Maine, Summer 2016

I think we picked the perfect timing for visiting my husband’s family this summer, avoiding the heat wave in Tokyo while getting only a couple of cloudy/rainy days.

Two of my favorite Instagram captures: at Sebago Lake and Popham Beach.


A post shared by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on



A post shared by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on

Our daughter loves playing in water – not just pools but lake and ocean too. She also had fun playing the piano, sitting in a car seat (for most of the time!), pretending to drive a fire truck at Portland Children’s Museum 🙂

Three Attempts and You Are Out

I lived in Japan long enough that I am used to getting packages “delivered,” like, really delivered.

When you send a package through Kuroneko Yamato (private delivery service company, like FedEx/UPS) or other companies, they let you pick a preferred delivery date and time.

delivery truck making a pickup #3118

For example, Kuroneko Yamato has 6 delivery time zones: ranging from “Before noon” to “Between 8 p.m. & 9 p.m” — from noon to 8 p.m., they have one “zone” in 2-hour increments.

From (Yamato Transport) website:

[Six Time-Zone Delivery Service (*No extra charge is necessary)]

You can select the time period in which you would like the package to be delivered. Should the receiver not be at home, upon request from the receiver, the package can be redelivered.

Yes, that’s right. The package can be redelivered. And you can tell them to come between 8-9 p.m. if you want. They deliver on weekends too.

But for some reason, it’s not the case for FedEx or UPS. They just keep trying to deliver it three times (pretty much the same time during day) then keep leaving a door tag with not much information on it.

How are you supposed to receive a package if you work away from home during day? Or you are out of town? The answer is… you can’t. You have to go to their pick-up location and sign a slip (btw FedEx pick-up place is not open on weekends, its address was not on the door tag nor delivery status website, and they don’t have public phone number).
Sure, you can have packages delivered to your office in the first place, but what about a large package like furniture or something – take a day off?

I guess it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m just really puzzled with how inefficient the whole system is. Delivery is delivery, not “we’ll-try-to-deliver” service. Is there any reason for this?