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Views of Mount Fuji

Views of Mount Fuji

In the autumn of 2005, I was living in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture. I had just returned from the cycling holiday that will soon become my first (perhaps only?) travel book. I still had a fixed-line telephone in my apartment and one weekend my mother called. She had, she said, been to the doctor after experiencing stomach pains for the past few months. The doctor had scheduled a biopsy and she was awaiting the result. When she called again a week…

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The Copse

The Copse

There is a small copse near our house that I have always loved. It is of deciduous trees that change with the seasons, not boring cedar or cypress, of which you will find so many in Japan. So the leaves are a brilliant green in the spring, make a pleasant rustling noise on windy days, change colour and fall to the ground in autumn, and leave the silhouettes of bare branches to stand out against the sky in winter. Perhaps…

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Nishikanasa Shrine 西金砂神社

Nishikanasa Shrine 西金砂神社

A few weeks ago, M Jr. and M Jr. II put on kimonos and took part in a shintō ceremony at Nishikanasa Shrine in the north of Ibaraki Prefecture. It’s an annual ceremony to wish for peace, tranquility, and a fruitful harvest, and the same shrine holds another along similar lines once every seven years. On a much larger scale, it holds yet another that takes place just once every 73 years, which is apparently the longest period of time…

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Food quiz no.3

Food quiz no.3

These are some pictures of my breakfast a couple of weeks ago — or at least, part one of my breakfast, as I tend to wake up at about 4/4.30, have bread or toast with my morning coffee at 5, then sit down with the children at about 7 for part two. This isn’t bread or toast but something that I mashed up with olive oil and pepper, although hardly anyone else in the known universe would use the same…

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Food quiz no.2

Food quiz no.2

Like the mystery item in my previous food quiz post, this was purchased from Gyōmusūpā and looks equally weird. It’s an egg, of course, but what kind? Answers in a comment, please! (The more observant among you will have noted the resemblance between the egg and my, er, “hairstyle.”) Black on the outside and green on the inside — yum, yum! Actually it didn’t taste as odd as it looked — didn’t taste of much at all, in fact.

A Walk in Yamagata

A Walk in Yamagata

This is one of those, “Aah, things were so much easier before COVID…” posts, from a time when we could all still move around freely, go on holiday, go to work without having to wear a mask, etc. etc. Miss Beautiful Happiness, a friend of ours from our time living in London (Mrs. M met Miss Beautiful Happiness when they worked together in a Japanese restaurant, and we invited her to our wedding), lives with her mother in Yamagata, and…

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Food quiz no.1

Food quiz no.1

Gyōmusūpā — literally”business supermarket” — sells things like catering-size bottles of sauce and sack-size bags of coffee, and has been rivalling Costco in popularity recently, partly thanks to being featured in various TV commercials thinly disguised as bona fide shows. Below are some pictures are of an interesting — and surprisingly yummy — food item that Mrs. M brought back from Gyōmusūpā the other week, but can you guess what it is? (A hint: although it may appear to be,…

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Cherry blossom 桜

Cherry blossom 桜

It’s a miracle: we have cherry blossom in our back garden! Not exactly a long-cherished dream, but I wanted something nice to look at instead of a brown metal fence and in the interests of cultural integration, decided that a cherry tree would be appropriate. This time last year, I bought a cherry sapling from the local hardware/garden store, read the instructions for planting it — along with some online advice — and, with a little help from M Jr. and…

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お久し振り!Long time no see!

お久し振り!Long time no see!

Greetings to you, dear readers. After an extended sabbatical, I’ve migrated Muzuhashi to WordPress. Unfortunately, this has led to the disappearance of most of the photos. They are still in the system somewhere, and I will be reinstating as many as I can over the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy the new look and as always, suggestions, comments, and cash donations are most welcome.

Alan Booth Part 2 – This Great Stage of Fools

Alan Booth Part 2 – This Great Stage of Fools

Way back in January 2011, one of the very first posts on this blog was about the writer Alan Booth, who lived here for more than two decades, produced two of the most well known and well liked travel books about Japan, and sadly passed away at the age of just 46. Little did I know at the time, but that post would become by far the most popular that I ever wrote – on a very small scale indeed,…

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