Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vilnius marathon 1 ビリニュスマラソン 1

This year, baseball game was planned until the end of August, I booked the run which I found in September in Vilnius, Lithuania. I have never been there. My flight was via Kiev.


I had my three-week vacation in August, I started to train for the marathon, but after four days, my ankle started to ache. This was exactly where I had problem before the baseball season started. I visited acupuncture clinic for several months. I also had pain at my lower back. After the season, it came again.


This marathon in Vilnius, we run the course twice. I was not able to train properly, but I wished that I was able to run at least one round.


The weather was fine on Saturday, when I picked up my number. The start line is in front of cathedral square, Cathedral St. Stanislaus. After receiving a "marathon"-bag with quick-energy food, snack, cerial and of course the number, I visited the National museum of Lithuania behind the Cathedral to learn the history of Lithuania deeper. In advance, I read the book about the history of Baltic states in my airplane. Kindle is really practical.


In the museum, I saw lots of pots, weapons, shields, coins and also videos about minor nationalities in Lituania and its roots, traditional clothes and old houses. There was a bamboo fan presented by Japanese Tenno, a diorama of Grunwald battle field, when the alliance of the Polish kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated German Teutonic Kights. They were all interesting and also very informative.


I also heard that Lithuanian beer is very nice. Of course I tried some. If it once tastes wonderful, or if I can continue to drink without being bored, this may influence the evaluation, but I enjoyed the beer very much.


I can never make myself understood in Lithuanian language. I can not guess what words mean with some exceptions, the language is totally different from any other language I know. But it is fun. People in the restaurant will be happy, when I order in Lithuanian, or ask them how I can say in Lithuanian. There were lots of Russian people, but I never heard them say even "thank you" in Lithanian.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Czech Beer Festival 2016 チェコビール祭り 2016

All my entries for Czech are things with beer till now, and then another beer thing. My third visit to Czech beer festival. This time, I brought the beer glass toy with me which a group of kind three czech guys gave me in 2008. I wanted to find somebody and then give it to them.


The last time was in 2012. I took the train to Prague then. This time I tried a buss to get there. I had a lot of hits in the Internet, I chose FlixBus. The bus will leave for Prague almost every hour and it costs only 15 Euro one way. Four-hour travel does not have any difference between the one with train. Almost the same but much cheaper.

前回の2012年はプラハに電車で行った。今回はバスにしてみる。インターネットでは色々見つかったが、FlixBusをチョイス。 ほぼ毎時間プラハ向けにバスが出ていて、しかも片道15ユーロ。4時間のバス旅は電車で行くのとほとんど変わらないが、格段に安い。

What surprized me a lot this time was this. If you compare this with the last time, I had to wonder if they had a financial problem or something.


There were several changes since last time; Tolar, original coin which was used only in the festival disappeared. Insted a plastic card was introduced. And maybe because of that? Ordering at table was not possible any more. It means, young ladies in costumes will not walk around tables any more. We have to go where dishes or beer will be served and pay at casher. This system is not especially nice for lone traveller.


The second change, the number of beers. We can select from more than 50 beside two festival beer. Festival beer is from Kruŝovice and in two different types; 10% and 12%. It looks like they had a success with this last time. Due to the current beer trend, there were also some pale ales. This is much more than just enjoying beers.


Drinking 12% festival beer (I personally prefered the 10% version I drunk later to the 12% one) alone at the table in front of stage, a couple talked to me, saying they are from Norway. They are also repeater of this great event.


The man told me that he brews beer at home in Oslo. We soon knew that we all like beer. From me definately the big beer glass toy for sure and the T-shirt from 2008. When I entered the tent, I was asked by the men standing there and explained that I am the third-time repeater since 2008.

Souvenir from 2016(left) and 2008(right) お土産Tシャツ2016年(左)、2008年(右)
Enjoying talking, beer will disappear very quickly. Which kind of beer he brews, what happens in Norway now and so on. I knew that Norway produces oil and therefore the country is rich. But the low price impact was much more than I have expected.


The wife of the man is as same old as I am, he said that she more likes to drink than he does. I had no idea about Norwegian language, they told me that they would be able to understand the meaning of German without learning. I asked them to repeat "thank you" and "cheers" in Norwegian. It seems that it is quite odd for them that Japanese can communicate with Chinese only by letters.


He got drunk. Yes, there were no beer under 10% at the festival hall. They told me that I should visit them to enjoy his beer in Oslo, and I really want to visit them. The beer glass toy found a new owner.

彼がかなり酔っ払ってしまった。 無理もない。10%以下のビールはないのだから。ご夫婦はオスロにビールを飲みにおいでと言ってくれた。もちろん行こうと思っている。ビアグラスのぬいぐるみは新しいオーナーのところに行くことになった。

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pray in Palau (Peleliu 3) パラオで祈る (ペリリュー島3)

We then went to the Peace Memorial Park. This memorial was constructed by Japanese Health and Welfare Ministory. It faces toward Japan. So that soldiers in the heaven who suffered from lack of drinking water during the War, on both sides of the monument there are rain water saver.



The way to the Park, which was completed damaged by the typhoon in 2013 was repaired for the visit of Japanese Tennou. On the runway, a landing place for helicopter was made. Among the jungle, Zero fighter still remains by now.


We finally headed for Nakayama, Ooyama where the Japanese solgiers kept contronting and fighting. There is 200mm cannon settled but unused.


Japanese troop utilized the narrow valley geography, dug caves and hid themselves during the day, and came out at night and fought against American soldiers. A memorial monument stands where they say Japanese Colonel Kunio Nakagawa killed himself in the end. All of us raised the incense, kneed down and met palms together in turn.


