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Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Cheese, yoga and knitting

We're well aware that Tokyo is not the be all and end all of the country, but it's hard to get information useful to the foreign community when we are all so scattered. This is why the following two mails are so welcome. Thanks guys.

Cheese in Osaka

Jim in Kansai has news of a specialist cheese importer in Osaka who is "nothing short of superb in terms of range. Once a month. they have a cheese sale at their Tenmabashi store where you can pick up cheese at bargain prices, like marscapone for 300 yen."

Fromage Tenmabashi is at 1-38-3 Mori-kawachi-higashi, Higashi-osaka-shi, Osaka-fu (Phone 06-6781 3451; fax 06-6781 3454).

Check out its Web site (in Japanese only but maybe not so hard to find your way around) at www.sc-fromage.com

. . . in Nagoya

Bruce in Nagoya recommends online supplier ( www.TheMeatGuy.jp ) who carries a variety of cheeses in addition to meat and other food items. The Meat Guy is at 4-1-1 Hanede-cho, Minami-ku (Phone 052-618 3705; fax 052-618 3706). "It's based in Nagoya, but delivers nationwide," says Bruce.

Yoga in Nagoya

Siriam also lives in Nagoya, running a translation agency (Izumi Network) and teaching an Indian System of Mediation (for Free) called Sahaj Marg ( www.srcm.org ).

Siriam is teaching Sahaj Marg Raja Yoga Meditation -- yoga meaning "union with the truth." There is no charge to start the practice or to continue it. "I train for free."

For more information, call Siriam on (052) 770-5982 or (090) 982-53105

Useful Web sites are at www.izuminetwork.in and www.izumiconsultancy.com

Overgrown garden

Cathy is lucky enough to have a fair-sized garden around her recently rented home near the Tama River on the Tohoku line. The problem is it's out of control.

"I don't think anyone has touched it for years. Since I am working all week and studying Japanese, I'm wondering where I might find a gardener -- at least to clear it so I can see what's out there. Any ideas?"

Your best bet is to try your local city office and ask whether they can put in touch with the local "silver jinsai center."

This organization for energetic and motivated retirees will put you in touch with someone local who is happy to garden to supplement their pension and/or savings. Occasionally they are gardeners by trade, but more usually they are simply enthusiastic amateurs.

Either way, they will get the job done.

At the same time, it's a chance for you to practice your Japanese. Hope it works out.

Knitting yarns

Annie is a fan of the British knitwear designer Debbie Bliss, who produces two books of patterns a year and travels the world facilitating workshops.

She also runs her own knitting club that in part promotes her own range of yarns.

"Do you know where I can buy Debbie's yarns in Japan? I have tried Tokyu Hands in Shibuya and Shinjuku, and Yokohama."

Annie, do not despair. They are stocked here by Hobbyra Hobbyre. Try Yokohama's Yakashimaya (6F), or Tamagawa Takashimaya (SC South 5F); both have HH stores that currently carry Debbie's winter ranges: Maya, Alpaca Silk and Cashemerino Astrakhan.

There will an increased range in these two stores in August/September this year, with more shops in Tokyo and Osaks carrying stocks winter next.

For further information on Debbie Bliss, go to her Web site at www.debbieblissonline.com/theclub/findoutmore.htm

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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