ニューオーリンズ初日 - 1st Day in New Orleans - French Quarter

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<JPN>

ニューオリンズ 2017 - フレンチクォーター

2005年にハリケーンカトリーナで大被害を受けたニューオーリンズに行ってきました。被害の跡があったりするかなと思っていましたが、僕らが歩いた場所では、お墓以外は特に目立った被害の跡はありませんでした。

ニューオーリンズはジャズで知られている場所で、フレンチクォーターでは街の至る所でストリートジャズミュージシャンが演奏していました。

「サウスのホスピタリティ」という格言が米国にはありますが、この場所で出会った地元の人たちは本当に親切で、店に入って道を聞いただけなのに、ランチのプランまで立ててくれるような人たちと数回出会いました。

この場所に一番はまるのは、夜通しできるくらいの体力と、飲んでも飲んでも酔わない!もしくは、酔っても道でぶっ倒れるようなことがない人たちだと思います。街はジャズバーで溢れていて、オレゴンとは違い、お酒を持って外を歩き回っても大丈夫なので、お酒とジャズが好きな人は帰りたくなくなるかもしれないですね。ニューオーリンズシリーズの最後のポストで紹介しますが、今回行ったバーの中で、僕の一番のオススメはこちらのバーです。今ニューオーリンズを旅している人がいたら試してみてください。

<ENG>

New Orleans 2017 - French Quarter

We visited New Orleans this summer. People in this area experienced massive damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, the city and people came back to bring their own unique atmosphere to this place.

This place is known for its famous jazz culture. Locals that I met during this trip enthusiastically talked about their favorite bands and clubs, and pointed us to a few musical experiences during our stay. Our favorite club in this area.

The city offers a typical cool city vibe, however, with jazz musicians' presence on the street corners, the city offers a very unique atmosphere. Also, we visited a few museums that made our experience even richer.

This place is particularly good for young people who want to party at night and people with an interest in jazz music. For me personally, I felt I had experienced enough in the French Quarter after 3 days, so we moved to 20 minutes west o this area for the rest of our stay, which gave us a completely different experience of this city. (Part 2 of New Orleans here.)

The night life might not be for everyone but this place is so vibrant and beautiful and I think that everyone should have a chance to experience it.

 

久ぶりの日本 - It's been a while Japan!

<JPN>

久しぶりの日本!

実はこの写真自体は去年撮っていたのですが、SD カードが見つからず、なかなかアップすることができませんでした。(笑)

この年(2016年)は大阪の箕面から始まり、関西を中心に色々な場所を訪問してみました。

<ENG>

It's been a while Japan!

These pictures were taken last year. I thought I lost my SD card with these pictures but I recently found it! (phew)

Last year, I started my journey in Minoh (箕面) Osaka. I used to live here but hardly ever walked around to see the beauty of it. This time, I was on my bicycle to get around its back alleys to see more of this place.

箕面の地ビール!"STOUT”は、ヨーロッパで賞をとったりして、かなり有名らしいです。いろんな種類があって美味しかった〜。

Local brewery in Minoh! Their beers (particularly STOUT) won awards in European contests for a few years straight.

箕面の滝は、阪急箕面駅の目の前からハイキングトレールがあるため、観光目的で来る人も多いです。滝の写真が撮りたい人は、朝早くに出ないと、人が多いため良い写真が撮りにくいかも。(上の写真は下の部分を切っていますが、僕が行った12時頃には、すでに人を入れずに景色全部を入れることは不可能でした(涙))

Minoh waterfall hiking trail starts right by Hankyu Minoh station. This is probably one of the most popular sightseeing places in this area. If you want to take a picture of the entire waterfall, I recommend visiting this place very early in the morning. I got there around 12 PM, and there was no way for me to take a picture without having a bunch of people in it.

この年に訪れたレストランの中で1番好きなカフェエズ!!メガネのレビューをしたブログポストもここで撮らせてもらいました。レビューのポストの写真には、一階の雰囲気が出ていると思います。店長のヨシさんとカズヨさんもすごくお人柄がよく、楽しい時間を過ごさせてもらいました。なんとなく雰囲気が海外っぽくて、海外生活をしているとすごく落ち着く感じがします。

My favorite restaurant from my 2016 Japan visit. Cafe EZE has a great vibe of abroad (which might not be something you are looking for if you are visiting from outside Japan, but I liked it). I used this place to take photos for my glasses review. That post captures the first floor of this restaurant, if you want to see more. The owners (Yoshi-san and Kazuyo-san) are such friendly people, and we had a great time spending time here.

