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Tea with Catharine, Miyako, Dorothy and Derrick
Submitted by bugsly on Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 01:36 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Japan | Physical and Health Education | Tea | Walk

Today we went to a visit a good friend of Catharine's who owns one of her Mother's (Edrica Huws) patchwork pictures. It is of two cats lounging on a set of steps and is just beautiful. We had a marvelous time having tea, eating blueberry cheesecake and enjoying each other's company. The view from her home was incredible, as she lives on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. She has lived there her entire life.

We spent most of our afternoon there, but eventually we had to say goodbye and we made our way back to Miyako's garden house for the evening.

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Yodobashi with Dad
Submitted by bugsly on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 16:17 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Japan | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Train | Walk

Today I went on the train to Tokyo with my Dad to a place called Yodobashi. It's like an electronics wonderland for him. Anyway, we visited the golf course on the 8th floor of the building and had lunch on the 7th floor.

After that, we explored the entire complex with books, glasses, computers, Nintendo accessories, you name it, they probably had it! After about two hours of walking around, we stopped for a quick ice cream sundae or two and headed back for the train.

56 minutes later, we were walking back in the rain. We heard a car go by with a speaker on top saying something very loud in Japanese. We didn't understand it, but when we got back a couple of minutes later, the rain had started falling heavier and heavier and thunder and lightening was getting closer.

We arrived back to find Miyako, Mom and Michael closing the shutters on the house. The car we had heard going by, was actually a vehicle announcing that there was a typhoon warning. About one half of an hour later, the thunder was right above our heads and the lightening was even closer. By 11:00 pm it had passed and there was silence in the skies.


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Toyota Factory Tour & Nine Trains in One Day
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 - 16:10 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Japan | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Train | Walk

This morning we left Kyoto really early. Kazuo dropped us off at the station and we said our goodbyes. We hope to see him again in Kyoto on another visit or if he comes to see us in California.

We got on the first of 9 trains of the day and made our way to Toyotashi for a tour that my Dad arranged of the Toyota Factory.

The tour of the factory was incredible. First we saw the assembly line and how innovative they are with their automation and tools. They saw them building the Toyota Prius. In this factory, they build almost 2,000 cars a day.

After the assembly line, we toured the welding shop. It is all automated and robots do all of the welding and moving of parts from one station to another. It was quite funny to see them working all in unison, almost like they were dancing.

After the tour was over, we had lunch and headed back to the train. Many trains later, we arrived in Kamakura again, most happy to rest.


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Kyoto and Kazuo
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 15:55 Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Japan | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Train | Walk

On Saturday we traveled on the bullet train to Kyoto. We got there at about 4:00 and Kazuo, the owner of Bon Guesthouse, picked us up. On our way to his guesthouse, he took us to see a Shinto shrine called Shimogamojina. It was very large, and extremely peaceful. It had a very large entrance gate painted orange and black.

When we arrived at Bon Guesthouse, we got settled and then headed to the market with Kazuo. We shopped for fish and groceries for a sushi dinner.

Michael, Mom and Kazuo made dinner while Dad and I explored the neighborhood.

When we got back, dinner was ready and we feasted on delicious home-made sushi. Kazuo was sushi chef in many places including New York City. It was a fun evening and after dinner we showed our new friends Noriko and Kentaro how to play Rummikub. We had a great time together!

Sunday morning we got up early and headed to the To-ji Temple Market. My Mom had heard from a friend that it was a great experience. And it was. It was hot and crowded, but full of interesting and great finds (and great food!). I found an antique black lacquer box with inlays of flowers and desgins. My Dad sampled various foods with limited success. Michael and I had soy donuts covered in powdered sugar, they were great!

After the market, we went to lunch and then made our way to Bon Guesthouse for the evening. Kazuo made another wonderful dinner, Japanese Curry with brown rice.

On Monday, Kazuo took my Mom and I to several amazing temples. The first one was called Honenin Temple and it had beautiful Zen gardens to walk through.

The next temple was Nanzenji and it had incredible gardens. There were ponds with lilypads, beautiful buildings, stone lanterns and blooming iris. The Koy fish in the pond were HUGE and colorful. There were also turtles swimming in the pond and sunning themselves on the rocks.

After that we had a picnic lunch in the grounds of Kenninji Temple in the Gion Geisha district of Kyoto. The temple grounds were beautiful and peaceful.

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Arriving in Kamakura
Submitted by bugsly on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 15:44 Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Japan | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Train | Walk

Thursday we traveled all day to Japan. First the flight which was 4 hours, then the subway in Narita, then the express train to Kamakura, then a taxi to the home of Miyako where we are staying in her guesthouse. It was 9:00 pm when we finally got settled.

Dad and Michael went to find food for dinner and were able to get sushi and noodles at the local "Union" grocery store.

On Friday we went to see the Daihatsu Buddha, the giant Buddha in Kamakura. It was HUGE. There were lots of school kids visiting since it's the time of year when kids from Tokyo visit all over Japan on field trips.

After the Buddha, we went to visit Catharine Nagashima who is the daughter of Edrica Huws, the patchwork artist. My Mom was really excited to meet her and see more of her mother's work. We had a great time at tea with her and her grandchildren, Sieffre, Steffan and Ffiona. Michael is going to go to school with Sieffre one day next week. We had fun playing board games together.

After that, we all went to dinner at a place where you cook your own food on a hot plate in the middle of the table. It was delicious! It was a great day and we hope to see them again next week!


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