August 8, 2008


Summer daze. The heat and humidity continues. Many of our gaijin friends are starting to return after their summer breaks. Lots of hanging out near the River Mall.

Today marks the beginning of the Obon Summer Holiday. Obon is a Buddhist holiday that honors the spirits of family ancestors. The festival ends with toro nagashi, the floating of paper lanterns. We hope to join the festivities here on Rokko Island later this month.

Since Mike is off work for the next ten days, we have several short trips planned - one to Biwako (Lake Biwa), a large lake near Kyoto, and a second to Awaji Island, a small island between the Honshu (the main island of Japan) and Shikoku. We are really looking forward to traveling a little bit and having some family time.

Today is also the beginning of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We watched the massive spectacle that was the Opening Ceremonies this evening here on NHK. It was interesting watching the China Olympics from here in Japan, with the Japanese announcers on NHK. Hopefully we will be able to watch some of the U.S. athletes (especially basketball). Based on the outfits, excitement level, and degree of flag waving during the procession of countries, we will be rooting hard for Togo, Uraguay, and Granada.

This week is also the beginning of the Koshien Summer Baseball Tournament here in Japan. This may well be the biggest sporting event in Japan, on par with a March Madness (NCAA College Basketball Tournament) in the U.S. crossed with the Little League World Series. The qualifying games have been on TV constantly for weeks. This little piece captures Koshien quite nicely.


Alexis Jacobs said...

Does everything shut down in Kobe/Japan during this summer holiday? Hope you have some great travels.

The Kasdan Family said...

I'm not sure; I don't think so. But I know that Panasonic pretty much shuts down, so it works for me!

Gabriel said...

Ariella says to Lauren: "I am sorry that you hurt your leg. I love you so so much."

Gabi says to Jacob: "I can also do the shake your butt thingy. Your video was very funny. I was cracking up. I am still laughing. (he actually really is :) I miss you. bye bye."

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone.

Hope you are having a nice vacation

Meema and Beeps

Lisa said...

Enjoy the vacations! I'll call you later!
love you all mucho!