<JPN>

日本に帰ってきて一番びっくりしたのが、耐えきれないほどの湿気です。まさかここまで酷いとは思っていなかったため、いつも旅行に行く時と同じくらいしか持ってこなかったのですが、二日目からTシャツを買いに行かなくてはいけないほど暑いです。

オレゴンは、気温自体は大阪より高くても湿気がないため、動いてないのに息苦しい。。。ということはないので、夏はアメリカの方が過ごしやすいですね。

なお、日本の夏になれていると、アメリカに行った時の朝晩と、日中の気温の違いにびっくりするので準備の際はご注意を。(朝晩はジャケットが欲しいことがしばしばあります。)

 

<ENG>

One thing I wasn’t too prepared for (and frankly nobody can be prepared for) is the humidity in Japan. It’s so interesting how this part of Japan is not as hot compared to Oregon, yet I sweat all the time even when I’m not moving around.

If anybody is thinking about coming to Japan, make sure to pack at least a few extra t-shirts. Once your t-shirt gets wet, it never really gets dry as long as you're wearing it. Also, there is almost no temperature change at night, so it is all heat, all the time. Do make sure wherever you are staying has a solid air conditioner, otherwise, you will be exhausted from sleep deprivation.

I never really thought about this but coming back from a different country, I find that Japan really is a beautiful place to be.

日食 in オレゴン - Eclipse

<JPN>

オレゴンで日食を見た

今年は、オレゴンで皆既日食がありました。本当はバイクでカナダへキャンプに行く予定でしたが、オレゴンで過去最高の交通渋滞が起こり、ハイウェイが全く動かなくなってしまうということだったので断念。バンクーバーでのキャンプは逃しましたが、その代わりに(オレゴンでは)一生に一度という皆既日食を見てきました。

少し北上すれば100%重なっているところが見れますが、99%は見れるという大学のキャンパスからでもオッケーと判断。「おっ」という瞬間はわずか2分ほどしかないとはいえ、朝10時にもかかわらず、だんだん周りが暗くなり、薄暗いオレンジのフィルターをかけたようになっていく様子には不気味さを感じ、科学者がいなかった頃は、人はこれ見てパニックになってたんだろうな。。とか考えてました。

今回は写真を撮ると思ってなかったので、日食用のメガネをレンズに乗せた状態で撮っていますが、もし次回機会があれば、レンズのフィルターをそれ用のものにして写真を撮ってきたいと思います。

<ENG>

Eclipse in Oregon

We had a total eclipse here in Oregon this year. I was planning on going up to Canada on my motorcycle during this time to camp with my friends. Unfortunately, we were expecting a million visitors for this event, and I-5 was expected to come to a complete stop, so I had to give this plan. (Nobody wants to stuck in a traffic on their motorcycle in a state where riding between cars are illegal.)

This gave me an opportunity to hang out with my family and friends to watch this "once in lifetime" (in Oregon) total eclipse from my home campus. We thought about going up to Corvallis for 100% totality but we decided to stay in Eugene as we were able to see 98-99% totality from here.

A moment of "OMG" lasts about a minute and half, which goes to show how fast things are moving in outer space. Still, the gradual change to darkness with an orange filter-like color, and the temperature drop, was very uncanny. This experience made me think how people reacted to this event before science explained what it was.

Smithsonian - Washington D.C.

DSC04608Today's post is a guest post by @rosesandsaffron!

Recently I took a trip to Washington D.C. and had a chance to visit some of the Smithsonian museums as well as famous landmarks. It was SO much fun!! I ended up coming back to the mall again for another day of wandering around. I've been to the various Smithsonian museums several times over the years actually, and yet I never get tired of them.There's still so much more I want to see. This trip featured a brief stop in Air and Space and a much longer stop in Natural History. Naturally I brought my camera along, and I hope you'll enjoy the pictures!

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From the air and space museum - not the actual lunar landing module but one built just like it that never made it up into space, and...a plane that I embarrassingly forgot the name of. Can anyone help me out?

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From the marine life exhibit at the Natural History museum. This exhibit featured a lot of cool things - there was also a real (preserved, not alive) giant squid. I took a picture of that too but it looked like something out the X-Files so it didn't make it to public consumption.

