Have fun!!

at Enoshima Island

How's everyone?
I spent busy days and I'm moving to Hiroshima again on 22nd by the way of Kyoto.
I'll be an interpreter for a spiritual teacher at healing workshop from 23 to 26.
After a 4-day workshop, I'll take a short trip around Hiroshima with my sister and friends.
I'm going back to Miyajima Island.
I'm so excited!!
I feel something magical will be happening!!

When I'm back, December will start.
Another one more month in 2012.
Please enjoy all the moments never to regret!
Have fun!!

my sister and me



Farwell Dinner

Finally, It is the last article about my last tour.
The tour was from Oct. 8th to 19th 2012.
12 days!
We traveled in Chugoku region, the southwest of Japan.
This is a map showing you where we visited.
Can you see the number, 1 to 11?
I didn't include the first day from the airport to hotel.
The last day numbered 11 tells you how long we drove from Hiroshima to Kansai International Airport in Osaka.
We drove totally about 1730km, 1081miles.
Considering the length of Japan is about 3000km, 1875miles, we drove more than half distance of Japan's length!!

Farewell dinner at Hiroshima city after coming back from Miyajima.

Nice meal and smile!!

Most of them were born in Japan and moved to USA.
They have their own unique stories.
I always love to hear them whenever they come back!

Ikuko-san and Harold-san

I was touched by their love story!
Harold came to Japan to study at university and met Ikuko at Ping-Pong court.
(By the way, our emperor today met his future wife at tennis court.)
But he went back to USA and contacted with her only by writing for 2 years!!
No telephone since it was very expensive at that time and no meeting.
Only letters!!
He was on the fishing boat and her letters always found him.
2 years later, he came back to Japan and Ikuko went to USA with him.
They have been married about 50 years!
They said they never doubted each other and believed they were meant to be from the beginning.

I know it was hard but beautiful!

Harold, am I right about your episode?
If not, please let me know.

Besides their love story, all of them have their special stories.
Compared with this time when everything becomes very convenient,
they must have had a hard time especially after the war.

I respect their courage and strong will all the time.

Thank you so much!
I had a great and memorable time with all of you.
I will never forget!
See you again in Japan or US!!


Miyajima Island

The last destination of the tour was Miyajima Island in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is famous for the site where the first atomic bomb dropped.
We didn't go to places related to the A-bomb.
Personally, when I visit those places, I always feel sick.
People who are sensitive to energy sometimes have the same reaction.
Instead, we went to only Miyajima.
Miyajima was designated as World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO
and it is one of the "Three Most Beautiful Spots" of Japan including Amanohasidate and Matsushima.
Since we went to Amanohashidate during this trip, we visited the best 2 scenic spots in Japan!

Many of you may see this red gate in the ocean.
This is the symbol of Miyajima and it is a Torii Gate(barrier or boundary) to Itsukushima Shrine.

Miyajima is off the main island and we take a ferry to get there.
Only 10 minutes.

There are many wild deer in the island.
They are sometimes very hungry and violent.
Be careful!

When we arrived at the island, it was lunch time!
We had Okonomiyaki, Japanese pancake.

Hiroshima is famous for Okonomiyaki along with Osaka.
There are MANY Okonomiyaki restaurants.

He is cooking oysters.
Oysters are also famous in Hiroshima.
We can eat Hiroshima oysters throughout the year.

The master spoke only Japanese but they could communicate well!

After lunch, we walked to Itsukushima Shrine.
Buses have to stay on the main island and tourists have to walk in the island.

It was after the first high tide of the day when we visited.
There are 2 high tide everyday. On that day, 11:30 and 23:00.
And low tide was 17:30.
Views with and without water are very different!

When we visited, the wedding ceremony was started.
Usually the wedding ceremony is held on weekends but it was Thursday.
We were very lucky!
Actually my first time to see the ceremony here although I visited this shrine many times.

They are Shinto dancer and musicians.
Can you see the red gate behind them?

The couple dedicated the dance to Shinto Goddesses who are enshrined here.

