindai-ji:

There were about 50 people there, but I’m afraid I couldn’t show you any view of inside. So I’ll try to introduce what it happened then. At first 6 monks were coming into the building. One of them blew a triton, and another one started to beat a drum. After that three of them started reading Buddhist sutra and a monk lit a holy fire to purge our wooden plate for keep off bad luck.

In fact we had to keep folding our legs under ourselves during the ceremony. After a half an hour, all the ceremony was finished and the lead monk told us to stretch them and lecture. Then I had pins and needles in my legs too much to hear his story and was worried about whether I could stand after all…Finally I managed to stand by myself without any problems and got a wooden plate.

Now I’m assured a peaceful year, that’s a relief for me.


The Stereophonics

This Thursday I went to the Stereophonics concert at DUO in Shibuya , this was the first concert in 2008 for me. Basically I had to leave the office by 6pm for the concert, so I could get to the venue on time - this is earlier than usual.

I brought my wallet with me but checked all my stuff and coat to cloak so I couldn’t take a picture then…anyway the concert was very nice.

First was “My Friend”, it is really nice song even though I’ve only listened to it by Myspace. Although I didn’t know second song, the third one was “Bartender and the thief.” Every song is up beat so everybody was getting excited.

Oh I found 2 things odd there; one was Kelly’s guitar strap. It was edged with a bunch of red LED ramp and they kept twinkling. At first I thought they were silver buttons or something that reflected spotlights but it seemed different so I stared at the strap for a while. Then I found it twinkled autonomously…might it be cool?

Anyway, the other one was among the audience. There were tens of Western people there and 2 guys raised their hands with Negi – Negi is a kind of onion in Japan, which is similar to leek.

Anyway, the last song was “Dakota”, my favorite song. Good vibes.


Afterward heavy snow in Tokyo

Occasionally it snows heavily in Tokyo. It did snow yesterday, and was a bit heavier than before. People in Tokyo basically don’t get used to heavy snow, so many accidents always happen.

For example, the number of injured people was increasing over 200 and 16 of them broken their bones. And this story is always a main topic for the news of the day.

Most of all trains around Tokyo were delayed and some of them stopped until next midday (because the railway and the overhead wire are frozen by the snow).

And most horrible thing is icy street in the next morning like that…

As people in Tokyo never have snow purpose shoes, we’re usually confused which shoes are better to walk such a terrible road. Fortunately I didn’t fall to the ground this morning though slipped a little.


First Snow in Tokyo

Finally it snowed in Tokyo today. I suppose it was the first time in this winter. However the weather forecast these days said that it would snow in Tokyo, it didn’t at all.

I managed to take some pictures of Tokyo’s snow view on the way to my office, but they didn’t convince me so I’ll post the picture I took at home.