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The open area right when you come in the museum. I LOVE elephants - I think they are such amazing, kind, intelligent animals. So, guess what I took a lot of time taking pictures of!

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The bones exhibit was surprisingly cool - look at the snake ribs!!

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The is a mummified bull. The info said it would have been considered sacred and taken care of very well. Who among the people and animals at that time would have ever thought it would have ended up unearthed and in a museum thousands of years later?

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The dino fossil exhibit was sadly under renovation, but I still got to see a few. I have so many more photos to dig through and post - there was an amazing exhibit on rocks, minerals, and gemstones I spent a lot of time in too! Plus other pictures from around Washington D.C. and in Virginia, so look forward to some more guests posts from me!

Xoxo, Roses&Saffron

Oregon Country Fair - Unique Acceptance

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<ENG> This is my third time to visit the Oregon Country Fair. This place is so unique, and nothing (that I have experienced) comes close to the experience I have in this place. This place has a unique atmosphere where you feel that anything goes. People are very kind and friendly, and they are willing to accept anything that you want to be.

<JPN> 今年はオレゴンに来て3度目のカントリーフェアに行ってきました。ここは、本当にユニークで、日本やニュージーランドで経験したどんな体験も同じようなものはない場所です。この場所の売りは、何と言っても人の温かさと、どんなことも受け入れてくれる懐の深さ。日本で育ったからかは分からないですが、周りからどのように見られるか。。ということを気にしてしまう自分にとっては、ここの雰囲気というのは正直アメリカに来るよりもカルチャーショックが強かったです。

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<ENG>As soon as you goes through the entrance, there is just beautiful nature and trails where you find a tons of booths with hand-crafted accessaries and outfits. They can be slightly pricy but it’s understandable when you think about how much time they might have spent to craft them. Each booth reminded me of the Saturday Market in downtown Eugene. It's just bigger, and the Country Fair trails seem to be the perfect fit for the whimisical items for sale.

There is music everywhere, and many people dresss up for this event. (You might have more fun dressing up yourself to really embrace the fair atmosphere, but this is not a requirement by any means. Like I said earlier, they are very accepting.)

<JPN>ゲートをくぐると、もう完全に自分が普段過ごしている世界とは別物。四方八方から様々なジャンルの音楽が聞こえ、びっくりするようなコスチュームを着ている人(もしくは殆ど服を着ていない人)がフェアを楽しんでいます。各コスチュームに一定の決まりのようなものは全くなく、完全に自分!というものを楽しんでいる様子。また、トレールの両側には所狭しとブースが並び、各ブースでは、手作りのアクセサリーや服などが販売されています。値段は少し高いような気もしますが、作成にかかった時間などを考えるとそれなりに納得はできる値段だと思います。

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<ENG>This is a very unique place where one can truly be themselves. Do you want to dress up to be a character from DragonBall? Go for it! You’ve always wanted to be topless in public but are too self-conscious because you are not perfectly fit? Who cares! I have seen all kinds of people at this event. Everyone seems to truly enjoy the diversity, and seems to appreciate each individaul for who they are.

First time I was at this place at the age of 21, I thought I had a bigger cultural shock than when I came to the United States. However, now that I am older, I felt like there is a lot to like about this place, the atmosphere, and the general spirit. I’m already looking forwad to visiting again next year!

<JPN>この場所の一番良いと思うところは、どんな格好をしていても受け入れてくれる雰囲気です。こんなに自由な場所は先進国ではなかなかないのではないかと思います。日本人でいきなりこの雰囲気に溶け込むのは難しいと思いますが、オレゴンを経験されるのであれば、ぜひ参加されると良いと思います。チケットは結構早くに売り切れてしまうので、7月のフェアに向けて早めの準備をオススメします。

UO Ducks Begins

DSC_4191<ENG>Just hopped in to watch the spring game for the Oregon Ducks. I've never attended this game before, however, according to people who know well about this event, this year the stadium was amazingly packed. To get in, you need to bring some canned food that they will donate to Food for Lane County. This alone is a good reason to go to this event.

