The best four teams for the high school baseball championship tournament at Koshien Stadium came out yesterday. In fact, I thought that my alma mater would be able to participate in the tournament this year, so I had planned a cheering tour for the quarterfinals and booked a hotel more than a month ago. In the end, we didn’t make it, but we switched the cheering tour to a spectator tour and all the applicants went to the tournament.  


Take the Shinkansen from Shin-Yokohama to Shin-Kobe.


I thought it would be crowded, but the boarding rate was about 70%.


By the time we passed through Kyoto, it was pouring rain,…


From Shin-Kobe, we took several trains to…


Arrived at Arima Onsen Station. Since we had time before check-in, we wanted to take the ropeway to the top of Mt. Rokko, but it was out of service due to bad weather that day.


We had no choice but to stroll around the hot spring resort until it was time to check in, and had lunch at “Gonsoba” that we found.


Well, it’s a travel destination, so we had to have a beer for lunch, right?


Then we arrived at Tokyu Harvest Club Arima Rokusai.


After checking in, we soaked in the hot springs and prepared for the dinner banquet.

今回はちょっと奮発して「神戸牛ステーキコース」、シャンパン・白ワイン・赤ワインとボトルが空いていく(笑)   。。。そして翌日

This time, we splurged a little on the “Kobe Beef Steak Course,” and the bottles of champagne, white wine, and red wine were empty (lol)…. And the next day


I really wanted to buy a box seat, but the quarterfinals at Koshien are so difficult to obtain that they are called platinum tickets, and I may have been lucky just to be able to buy this reserved infield center seat.


The seats were in this position. It was very comfortable, with a roof over my head and the wind blowing!
We were very satisfied with our tour to Koshien, as we were able to see a powerful home run by Asano of Takamatsu Sho and a triple play that changed the course of the game in Osaka Toin vs. Shimonoseki Kokusai.


There’s fun like this, and…


Some of them got drunk and fell asleep.


There were hardly any passengers on the bullet train on the way home!



Japan is in the middle of summer vacation, but I was at work today. I took the Ken-O Expressway and then the Kan-Etsu Expressway to Gunma, but even at this time of the year, the expressways are crowded, but there was an accident on the opposite lane of the Kan-Etsu Expressway, so the road was closed. I was driving slowly for more than 10 km because everyone was watching the accident and driving slowly in the lane on my side.


I managed to arrive safely, finished my work, and was on my way home when the Tokyo-bound lane was congested with traffic for more than 20 km, starting at the Takasaka SA. I had no choice but to get off the expressway and take the local road home. Ahhh, I am so tired!


It took me twice as long to get back home as it usually does, but having Konatsu there to greet me blew away any fatigue!



I made a short slideshow using images I have taken around Nishikamakura. It has been so hot lately that I rarely go out in the daytime and have nothing to talk about, so this is a bitter pill to swallow (lol).


And to make it feel a little cooler, a few days ago I changed the background image on my PC to the snowy landscape below.


This is from a trip to Hakuba in February of this year. If there was a place like this now, I would love to go there.


Has it cooled down? (lol)



It’s hot, isn’t it? It’s like this in the morning. Just looking at the contrast, it looks hot.


Even just taking Konatsu in the car and going out to run a few errands requires drinking water.


I fill a water bottle with ice water for Konatsu and take it with me.


When she come back home, she’s goofing off (lol)


If I look closely at Konatsu’s body, I can see white hairs rising. Yes, it is shedding season.


I pinch the area with my fingertips and it goes like this, and…


The house is covered with Konatsu hairballs everywhere. It’s going to stay like this for the next two months.
By the way, this is a continuation of the high school baseball game I wrote about last time.


Yesterday, I went to support my alma mater. The stands were so filled with fans of both schools.


This ballpark is a historic place where Sawamura and Babe Ruth once played a game, and a memorial statue of the two stands here.


Now for the match…


Both pitchers did their best to keep the 0-0 jitters going, but…


Finally, in the bottom of the 8th inning, our alma mater scored a long-awaited run! Then, in the top of the 9th inning, our opponent’s offense got two outs and no runners on base, and with just one more out, we had won! We didn’t doubt our victory anymore, but…


What a surprise, from there they scored three runs and lost the game in reverse order. We could only be stunned, and with that, our team’s summer was over.



Today I’m talking about high school baseball.
The National High School Baseball Championship of Japan, commonly known as “Summer Koshien”, is an annual nationwide high school baseball tournament. It is the largest scale amateur sport event in Japan, even as soccer continues to gain more attention. There are about 3,500 teams participating nationwide. Currently, my alma mater is also competing in the Shizuoka Prefecture Tournament for a berth in the Koshien Tournament. They won yesterday’s game to remain in the top 8, and will play in the quarterfinals tomorrow.


