Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Yokosuka (Page 1 of 2)

Yokosuka Theater

On Saturday, Yuka and I went to the Yokosuka Theater to see a Noh and Kyōgen performance. The Theater was beautiful. We arrived early had had the opportunity to snap a couple pictures before the show. No photography or videos were permitted during the performances.

Here we are in the lobby. I knew Yuka and I would be friends the first time we went out on a Friday night because we both have great taste in purses! Look how cute we are with our matching Longchamp bags!

Noh and Kyōgen are traditional Japanese stage performances. Both types of performances are passed down from one generation to another. There were two performances. The first one was the Kyōgen performance of Chasanbai – “An International Marriage Problem.” I was given an English insert to help me understand the performance. Kyōgen is a more folksy, comedy performance. It is intended to portray the life of a commoner. I love that the advice given to the wife is to give her husband saké. Even though I didn’t understand the words being said, the acting was comical. Especially, when she chased him off the stage!!

The second act was the Noh performance. Noh is considered the world’s oldest stage performing art. The Noh performance we watched was called “The Chinese Ship.” The stage during the Noh portion was illuminated with candles giving it the appearance of being a harbor. It was much more formal and included a larger group of background singers and stage musicians. There were three different types of drums being played and a flute. The music supported the actors and the story telling. Also during this performance, Japanese subtitles were used to help the viewer follow the plot.

It was such a great experience. I enjoyed having the opportunity to see the performances. Plus, it was fun to have a girl’s night out at the theater!

Typhoon Saola

This weekend’s weather was brought to us by Typhoon Saola. 


The base only set TCCOR Stormwatch. Mainly meaning a lot of rain and tropical storm winds. 


The storm is not as strong as Typhoon Lan nor did is get as close to Japan. 

None the less, we received plenty of rain. 

I know I said it already, but one more time, we received so much rain. We are safe and sound. I’m looking forward to a new weather pattern. This is the third rainy weekend in a row! 

Full Dance Card

We enjoyed a fun weekend with two traditional Navy events. Friday night we hosted Dave’s Wetting Down and Saturday we attended the 242nd Navy Ball. 

The Wetting Down tradition is when a newly promoted officer hosts a party for friends, family, and coworkers. The officer is expected to spend the pay raise on the festivities. Dave elected to have his Wetting Down at the Officer’s Club. 


There were plenty of appetizers and more importantly, an open bar. 


To help make the event a little more festive, I made “kawaii” centerpieces for the tables. All of the decorations I was able to purchase at the Daiso (100¥ Store). Well, except for the American chocolates and candy corn. I bought those on base. I was thrilled to hear our guests loved the “edible arrangements”.  


We wish you could have been here to celebrate with us. I know you are all proud of Dave – just like me! Promoting to the rank of Captain is a pretty big deal. We truly enjoyed ourselves and the celebration! 


Saturday night we attended the 242nd Navy Ball. The Navy Ball is held every year in October to celebrate the Navy’s Birthday. 

At each Navy Ball it is a tradition for the youngest and oldest sailor to cut the cake. Dave didn’t quite make the oldest sailor mark, he was 4 years too young. Theoretically, at our last Navy Ball before he retires (in five years), Dave should be the oldest sailor. I can’t wait! 


One tradition that is unique to a Navy Ball held in Japan, is Sake being distributed as you approached the cake! 


These cute little wood boxes on the tables are Sake cups. They were our Navy Ball party favors. 

After dinner and the official toast, the Navy Band started to play and the gymnasium lights dimmed. This signaled it was time to dance. And we did. A lot! So much fun. I’m already looking forward to next year! 

Full Dance Card

We enjoyed a fun weekend with two traditional Navy events. Friday night we hosted Dave’s Wetting Down and Saturday we attended the 242nd Navy Ball. 

The Wetting Down tradition is when a newly promoted officer hosts a party for friends, family, and coworkers. The officer is expected to spend the pay raise on the festivities. Dave elected to have his Wetting Down at the Officer’s Club. 


There were plenty of appetizers and more importantly, an open bar. 


To help make the event a little more festive, I made “kawaii” centerpieces for the tables. All of the decorations I was able to purchase at the Daiso (100¥ Store). Well, except for the American chocolates and candy corn. I bought those on base. I was thrilled to hear our guests loved the “edible arrangements”.  


We wish you could have been here to celebrate with us. I know you are all proud of Dave – just like me! Promoting to the rank of Captain is a pretty big deal. We truly enjoyed ourselves and the celebration! 


Saturday night we attended the 242nd Navy Ball. The Navy Ball is held every year in October to celebrate the Navy’s Birthday. 

At each Navy Ball it is a tradition for the youngest and oldest sailor to cut the cake. Dave didn’t quite make the oldest sailor mark, he was 4 years too young. Theoretically, at our last Navy Ball before he retires (in five years), Dave should be the oldest sailor. I can’t wait! 


One tradition that is unique to a Navy Ball held in Japan, is Sake being distributed as you approached the cake! 