In front of Ooyama Peleliu shrine was built by Japanese volunteers. 45,000 American soldiers and 10,000 Japanese. Only 34 Japanese soldiers came home finally.


In Japan, they only way that the War is bad. But they do not teach in school why and how it started. They do not teach neither, there were many Japanese soldiers who fought to delay American attack on Japanese main island as much as possible in desperate situation. Even many people really believe that Peace Constitution will keep Japan safe and should not change it, and just saying loud "Peace". In this way, we cannot even avoid possible war in the future without deep consideration by only Japanese, not by United Nations, why the last War happened, and why we had to fight.

日本では戦争はダメだという話ばかりが先になる。でも、どうして戦争になったのか、そういうことを教えない。ペリリュー島を含む南の島々で、アメリカの日本本土への上陸を一日でも遅らせようと、絶望的な戦況の中で戦った兵隊のことも教えない。 多くの日本人は平和憲法を守りさえすれば日本は平和でいられると本当に信じていて、憲法を時代に合わせて修正していくことに反対している。どうして起きたのか、どうして戦わなくてはいけなかったかを、日本人だけで考えられるようにならなくては、もしも将来戦争になりそうになったときに防ぐことができない。

After 70 years reports from American side is now opened, in Japan research of books which were prohibited publishing under GHQ time. I really like many Japanese visit Palau. As our tour guide told us that he does work for that.


Pray in Palau (Peleliu 2) パラオで祈る (ペリリュー島2)

We then visited Peleliu World War II Memorial Museum. The building was used by Japanese military as weapon lager. In side the small building, there were panels written in both English and Japanese about the proceeding of the war, news paper articles then, or what soldiers took back with them from both sides. They were very impressive. We were given 20 minutes there, but actually I wanted a bit more time for the museum. There were lots to read in American articles.


Next, Japanese command center. It was bombed and had a huge hole on the ceilling. The building was robust and pilars do not have any damages.



We also saw a Japanese tank which was bombed. Then we went to runway, which was the main reason of American military to seize control of Peleliu before they went further to the Philippines. The runway used to have two runways, north-south and west-east and each crossed each other in the middle. Now only noth-south runway can be seen. Around the runway is just jungle. 



Then we went to Orange Beach where American landed. Just by the beach there is the 81th Infantry Division Memorial of US military, the bus did not stopped and went through. From the bus stopped near the beach, I walked back and met pals in front of the memorial. Orange beach is a rough shoaling beach. There is nothing left that there was a firece fight then.


Our bus traveled  quickly through the island in the morning, now we had a lunch break. We went to the South Dock and had lunch box from our tour guide. These were brought from Koror island, there is no shop in Peleliu island.

午前中早足で観光をしてきたが、ここでお昼休憩。南波止場にて配られたお弁当を頂く。 弁当はもちろんコロール島から運んで来たもの。ペリリュー島にはそういうお店がない。

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pray in Palau (Peleliu 1) パラオで祈る (ベリリュー島 1)

Main purpose of visit Palau was to go to Peleliu island and thank soldiers who fought for Japan. I attended the tour to see many sites in Peleliu island following day.


From the Koror island where my hotel stands, it took for about an hour by boat to get to Peleliu island toward south. On the way we traveled through Rock Islands which consists of lots of small islands and is the World Heritage. As the boat traveled, the color of the ocean changed frequently. It was the color like jewelry. I felt that I was totally cleaned up from inside.



Landing on the North Dock, we first went to 1000 Man/Hospital Cave, which Japanese soldiers dug to hide themselves from American bombing or firethrower attack. Inside is like a huge maze. Just next to the cave there is Pillbox to snipe American soldiers who tried to land from the shore.


Our tour guide handed each of us maglite, and guided through the cave with explanation. Japanese soldiers dug the cave without proper tools by hands. Inside the cave is kept as it used to be, glass bottles or rice canteens were lying there. There was a room to nurse injured soldiers.


After the cave, we went to Mitana, war memorial. Next to the block of American soldiers' tombstones, there is memorial of Japanese soldiers. All of us offered incense sticks and faced palms in fromt of meorials in turn.



Eat in Palau パラオを食べる

In Palau, mangrove crab is the local special food. It is not very cheap, is in market about 25 dollars for 500g. I tried Parauan beer, steamed mangrove crab and water spinach at a Chinese restaurant in the center of Koror. I was asked to choose one of crabs in the pool. It weighed almost 1kg.


The shell of the crab is very hard and thick,  hardly breakable by teeth. I got a tool like a gripper to break shells. The meat was really firm and tasty.


The next day, I attended a tour to visit Ngardmau water fall among jungle in Babeldaob island. The way to the waterfall, it had a quilte different scenery from Koror. Everlasting Jungle is on about 200m altitude. Along the road panels with national flags of foreign countries can be seen which tells the road was built by the help of the countries.


We went down to the waterfall along the minecart rails which were used to collect and transfer bauxite during Japanese time. Even at noon, it is slightly dark among lots of trees. Looking up, I found lots of nepenthes rafflesiand drooping from above.


We arrived at river bank. Later on we went down long the river.

川が見えてきた。 その後、川の岩肌伝いにさらに降っていく。


We had lunch which our young tour guide carried down on his back. Sandwitches and fruits. The waterfall was about 30m high, the water was warmer than I imagined. I found many small tadpoles and fish with big eyes which I have never seen before.



The tour guide who accompanied us just graduated from a university and used to play baseball. He continues to play baseball there in Palau. We started to talk about baseball. There are not so many Japanese living away from Japan and play baseball. I presented my team's T-shirt to him via an another tour guide next day. I heard that he was very happy with it.


Back again thourgh the way we took, we had fresh coconut juice and then our tour guide cut the meat and served us with soy sauce and wasabi. It tasted like squid with Japanese yam texture. This can be a great match with sake.