Saturday, 10 December 2016

Winter Scenes

December 9, 2016

Here in Japan, we are heading into winter.  My friends in the far north are already experiencing snow, and here in Yamagata-ken in Tohoku we are just starting our snowy winter.  Our local mountains are covered in the white stuff and we are all looking out our rubber boots and warm woolies. As a person from Edmonton in Canada, I don't find the winter here cold, but I often am surprised by the amount of snow we receive.

In another Blog Linky Party entry, I mentioned Mt. Zao and how it borders two prefectures here in the north.  The Yamagata card featuring Mount Zao shows the "Juhyo" or Ice Monsters.  This website, about halfway down the page, describes how they are made.

This is a postcard of the "real" Ice Monsters on it.  They are rather beautiful aren't they?

Winter Festivals are all over the northern part of Japan.  Probably the most famous one is the Sapporo Snow Festival at the beginning of February, but there is another one in February.  Akita Prefecture has the Yokote Kamakura Festival on February 15 and 16.  Part of the festival involves buildings called kamakura made out of snow, rather like igloos, all over the city. There is usually an altar set up inside the kamakura at which people pray to the god of water.  

Sadly, I don't have any postcard/photographs of the real kamakura in Yokote, but I do have this other artistic card of one.  I am posting it because I think that it is rather beautiful!

The winter here in Northern Japan can be rather fierce and anything that helps people get through it enjoyably is great in my books! 

Please visit the other members of the Blog Linky Party to see what fabulous cards they have posted about winter.  Thanks for visiting me here in cold Northern Japan.  Brrr!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Germany - Books

November 28, 2016

This cool card came to me from Germany recently.  The sender wrote a note on the back, but some of it is a little hard to read.  Hope this makes sense!

He wrote,

"Dear Helen,
I send you some greetings from Rejensburg in Bavaria, Steffen
'Grass doesn't grow faster if you pull it' (African saying)"

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


November 28, 2016

I got this interesting card from Latvia, it was sent by a woman named Santa.  She wrote a little about the card, which is great, because I don't read Latvian!

She wrote,
"Hello Helen,
greetings from Latvia!
My name is Santa, I'm 28. On the front is a recipe for traditional Latvian food we eat during Summer Solstice festivals.  It's homemade cheese with caraway seeds.  I hope you'll like the card! Best wishes,

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Netherlands - Actor

November 28, 2016

This card arrived in the mail from Sander in the Netherlands.  He wrote a lovely note on the back and used a Postcrossing stamp, so what's not to like?

He wrote,

"Hello Helen,
Greetings from Groningen, a city in the north of the Netherlands.  My name is Sander, work at the university.  I love movies too!  I visited Japan once, a few years , I was in Tokyo only, saw a few movies at the Tokyo Film Festival.  A lot of my favourite movies are from the 1970's: Jaws, Marathon Man, The French Connection, Deliverance, The Conversation, Chinatown, Das Boot, The Taking of Pelham 123 and more.  Great Period for movies!

Best Wishes,

Han Solo
 This is one of the Postcrossing stamps from the Netherlands.  Very cool to receive it.

Monday, 5 December 2016


November 26, 2016

I had a little bit of a challenge with this card.  The sender wrote it entirely in French.  My French is terribly rusty and completely confused with my feeble Japanese ability, so I had to turn to Google Translate for an explanation.  Please don't blame me if the translation isn't correct!

Loïc wrote,

Bien le bon jour de brumaire ma chere Helen.  De prime abord j'espere que hi te portes comme un charme en, cette periode automnale et que celle-ci te sied aisément.  Je me present, je m'applle Loïc S. et suis enchanté de faire ta connaissance via ce canal ce communication un soupcon dèsuet mais ò combien agréable..N'est-ce pas?! Sur cette missive succinete, je te salue bien bas..Bons baisers des Hauts - de- france


Well the good day of brumaire my dear Helen. At first glance I hope that you are charmed in this autumn period and that it suits you easily. I introduce myself, I call Loïc S. and am delighted to meet you via this channel this communication a suspicion soon but ò how agreeable..Isn't ?! On this succinct missive, I greet you low .. Good kisses of the Hauts - de - france


A beautiful stamp too...

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Lighthouse Link-Up

December 2, 2016

I only have a couple of Gotochi Cards for you today.  The subjects of today's Linky Blog Party are Lighthouses.  I was only able to find three Gotochi cards for today, but will only show off two shaped cards and a bonus.

The first isn't exactly a lighthouse, but it looks a lot like one! It symbolizes a lighthouse to the landlocked city of Kyoto.  I have been to Kyoto and was probably very close to this tower, but I don't remember it at all.

Here is the website of The Kyoto Tower.  The building includes a hotel, restaurants and even a public bath.

The second Gotochi card shows a lighthouse, but it is in the background of the card.  If we ever feature trains on postcards, I will probably post this card again! The card represents the Choshi Electric Railway Line, a 6.4 km railway line.  It was popular at one time with people who wanted to watch the first sunrise of the year along the coast. I believe that the lighthouse in the card is the Inubosaki Lighthouse, which was designed and built by Richard Henry Brunton, a Scottish Civil Engineer.

For a more local view of a lighthouse I present this one...

This is a picture of a lighthouse in the next city, Sakata.  It is still a working port and there are often ships from other parts of the world visiting.  I believe that this isn't a "real" lighthouse, it is a tourist attraction in Hiyoriyama Park.

Thank you for joining me for this look at lighthouses. I'm from a completely landlocked area of the world, so lighthouses are not a thing that I am very familiar with. They are fascinating though.  Please feel free to visit the other members of the Linky Blog Party.  Until next time!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Japan...No,...France! No, Japan!

November 25, 2016

I received this French postcard from a postcrosser in Japan.  There is a reason she sent it though...

Nadine wrote,

"Hello Helen from Kyoto!
Here is a view of my hometown in France (near Switzerland) a beautiful place.  All the best, Nadine."

Add caption
 Nadine used the special International Letter Writing Week postcard stamp, which is actually worth more than she had to pay for a within Japan postcard.  However, I very rarely receive this stamp so I appreciate it.