This dance is called "Ran Ryo Oh".
It was Chinese legend which was introduced to Japan.
The prince in this legend was a very strong worrier but very beautiful.
In order to scare the enemy, he had a scary mask at battle field.

Again, this was my first time to see this dance.
I took a short video of this.
I hope you have a glimpse of  Japanese sacred ceremony.

We took a ferry back to the main island.

The last day was very special and beautiful!!



the last night at Ryokan

I'll skip photos of several places we visited and I just like to post the photos of my guests.
At Hori garden in Tsuwano town.
It was raining all day on that day.
But luckily it was the only day we had rain.
In the morning, we went to Akiyosido Limestone Cave.
The rain didn't bother us a lot.
And in the afternoon, we drove to Tuswano.
Hori Garden was the last destination on that day.
Rain stopped and we enjoyed the quiet Japanese garden although it was early for autumn leaves.

It was the last night at Ryokan, traditional Japanese inn.
At 7 out of 11 nights, we stayed at Ryokan with hot spring and Kaiseki meal.

Gorgeous tour!!
I ate too much!!

Our Ryokan was located in Yamaguchi prefecture which is famous for Fugu, blowfish.
The amount of Fugu caught in Yamaguch ranks No. 1 in Japan.
We ate a variety of Fugu, sashimi, boiled, marinated, fried....

Fugu steak!
It was my first time to eat Fugu steak.
But it was delicious!!

Karaoke night!!
And Dancing!

We enjoyed the last night at Ryokan.

Iwami Silver Mine

Before I finished writing about my last tour, my life is moving on and on.
I try to finish posting photos!
We went to Iwami Silver Mine which was designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
We didn't go to Silver Mine itself because we had to walk a lot to get and explore there.
Instead we went to World Heritage Center to study its history and  Omoi Town.
 Before exploring the town, we had lunch at very nice place which used to be a top official's residence.

BENTO, Box Lunch!
a shape of a silver coin.

Very pretty and very Delicious!

Omori Town, the preservation district.

It was a very quiet day.
No cars are allowed to enter the town.

Even the vending machine never spoil the scene.
Ryokan, traditional Japanese inn we stayed at after visiting the Silver Mine was Amazing!!

It was  the view from my room.
Araisokan http://araisokan.com/  (It was written only by Japanese)
All the rooms face ocean, the sea of Japan.
And the hot spring both inside and outside also faces ocean.
Can you imagine how wonderful we take an open-air bath while listening to the ocean and seeing the sunset!!
I took the video from my room.
I hope you enjoy it!


Tottori Sand Dunes

November has started!
It's getting colder in Japan and the weather forecast says it will be a cold winter this year.
Before winter comes, I like to enjoy autumn leaves!
My schedule in Nov. is already booked petty much.
Some of my foreign friends are visiting Japan.
One of them is from Taiwan and I like to ask about the relationships between Japan and China.
When I said so, friends of mine stopped me but I'll ask because I like to listen to the real voice!
I'll post photos of the Tottori Sand Dunes.
Before the sand dunes, I'll post unique seafood.

spiral shells, fish, octopus.....They were sold at a shop where we had a comfort stop.
We love a variety of seafood!

At Uradome Coast where we got on a pleasure boat, they dried squid and fish.
This equipments moved automatically. 
It was the first time for me to see this funny scene.

This photo was taken at another shop.
Those squid were just being dried.
For those who don't eat seafood very often, these photo are very bizarre, I think.

Our lunch!
Snow crab is in season now.
During the last tour, we ate a lot.
We were never hungry.

Finally, the way down to the Tottori Sand Dunes!
There are another sites you can go straight to the dunes without the lift.

The Tottori Sand Dunes are the largest sand dunes in Japan and Tottori's most famous tourist attraction. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e8102.html

There are camels for tourists at tourist' price!
At high season, there are looooong lines to ride the camels!

I felt sooooo goooood!!!
Nice weather, blue sky and blue ocean!
The ocean is the Sea of Japan.

Everyday during the last tour was great!!
But this day was the most beautiful to me!!!

My favorite type of day!