After some more walking… in Akita

Oh my gosh, you guys! It happened! The duck and I have decided to finally resurface after our prolonged absence that was a fun mix of extreme laziness and working on this last (at least in a while) Japan video that has taken us so much longer to edit than all the other ones, partly because our wonderful microphone decided to be even more dramatic and rebellious than usual by recording so irregularly that we couldn’t even fix it in post (or maybe I’m just incompetent, or maybe it’s a mixture of the both) which meant re-recording the voice-over over and over for it to be at least somewhat consistent. My hereditary inability to properly enunciate at times did not make this any easier, neither did the duck’s conviction that “one should only reveal one’s voice once a certain degree of fame is reached” (yeah, whatever).
Anyway, after giving up on having perfect sound (I hope it’s not too intrusive), we actually did finish editing this video and can now finally add some movement to our Akita photo sessions and that wonderful oshiruko that we had a while back. So, sit back and enjoy another installment of Sometimes My Camera Work Is Particularly Shaky.

That’s the video. I hope you enjoyed our little Japan adventure video diaries and can’t wait to go back to the duck and my days of complete laziness.
Actually, we’ll do that right now.


Climbing Mt. Takao in spring

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The duck and I have been enjoying our (way too hot) summer and just could not escape this mean heat-induced laziness that kept us from updating our blog… until a few days ago, that is, when we finally decided to tackle all that extra-shaky footage we got during our climb up Mt. Takao back in early spring. Because it was the middle of the popular sakura season, that one short week that makes everyone pack their picnic sheets or don their hiking gear, the mountain was pretty crowded for a weekday and we even got to follow a TV crew around (can you find them in the video?) that, same as the duck and me, thought that climbing Tokyo’s resident mountain with a few trees that were blooming in pretty shades of white and pink along the way was even cooler and totally smart when you wish death upon all the evil pollen! Anyway, I’ll quit the rambling now and finally present to you this one video that the duck and I were not sure would ever come to see the light of day :

This time we decided to go back to our first two videos and spare you the weird rambling that graces the more recent ones. I hope you appreciate that, hahahahahah!

That shall be it for now.

Too. Much. Typing… Can’t. Move. My. Fingers!


Very late spring

After having missed the peak of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, the duck and I just had to attempt catching them a bit further up north. So, just before Golden Week (an accumulation of public holidays making this week in late April/early May a popular travel season), we went on a little trip to Akita’s lake Tazawa and Kakunodate, planned by our lovely Kyoto travel pal!
So, here is a selection of the photos that I took while walking around the lake that turned out to be much larger than we had expected:

Lake Tazawa 1

Lake Tazawa has such a beautiful color!

Lake Tazawa 2

No matter what side of the lake you’re on – there’s so much to see (and, trust me, the duck and I have seen the lake from almost all angles there are)!

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After our previous three and a half posts about the start of spring, sakura (cherry blossom) flavored cookies and actual cherry blossoms (or what was left of them) in Inokashira park, you might already have guessed that the duck and I had been majorly excited about experiencing spring in Japan (especially after the seemingly endless days of freezing), undeterred by our powerful antagonist: the villainous pollen – this year with an extra portion of evilness! Strangely, despite our recent focus on spring, we have not yet written about the Japanese’s favorite early spring pastime: hanami!
Hanami translates to ‘flower viewing’, but mainly refers to sakura specifically.


Duck? Were you even paying attention? I don’t see any cherry blossoms in your rose-colored bouquet of flowers (a kind gift from our dear house mate).
As soon as the first blossoms appear (or are estimated to appear, which turned out to be the doom of some of the bigger organized hanami parties – but I’m getting ahead of myself here) on those cherry trees that are scattered all over Japan you’ll find all major cherry blossom spots crowded with picnickers, casual strollers and all kinds of photographers! Well, the duck and I are pretty new to that whole cherry blossom business, so instead of telling you facts, we’ll give you a little account of what we have so far learned (and made up) about hanami and all those people who are super excited about it. In fact, on our stroll through Inokashira park last week, we got to experience some of those hanami enthusiasts first hand:

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Late spring

I’m not talking about the famous 1949 Ozu film here, but rather about this year’s sakura (cherry blossoms) that decided to bloom much earlier than expected. Because of that, when the duck and I made a little trip to Inokashira park, one of the most popular parks in Western Tokyo, yesterday to check out what hanami (more on that in the next post) looks like in real life, we did get to see lots of people, but most of the cherry blossoms were already way past their peak. Nonetheless, I did take a few photos, that I thought I’d share with you, to show that we haven’t forgotten about this blog even though the duck and I are rather busy these days. But since a blog about living in Tokyo is not complete without at least one visual post about sakura, we now present to you part one of a rather random selection of post-sakura-peak-season-photos from Inokashira park:

Inokashira park 1

Even though they were hard to find, we did see some sakura in full bloom.

Inokashira park 2

One of these things is not like the others: the lake was filled with paddle-boat enthusiasts!

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