These cute little wood boxes on the tables are Sake cups. They were our Navy Ball party favors. 

After dinner and the official toast, the Navy Band started to play and the gymnasium lights dimmed. This signaled it was time to dance. And we did. A lot! So much fun. I’m already looking forward to next year! 

Yokosuka on Sunday

Sunday the rain continued. Fortunately, it didn’t dampen our spirits. I had originally planned for us to watch the Yokosuka Mikoshi Parade, but the rain cancelled the celebration. Instead, we ventured down to the Honch, visited Dave’s work, shopped, and enjoyed lunch. Strolling through the Honch. 


Halloween decorations at the AEON mall. 


During their entire visit, Nina and I have been searching for Neko Atsume figures. If you are not familiar with Neko Atsume (Cat Collector) it is an App that allows to you to feed and attract virtual cats to your yard. I found a few figures in the Gacha located in the AEON mall in Yokosuka several months back. Last time I went, the Neko Atsume Gacha were gone. We searched again on Sunday. Unfortunately, still no luck. 


We did however find another one of my favorites. Cat figurines by Concombre. I introduced them to Layla and Nina and it was love at first meow. Kawaii! Here is the Halloween set we both purchased to celebrate the season. 


After shopping at the Gatcha machines, stationary store, and toy store, we were ready for lunch. We decided to eat at the Korean BBQ where you grill your own food. 


After lunch, we strolled over to see Dave’s office. SRF Dry Docks. 


Welcome sign. 

Posing with Dave’s fish! 


We started our soggy trek home. The rain created train delays and I was relieved we vetoed the possibility of a soggy schlep to Tokyo. The trains were super crowded and running late. Staying local was a perfect solution! 

Substitute Teaching

After over three years, I finally stepped back into a classroom today. I was an eighth grade U.S. History substitute at Yokosuka Middle School. 

I was finally approved as a substitute teacher for DODEA schools in August. I submitted my application in October 2016. Like with so many things related to the government, approval took a while. 

None the less, I am approved and ready to serve. All things considered, my day was good. I set very low expectations. I had flashbacks to 2012 when I substituted at some Memphis City Middle Schools. I would compare YMS to Riverdale. They were studious, silly, and very respectful. The main difference, these kids ALL have parents in the military and they live in Japan! 

The school was very nice. I’ve never taught in a classroom with carpet. My out of teacher shape knees appreciated the extra cushion! 


The view was pretty nice, too! Once you looked past the standard Navy issue blinds you can see Tokyo Harbor.


The schedule today was a “C” day. It means an abbreviated class schedule enabling me to see all the A and B day students. Whew. There were a lot of kids! New class every 40 minutes. It reminded me of teaching science at Dexter Middle School and seeing all my students on Fridays. I’m happy to report, I survived my first day back to school. My teacher cardi and I felt good. 


I did have three students during one class sit in the wrong seat. This obviously created a huge distraction. No worries, I still have my “stern teacher voice” and had things under control with one sentence. Lucky for my students I didn’t have to use my “stern teacher look” today! 

The worst part of the day was sitting down to eat my lunch and realizing I forgot a fork. Dang it! Fortunately, my chopstick skills have vastly improved over the past year. Eating my chicken, rice, and black beans with chopstick carrots was a breeze! 


Now that I’ve wiggled back into the wet swimsuit, the next time I sub will no doubt be even easier! 

Delayed Gratification 

Even though my Tuesday night teaching gig ended three weeks ago, I didn’t receive payment until today. I worked in a trip to Yokosuka today to pick up my earnings and was delighted to see the hydrangeas blooming in the park next to the school where I taught for six weeks. 


Here are a couple shots with the building in the background. I taught on the second floor of the short building in the foreground behind the tree. The building in the background is an apartment building. 


The size of some the hydrangeas were impressive! 


I honestly didn’t expect much payment for this little side gig. However, I was pleasantly surprised not only with the hydrangeas but also with the compensation. Delayed gratification paid off. 


Proving yet again, good things come to those who wait. 

PS. Subtract 4x¥500 for my round trip train ticket each day I taught. Subtract 2x¥4000 for the two dinners Dave and I enjoyed together on two of the four nights I taught. Suddenly, my compensation is nil. None the less, time with my husband & a chance to see hydrangeas- priceless. 

Foam or Fōmu

The best news of today, I had my last Tuesday night English class. It feels like summer break! Although, I will continue to see my grandmothers on Fridays. None the less, I traded in my teacher cardie for a swimsuit and flip flops!

The funny story of today was attempting to buy the supplies to make another tea box. Dina and I were instructed by Atsuko to go to the fabric store in Yokosuka vice Kamakura. So, we did. We both purchased fabric and batting. I also purchased enough batting to make a quilt or two in the near future.

