Here’s a few moments from our trip to the land of the rising sun, Japan.
Having just boarded in Dallas, Sadako and I, do a “selfie toast” on the plane to Narita International. We look happy, even though we have 14 long hours to go. Must be the champagne!
Some twenty hours after take-off, we enjoy a steak dinner at Hotel Gajoen where we’ll stay for a few days. Here’s the chef getting our steak ready to cook.
We end the meal with a birthday plate for Masako-san, Sadako’s mother, who is eighty-three years young. Doesn’t she look great?
Later the next day in the hotel lobby, we all posed for a picture. Super nice! Totally decadent–I really need that every now and then.
That afternoon Sadako and her mother went shopping. I headed for the bookstores!
And of course here’s a sign I love to see.
Back at Gajoen, we attended an Ikebana show– Ikebana is the art of flower arrangement. Here’s a lovely sample.
An outdoor performance at Yasukuni Shrine where performers wore traditional Edo period costume. Drummers.
Of course what would a trip to Japan be if you couldn’t see Mt. Fuji. I got this shot when we visited Lake Ashinoko, a short bus ride out of Hakone. The day before was rainy with hard wind gusts. I was afraid we might not be able to see Fuji-san which has a well-deserved reputation for being shy. But next day, the sun came out and …ah!
We then train traveled to Osaka. Of course train travel means crowds and
salary men at the ticket machines, and
on the train, folks reading, meditating, and sleeping while traveling.
Finally we got to Osaka and met up with friends where talk and laughter rules!
Not every body is happy though. This young lady on her way to school gave me a look I’ll not soon forget.
Here’s some of the dishes I enjoyed: Sushi! And yes, that’s my sweater, getting tight about the waist.
Pork cutlet and curry-rice.
Steamed eel on rice
Traditional Japanese breakfast…excuse my fingers at the top left.
Dinner with fried oysters in the shell.
Topped off with a bottle of chilled Sake!
And finally here’s a mixed bag of favorite moments.
Early morning at our hotel in Hakone: a lovely mix of western and Japanese style architecture.
A shrine to The Tale of Genji author, Murasaki Shikibu, in Uji, Kyoto.
A scene in the lovely Kenrokuen park in Kanazawa. It was raining which added to the quiet beauty.
In Osaka, a lady folding a silk Kimono. It was at this Kimono store, we bought some silk for my sister in Tennessee.
Meeting with some terrific students in Kyoto. The young man in the center asked me to say something so that he could hear the English language. I rolled off a few sentences extolling him and his friends. He stood back and said “Wow.” Again, it was one of “those” moments.
Here I am in one of the malls in Osaka. I love these malls. There’s no doors. You simply walk in from the street and here you can find everything from bicycle repair to vegetables. That’s my new hat–I think I look more like a writer now!
We met up with some more friends–Ichida-San and his family. Allow me to introduce everyone. Moving around clockwise: Ichida-san in the check shirt, his sister, Akiko, holding a peace sign, then Akiko’s daughter, Ai, then Ichida-san’s son, Koki who sits next to his mom, Yoshiko, then Sadako, next, yours truly, then older son, Yuto, Ishida-San with his wife, Yoshiko, and his two sons have lived here in Decatur, Alabama for the past three years. They have just moved back to their home in Osaka, Japan. We had lunch at a pork cutlet restaurant, which turned out to be super-great!
Sadako and I one evening had a fun time at a Yakitori-ya where we drank hot sake and ate tons of yakitori. Here’s a few patrons and the owner/cook.
We had a great time, but you know, how it is, sometimes folks just get tired, and they need to talk things out… Sadako and I had just gotten off the train when we came across this rather tender scene. It was perfect. And thus, our trip came to an end.
It all goes so fast, but the memories last forever.
I hope you enjoyed.