A party with high school classmates

One day a postcard arrived at my flat inviting me to a party by an old boys and girls’ association of the high school to be held on 27 April this year at Takarazuka. I had never seen such kind of party by high school classmates before since the commencement ceremony 21 years before. I wanted to see how the people changed their faces and figures from what they had been in the high school age, so I replied to the sender that I was going to attend and booked airline tickets.
As the plane from Narita Airport to Osaka was to depart at 6.25 in the morning and there were no trains to Narita from where I live early enough to catch the plane, I drove a car to the airport in the midnight and parked it in the car park to sleep until the terminal building opened.
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Words of the year 2012

On the last day of every year, I make it a rule to list up such words that represent what I was absorbed in or experienced for the first time in that year. Those keywords remind me of what I did at that time.
The words of the year 2001 are getting a flat within the Tokyo metropolitan area, a position change at the office, and Soarer. The words of 2002 is America. That of 2003 are the airplane and the musical. Words of 2004 are the blog, Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), and the GSM mobile phone.
The words of the year 2005: darts, the GSM and WCDMA mobile phone, and visiting Hong Kong again.
The words of the year 2006: the US stock and the mutual fund.
The words of the year 2007: changing my car and visiting Hawaii.
The words of the year 2008: England and Fukagawa.
The words of the year 2009: office position change, MacBook Pro and JR Seishun 18 Ticket.
The words of the year 2010: Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia; iPhone; and the credit card.
The words of the year 2011: the car, the British culture and China.
In the same manner, the words of the year 2012 would be Oji, the mahjong, the flight attendant and Facebook.
The first word, Oji, is derived from the place I moved my flat to in July this year. It is a beautiful place and sometimes called "Richmond in Japan." I enjoy it very much.
The mahjong is what I’m learning to play this year because my close colleagues do. In fact, I have ever played it in the video game for 25 years, but I didn’t play it with people around the table until this year. I can’t play it very well right now but I enjoy it.
Flight attendants, though I’ve got some online friends who are cabin crew for over ten years, are what I met as friends for the first time in real life this year. In some Asian countries including Japan, the flight attendant is considered as more attractive than the women working in the other workplaces. That’s why it was a very valuable experience to talk with such kind of ladies. (Remember I love flight attendants. Please read this entry as well!)
Facebook is the social networking service where I’ve kept in touch with my friends, offline or online, since my subscription in 2008. This year I was there in Facebook on a daily basis, posting a status, looking around my friend’s messages and giving a comment to them.
May next year be also a year when I’ll encounter many new things I’ve never experienced and many new people I’ve never met.

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  • HSBCの投資口座を開いてきました。これで投資信託や株が買えます。
  • マカオまで足を延ばしてきました。たいしたことできませんでしたが。
  • iPhone5を買えればと思ったんですが買えませんでした。


Hong Kong and Macau

I forgot to say that I had a trip to Hong Kong this year as well. I departed Japan on 23 November and returned back on 26. What I did there is:

  • I had an investment account opened at HSBC to buy a unit trust.
  • I extended my journey as far as Macau, where I couldn’t do so many things though.
  • I wanted to get iPhone5 if I had much money, but I didn’t.

I uploaded a set of photos on Flickr.

VW Polo GTi買いました


Owning VW Polo GTi

I’ve bought a new car. I wanted to drive a German car before I died, so I sold my Peugeot 307 I had bought two years before and got a 2007 Volkswagen Polo GTi. In fact, when I got the Peugeot 307 I wanted to have Audi A4 or VW Golf or Polo to be honest, but my budget at that time forced me to have the French car by compromise. Peugeot 307 was a nice car though.
It has a manual gearbox. Probably it would be the last for me to own a manual-transmission car and even the last petrol car I can have, because car makers will sell more and more electric or hybrid cars in the future and such cars would have a continuously variable transmission or a dual-clutch transmission rather than a legacy manual gearbox.
I drive it on a weekly basis to get used to its manoeuvres. There are some differences from the Peugeot. At first, a clutch biting point is much lower. As soon as I gently lift my leg with the clutch, it starts to bite. Another difference is that its engine rarely stalls when you lift off the clutch pedal completely in the first gear even with the handbrake on. When you drive on the street, it dashes out very fast by gently stepping on the accelerator. If you give it full throttle, your licence would be at risk.
The clutch, brake and gas pedals of the Peugeot were too shifted to the left, but it doesn’t go with the Polo. I have enough foot restraint space beside the clutch pedal.
A reverse gear position is different from the Peugeot or other major cars. You press down the gear stick, move it to the left with it pressed down, and then push it forward to put it in the reverse gear. It’s the similar manoeuvre to the first gear, but you should press down the stick before moving it to left and forward for the reverse gear, so you won’t make a mistake.
I don’t know how many years I can drive it, but I’m gonna have fun with it.


Oji shrine Oji shrine Oji shrine
Nanushi-no-taki park Asukayama Park

I’m back!

Apologies for not updating my blog since I did on the first day of this year. I’m usually in Facebook these days.
One of what I did this year is that I moved out of my house at Fukagawa. The rental contract was expiring in the end of July and I had to choose whether I renewed it to keep living there or terminated it and found a new house. I decided to move into another place. I lived there for four years and was satisfied with the life there, but at the same time I thought I should change my life to change myself.
I found a new house at Oji, about 10km north from the Tokyo’s city centre. This neighbourhood is a beautiful area developed in the 14th century, with its fresh verdure and sometimes called "Richmond in Japan" because people in central Tokyo often have made a one-day trip to this area since the Edo Era, similar to holiday-makers in London who visit Richmond.
I removed to the new house with my car in the middle of July. Monthly fees for the house and the garage dropped comparing with the ones at Fukagawa which was closer to the city centre. It’s more than three months since the removal, and the new life here is very nice.
Oji shrine Oji shrine Oji shrine
Nanushi-no-taki park Asukayama Park



拝啓 時下ますますご清祥のこととお慶び申し上げます。
※1 セブン銀行・全都市銀行・ゆうちょ銀行など
※2 例えば、現在のところ当行のほとんどのお客さまの1ヵ月あたりのATM引出回数が4回未満です(当行ATMおよび提携金融機関ATMでのお引き出し合計)。