May 8, 2017

The Community Station KITAKITA

When you have a place like this to wait for the airport shuttle bus, it doesn't even matter that you have almost an hour to kill after getting off the local train.

Community Station KITAKITA is not only a cafe, but also part architectural design firm and part share space. The two designers that operate the space mentioned that they also rent out the open space for events. They were nice enough to show me around the renovated space because I was pretty curious as to how they changed the layout.

Isn't the space beautiful?

I was only there to pass the time before heading to the airport, but I learned about other interesting places in the Kita Akita area that made me wish I had more time here. Just another reason for me to come back, I guess!

If you're ever in the area, stop by for a cup of coffee or just to chat with the friendly designers :)

Here are some photos:

3-18 Matsuba-cho, Kita Akita-shi, Akita JAPAN
OPEN: 10:00am-6:00pm (closed Sun & Wed / varies by month, check website!)
ACCESS: right across from Takanosu Station on the JR Ou Main Line 

January 4, 2017

The New Years Hatsumode in Imabari


I am one of those people who love the new year. How about you?

For me, I think it's the sense of starting anew. So many possibilities in the new year. And yes, I know it's just a regular morning of another day...but it just feels different. Special somehow.

I think it was a couple of new year holidays ago that my whole family went to Okinawa to be with my grandma. It was after my grandpa had passed away and it was just really lovely getting to be together, welcoming another new year together. 

And during that trip, my grandma mentioned that we should go see Hatsu-hino-de at my grandpa's grave (which may sound creepy but Okinawan graves are like tiny stone houses with a large space in front of it for family gatherings!) because it has a great view of the sunrise. So thus began this tradition of going to see Hatsu-hino-de. 

It's not always everyone, and it's not always planned ahead of time. But for the past few years I've dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise burst through the clouds. And it's pretty great. I love the anticipation of watching the sky turn brighter, and how the sun feels against my chilled face once it shows itself. 

This year, I asked my sister if she wanted to bike to Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge, which is part of the Shimanami-kaido. My second cousin had recommended it the previous year and I wanted to go, but my sister is smart and instead recruited my mom into going and driving us over. Ha. 

Here are some photos: