Sunday, January 27, 2008

The parental units come to Japan

Mum and dad came to visit me in Japan for two weeks. First we went by Shinkansen to Kyoto and Hiroshima. The above photo was taken from the Shinkansen on the way to Kyoto. So awesome. I had never seen Mt Fuji so clear before.

Our first stop was Kyoto. We went on a Kyoto tour that went to the Golden Pavillion, Kiyomizu Dera and Sanjusan Gendo( 1000 statues of kannon). We also went to Nijo Castle, which was the Shogan's castle when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. The photos above are of us at the Golden Pavillion and Kyoto from Kiyomizu Dera (Temple). The reflection on the lake at the Golden Pavillion was spectacular. We also visited a Temple that was in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha.

Then we headed by Shinkansen to Hiroshima. We spent one night in a hotel near the Peace Memorial Park. Mum and dad went to the museum which i had already seen and i had a sleep. Then we i showed them around the park. I showed them the A-bomb Dome(above right) and the Children's Memorial (above left). They both found it very moving. And much like my first visit there, it makes you think about the bombing and whether it was right or wrong. Very powerful to walk around the park.

Then it was onto an island just off of Hiroshima. It is called Miyajima. We took a private ferry over which was good cause we got to go down the river that runs through Hiroshima and feed the seagulls while on the boat. We stayed in a traditional Japanese Inn called a Ryokan. Where we slept on futons on the floor and ate in our room. They would come and lay out the meal on the table and then when we were finished they would come and put our beds out for us. There was a public bath as well which i like but the parents were too keen on. We rented bikes and rode around the island, just taking in the sghts. It was great fun and I found it so funny watching the parents riding their bikes around. I ride to the station each day so no probs for me but they were not accustomed to riding. But by the end of the day, the parents were really enjoying themselves. The other photo above was at the Ropeway, where u can go up and see other islands near Miyajima. There are meant to be monkeys up there but i have been up there twice and still not seen them. It the nicest part of the holiday cause we were just wandering around on this tiny island and enjoying the peace and quiet. The streets are very small and old Japan. So it was very nice. Tiny little shops and food stores.

The next place was Mt Fuji. We went to stay in a small town called Kawaguchiko. We went on a lake cruise and saw the reflection of Fuji san in the water. We also went up the ropeway. We couldnt get as many photos as we would have liked because the sun reflected off the snow on the top of the mountain. We went out to dinner with a friend i met on facebook who is also an Aussie and a teacher in Oz. Kaccey and her boyfriend Bernardo went to have yakiniku with us. So Korean bbq. It was so good. I love the veges and seafood part of the meal. You cook them on a bbq in the middle of the table. It was really great.

After we first arrived, i took my parents to visit my host parents from 2006. We had homemade udon noodles and tempura. It was awesome. We played two up. And i practiced my Japanese. Dad said that at one stage i was just talking in Japanese without thinking about it. So that is really great cause that was my main aim for coming here.

The photo on the right is in Tatebayashi. My grandparents had a rotary exchange student 30 years ago from Japan, Keiko. And i have spent some time with her since coming here. So i took mum and dad to visit her. Mum and Keiko hadnt seen each other in 30 years so it was really nice. We had sushi and salad and fried chicken. It was a really nice afternoon. The most special part was the cakes that Keiko got. Both with 'Welcome to Japan' on them. It was so special. Plus it has taken a little while for Keiko's kids to become less shy with me and it was good this time. They actually talked to me and smiled.

We also went on a day tour to Nikko. I had been trying to get there for 6 months. And there was snow an it was so pretty. I had a great time taking lots of photos. The lunch we had was part of the tour and it had many things from the Nikko region in it. We went to Kegon Waterfall and a temple and shrine. Also I got to make my first snow angel and had a snow fight with my dad. He got me good in the face and i got him in the side of the face and it went in his ear. Very fun.

We also visited my school, which was good cause now they know what i am talking about. And mum and dad went on a Tokyo tour while i went to work. And we just explored around my station. We went to dinner with my friend Kim at the King George Pub in Omiya (dad latched onto this name cause it rolls off your tongue - Omiya. He said it was his fav city. So crazy). I wanted my parents to try the burger at the George. And my friends Ryohei and Shane came over for some home cooked spag bolo made by my mum. We watched this crazy Japanese game show....which there are plenty of.

It was really nice to have them here and show them my life here. I was really sad when they left. It was nice to have the company but also to just have my parents here to have fun with.

Oh and they bought me an oven so now i can cook real food. YEAH!!!Roasts...........

Here are the links to my photos. Check them out........especially the snow awesome.

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