It's been difficult, but I have recently laced up my shoes and have begun running again. I was having a lot of motivation problems lately and just haven't felt the ambition to get out there. In August I applied for a spot in the 2010 Tokyo Marathon. I wasn't holding my breathe since I had about a one i six shot of getting in since there was a lottery. Much to my surprise though, last week I received an email saying I had a spot.It is on February 28, 2010. That's a Saturday. This will be my second full marathon and my first major one. I have a little more than four months to train and this time around I hope to take the training a little more serious than for my last marathon. I completed the last one without any problems, but I know I can push myself to do better this time around.
Long story short, I've been out on the road several times this week. Twice, running home after my Japanese class. It is about a 5 km run back home, but i have to do it with a fairly heavy pack on my back. Hopefully the training will continue and I will find my legs again.
Last weekend, I went to Osaka-fu with my wife. We were staying with some of her family for the weekend. it was a great rural experience. they live in a very small farming village called Nakamura. It just happened that on that weekend there was a large matsuri or festival. This village as well as more than a dozen surrounding villages were having a harvest festival. Groups of men from every village would push a danjiri, or portable shrine, throughout the streets of the village, singing, dancing and praying. They would begin around 6 am and continue into the night. The Nakamura danjiri stopped at the house next to where I was staying for a break. The men pushing it were refueling with tea, snacks and morning beers!
While in the country last weekend, we picked some sweet potatoes and soy beans to take home. It is Fall in Japan and sweet potatoes are a big deal here. Most bakeries carry seasonal treats baked using sweet potato. A few nights ago, Mai made sweet potato muffins at home. they were awesome. A great breakfast treat.
You can see what they looked like when they were fresh out of the oven. Many people also collect chestnuts and make seasonal baked goods with those as well. Yu can find both sweet potato and chestnut breads, cakes, muffins, etc., throughout the area.
Two Fridays ago, after work, I stopped in Sannomiya. Sannomiya is the main downtown area of Kobe. I was there to pick up a new camera. I purchased a Sanyo Xacti HD which will make my You Tube video making better. Mai and I needed a bite to eat so we wandered through the crowded back streets of Sannomiya looking for a restaurant. We stumbled across a Korean style bbq restaurant and decided to give it a try.
Korean food is really quite expensive when you are outside of Korea, but this place was reasonable. The meat was delicious, but the servings a little small. Grilled beef and a beer is a great way to finish up the week.
Great looking food grilled on hot coals. Although, I don't normally miss Korea very much, I do miss the food. Korean food is great and it was always so affordable to eat out at restaurant. It is no surprise that many foreigners who move to South Korea to teach and work, normally never cook at home. They don't have to because Korea has such an amazing restaurant culture. The food is cheap and good.