A friend of mine who went to the ballpark yesterday to cheer for the team sent this photo.
The cheering scene is the same as it was 50-60 years ago when I was a student at the school, which can be said to be a continuation of tradition. And this year, too, a new legend will be born. People call it a sacred place.


A moment of jubilation after winning the game!


The yellow one in the upper right is my alma mater. Now, I will be at the stadium to cheer for them in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Well, I wonder what will happen…



At the nursing home in Shichirigahama where my mother resides, visitation has been suspended since last year due to the Covid-19 disaster and only online visitation has been available, but face-to-face visitation resumed this month.


I immediately arranged a visitation and went with my wife.


The rule is that residents are not allowed to enter the space where they normally live, but in a room dedicated to visiting for 15 minutes.


I visited my mother for the first time in eight months, and she seemed to be in good health with no particular change.


It is like this for 15 minutes. This Shichirigahama Home is located on a hill near the sea, so it has a nice view, and the atmosphere of the staff people seems to be cheerful and comfortable. I think it would be good for me to move in here in the future.


This is the end of this visit.


Meanwhile Konatsu was waiting in the car. It would have been nice if Konatsu could have joined us, but unfortunately they wouldn’t let the doggie inside, so my mother had to put up with the pictures.



We invited our usual friends for a drink and started with a call for a light one, but there was no way it was going to be light…


They even served this beer (devil’s beer) and we had a blast!


“I love to go out for drinks at home. If I go around you all, I get to eat all kinds of things!” I think Konatsu is saying.


When served raw shirasu, Konatsu’s favorite food, Konatsu will do this ↓.


I forgot to take many pictures of the food this time, so I will only show you some of them.


From left to right: cream cheese, avocado, roasted chicken breast


And when you eat it with this nut sauce, it is very tasty. And I drank a little too much and ended up going to the concert the next day somewhat hungover.


This is “Morino Hall Hashimoto” in Sagamihara, about an hour and a half drive from our house.


It was a concert of these two, and since they are both so popular, all the seats were sold out and the place was packed.


I did not know the name of the composer of the first piece, Nadia Boulanger, but according to Ms. Miyata’s explanation, she was Piazzolla’s teacher and was the one who recommended Piazzolla to write tango. And Frank’s cello sonata, which I was looking for, was also very good. After listening to such good music, my hangover was completely gone and I was full of energy by nightfall!



I come to Gunma several times a month for work, and Gunma is a very hot place in summer. This time, the temperature was lower due to a typhoon, so it was nice and comfortable.


The scenery is tranquil, typical of a provincial town. There is a school called Tomioka Jitsugyo High School right in front of the hotel where I am staying, and in one corner of the school there is a practice field for the baseball team. I went to take a look in the morning on my walk.


The ground was well equipped, so I checked out what kind of team they were, and found out that in recent years they have been playing games with an alliance of six neighboring schools due to a lack of members. Even so, the team won two games this spring, which is quite impressive.


There’s a scoreboard like this, and when I go around back…


It was a gift from all the parents; 14 years ago they could probably still compete as a single team. Somehow, I felt compelled to support this combined team in this summer’s tournament.


I called my wife last night and she was worried about Konatsu not eating dinner. How is she this morning?



An hour’s drive from our home is the MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall.


I have been going to concerts much less often since Covid-19 disaster spread, but yesterday it’s been a long time since I’ve been here.


The highlight of the evening was Daishin Kashimoto’s solo performance of the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3.


This is yesterday’s program


This time we are in the cheapest seats on the back side of the stage. I’ve heard this kind of seating in other halls before, but the wind instruments sound louder and the balance is not so good.

このケルン・ゲルツェニヒ管弦楽団は初の来日公演だそうで、私はその名前も知らなかったのだけど、演奏が始まってすぐにこれは素晴らしいオーケストラだというのが分かった。Gerzenich Orchesters Köln

This was the Cologne-Gerzenich Orchestra’s first visit to Japan, and I had never even heard of them, but as soon as they started playing, I knew this was a great orchestra.


This is a Youtube of the performance with NHK Symphony Orchestra. 3rd Mov.


Konatsu stayed at home.



This is a continuation of Shizunami Beach. As I was packing up my luggage to check out, I felt something moving under my feet…


I look and see a crab walking around! It is indeed a seaside hotel, but where did it come in?


If the crab was found by Konatsu, it might be eaten, so I asked it to leave the balcony in a hurry, lol.


Konatsu, who was standing by in the cart, didn’t seem to notice that.



