Jan 1 2020
Jul 16 2011
The Mercers (Craig, Kana, Yuki and Haku) are planning on coming to Osaka for a visit! Kana and the kids will be arriving on Friday, September 2nd and Craig will be arriving on Saturday, September 17th. We’ll all be heading back to Canada on Saturday, October 25th. We are looking forward to visiting with all of our friends and family. Below is our itinerary so you can see when we might be free to hang out and catch up. Mata ne!
Apr 15 2007
Well our day to leave Nippon has finally come. We, with heavy hearts, are heading down to Kansai Airport in about 10 minutes (2:00pm JST). Before we left though we wanted to say Sayonara to all our wonderful friends and family in Japan.
We also wanted to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Ai and Junya Fujii on the birth of their first son Hayato. We were hoping to meet the new little one before we left and Ai did not disappoint us. YAY! Hayato was born on Thursday April 12th at 1:14pm and weighed in at 3070grams.
We have met so many cool people in Japan and we will sorely miss you all (Yoshio, Shigeru, Daniel & Miyuki, Madoka, Mika, James & Hiromi, Lian & Atsushi, Eiko, Misako, Ai & Junya, Rie, Shima, Tomo & Koichi, Terry & Tomomi, David, Mac & Aya, Ryoko & Kenji Sei, Teruko and list goes on and on)! It is doubly hard to leave Kana’s family (Mom, Dad, sister Chie and her wonderful newborn son Seia) as Grace Yuki has really made our times together very very memorable. Family is good that way hey!?!
So this is it from the Mercers in Osaka. I guess our next video series will be “The Mercers’ Adventures in Victoria”. Love and Prayers Everyone. SAYONARA!
Apr 11 2007
Our “Sayonara Parties” are done and we are switching into serious packing up mode. We cancelled our cell phones yesterday, which means if you are in Japan and you want to reach us, you should emailor call 72.426.3987.
We sure are going to miss all of our new friends that we have made while being in Osaka these past two years. Last night we were finally able to make it out to our local Izakaya “Enjoy Sake” which we have been trying to get to since it opened last summer. Even Kana made it out which is so rare…a fitting way to end our last get together in Osaka. Sniff Sniff.
For those of you wondering what flight we will be on and when here are the particulars:
We are flying on Air Canada (flight number AC36) from Kansai Airport (KIX) at 5:25pm on Sunday, April 15th. We will arrive at Vancouver Airport on Sunday April 15th at 11:00am (it’s wierd I know but there is a 16 hour time difference between Osaka and Victoria). Wish us luck for the joy that is customs and immigration. YAY!
Our best friends Adam & Marianne Richards have graciously agreed to come with a huge van to pick us up from Vancouver Airport and drive us back to the Island. We are planning to make a short stop off at my Dad & Mom’s place to introduce Grace Yuki in person before finally arriving at my Mom’s place where we will be hanging our hats for the next few weeks while we look for a place of our own.
In other news, Kana’s best friend Ai her husdand Junya are expecting their first baby any hour now and we are really hoping we will get to meet the new little one before we have to go.
Mar 28 2007
Sorry we have been so short on the news lately! But moving between countries is a lot of work!
We are all doing good. Grace Yuki has just started walking this past two weeks or so and is enjoying it greatly as are her parents!
Also I have added some more recent photos to the gallery, with more to come when I find the time (if I find the time)
Here is the list of upcoming stuff:
- Friday March 30th – David’s sayonara at Sakuranomiya by Osakajyo
- Saturday March 31st – Kana’s sayonara with the KaToRiShiA
- Saturday April 7th – Craig’s sayonara with the Royal Kids Crew
- Monday April 9th – Craig, Kana & Grace’s sayonara at Bayside Mall (5pm to 8pm)
So yeah there ya go we got more sayonara parties going on than we can shake a stick at. Hopefully all of our friends in Japan can make it to one or another.
Aug 3 2006
Hello All. Kana, Gracie and I just returned from a three day trip to Fukuoka (which is the big city on Kyushu, the island just south of Honshu which is the one we are on) to visit Kana’s Grandma Tomoe (toe-moe-ay), Gracie’s Great Grandma! Photos will be following in the next couple of days.
The other subject I wanted to bring up is the Friends Page. It has been working off and on and if you were to look back over the news items you would see many posts about our little guestbook.
Anyways, I have finally returned to the low tech original, although it will let spammers spam us (the reason I switched over to the new one), at least people can post comments with some assurance.
I am very sorry to those who have signed the Friends’ Page thinking we had received it, when in fact we hadn’t! Please re-post your thoughts when you get some time.
Hope everyone is having a great summer.
Apr 12 2006
Costco is another good place to get foreign foods and other stuff in Kansai. It is located in Amagasaki which is about 15 minutes away from Osaka (Umeda) on the JR Hanshin Line (between Kobe and Osaka).
Costco is good for some things, like buying in bulk, but if you are looking for just a few items it may not be worth the effort.
Where Costco shines is in the goods! If you are looking for items other than food, then Costco will be the place to look and as always the prices will be quite reasonable.
