Japan Here We Come!

Japan Here We Come!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hakone, we loved it!

For the Veteran's Day Holiday, we decided to take a trip to Hakone (2 hrs. away) to see the fall leaves. Everyone had a great time and we had some good firsts.

Hakone Cable Cars
Started out with a trip up the cable cars. Which was beauriful and very fun
 We stopped at the halfway point where there are a lot of sulfur hot springs and can be a great view spot for Fuji. Can you see Fuji? It was pretty awesome to see. Pictures don't do it justice. We had all stopped on the little hike up to the hot springs and Sam all the sudden says "Fuji, Fuji!!" We were all very glad he saw it.

In one of the pits they put dozens of eggs in to hard boil them. Here he is putting in the raw ones.

Here they are coming out... BLACK!!!

 We of course bought some. Here's Hazel reaction! We actually enjoyed them so much we ended up buying two five packs. It was also 1:30 and we hadn't had lunch. They even came with a pack of salt.

 They were hot, but Tom was the first one to brave it and take a bite.
 Emma and Mattie loved them the most.

At the bottom of the cable cars is a Lake Ashi. We took a little ship (ferry) to the other side.

Later Tom and the kids took a little swan paddle boat on the lake as well.

Ra Kunn Hotel
 That night we stayed in Ryokan (a hotel with an onsen (hot tub)), except this wasn't just a hot tub, it was the traditional Japanese kind where there is one for the men and one for the women and you go in naked. We decided we had to try it...so we did! These are the robes you wear down to the onsen. We didn't last very long because it was soooooooo hot! But, it was a good experience.
 Here is the breakfast they served us. Poached egg in miso soup, salad, fish, fruit, scrambled eggs and they had a little bit of cereal for which the kids were very relieved to find. Of course they had rice, but none of us ended up getting any.
Here is the view from our hotel. That is Lake Ashi down there.

Hakone Open Air Museum
Coolest outdoor museum ever! Very kid friendly too.

 St. Chapelle for kids.
Hot foot bath w/ lemons. It was perfect for the cold day.

Star Gardens, funnest place to play hide-n-seek. Had to stop b/c we were being loud obnoxious Americans.

World of Nets


Last stop was the Yunessun, land of hot tubs. A huge building with all kinds of hot tubs inside and out...egyptian, greek, etc. themed as well as miso soup, coffee, sake, red wine, and many others. We truly went in one and jumped out and went to another. It took us two hours. 

This one you put your feet in and the fish eat your dead skin. Sam's face more accurately portrays how we all felt. It was pretty tickelish.

We only saw part of it though because the other part is no swimsuits allowed. I will brave it with just my girls, not brave enough to do it with other women.

It was such a fun family vacation! I think everyone enjoyed it--even Mattie who missed her first volleyball game. We hope to have more vacations to come, just need to find a cheaper way to do Japan. Now we are back into the rigamorole of our daily lives, which we have even in Japan.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A few more pictures on the other camera

On the airplane....12 hours. Super kids!

 Airplane food had sushi.

Mattie's birthday and Sumo Wrestling

Mattie turned 10 on September 4th. As happens more often than not Mattie started off pretty grumpy and then as she opened presents she got happier. I would love to post us singing happy birthday, but she might hate me the rest of her life (maybe I'll post it on Facebook).

 The kids are all playing soccer. It's very American and normal and keeps us pretty busy with practices and 3 games on Saturday. Mattie has especially blossomed as a goalie. She is a game changer when she's in.

 This is how the little preschoolers go on afternoon walks

Kamakura Mask Festival

Went with some fellow medical spouses up to Kamakura (home of the first Shogun) to watch the mask festival. Even after reading the plaque and stuff, I'm still not sure exactly what it's for except to honor a guy who left to war when he was 16, was brave and later became a town leader.
 This first picture is for my brother Mark who asked if the Japanese take as many pictures at home as they do abroad. If there is something out of the ordinary, then yes, they take pictures.


Tokyo and Sumo Wrestling

 Shibuya, I think it's in Cars 2, and it was ok, don't think I would take kids any later than we were there.

 We ate at Yakiniku. It was expensive, but good. Beef tongue and everything.
 The kids got very bored.

 Its hard to tell, but Emma is on the 1st floor, Sam on the 2nd, Mattie on the 3rd, and Hazel and Dad on the 4th floor.
 And of course the cheese pie It was very very good!

These next pictures are from the Meiji Shrine. It was beautiful there and many good things to see. Weddings every 30 min., old shrines, open grass fields, and lots of trees that were planted

  Here is Hazel in front of the Sumo wrestling statue.

 Emma as a Sumo with a Sumo.

Some very out of focus pics and a view of how far back we were, but we really enjoyed it and saw big Sumo wrestlers push each other off the stand. We may have to do it again.

Tokyo sky tower.

So far we don't have much planned in the future, but I'm sure we have a lot more things on our to do list. I love our house, love being here with my family and for the growth we have already have. I do miss family though, but have skyped and Facetimed and emailed and texted--love the modern age.