Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Family Mart

Friday Morning Folly 

Dave and I discovered a couple months ago that our PASMO Card (train card) could be used to pay for purchases at certain stores. The most important places it can be used is at the numerous convenience stores. Like Family Mart. This is a picture of the Family Mart I probably frequent the most. It is in Zushi and about a block from the train station. This is where our Friday Morning Folly occurred.  

Let me back up a second and set the stage. Today is an American Federal Holiday observing Veteran’s Day. Dave needed to go into work because his Japanese employees were working a normal day. However, he didn’t have to be in so early. Instead of a 3:50am reveille, we could snooze until 5:15am with the goal to be running by 6:00am. Easy day. 

We grabbed our ID cards and PASMO Card (one required and the other just in case) and headed out for our run at 6:02am. We ran down to Zushi Beach hoping to catch a view of Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately, the morning was not clear enough. 

We doubled back and decided to stop at the Family Mart to grab food for lunch. Then we would just take the train home. Here’s where it’s important to remember the PASMO Card can be used at convenience stores. We grabbed our goodies and I whipped out my Passmo to pay. I was a total champion at this point. 

Side note: the cheeseburger is for me! It’s one of my lunchtime favorites. If you want, they will even heat it for you. 

I tapped my PASMO Card for the ¥1252 purchase. 

And then I saw my balance ¥88. Oh, shizzle. It cost ¥130 to train home. Dang it! Well, looks like I’m running home. Dave asked if I had any coins on me. Nope. Take the bag. I’ll see you at the gate. 

It was exactly a mile from station to main gate running the most direct route possible. I was hoping to beat the train. I didn’t. Dave was waiting for me at the main gate. The Japanese security guard asked why my husband was already here. Ha! Because I didn’t have enough money on my train card. He laughed, too! 

Want to know what’s even funnier? On my run home, as I passed the park, I found ¥100 piece on the road! Nicely beat up from being run over repeatedly. If only I found it a mile earlier! 

I’m usually pretty good about having my train card charged. I apparently forgot about my two trips to Tokyo this week! Nonetheless, a valuable lesson was learned without dire consequences. Happy Friday! Kanpie! 


Nothing taste better on a warm humid summer day than a cool refreshing watermelon. Fruit in Japan is beautiful and expensive. For example, the large watermelon at Costco was ¥2,378 (about $23.00). 

At our local grocery store, Yorkmart, there were more size options. The larger one was ¥3,218 including tax! That’s more than $30 for a watermelon! Don’t you love how they are wrapped for easier carrying? Genius!! 

The store also sold a variety of watermelon pieces. 

I selected a smaller watermelon from Family Mart for us to enjoy. The price (¥650 – $6.00) seemed a little better and the size was perfect. 

Plenty of delicious watermelon for us to enjoy for a refreshing dessert. 

In June, I was able to find watermelon Chu-hai at the 7-11. I had dreams of making a nice watermelon spritzer by pouring a watermelon Chu-hai over with freshly frozen watermelon. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find watermelon Chu-hai since I returned from America. I suppose, I’ll need to wait until next year for that delightful beverage. 

Life’s a Beach

Finally, we had a break in the clouds today. Dina and I made plans to visit a beach. Our goal was to check out Tateishi Park, a Hayama beach, and hopefully collect sea glass. 

When we arrived at the beach, a U.S. jet flew overhead. It was a beautiful sound of freedom. Jet noise at the beach. For a minute, I thought I had been transported home! The beach itself was mostly pebbles vice sand. We were both able to find a good collection of sea glass. Maybe you notice we had a friend with us today. We sprung Dina’s youngest out of school because she had an orthodontist appointment. After her appointment, we all headed to the beach. It was a much needed quiet beach time for everyone!

We had fun walking the beach, climbing the rocks, looking in the tide pools, and sea glass hunting. Even though Eme was missing school, I used every opportunity to give her a science lesson! 

We also learned a valuable lesson abou the sea hawks. On our way, we stopped at a Family Mart to buy lunch to eat on the beach. We didn’t finish it all and left it on the blanket while we hunted for sea glass. Rookie mistake! When we returned, we discovered the sea hawks had invaded! They ate my crackers and Eme’s steam buns! Those rascals!! Oh, well. The day was too gorgeous not to laugh it off. 

The sea glass, broken pottery, and a couple of shells I collected. 

Fish Heads

I went out for a little bit of urban exploring today. Dave and I have been running the same route for our long runs for a while now. To add miles, we will add an extra loop here or there. There is one area where the road goes through a tunnel and is closed to pedestrians. At this location, we simply turn around. We have wondered where the side trail might lead. I decided to take the train into Zushi and then walk over to the area to investigate.

First I made a stop at Zushi Beach. It was a beautiful day.

The first path I checked out led me to a beautiful area. Surfers and paddle boarders use this passage as an access to the area around the point of Zushi Beach.

As always, stairs!

The other path led me to the fancy neighborhood near Ōsaki Park. It was a steep uphill climb. There were a few special treats at the top. The first, Mt. Fuji.

The second, blooming shamrocks.

The third, cherry blossoms starting to bloom!

There were only a few trees in this grove. None the less, I felt the first signs of spring fever! Honestly, this has been a delightful winter. Mostly sunny skies and very mild temperatures. However, I’m very excited to experience the beauty of the spring blooms. I had to make myself stop taking pictures of the blossoms. They were so beautiful and the light was perfect.

One last picture of Mt. Fuji before I tell you about the fish heads.

So, fish heads. After my urban hike, I was ready for a snack. I needed to head to main base via the train to pick up the car after having the oil changed. I stopped at Family Mart. Family Mart is my favorite convenient store chain here in Japan. I grabbed a bottle of water, an onigiri and a bag of Japanese crackers. While walking from the train station to the service station on base, I was snacking on crackers.

Well, I thought they were all crackers. Turns out, they included dried fish.

After I pulled it out of the bag, I had an instant “WTF” moment. Then I remembered, I’m in Japan. They eat fish in everything. Even crackers.

I saved the rest to eat until I got home and could dump out the bag. As you can see, the fish were advertised. I guess I should look closer next time I try a new Japanese snack. In the small dish are all the fish and fish heads included in my snack!

I did try one. They weren’t too bad. They were very crunchy with a salty, sweet fishy taste. The aftertaste kept me from eating another!

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