<JPN>初めてダックス スプリングゲームに行ってきました。このゲームでは新しく加入したメンバーがどのようなプレーができるかを見ることができます。前回までと比べると参加人数が劇的に増えたようで、来年から参加される方は、車での入場を待つより歩く方がオススメです。入場には缶詰を持参し、入場時に渡すのですが、わたした缶詰は Food for Lane County に寄付されます。食べ物がない人の役に立てて、ゲームも観れるのであれば最高ですよね。

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<ENG>This kid knows how to rock foot ball games.

<JPN>アメフトの楽しみ方を熟知した子供。

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<ENG>If you look around, there are many events we can attend even around Eugene area. I have been trying out 4 months of "experiments" to explore the world starting with Oregon. My goal is to go around the world, and take everybody with me via this blog. Thanks for everybody's support, and let's make the most of our lives.

<JPN>少し探すだけで Eugene 内でも参加できるイベントはたくさんありました。今4ヶ月間の「Experiment」をしています。4ヶ月の間は、時間が許す限りオレゴン内を旅してみようと思います。(アメリカは広大なため、オレゴンだけでもかなりの範囲になります)現時点のゴールとしては、世界中を旅し、このブログを通してみんなを連れて行きたいと思っています。本当にリーダーの皆さんにはいつもサポート頂き感謝しています。一度しかない人生を思いっきり楽しみましょう!

オレゴンでの日曜日 - Sunday in Oregon

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<English>

I love the image of going into a local bakery on Sunday. Maybe this is how I envisioned what “foreign living” would be like. Yes, it might be cliche but, TV shows like “Friends” were really my idea of what I would experience in the U.S. The reality was a little different. It was living the same life in English, and in a different culture.

It’s probably the same going to Japan. You probably have an image of temples and buddism that we see in the movies. It’s a part of Japan, but you will find yourself in super busy big city. Living in the foreign country was not exactly what I thought, however, it doesn’t mean I cannot make it close to what I thought it was. (After all, life is what you make of, right?)

I learned that the trick to have the lifestyle that I dreamt of is not to change the location but to change the way I live and view my lifestyle. So, here is my attempt to change my Sundays a little from what they have been, and attempt to make my life how I want to live. Life is too short to not try the best lifestyle I want to have!

<Japanese>

日曜日に地元のコーヒーストアで美味しいコーヒーを飲み、地元のパン屋さんでフランスパンを買って帰ってくる - というイメージがアメリカに来る前の僕のアメリカ生活のイメージでした。

残念ながら、アメリカに実際に来ると、イメージとは全く違い「日本の生活を英語と異文化の中でやる」という生活を数年間過ごしました。僕が間違えていた部分は、アメリカに来たからアメリカの生活ができるというところです。十年近くの回り道をしましたが、実際には、今までの自分の生活を見直し、アメリカの生活に溶け込む努力をするから、イメージ通りの生活ができるのではないかな?と思います。

バイクでコーヒーストアとパン屋をめぐり、自分が描いていた「アメリカ生活」を送れるよう、毎日生活の見直しをしています。人生は一度限りで思ったよりも全然短いものだと感じます。後悔しないように、毎日自分の夢見たイメージに近づけるように努力しようと思います。

First Comicon in Eugene

DSC_1352 Eugene had its first Comicon in November 2015! I went to enjoy the fun events and amazing cosplays (and support a new local event of course). I was so impressed with everyone's costumes - from funny to serious, babies to adults, and low-budget to professional. Next year I'm totally dressing up! I haven't decided what to go as, though, so if you have any ideas throw them my way!!

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Fun Activity - Motorcycle

DSC_0781 I got my motorcycle license this year and have been having so much fun on my bike ever since! I used to ride a motorcycle in Japan, but got into an accident and stopped for a long time. When I finally decided to get my license here in the U.S., I was surprised how easy it was. (Getting the license, not necessarily driving the motorcycle, although I remembered how eventually.) I didn't really think I'd ride a bike again, but I decided to take a calculated risk. I wanted to enjoy riding again, even if it can be dangerous, knowing that to me the risk is worth the reward. I have been having such a great time taking my little bike all over town and out for country rides. It's such a great way to see our beautiful state, and it feels so free! But definitely, at all times, wear a helmet!!

When choosing my biking gear, I did a lot of research on safety features. Of course, I wanted it all to be fashionable too! I got a lot of fun things online (like my helmet/goggles), and also found a great local store with nice gear and super friendly service. I'm still always on the hunt for good bike gear, so let me know if you have any suggestions! DSC_0930 DSC_0830 DSC_0852 DSC_0895 DSC_0858