Super heroes and monsters playing a video game is the concept of a new mural in San Jose Japan-town. It was created and painted by Francisco Ramirez a local artist from Local Color in downtown San Jose. Included in the mural are characters such as Godzilla, Voltron, Ultraman, King Kong, He-man, and Lion-o (Thundercats) which Francisco grew up with. The mural was painted on the side of Zonkey a toy store located on 161 Jackson Street in San Jose.



Hiroshima born Shunichi Matsumura is a 26 year owner of Okunomi House, a Hiroshima style teppan-yaki okonomiyaki restuarant in Yokohama. Okonomiyaki is a favorite of mine and the ingredients of okonomiyaki often include: okonomiyaki flour, eggs, cabbage, pork (bacon), shrimp or other seafood, and topped with a variety of condiments like sweet sauce (Okonomi Sauce), mayonnaise, dried seaweed and dried fish flakes.

Shirakawa-go (Shirakawa Village)

Shirakawa-go (Shirakawa Village) is a World Cultural Heritage site since 1995 in the North-western part of Gifu Prefecture in Japan. Is is also located in the historical region known as “Hida” and it is also known as “Hida Shirakawa.” At the village there are 114 thatched roofs structures as well as a rice field and a river running through the town.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle was built by Ishikawa Kazumasa and his son Yasunaga during the Bunroku Period (1593-1594). It is considered a complete and elegant castle among Japanese castles due to the black roofing and towers and is considered a National Treasure. It is called a hirajiro because the castle was built on plains instead of a hill. It is a popular cherry blossom spot during April.

Yokohama Jazz Promenade 2017

Group performing near Sakuragicho Station in Yokohama

I attended the impressive Yokohama Jazz Promenade 2017 in October. The festival was held on October 7th and 8th and included over several hundred jazz performers. The event was immense and it included about 33 venues, 25 jazz clubs, professionals and amateurs, and foreign musicians. The Jazz Promenade Yokohama was started in 1993 by citizens and musicians in Yokohama. Every year over 120,000 visitors attend the popular music festival. Yokohama is also called “Jazz Hometown of Japan.”

Thing Family

Halloween in San Jose Japan-town is a popular annual event for families. Some of the scheduled events were trick or treat activities with merchants and a local church, arts and crafts, San Jose Taiko performance, a haunted house, and a San Jose Taiko dance party to end the day.

Costumes in reference to Dr. Seuss’s characters from “Cat in the Hat.” Thing 1 in carriage and Thing 2 upcoming baby

Golden Pond


The colors and patterns of the salt evaporation ponds are caused by Micro-organisms combined with the seasonal changes and the salinity of the water. It’s rare to see the same tapestry of colors and designs every year.