May 31, 2012

Cards from Germany / ドイツ

I received 2 cards from Germany via Postcrossing, and I love them both!  This beautiful card is the Castle Neuschwanstein.  This is so gorgeous!!!
According to my travel guide book of Germany, this castle was buit by Ludwig II of Bavaria, and it was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle in the Disneyland.  This is so beautiful!!  When I traveled Germany few years ago, I really wanted to visit this castle, but it was a very short trip and I just didn't have time to go there. :(  Maybe next time!

And this card shows German beer in typical 1-liter glasses.  I LOVE German beer (or any kind of beer basically).  How did she know that I would looooove this card?! :D
It says that this card is from the city Munich, and I was extra happy because I've been there! :)  German beer is popular here, and every year big beer festivals called "OKTOBERFEST" (it's funny that they're not held in October) are held several places in Japan.  Last year, I went to 3 of them in Tokyo and had tons of fun!  You can try different German beer and food while listening to German music. :)

This is the official website of OKTOBERFEST in Japan.  It's in Japanese, but you can see lots of pictures there that you might enjoy.

By looking at those delicious sausages on the website, now I'm hungry! lol  This year, two festivals are already over, and we've got 5 more OKTOBERFESTs till this autumn.  The festivals support the quake- and tsunami-damaged areas in Tohoku (north-east Japan) by selling their local drinks, food and goods.  I think it's a great idea that we can support them by having fun with beer and delicious food! :)




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May 30, 2012

Cards from Ireland and Ukraine :) / アイルランド&ウクライナ

Here are some of the Postcrossing postcards I received recently.  This one is from a girl in Ireland.  I love the little lamb. :)
She told me about the famous Irish feast, St. Patrick's Day celebrated on March 17th to commemorate Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  According to her, on St. Partric's Day, there's a big parade in the central Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, and people wear green clothes and put green shamrocks (three-leaved plant).  I used to live in Canada where St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish community (esp. in the Eastern provinces, I think), and one time my friends took me to an Irish bar to have "green coloured beer"!  It was cool! :)  By the way, she put a stamp of St. Patrick on the card.  It was so nice of her! :)
And this lovely card is from a girl in Ukraine.
Awww, my favorite kind of card: food! :D  She didn't mention the name of the food (anyone knows?), but they look so delicious!  I feel like I could almost smell them! lol  She said that these towels at the left bottom are handmade and used for special occasions like Christmas and Easter.  They look so beautiful!  The stamps on the card were also very nice. :)

Postcrossing経由でアイルランドとウクライナから素敵なカードが届きました。アイルランドのカードは可愛らしい羊のカード。カードにはアイルランドの守護聖人とされる聖パトリックの命日である3月17日をSt. Ptrick's Dayとして、国を挙げてお祝いすることが書いてありました。首都ダブリン中心部では盛大なパレードが行われるそうで、人々は緑色の服を着て、シャムロック(三つ葉のクローバー)を身に着けてお祝いするそうです。ちなみに、シャムロックは聖パトリックがアイルランドでキリスト教を布教する際に、キリスト教の教えである「三位一体」を説明するのに用いたといわれているからだそうです。私が留学していたカナダでも、アイリッシュ系が特に多いオンタリオやケベック、ニューファンドランド(この州ではSt. Patrick's Dayは州の祝日です)では大々的にSt. Patrick's Dayをお祝していました。私が住んでいた西部のアルバータ州でも、アイリッシュパプでは緑色のビールがあったりして盛り上がっていました。切手は聖パトリックさんです。


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May 29, 2012

Outgoing letters/お手紙発送

I wrote 3 letters over the weekend and sent them out today; one to Lithuania and two to The Netherlands.  I put Disney stamps for 2 of them as they like Disney. :)  Hope they will be delivered to the destination safely soon.
The package is for my dear penpal in The Netherlands who just started her own new business.  Here, if our family or friends start a new business, we often send a gift such as flowers, plants, gift money etc. to congratulate them and also wish the best to their new business, and I wanted to send something for her, too.  Sending flowers from Japan to The Netherlands didn’t seem to be the best option, and probably gift money either.  So I decided to send her something that she will enjoy-some nice stationary. :)  Stationary is the best gifts for penpallers, right?  I hope she will like the gift, and I wish all the best to her new business! :)

By the way, what do you do in your culture when your family or friends start a new business?  Do you give some gifts?  Do you hold a party for the person?  Do you send a card?  I’m curious. :)