Oct 22 2005
There are so many traditions in Japan which I don’t know about or I have never had a chance to actually experience myself. For example, “Geisha”. I had understood “Geisha” in a totally wrong way until Craig taught me! I knew how they look like, yet misunderstood what they did and had no ideas about their lives and customs back in the days. There might be many differences between Geisha during the war and those who currently work in Gion, Kyoto and I am pretty sure that they had lots of rules and customs compared to these days.Read more…
Aug 5 2005
Expat Express is an online ordering company based in Utah, USA. Their website says they have service representatives in Japan, and will ship to a whole host of countries. Their product selection is wide (as one would expect since they are based in the USA).
We have not personally used them so sorry we can’t be more specific about Expat Express.
Aug 5 2005
If you are not close enough to drive or take a train to get your fill of foreign foods, then why not try a little online ordering?
The Flying Pig uses Costco for their product selection, and it is fairly good. They not only carry foods, but all the usual Costco goodies, electronics, camping supplies, books, videos etc. You can order and have the items delivered to your doorstep in 3 days.
Aug 5 2005
The Foreign Buyers’ Club was started by Chuck and Kelly in Kobe over 12 years ago. They now have in addition to the USA club, British and Aussie websites.
Just place your order online and your goods will be on your doorstep in 5 to 7 days. They also offer learning materials, books, videos and offer special support for International and English schools. Of course if you are in the area you can visit their Rokko Island store in Kobe.
See the website for more details!
Jul 31 2005
One of the best things to help you keep sane while living in Japan is staying in contact with family and friends back home. If you are like Kana and I then that means having a decent computer, a web cam, a digital camera and a highspeed internet connection.
If you are looking to buy a computer or build one yourself there are plenty of options in Osaka. You need look no further than Den
Den Town (aka Nipponbashi) , however you can order anything you need online as well and have it delivered to your house the next day.Read more…
Jul 29 2005
Well the weather report in Osaka these days is HOT. Hot, hot and more hot with a warm hot front moving in.
Seriously though, Osaka is over 30 degrees most days and the humidity is rather harsh, but you know, when in Rome.
Kana and I are both doing good. I think she is starting to show which is amazing and we have another checkup at Kaizuka Hospital in 2 weeks, so we may find out then if the little Mercer is a boy or a girl.
Last weekend Kana and I were able to visit some friends that I met on the train. It all started one day when I was taking my guitar to work to play for the kids and a couple of older Japanese gentlemen (Shigeru & Yoshio), seeing I was struggling with my guitar and backpack, offered to help me stow my guitar. What started that day was the beginning of an amazing friendship.Read more…
Mar 26 2005
Hey Everyone. Sorry for being so long between updates but life has been hectic.
I just finished my third full week at Royal Kids. The kids are now on Spring Break with the new school year (the school year in Japan runs from April to March) starting in a couple of weeks.
I am now the official teacher for the Kindergarten Class (ages 4-5). I am taking over the class from an English fellow named David who is helping Royal Kids get their new school up and running in Nara. My Japanese co-worker Madoka and I will have 12-14 kids in our class and start using a new curriculum in April. Should be good times and I will try to get some pics up in the Photo Gallery soon.
Kana just landed a new job but I will let her post some news about that.
There is also two REALLY important announcements for the Puritch family….first George & Kristen have welcomed a new member into their family, little baby Madison Elaine Puritch joined the clan on March 16 who weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz
The second big news item is that Cousin James and his girlfriend Yvette got engaged. Note to James: get us the date asap so we can begin looking for cheap flights.
Huge congrats to George and Kristen on little Madison, also to James and Yvette on their engagement and of course to Kana for her new job which starts in a week.
I am working on a couple more videos of our recent excursions and hope to have them finished in the next couple of weeks.
Dec 23 2004
I have been shopping a few times with Kana since we got to Japan and there are a few things which I find are quite interesting.
First thing you notice when you go to the shopping centre is the Parkade Traffic/Security guys (which I like to call Traffic Cops even though they are not cops). They are very courteous, bow and point using an orange baton which way you should be going. It is kind of nice seeing 4 or 5 people employed to help people park. But then again like Kana says, who aspires to be a parking cop!!?!
Next thing you will notice in the shopping mall is the noise level. They are Christmas tunes playing over the loud speakers, and there are little ghetto blasters on a shelf in the meat department screaming out something barely intelligible, and all of the TVs are blaring out commercials for the stores you are in. I thought shopping in North America was boisterous, but we got nothing on the Japanese. Shopping in Japan is truly an amazing experience.Read more…
Dec 7 2004
Just a quick note from Kana and I to let you know we made it to Osaka safe and sound. We are both totally wasted with the 17 hour time difference and all, so when we get a little more with it we will send a little more detailed email.
Sorry for taking so long but we had to go into downtown Osaka today to a place called Nipponbashi in order to buy a computer case (I brought all the guts with me) and a flat panel monitor ('cause apparently the regular CRT monitors we have in North America are sooooo obsolete)!
Anyways I am including a couple of photos I took this morning, one from the side of the Ogino house where you can see the driving range nets in the background and one from the back patio showing a cool looking palm tree.
Dec 6 2004
This is for all the Scotch drinkers out there. While en route to Osaka, Kana and I dropped by the the duty free in the Vancouver airport to pick up some Scotch. To my utter surprise I saw a triple pack containing Dalmore, Lagavulin and (drum roll please) Isle of Jura.
This was the first time I have ever seen Isle of Jura in Canada, and I hoping it won't be the last. I will let you know what the taste is like when I finally crack the bottle.