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I forgot to mention, before I went to the US I got a brand new camera, a Nikon D5100, to replace my point-and-shoot and the D-40 pair I had been using. I’m sacrificing carrying a camera at all times, and instead will use my iPhone for daily pictures and take the D5100 for trips and other things. I’m so happy with it, it has been fun learning it and it takes great pictures!

So after getting back from the US, we mostly just relaxed, but Brandt and Scott invited us to a taiko performance at a camp up in the mountains, so we took the motorcycle out there and spent a nice afternoon (well, a hot one, but it was still nice) watching taiko and motorcycling around the area.

At first everyone sat up in front, but the heat proved too much for many of the families, so everyone moved back into the shade. I felt bad for the taiko players, though… THEY couldn’t move!

We went for the shade right away…

The view was really nice!

They allowed everyone to try it out… it was cute to see the kids try!

One final performance, then we said goodbyes and headed out to a river to cool off

We’ve been here before, but it is always nice to go back!

Kenji and his pride and joy ;p

Later on in the month, Kenji’s parents came for a visit. They stayed for us a few days, then headed to Tohoku. We took them shopping, since Kenji’s mom wanted fabric for a yukata, and also out to eat Tonkatsu.

The local kimono shop in Piago

Kenji’s parents at the restaurant and grinding the seeds for the sauce!

We have a new ALT in Fujioka named Sarah, so we all met for a yummy indian food lunch one weekend. I usually check the local Off House for kimono stuff, and came across a gorgeous silk kimono for a decent price, and couldn’t resist. I love the colors!


Summer storms and Shinmachi fireworks are next:

The sky looking angry

And a really windy rainy video! (click to watch)

Shinmachi Fireworks

Last up is the Aussie Deli burger from McDonalds… not too bad, actually!