Friday, July 8, 2011

Japan Day 8

We spent our last day in Japan shopping our way through Tokyo. We found some funny & questionable items along our journey. Enjoy!

X-rated wicker Samurai
X-rated body pillows in a department store.
Body Glitter
New anime additions to our family.
Taylor & Tate chose to forgo shabu-shabu for dinner and had room service cheeseburgers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Random Signs ~ part 2

The money was not put to good use!
This was in Disney Sea.
Our direct translation of this was side order.

Instructions on how to use a squat toilet properly.

Japan Day 7

Walking into a cloud as we arrived at Mt. Fuji.
Trace modeling a traditional rice patty hat.
The view from our hike.
Our mountain hut lunch.
The lavender flower garden.
The garden outside the Kimono museum.
A trout in a clear spring pond.
Our relaxing hot spring foot bath.
Enjoying some strawberry sorbet.
Jen brought her GPS watch. This is the satellite image of our travels.

Today our destination was Mt. Fuji. We met our guide Kuaru and drove up to the 5th station (the furthest a car can take you). It was a very foggy and damp day, so we never were able to see the top of the mountain. We did enjoy a hike, lunch at a mountain hut, a kimono museum, several nautral mountain springs, a flower garden, and a hot foot bath.

Japan Day 6

The bullet train.
My delicious sushi lunch.
Tate and I drinking from the purified fountain at the Kiyomizu temple.
The veranda of Kiyomizu Temple.
A Japanese pagoda.
Often we had to remove our shoes and wear slippers ~ don't Bill's feet look dainty?
This is a painting on the ceiling of Nijo caslte.
The gang at the entrance to Nijo castle.
The Golden Pavilion

Today we enjoyed the city of Kyoto. We started the day taking the Shinkansen ~ bullet train. This train goes about 200 miles per hour. When we arrived we met our guide Akira and began our tour. We saw the Golden Pavilion (the top 2 levels are gold leaf), Nijo castle, Sanjusangendo (hundreds of buddhas are kept there), Kiyomizu Temple, and a zen temple established in 1202.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Japan Day 5

On the train ride home our guide, Kuaru taught us how to make origami flying cranes.
At the top of the observatory on Enoshima Island.
The Great Buddah ~ it was breathtaking!
A beautiful bridge at the zen temple.
We stopped by a pond with carp in it. The local school children were having lunch recess and the boys were trying to catch the fish, Tate joined in the fun.
In front of an 800 year old bell used to warn of oncoming attacks.
Today was the beginning of our path to enlightenment. We took a commuter train to Kamakura ~ a beach town. We visited the zen temple Engakuji, another Shinto shrine, the island of Enoshima, and the Great Buddah ~ 800 yrs old.

Japan Day 4

Sibling Sacrifice at the Temple of the Crystal Skull.
Our Indiana Jones Ride picture.
Jiminey Cricket
Trace with a couple of Disney Girls.
Riding a Little Mermaid ride.
In front of Port Discovery.
On the monorail into the park.

Today was Tokyo Disney Sea ~ a special Japan Disney park. It was really fun! The level of detail was amazing! The park concessions were very different ~ black pepper & strawberry popcorn, sausage & shrimp buns, and maple churros in the shape of Mickey's face. Our favorite rides were Journey to the Center of the Earth and Raging Spirits. One thing we noticed is that none of the Japanese people would scream on the rides, which only made us scream more :-).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Japan Day 3

Fresh produce at the farmers market.

Hanging in the subway.

Yummy peaches.

Trace showing off his moves.

A man and his monkey ~ don't they look alike?

Yummy Jojuen dinner.

Probably wouldn't be a big seller in Highland.

Costco lovers unite!

Harajuku park.

Dancing Elvi ~ they were called the Lebels. We assume they mean Rebels.

Crazy Takeshita Street ~ seriously that was the name of the street!

Taylor's first modeling job.

Our third day in Japan consisted of trains, taxis, buses, & subways. The kids are becoming masters of mass transit! First we happened upon a farmers market just outside our hotel room. We bought some peaches that were delicious. Then we went in search of Costco in Kawasaki. It was quite an experience. The parking complex was 4 stories high, people took an escalator with their shopping carts back to their cars. The products in Costco were both strange and familiar. Then we spent the afternoon in Harajuku. This is a section of Tokyo were the eccentrics come. We saw dancing Elvi and a few teenagers dressed up as their favorite anime characters. There was even a man with a monkey! A local man asked Taylor if he could take her picture because she was so beautiful. She was thrilled and a little creeped out, mostly thrilled! The big hit of the day was when a man grabbed Trace to join him dancing in a drum circle. Trace did it! You can find the video on Bill's Facebook page. The evening ended with dinner at a Jojuen restaurant ~ you grill your own meat. Very yummy!