Recently, the number of accesses to my blog has been increasing, especially from abroad. The table below shows the number of accesses by country for the past month. While I am surprised to see more accesses from overseas than from within Japan, I’m happy to see so many visitors.


I appreciate your continued support.


鎌倉と言えば紫陽花、と言われるのは何故だろう?と調べてみたら「鎌倉は三方を山で囲われており、それももろてく崩れやすい土壌のために、その対応策としてしっかり地面に根を張って土砂の流出を防ぎ、その上巨木にならない植栽としてあじさいが選ばれた」と書かれているのを多く見かけるが本当だろうか? 確かにあちこちに紫陽花で有名なお寺があったりするけど土砂崩れを防ぐほどじゃないし、イマイチ説得力に欠ける感じです。。。

The hydrangeas in my garden have begun to change color.
Why is it said that Kamakura is famous for hydrangea? I looked it up and found that “Kamakura is surrounded on three sides by mountains, and because of the fragile soil, hydrangeas were chosen as a countermeasure to prevent soil erosion by keeping their roots firmly planted in the ground, and also to prevent them from becoming large trees”.


We have hydrangeas in our garden and they are beginning to bloom. I had never been interested in hydrangeas in our garden before, but when I took pictures of them, it seemed that there were many different types.


Except for the second from the top, maybe it’s just the color difference, but…


Here are a few more pictures from our walk today.


We are walking towards the Hiromachi-forest.


Konatsu seems to walk slower than in the past, which may be natural considering her age of 12 years old.


Entrance to the forest.


Today we just walked around the entrance area and that was it.


I have always said that Konatsu’s goal is to be 20 years old, but lately I have been feeling a little less confident about that. People often tell me that she still looks young, but it is clear that her movements are becoming slower and slower.



Last Saturday and Sunday, I went to support my alma mater, Shizuoka High School, as they competed in the Tokai Tournament. On the way back, I stopped by “Hamamatsu Flower Park,” and the roses were in full bloom this time of year, making a big impact.


I am not familiar with gardening, but this place is produced by a garden designer named Keiko Yoshitani. She seems to be famous, but I don’t know her.


This girl was here for a family shoot to celebrate her 7th birthday, and her dress fits perfectly here, awesome!


It was a rose garden with probably more than 100 varieties of roses.


The crucial match turned out to be a disappointment, as you can see.

<番外編> ウクライナから犬の話

小型犬ニコルは避難列車「Ukrzaliznytsia」の乗客のストレスに対処するのを助けます。4年前、ドニプロガイドTatiana min ʹkovaの駅で見つかった犬。今、彼女は避難した人たちがストレスに対処するのを手伝っているそうです。

This is a dog story from Ukraine.
Small dog Nicole helps passengers of the evacuation train “Ukrzaliznytsia” cope with tress.
The dog was found four years ago at the station of Dnipro guide Tatiana min ʹkova. Now she is helping evacuees cope with stress.    From UAnimals.


The following dog was rescued by a volunteer from being left behind in a dumpster one day. This boy may be able to find a new family with the support of UAnimals. I have written before about “people who cannot evacuate because of their pets,” and there are dogs in these pitiful circumstances.



Such a state of war continues, but this happened yesterday in Japan.

出典:Yahoo Japan News


It was a sumo match between a Ukrainian wrestler “Shishi” (left) and a Russian wrestler “Roga” (right). The audience applauded loudly. What was the result? If you are interested, please check it out. (lol)



The other day I wrote about Konatsu’s epileptic seizure, and I would like to let you know how she has been doing since then. On that day, my wife and I tried not to push her too hard and kept an eye on her. Konatsu started eating normally that night, and from the next day, she started taking short but cheerful walks. Konatsu is now an old dog, so I will let her spend her time at her own pace without overworking her. Thank you very much for your concern.


Today I am in Gunma Prefecture for work. On the way there, I stopped by Mentai Park, a recently opened food theme park. Mentai is cod ovum slowly marinated in chili pepper sauce. It is usually served hot on rice. Furthermore, Mentai pasta is very popular these days. There are even snacks which are made of spicy cod roe.



For some reason, the sight of menatai makes me hungry.

<番外編> NHKプラスより


NHK Plus distributed the following page.
2019, “World Interaction Street Walk” walking through Khiu (Kiev) before the war’s destruction.

Click here

※ 配信期限は4月28日03:49までとなっています。

It was such a peaceful and beautiful city. The act of aggression such as destroying it is the same as the Islamic State’s destruction of ancient ruins. It is unforgivable.
※ The deadline for distribution is April 28, 03:49.



Ukraine is on day 47. We can know about the devastation in the cities and the people there as it is reported on the news, but I am observing the situation from the perspective of someone who lives with his pets.