The fabric purchase was pretty easy compared to purchasing the foam to cover the top. Dina and I went to Homes to purchase the foam padding. We walked around searching for a 50cm piece of foam padding without success. Dina was bold and asked for assistance. She even showed a picture to the store clerk. There was a customer standing nearby who overheard and asked us in English if she could help. She communicated with the store clerk and referred to foam as “fōmu” (pronounced fo-moo).  Seriously!?! Anyways, they eventually took us back to a piece of furniture foam that was a 40cm square. Nope, not it. Dina and I eventually gave up and left.

Meanwhile, during this ordeal, Dina messaged Atsuko and informed her we couldn’t find the foam. Atsuko said she would call the store. And she did. After Dina dropped me off for my Tuesday class, she realized she missed a call from Atsuko. The message Atsuko left informed Dina she called Homes and spoke with Mrs. Kobayashi. Atsuko told Dina to ask for Mrs. Kobayashi for assistance. Dina returned to the store and went to the customer service desk. She asked for Mrs. Kobayashi. Eventually, she was led back to the foam by a worker. One worker turned into six. All to cut foam. The same foam they couldn’t find an hour earlier.


At some point, Dina heard them mention Atsuko. She said, “hai, Atsuko.” At which point everyone seemed to be even more impressed and attentive to Dina’s needs. Even funnier, Dina doesn’t think she ever actually met Mrs Kobayashi.

What an adventure. All for three bags of fabric, batting, and foam.


I still need to get a tea box before next Wednesday. Dina’s tea box is under the bags. Here’s hoping the tea box purchase is a bit smoother.

Yokosuka for a Day

Over the past few weeks, Tuesday has become my “Yokosuka” day because I am the substitute for an English class. Today, I decided to make a whole day of Yokosuka. I started with lunch at a new Sushi – go – Round restaurant near the Yokosukachuo train station. The Sushi was delicious! Tuna, tofu, and more tuna! I’ll definitely revisit! 


The delivery method of the Sushi was adorable. The small plates of Sushi were delivered via a Shinkansen train! Kawaii!


After lunch, I walked over to the main base for a manicure and pedicure at the salon. You don’t need to see a picture of my gnarly running feet, trust me. They look a lot better and so do my nails! 


After my nail experience, I walked back to the Yokosukachuo Station for my English class. The good news there, only one more remaining! I feel like summer break is close by! Ha. 

The highlight of the entire day was having dinner with Dave. We enjoyed dinner with several people from his command at Doma Doma, our favorite Izakaya restaurant in Yokosuka. Unfortunately, the menu selection wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t go away hungry… but, I wasn’t impressed. It was as if they tried to make it “American” or something. It started out well, edamame, daikon salad, cabbage salad, and sashimi. 

Then the courses were bizarre. Starting with bland fried shrimp crackers and fried chicken (mostly skin).  

Then chicken legs strangely resembling a duck and roast beef slices. Nah. I stopped after the bland shrimp chips. 


Like I said, my favorite part of the day was dinner with Dave, despite the menu. Followed by a ¥756 ($7.50) sashimi lunch. Obviously, pre manicure. 


Only one more Tuesday in Yokosuka until my substituting commitment is over. I feel I need to make a go of it. Bring on summer vacation! And wine. 

Japanese Cucumbers 

A cloudy Tuesday can’t even compare to the beautiful day I experienced yesterday. Today was filled with errands. First, I dropped off “Julia’s Baked Beans” at Dave’s work for the potluck. Then, I met up with Dina For our bi-weekly Costco outing. No time to explore much after that because I needed to prepare the cookie dough for the bake sale at Dave’s work on Thursday. This all happened before my Tuesday evening English lessons in Yokosuka. I agreed to sub for six weeks for three Japanese children’s English lessons. After today, two more! These are not my favorite. The highlight of the lesson is when they are over, Dave and I ride the train home together.  

But, I digress. This post is about Japanese cucumbers. As I’m happily riding the train back to Yokosuka and avoiding traffic, I’ll tell you about my latest discovery of favorite Japanese vegetable. Yes, the Japanese cucumber. They remind me a lot of English cucumbers because they are long and skinny. They seem to have skin more like homegrown American cucumbers because they have the little white spines. The best part is the delicious crunch! 

Here was the pack of eight I picked up at Costco. They were ¥680 or about $6.50. I don’t know if that is a good deal compared to cucumbers in America. In my opinion, they’re worth every yenny! And a better deal than the package of American Cherries grown in CA for ¥2,280 or about $22. I didn’t buy the cherries! 

I can easily eat an entire cucumber in one sitting. It like to slice them and then add garlic salt and dill weed. 


I think they would be a nice accompaniment to happy hour Roxanne’s house in VB on Friday night. I know my friend, Sue, would love them. And I know my father-in-law wouldn’t. Next time Delaney and James are here visiting, I will have plenty available to dip in Ranch. My mom would enjoy cucumber sandwiches on Japanese bread! I almost feel nostalgic/ home sick thinking about who would enjoy the cucumbers! Ha! Love and miss you all! 

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén