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10 Feb. 2014. It’s Monday morning in our neighborhood, as evidenced by trash covered by a blue net to prevent crows from tearing up the plastic bags. The women (center) have been caucusing for years. This scene is repeated on Thursdays. iPhone 5 photo.

10 Feb. 2014. It’s Monday morning in our neighborhood, as evidenced by trash covered by a blue net to prevent crows from tearing up the plastic bags. The women (center) have been caucusing for years. This scene is repeated on Thursdays. iPhone 5 photo.

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11 Feb. 2014. Year of the Horse. Ema or prayer boards collected during New Year visits to shrines.

More info: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2059.html
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9 Feb. 2014. Water art display seen on South side of JR Osaka Station. Cool! iPhone 5 video.

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9 Feb. 2014. The Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda, Osaka where visitors choose ingredients for their own, personal, one-of-a-kind Cup Noodle. iPhone 5 photo.

More info: http://www.bento.com/phgal-instantramen.html

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8 Feb. 2014. Sochi Winter Olympics opening on Japanese TV. Hoping to catch a glimpse of nephew Ryan, who coaches the US Speedskating sprint team. iPhone 5.

8 Feb. 2014. Sochi Winter Olympics opening on Japanese TV. Hoping to catch a glimpse of nephew Ryan, who coaches the US Speedskating sprint team. iPhone 5.

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7 Feb. 2014. Last breakfast in Sapporo before returning to Kobe. iPhone 5 photo.

7 Feb. 2014. Last breakfast in Sapporo before returning to Kobe. iPhone 5 photo.

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6 Feb. 2014. All the crab you can eat in 90 minutes. Three types initially served: zuwaigani, kegani, tarabagani. Decided to concentrate on tarabagani since it was easiest to eat. $45 per person. Sapporo, Japan. iPhone 5 photo.

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6 Jan. 2014. Side trip to Otaru. First stop at music box store. Free wifi hot spots starting to pop up here and there in Japan. Maguro donburi (bottom left) was magnificent. iPhone 5 photos.
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5 Jan. 2014. Enjoyed an exquisite kani kaiseki ryori (crab multi-course dinner) at the famous Kani Honke restaurant in Sapporo’s Susukino district. Virtually every dish had crab in it. In brief, it was delicious.

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5 Feb. 2014. 65th Sapporo Snow Festival. Odori koen (top row). Ice sculptures at Susukino area (middle, bottom). Visited by two million people annually. An event worth attending in spite of the cold weather that doesn’t seem so cold when you are there. iPhone 5 photo.