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If Only I Could Read

Sometimes it stinks to be functionally illiterate in a language you love. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely capable of reading the necessary things--menus, signs, basic instructions etc.--but novels in Japanese are still beyond me. However, even though I can't really "read" per se, I couldn't resist a visit (with Nick) to the Kanazawa Umimirai Library. It's a fairly new library--my host family thought it was finished around 2005--and on a list of the World's 25 Most Beautiful Libraries it comes in around #5. So, being the book-lover that I am, who could resist?

The outside of the library reminds me simultaneously of the Beinecke at Yale and the "roundels" of the Doctor's Tardis.

The inside was, of course, silent as the grave and all the available nooks and tables were filled with studying students. Libraries, somewhat unlike (?) public libraries in the US still get plenty of regular use by students.

The inside is quite charming, if slightly dimly lit, and simple. White and silver everywhere. Definitely an inspiration to really get a grasp on kanji so I could actually enjoy a library like this in Japan. Future goals, much.

And now, really, back to work tomorrow. Charming.
And for those of you who are curious about what the tsuyu--rainy season--looks like, this is it:


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100K Announcement


Thanks to everyone who has read and followed my journeys in Japan from 2011 to 2017. Your support of my adventures and observations means the world to me.

In celebration of Riceandramen finally hitting 100k views, I am pleased to announce that I will be running a giveaway!

I will send one lucky person a custom box of goodies from Japan that could include (but isn't limited to): snacks, stationary, character goods, traditional Japanese crafts and more. The only limits are weight and size and your imagination (I'll be keeping everything small and light to keep the shipping costs down).

Without further ado, the details and rules of the giveaway are as follows:


The giveaway will run from today, February 25 2018 JST/ February 24 CST to March 11, 2018 JST/ March 10 CST.You don't have to be in Japan to enter: since almost all of my readers are international, this giveaway will be, too. The winner will be picked at random and notified via p…