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Posts tagged christmas

Hilton Daytona Beach Resort Oceanwalk Village

hilton daytona beach florida christmas tree sun

Christmas time at the Hilton Daytona Beach Florida


Santa Barbara’s State Street with Christmas lights

state street santa barbara christmas lights night

Holiday Lights on State Street @ night (Santa Barbara, California)

Merry Christmas

2013 shop n kart christmas tree

2013 Christmas tree

Most years, and this goes all the way back to when I was a kid, finding the “perfect” tree has not been easy. Frequently it involved stops at multiple lots selling trees. Some years it involved long walks through the forest or Christmas tree farms in which every tree was examined from multiple angles, multiple times. (Wait, haven’t we looked at this tree before?)

I’m guessing the average time it took to pick a tree over the years comes to about 2 hours. Even with all of the scrutiny, you get the tree home and find out it has some bad spots or won’t stand straight.

Not this year. We aren’t in Ashland for Christmas to enjoy this tree so we grabbed the first tree we saw in the Shop N Kart parking lot. The tree was all wrapped up so we didn’t even know what it would look like. We brought it home, untied it, and wah-lah, it is the most symmetrical and perfect tree we have ever had.

Isetatsu (いせ辰) Japanese paper chains

japanese paper chain isetatsu yanaka tokyo

paper chain made out of hand-made Japanese paper
purchased at the Isetatsu store in the Yanaka / Sendagi area of Tokyo

While in Tokyo this past summer I asked my wife if she wanted me to bring anything home. She wanted some of the unique paper that can only be found at a little shop near where I was staying in Yanaka. I didn’t know which styles she would want so I started taking photos to send to her. The shop owner came flying out of the back and was quite angry that a photo had been taken. I tried to explain, but she didn’t care if my photos were going to help her sell more paper. I probably should have just left. Instead I bought some of the paper and brought it home. Last week my wife turned the paper into one of the world’s most expensive paper chains to decorate our house for the holidays.

Shopping in Japan in the 1950s

魚一商店街 japan 1953 store kaimono

Vintage Japan photo – 1950s 商店街

I have come upon some interesting slides my dad took in the early 1950s. I’m not sure of the year, but it may have been 1952 or 1953. I think my dad was stationed at USAFFE Kokura General Depot on Kyushu. Kokura is now part of Kitakyushu (北九州市). This photo was likely taken near that base. I was unable to find any of the stores in this photo using Google so they have likely (long since) turned into something else. 魚町一丁目商店街 is one likely possibility. The Kokura General Depot was apparently only used during the Korean War. If someone else can give a more complete description of what happened there, how Kokura General Depot came into existence, and what became of the place, I’d love to hear from you.

Apparently, Santa Claus had a piece of the advertising budget even in the 1950s in Japan. Who knew? One of these stores is advertising its American products, but they are not aimed at US servicemen as the sign is in Japanese.

Kokura, by the way, only existed like this in the early 1950s because of a fortunate (for Kokura–not Nagasaki) weather incident. Kokura had been the primary target of the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb on August 9, 1945, but the city was obscured by clouds when the bomb was to be dropped. Therefore, Nagasaki became the new target.

Season’s Greetings from Kyoto

season's greetings kyoto japan

Mini Santa Clauses roaming the streets of snowy Kyoto, Japan