以下、UAnimals の記事より

ロシア軍による砲撃や虐殺から逃れることができたウクライナの人達がザポロジエに到着した。 人生で最も辛い時でも、これらの人々の多くは動物を捨てず、一緒に避難しました。

The following is from the UAnimals article.
Ukrainians who managed to escape shelling and massacres by Russian troops have arrived in Zaporozhye. Even in the most difficult times of their lives, many of these people did not abandon their animals and took refuge with them.


Of course I understand how they feel and I hope all of these people are safe.

<番外編> 夏に向けて春季大会


Today I’m not talking about Konatsu, but an extra edition.


yesterday I went to Shizuoka Kusanagi Stadium to cheer for my alma mater’s baseball game.


This ballpark has a long history and is also known as the place where Sawamura pitched a great game when the American baseball team, led by Babe Ruth, came to Japan right after the war. 
Japanese professional baseball has the Sawamura Award, which is the equivalent of the Cy Young Award in American Major League Baseball.


Statues of the two men stand near the entrance to the stadium, which is also a famous meeting place.


And the games begin. This spring tournament also decides the seeded schools for the prefectural qualifying rounds of the summer Koshien Tournament, so the results are very interesting for the alma mater’s supporters like us.


The result was a 19-0 cold game in which they dominated the opposing team. Our team will now qualify for the prefectural tournament, and if they finish in the top 8 in the prefecture, they will be seeded.


We have had a fun day.


When I came home, Konatsu asked, “Where did you go without me?” I think she’s saying.



I have decided to change the top page image for a while.
It has been 36 days since the Russian invasion began in Ukraine, and the lives of many people and many animals are still threatened. I know some of you have been accessing this site from Ukraine, and am praying for your safety !


Here’s another one from the UAnimals article.
Berlin is now one of the largest centers for refugees, with thousands of migrants passing through Berlin Station every day. And since many people don’t leave their important dogs behind and travel together, Berlin Station is like a dog show with many dogs.

imagine all the people living life in peace ♪♪



It was a late-night earthquake.
Right after I turned off the TV and got into bed, I thought, “Huh? Earthquake. The shaking gradually increased, and Konatsu seemed surprised to see what was going on.


I hurriedly turned on the TV and saw that another earthquake had hit the Tohoku region, this time measuring 6 on the Japanese seismic scale. I can only hope that the people in that area must have been scared and that the damage was minimal.


I was watching the JMA conference and found this data. They said that the tremor was transmitted to Kamakura, where I live, in 55 seconds after the earthquake warning was issued. The “0” in the center means that the earthquake had already shaken when the warning was issued. If it had been a huge earthquake, we wouldn’t have been able to escape.


This earthquake is said to have a magnitude of 7.4, but even so, the Tohoku Expressway broke ground and the Shinkansen bullet train derailed. This reminds us of how powerful the 2011 earthquake was, which measured 9.0 on the Richter scale.


On a different note, construction began this morning at a neighbor’s house, and the noise made Konatsu somewhat restless.


Looking down at the construction vehicles, Konatsu’s body jerks when she hears a loud noise (lol).


Meanwhile, the garden is gradually becoming more like spring.


I have 5 consecutive holidays starting today. I’m thinking of taking Konatsu somewhere, but the weather is doubtful…

20日間、ウクライナはロシアの占領者の行為に苦しんでいる。 疲労とあらゆるリスクにもかかわらず、飼育員は動物を助けるために最善を尽くし続けています。今日、チームUAnimalsは、いくつかのシェルターに彼らの動物たちを助ける資金的な援助を提供しました。今日Kyivのボランティアは、ペットのために食べ物を買う余裕のない住民に食料を配りました。
エキサイティングなニュースがあります。 封鎖されたゴストメルシェルターでのこと、今日78歳の施設主人が大活躍をし、シェルターに水を運んでくれる発電機を持ってきてくれました。 彼と一緒に、ガソリン70リットル、ドッグフード500kg、シェルタースタッフのためにフードを寄付しました。 これでシェルターの住民が生き残るのに役立つ。

More news from Ukraine today.
For 20 days, Ukraine has suffered from the actions of its Russian occupiers. Despite fatigue and all the risks, keepers continue to do their best to help the animals. Today, Team UAnimals provided financial assistance to several shelters to help their animals. Today Kyiv volunteers distributed food to residents who could not afford to buy food for their pets.
Some exciting news. At the blockaded Gostomel shelter, today the 78 year old facility owner did a great job and brought a generator that will bring water to the shelter. Together with him we donated 70 liters of gasoline, 500 kg of dog food, and food for the shelter staff. This will help the shelter residents survive.