Saw a really big hairy monkey barreling down the street near my apartment building. At first it looked like a big shaggy dog, but as it got closer I realized that it was some sort of wild monkey.
Visited a temple in Kyoto to see autumn leaves at night for the first time. There had to have been around 1000 people lined up around the time that I went and the trees were magnificent lit up in the dark.
Watched Rurouni Kenshin 1, 2, and 3. These were probably the best Japanese movies that I’ve seen to date.
Made an early New Year’s Resolution to start studying Japanese again by reading novels.
A friend treated me to a late birthday lunch - afternoon tea! I’d never experienced an authentic afternoon tea restaurant before, especially one so classy.
Got many wonderful birthday presents, most of which were paints and paintbrushes.
Went on a painting spree that ended with a framed bumblebee and a folder full of flowers, fruits, and a frog.
Started to paint with a friend who is much better than me. The most fun is painting in a park or near the bay.
Tried 伊勢エビ (spiny lobster/crayfish) for the first time.
Picked up a new hobby - watercolor painting.
With summer being nearly over, got back into tabe-aruki. Enjoyed many delicious cakes, fish and chips, udon, soba, croquette, hamburgers, and tako-nashi-yaki between my home and Namba.
Went to Uji for the first time and enjoyed green tea soba and green tea ice cream at Nakamura’s. They definitely have the best green tea ice cream!
Rode my bicycle to the Osaka Bay area a few times to enjoy the view and a picnic.
Saw the Yodogawa Fireworks festival for the first time. It was amazing!
Can’t remember much about July except for the rain. I probably stopped baking around this time due to the humidity.
I might have watched Avengers 2 in July… or August.
Went back to Toronto to visit my family. Spent a lot of time catching up with family and friends, and overeating. The Chinese food and seafood in Toronto is delicious!
Did a little bit of driving to make sure that my driver’s license doesn’t go to waste.
Won a Starbucks raffle that included a stainless steel tumbler, 3 mugs, 2 bags of coffee beans, and 2 packs of instant coffee.
Went on many picnics around Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara.
Did a lot of baking, especially cakes, cupcakes, and pies.
My mother-in-law visited from Fukui, and she brought mackerel sushi with her. She was very excited to see Osaka again because it’s always changing and is so much bigger and busier than Fukui. At least the shopping area is.
The only New Year’s Resolution that I did a pretty good job of keeping was to clear out everything that I no longer wanted or needed. Beginning in March and continuing through to May, I did a massive once-in-a-lifetime spring cleaning.
Got into cooking new Asian and British foods like coconut curry rice and bakewell tarts.
Visited my friend’s “haunted house”. It’s really old and the layout is strange and inconvenient, but there is a brand new oven and a big rooftop BBQ area that makes up for it.
Lined up outside Marmot and Columbia Sportswear on January 2nd - very early in the morning - to get a 福袋 (lucky bag). Columbia sold out but I got the last Marmot bag that included a beautiful blue fleece sweater. I also got a lucky bag for my parents and sister.
Went hiking up Mt. Maya for the last time. The view was spectacular, especially covered in snow.
Made a list of New Year’s Resolutions that I broke a few weeks later. One of them was to stop eating cakes, cookies, and pudding every day, but that proved to be impossible.