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2021.12.27[Mon] 09:00

DJ's Recommend(DJのオススメ)

【Look Back on 2021 & New Year's resolution】

Well, it is the last show of the year today as we are very quickly approaching 2022. How was the past year for you?
Mine was pretty good. Camping has become quite the popular activity over these last two years due to not being able travel internationally and so there has been a lot of focus on camping supplies in shops and online. As a result, I've found so much great camping equipment and managed to go camping a few times this year. There are so many wonderful campsites in Kyushu, we went to a few in the Kuju area and even did a camping van trip in Hokkaido this year. I think next year we'll continue with this new hobby of ours.
I also started a patisserie course at Nakamura Culinary School in Hirao. I'm always really impressed with the cakes and other confections I see at shops around town and decided to give it a try myself. We're only halfway through the course, but I've made so many different things and I think I'm getting better at it although recent attempts at cake decorating haven't been as good at home as at school.
Some exciting news over the year that happened in Japan was the opening of Super Nintendo World at USJ. Well, personally, I found it exciting. I don't really play games but grew up with Super Nintendo and Mario and it feels like my childhood come to life. I haven't been yet, but I'm planning on being there tomorrow. Fingers crossed it's everything I've always imagined it to be.
Generally speaking, I guess a lot happened around the world this year, some good, some bad. For me, I thought these two stories were nice. First, the Perserverence touched down on Mars back in February which was a huge event. And the mini helicopter Ingenuity that Perserverence carried to Mars even flew on the planet, which is just amazing technology. And, new animal species were discovered, including a tiny nano chameleon, small enough to sit on the tip of a person's finger.
At home in the US, the biggest news was that my great aunt turned 100! My family turned out to celebrate with her, they gave her a big surprise party. Otherwise, it was life as usual for the folks back home it seems.
There was a lot of other news but rather than reliving some of the things we'd probably rather forget, I guess it's time to move on to 2022. So what do you think 2022 will be like? Fingers crossed we can get out of this pandemic, I know there are a lot of people who haven't been able to meet friends and family in person due to travel restrictions and I hope next year that people will be able to meet up again. I imagine next year we'll see more technology, that seems to be changing so fast all the time anyway.
Is there anything you want to do in 2022? I'd like to learn how to bake bread like I see in the bakeries here, guess I'll have to find a good course for that. I'd also like to get my Japanese level up a bit higher, I took the JLPT exam earlier this month but I'm so out of practice that I don't think I did that well. I guess my new year's resolution is to study harder!
I guess we still have a few more days before we have to make our new year's resolutions though, plenty of time to think about what to do in the new year.

Well, enjoy these last few days of 2021 whatever you do, whether it's a bit of travel, spending time with family and friends or getting some quiet “me” time in.
Thank you as well for joining me throughout the year for Life in Fukuoka. I hope the information has been useful and interesting for you.
There will be plenty more of it next year as well, so hopefully we can continue helping you out with information on how to make life a little more comfortable here in Fukuoka City.

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2021.11.22[Mon] 09:00

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【Christmas Events and Illuminations】

You may have noticed that in Japan, the moment Halloween ends, Christmas decorations and promotions show up everywhere. I actually saw one of my local supermarkets getting the Christmas sweet packs out on the floor on Halloween! For me, growing up in the US, holiday decorations didn't go up until we got through Thanksgiving, which in the US is the 4th Thursday of November. This year, that will be this coming Thursday the 25th.  Anyway, in the US, my family would usually get our Christmas tree up the first or second week of December. My dad wasn't the type to rush into these things, we usually bought a live tree and if you put it up too early, by Christmas we'd have lost a lot of pine needles, as we were terrible about remembering to water it. Christmas morning meant stockings, then breakfast and then presents. My sister and I used to wake up so early just to go into the living room to look at the Christmas lights and see all the presents Santa had brought us. In the afternoon, we always went to my aunt's house where the whole family gathered for a potluck, more presents and a couple good games of poker. In Japan, my Christmas is a bit quieter, but I do still put up a tree and decorations. In past years, I'd invite friends around to celebrate with me and I'm hoping to do so this year if everything looks alright. I usually cook a big main meal, a few years back I did Beef Wellington, another year it was ham, I've done roast chicken and most recently I did a beautiful crispy slab of pork belly. Mashed potatoes and gravy are a must, mashed potatoes are easy to make but I know gravy is sometimes a mystery for Japanese people. It's easy to make, the simplest way would be to make a roux with flour and butter. Add a consomme bouillon cube and hot water, mix and simmer until thickened. It will give you an idea of what gravy is. For real gravy though, you need to roast some meat and take the drippings to make the gravy base. I like to add sauteed onions and mushrooms to the gravy and lots of herbs like thyme, sage and parsley. There are recipes online so if you want to try something different for Christmas, just find a recipe that suits your fancy!