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May 25, 2012

Incoming letters/届いたお手紙

Even though it’s Friday and I’m supposed to be like “Woohoo!  It’s finally the weekend!”, I was in a bad mood because I tossed my chocolates in the trash bin by accident!  OK, this is what I think happened.  I bought sandwiches and my favorite chocolates at Seven Eleven this morning on the way to work, took only sandwiches out of the plastic bag at lunch time, put the trash into the bag and then tossed it in the trash bin without taking my chocolates out!  Nooooo…how stupid of me! :$

So, I was grumpy when I got home (I can easily become grumpy if it has anything to do with chocolates. lol).  But then, I found these letters waiting for me in my mailbox as if they knew I would be having a bad day today! :D

Letters from my dear penpals in Croatia, France and Germany! 
My French pal enclosed a beautiful postcard from Koln (I'm sorry but my laptop doesn't show German alphabets with little two dots on top of "o") where she traveled a while ago.  I didn't get a chance to visit Koln when I was in Germany few years ago, but I'd love to visit there someday esp. the beautiful cathedrals! :)
And this beautiful postcard is from my Croatian pal.  I love those orange roofs!!!  They are SO pretty!!!
By the way, are these orange roofs popular in your country?  Here in Japan, not really, but I think it's so lovely! :)

These letters made my day! :)  I hope everyone will have a nice weekend!


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May 23, 2012

Just wanted to say thank you! / お礼

Hi everyone!  It's been over a month since I started this blog, and I'm really surprised that so many people from the different parts of the world have visited my blog!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  And also big thank you for those who left comments on my postings.  It encourages me a lot to keep this blog active (I can easily be lazy! lol), so thank you! :)

I hope I can "meet" lots of people who love postcards and letter-writing as much as I do through this blog.  And also it will be really exciting if some of you actually become interested in Japan and one day visit here and see the same view that you see on the postcards here! :)


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May 18, 2012

Map of Japan / 日本地図

Today I sent this map card to a girl in Czech Republic via Postcrossing.  It shows my country and a flag together.  Can you find where Tokyo, our capital city, is on the map?  That's where I live. :)

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May 16, 2012

Card from Poland (ポーランド)

I received this lovely card from a girl in Poland via Postcrossing.  She translated the words on the card for me, and it says "The food of heart is goodness and love."  Very lovely. :)
I love food postcard not only because I love eating (*smile*) but also I can learn a lot about the country and culture from food. :)  For example, let's say you have absolutely no information about Japan, but you know one of our most popular food is sushi (vinegared rice topped with fresh raw fish), you may guess that Japan is somewhere near the ocean. ;)  Those breads in the postcard above must taste different from our breads.  Hmm...I want to have a bite! :D

ポーランドの女性から素敵なパンのカードが届きました。カードには『The food of heart is goodness and love.(食の心は優しさと愛)』とありました。食べ物のカードは大好きです。ただ単に私が食べることが大好きだから、というのもありますが、それ以上に食を通じてその国を知ることができるからです。例えば、日本のことを全く知らない人でも、生魚を使う寿司が日本で人気だと聞けば、日本は海に面した国なのかな?と想像ができたりしますよね(^^)届いたカードのパン、きっと日本のパンとは味が違うんだんろうな~。一口でいいから食べてみたい!

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May 15, 2012

Outgoing postcards/カード発送

Today I sent 2 Postcrossing postcards-one to Finland and the other to Ukraine.  Both of them like postcards of animals, so I picked these ones for them.  I hope they will enjoy the card! :)  This lovely puppy is traveling to Ukraine.
And this guy with cherry blossoms is traveling to Finland.

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May 14, 2012

Mt. Fuji/富士山

Via Postcrossing, today I sent the same postcard to two persons – one to Finland and the other to Ukraine.  If the person’s profile doesn’t say much about his/her specific preference on postcards but just says something like “anything famous in your country”, I often send a postcard of Mt. Fuji. :)
Mt. Fuji is our highest and most famous mountain in Japan with 3,776m (about 12,388 feet) located about 100km (62mi) south-west of Tokyo.  You can see Mt. Fuji from Tokyo on a clear day.  Its shape of almost perfectly symmetrical cone is what makes the Mt. Fuji so significant and beautiful.  It is one of the most popular subjects of Japanese art,; for example, 36 Views of Mt. Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai, famous Japanese UKIYOE artist.
This picture was taken last December when I visited there, and it was just gorgeous!  I took a long walk by the lake enjoying the beautiful Mt. Fuji.  It’s not too far from Tokyo where I live, so I visit there every once in a while to escape from the “concrete jungle” in Tokyo. :)


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