Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thanks for the comments

To everyone,

We are so glad that our post ended up providing so much comfort to so many people. We're glad so many of your loved ones are safe, but so sorry that that's not the case for a lot of people today. Thank you for keeping all of us in Japan in your thoughts.

For those of you seeking more information, I suggest the New York Times map at

Wendy who posted asking for information on our previous post - as your friend is from Saga-ken on Kyushu, the family was probably fine as long as they were at home. We will think of them.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake/Tsunami - Not Fukuoka

For family and friends out there - the tsunami and earthquake you may have seen in the news hit Honshu, Japan's main island, on the Pacific coast. We are on the Sea of Japan coast (the "left side," not the "right side," of the map, if you will) on the island of Kyushu, so this is not a quake that affected us directly. Of course this is kind of self-centered to say since obviously many, many people are being affected right now, but we didn't want anybody to worry. And we're very glad that in spite of being sleepy and in pajamas last night we opened the door to our landlord, who turned out to need to make a correction on the earthquake insurance paperwork!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day Out in Fukuoka: Ohori Park

Last week was absolutely beautiful: a brief flash of spring before the cold weather returned this past week. After I spent most of Friday outside skiing in Saga-ken, Nana and I spent the better part of Saturday hanging out in Ohori Park, Fukuoka's largest green space.

Ohori Park is built around a big man-made pond, which was itself created from the remains of part of Fukuoka Castle's moat system. The area used to be an inlet before the land was reclaimed. These days, there's a 2-km, plus a series of artificial islands connected by little bridges.

The park is also an extremely popular spot for dog-walkers, which was a sight for our poor, puppy-deprived eyes. And of course, in Japan, wherever you find dogs, you find amusing signs about picking up dog poop.
 Anyway . . . there isn't a whole lot to do at Ohori Park. It was just a nice excuse to get outside.
 And, incidentally, get my first sunburn of 2011!
"Ahh . . . what a day!"

We did see a few cool, Japan-y things, though. First, there was a guy tossing bread to a bunch of seahawks and gulls that were circling overhead.

 Here's a video:
Reminded me of our bird-watching cruise in Shetland.

No idea what species those brown birds were, but we have a bunch of them around here.

Second, it turns out dogs weren't the only members of the menagerie on display at Ohori Park. This guy was apparently walking his rabbit . . .

 . . . and the people sitting across from us at Starbucks had brought their birds out for the day.