Christmas Illuminations

Well, all this talk about Christmas has me all excited for the season now! I guess going out to see some of the Christmas illuminations around the city will put me in the holiday spirit even more. All around Tenjin and Hakata, shops and even some houses are brightly adorned with lights and other holiday decorations. Some places change up their decorations every year with different themes depending on what they are doing and others keep it consistent, and something to look forward to every year. Getting hot wine like at the Christmas market is probably the smarter thing to do. Enjoy the lights and stay warm!



Illuminations Around Fukuoka

There are quite a few places to see Christmas Illuminations around the city and one handy guide for foreigners with that information is Fukuoka Now, a free monthly magazine. There are usually lots of pictures and it's pretty easy to understand where to go. Take a look and head out for those bright lights with your partner, friends, family or even on your own!  You can find the magazine online if you look up Fukuoka Now.



The Christmas Market

I mentioned getting hot wine at the Christmas Market a bit earlier, so if you were wondering about that, well, in Fukuoka, every year from November to December 25th, there are Christmas Markets set up in Hakata and Tenjin that really give you that wonderful cozy winter feeling. It is the largest Christmas Market in Japan, set up over a few different places with stalls lined up under the Christmas decorations and lights. You'll find a range of delicious drinks like hot chocolate and that hot wine I mentioned,  as well as a pretty good menu of foods to try. It's a fun event and this year the markets will be set up at the square in front of Hakata Station and Fureai Hiroba Square in front of Fukuoka City Hall in Tenjin.

There will also be a light up in Nakasu called “Nakasu Kibo no Hikari” which started last year. The trees along the road in Nakasu are lit up from 5pm to midnight, making it another spot to enjoy.

2021.10.25[Mon] 09:00

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Well, as you know, Sunday, October 31st is Halloween! Yay!

The Origins of Halloween

Halloween is a  tradition that originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts that they believed would appear on the night of October 31st.  Nowadays, any connections it had to religion are fading and it has become popular in a number of countries as a time when kids dress up in scary costumes and get sweets, and people enjoy scary events like haunted houses and horror shows. In the US, Halloween is a huge event, people seem to start getting ready for it as soon as September ends. I remember getting really excited for caramel-covered apple flavored lollipops and trips to haunted houses and haunted mazes with my friends when I was in high school and university. When I was even younger in elementary school, planning my costume and then going trick or treating was the highlight of the month. The scary thing was when my father would find my candy bag and eat all the Reeses peanut butter cups. He was, and still is, a chocolate monster!


Halloween In Japan

In Japan, various events are held across the country as the holiday has become more popular and many people often hold parties with their friends. And of course, if it's going to be a Halloween Party, dressing up is an absolute must. Of course a witch or monster costume is typically the standard but in recent years, characters from movies and especially in Japan, from anime or games have become inspiration for many costumes. And as each year has passed, there are more and more ideas making Halloween a great time for all.


Costume Trends This Year

So what is this year's costume trend, I wonder. Well, if you take a look at popular anime and movies on now, you'll probably have a good idea. We had the Olympics and Paralympics this year as well, so you might be able to find costume inspiration there. Naturally, you can't go wrong with a witch or monster costume but you could also try a costume based in reality, dressing up to show the humour of every day situations and how scary things can be. Dress up as a Zoom meeting participant still in your pajamas or someone at a supermarket who forgot to bring a shopping bag and is trying to carry every thing with out one. I'm not quite sure what I'll get up to this year, I have enough stuff in my house to put together a Halloween costume, thanks to Halloweens in years past, but I'm not sure that I'll go out. I actually might just have a little dinner party at home with my partner, there are a lot of fun, spooky recipes online to try. I suggest witches fingers, sausage mummies or deviled egg eyeballs if you are looking for some Halloween party foods. Just search online and you'll see what I'm talking about!


Practice the 3 C's This Halloween!

Like last year, Covid-19 still hasn't let up, which is pretty scary in itself, so make sure you practice the 3 C's as you celebrate Halloween this year, the easiest way of doing that is by holding a online party at home. You can get a ton of different Halloween themed sweets and decorations at the supermarket and convenience store these days and food delivery services have increased since last year so it's actually pretty easy to stay at home. Anyway, stay safe and have a great Halloween whether you celebrate with family or friends.

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  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    特技:I can plan a party at anytime!
    好きな音楽:Almost everything, depends on my mood.