Friday, September 12, 2014

Japan Vacation: Hiking Mount Fuji

Coming up to My. Fuji.

Trail head! 7:15 pm

Trail markers in the dark.

Crazy huge mountain leach.

Zack hates the flash.

The moon and clouds.

Flora.

Zack having a lie-down at Station 7.

Snuggles next to a rock to block the wind while we get off our tired feet.

The moon again....the little dots are hikers coming up Mt. Fuji.

Hope!

The entrance to the top. 3:30am

Trying to warm up with miso soup.

Sunrise is coming!

Here it is! 5:15am

Ice at the top.

Gotemba station, where we have to get back to.

Heading back down.....


Bells. Make a wish with a bell on Mt. Fuji.


Back down.

Getting close, very tired.

Zack found me this bug!

We hiked this at night! It hurt just as bad coming back down. Back to trailhead 9:30am.

Zack had already dumped his shoes out earlier, but when we finally got to the hotel he still had a large amount of Fuji-san left.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Japan Vacation: Hiroshima

Our first meal of Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima hit the spot, Zack is now addicted. 

We ordered two different kinds, it is even a delicious leftover! 

Breakfast at a french style bakery one morning,  I just loved their wallpaper and flowers. The pastries were yummy too.

We went to the Hiroshima Castle.  I wasn't allowed to take photos inside, but the museum is full of amazing cast iron armor and helmets.  The swords are really intricate too. Below is a photo of the screen in the lobay showing two of their helmets (is that cheating? )


And then we went to the Miyuki seed bead factory which gets it's own post here.

The next day we toured some of the Peace Memorials, the colored strip are chains of paper cranes.

The memorial Cenotaph.
I agree with Zack's grandma, being a US citizen and visitng the Hiroshima bombing memorials are tough. This eternal peace memorial looking out on to the skeleton of the Atomic Dome at the back, then the peace flame across a low pool and the sculpture that aligns them. The box shape within the sculpture encases the list of names of people lost in the bombing. ��

We had lunch at a different Okonomiyaki place waiting for the boat the take us over to Miyajima Island. I likedon't this place even more than the first, it'seems at the end of the strip of covered mall before the Peace Memorials.

Stormy boat ride to Miyajima Island.

The deer are like the squirrels in the Grand Canyon. Tons of them, if you have food, they follow you. This one greeted us off the boat and immediately got into Zack's cargo pockets.

Torii Gate.

Waterfall on the walk up to the gondola.



Japan Rail pass is good for this ferry! Sweet.

Oysters require a dress up date night. ��

And this is the hot oyster that I hit into, squirting hot juice across my face by the side of my mouth. Zack thought I was complaining until the next day he was checking out the face scar. I looked a bit like the Joker on one side of my face for a while, but it's peeling off now.

Hiroshima giant oysters. 

Heading out with packs to Shikoku Island.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Japan Vacation: Sikoku

This is the reason to take the time to reserve train seats with the JR Pass, a whole car to ourselves from Hiroshima to Matsuyama.

On this train I couldn't figure out why people where taking photos and stopped standing outside with chilldren waving at the train....they have cartoon trains!

The APA Hotel in Matsuyama leaves paper cranes.

We went to Matsuyama to check out the Dogo bathhouse.
Matsuyama has streetcars which were really rather fun.

Zack found me this wonderful textile museum/studio in Matsuyama. Mingei Iyo-Kasuri Kaikan.  Totally off the beaten path. There's a great blog post that we found about it, which I will link to later.
Shuttles excite me.

Yes, these smoking kitties were what you first saw walking into Mingei Iyo-Kasuri Kaikan. What?

A-mazing lunch in Uwijima.

View from the train between Matsuyama and Uwajima.

Fancy crab sushimi. Yep, raw crab. Something new to mess with the tummy. ;)

Date night!