Podcast: small rural town in Japan

Episode from Hidemi’s Rambling  by Hidemi Woods 
 
Audiobook 1 : Japanese Dream by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. 
 
Audiobook 2 : My Social Distancing and Naked Spa in Japan by Hidemi Woods On Sale at online stores or apps. 
 
Apple Books, Audible, Google Play, Nook Audiobooks,  43 available distributors in total. 
 
 
 
Let me report how a small rural town I live in has been lately. Since  there are many skiing slopes in the town, the forlorn main street has  ski lodges, B and Bs, souvenir shops and rental ski shops. Quite a few  had been out of business as the skiing boom was gone. One out of every  three shops is closed now along the street. The other day I found that  my favorite shop there hung a sign saying ‘For Rent’. The shop was my  dream shop that carried imported foods and goods from U.S. Imported  merchandise is usually costly, but that shop sold selected Costco-brand  foods at almost the same prices at Costco or sometimes lower prices.  Considering the membership fee at Costco, they cost less here. The stamp  card of the shop was also magical. They gave the customers stamps  according to the sum of purchase and the accumulated stamps were  exchanged for the merchandise. Those stamps were ridiculously easy to be  collected and I couldn’t count how many bottles of salsa I got for  free. In addition, the shop often held a prize drawing event. The  drawing always came out with a prize and I got numerous freebies such as  pouches and stuffed animals. I had never left the shop without  something free in my bag. It was almost charity for me and I felt the  more I shopped, the more the shop was in the red. That maybe proved  true. The shop has been closed for good and sadly my strange rule that  my favorite place is almost certainly to be out of business worked again  just as I had been afraid of. The number of children in the town has  decreased and several schools were merged into one. That one school is  also small and the local bus started to be partly operated as a school  bus. Noisy kids rush in the bus in the afternoon and I can’t use it any  more. My favorite modern restaurant in town has had more and more closed  days. Now it closes on three days of weekdays and opens only for three  hours each on the remaining two weekdays. One of the B and Bs on the  main street newly got out of business and came into the market. The  price was unbelievably low. Even so, nobody bought it and the price got  even lower. It’s less than a tenth of a typical house price for three  times the space of a typical house. It was cheap enough for me to think  of running a B and B myself.

Free download of Kindle ebook! July2nd~6th “Diary of The Hottest Summer in Tokyo by Hidemi Woods”

Diary of The Hottest Summer in Tokyo / Hidemi Woods

There is no formal casino in Japan. Instead, there are innumerable pachinko parlors all over Japan. A pachinko is a very popular Japanese gambling game that is partly like pinball and partly like slot. They buy small silver balls to play with, and the machine brings out the balls if they win. They exchange the balls for money or items like cigarettes and chocolates. For some reason, it’s not allowed to exchange directly for money. They get a certain strange item with their balls once, and exchange it for money at a small dark hut behind the building. A pachinko parlor is sort of a mix of a casino and a game arcade. It has a large number of pachinko machines side by side in aisles and exists around almost everywhere people live.Sadly, it doesn’t make people a millionaire. By playing all day, they win a few hundred dollars at most. As for me, I’ve never played a pachinko in my life. My life itself is awfully like gambling and I’m bogged down with it completely…

Diary of The Hottest Summer in Tokyo: My Apartment Hunting, New Song and Costco / Hidemi Woods

lucky or unlucky

When I left for Costco yesterday, it started raining slightly. I thought how unlucky I was. I could have returned home but I didn’t want to waste my time to have prepared for going out and went on. By the time I got off the bus to walk to Costco for the rest of the way, it had stopped raining. There seemed a big downpour during my bus ride. I may have been lucky after all. On my way home, I missed the bus. I thought how unlucky I was, again. But by taking the next bus, my subsequent connections for the train and the buss went incredibly smoothly. I may have been lucky again.

When I went to bed that night, I felt numb in my left arm and I feared that I would die from a stroke during my sleep. Thinking how unlucky I was, I fell asleep…

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

I’m a super weak person.

I got up 1 p.m. and when I arrived at Costco after walking to the station and taking a train and a bus, it was already 7 p.m. By the time I finished shopping and started back home, I felt exhausted because of heat, humidity and the long trip.

Platforms of the train station were packed with commuters although it was 9 p.m. They were waiting for the train, standing squeezing each other and almost spilling over from the platform. I was sitting on a bench at the platform to take a rest and watching them get on the train, crammed and holding a strap.

I was impressed by their physical strength. They get up early in the morning, commute all the way, work all day long and still have this energy left, while I get up in the afternoon, go shopping and rest on a bench waiting for the less crowded train. To me, this is a once- or twice-a-month thing, but they are doing this every day! Are they human beings with mighty power? Or, I’m a super weak person. Can I withstand all summer like this…?

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

heartburn again

I successfully got up earlier than usual enough to shop at Costco before it closed for the day yesterday. It was my first time to shop there in the evening and the store was a lot less crowded and easier to move around with its gigantic cart because housewives in large numbers had gone home. I bought huge squares of garlic bread with a coupon, which price was about a quarter of the one at regular bakeries in Japan. After shopping, I had a slice of the delicious pizza outside the store watching the beautiful twilight sky.

To go home, I need to walk for 15 minutes to the bus stop and take the bus to the train station before I take the train. When I was walking along the street toward the bus stop, I was passed by three buses in succession only several yards off to the bus stop. I thought I would have to wait for the next bus for a long time but two buses came in succession right away. This local bus line has the world’s largest services, I guess.

I came home and tried a piece of the garlic bread. It was so delicious but soon, I had heartburn. I had another piece for lunch today and had heartburn again. If it doesn’t suit my digestion, what should I do with the massive rest of the bread…?

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

Costco is beginning to take control of my life

Since I shopped at Costco for the first time, I’ve been still in shock at their low prices and thinking about it all the time. I had decided to move out this apartment after getting some signs for that and had narrowed down the possible areas. But none of them has Costco nearby. I can’t give up the pleasure to shop at those low prices. And it’s a rare store where I can get products from the U.S. that I really like. Inside Costco, there is a very small, compact America. It’s the easiest way to visit the U.S., in a way. Now that I knew Costco and became a member, I should move to the area close enough to shop there. So, my selection of the place to live went back to the starting point. Costco is beginning to take control of my life…

 

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

exhausted by the end of his birthday

It was my partner’s birthday yesterday. I got up early, put out prepared foods we got at Costco, opened a bottle of sparkling wine and celebrated with a pound cake also from Costco. We watched some comedy shows. I made every effort to fill the party with fun. In the end, my partner asked me to relax and act normally. He felt pressured to have fun because of my tension and begged me to make him pressure-free on this particular day. I tend to go overboard on everything. To me, nothing is ever enough and I feel something missing all the time. I spend a lot of energy looking for the missing piece which may or may not exist. And as usual, I was exhausted by the end of his birthday…

 

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

die from a stroke

When I left for Costco yesterday, it started raining slightly. I thought
 how unlucky I was. I could have returned home but I didn’t want to 
waste my time to have prepared for going out and went on. By the time I
got off the bus to walk to Costco for the rest of the way, it had  
stopped raining. There seemed a big downpour during my bus ride. I may 
have been lucky after all. On my way home, I missed the bus. I thought  
how unlucky I was, again. But by taking the next bus, my subsequent  
connections for the train and the buss went incredibly smoothly. I may  
have been lucky again. When I went to bed that night, I felt numb in my
left arm and I feared that I would die from a stroke during my sleep.  
Thinking how unlucky I was, I fell asleep…

from Tumblr https://hidemiwoods.tumblr.com/post/185990047872

super weak person 6/29

I got up 1 p.m. and when I arrived at Costco after walking to the station and taking a train and a bus, it was already 7 p.m. By the time I finished shopping and started back home, I felt exhausted because of heat, humidity and the long trip. Platforms of the train station were packed with commuters although it was 9 p.m. They were waiting for the train, standing squeezing each other and almost spilling over from the platform. I was sitting on a bench at the platform to take a rest and watching them get on the train, crammed and holding a strap. I was impressed by their physical strength. They get up early in the morning, commute all the way, work all day long and still have this energy left, while I get up in the afternoon, go shopping and rest on a bench waiting for the less crowded train. To me, this is a once- or twice-a-month thing, but they are doing this every day! Are they human beings with mighty power? Or, I’m a super weak person. Can I withstand all summer like this…?