Monday, April 7, 2008

View of Mt. Fuji from Chigasaki

Fisherman in Hayama

Another view of Hayama

Drying seaweed

Odawara Castle

Me in front of Odawara

Hello! It's been a busy week here in Japan. The cherry blossoms are still in bloom, but their petals are falling like snow. I was able to do some fun sightseeing this week, and I've posted some new photos of my adventures.

On Tuesday, I went back to the seaside town of Chigasaki with my friend Carlina and her friend Naoko. The weather was wonderful, and this time I was able to get a great photo of Mt. Fuji. The last time I was there, I didn't even know you could see the mountain because the weather was so dreary.

Carlina also invited me to join her and her friend Shinobu on Thursday to visit Hayama, another beach town. Carlina teaches English to Japanese children, and right now she is on vacation because it is the end-of-the-year break. (The Japanese school year ends in March. They get three weeks of vacation, and then it's back to the books!) We had a fun time in Hayama, eating lunch on the beach and walking into town for a little shopping. Considering how small the town was, I was very surprised to find that they have a Starbucks there. And of course we had to stop! Shinobu told us that the emperor and his family vacation in Hayama, and I can see why. It's a quaint town. The day we were there it was quiet, but Shinobu said that it can get very busy during the summer months.

Saturday night I joined Zach and his co-workers for a Brazilian barbecue dinner in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. It was an all-you-can-eat deal, and they brought all kinds of different barbecued meat to your table. I don't think anyone left hungry. It was all very tasty.

Yesterday, Zach had the day off and suggested that we visit Odawara Castle. It was sunny and warm outside, and we took the train from our house. It was so nice to see a different part of the area, and we went far enough out of town to see lots of open rice fields and a few trees. The castle was impressive and very crowded. We decided not to do the tour and walked around the grounds instead, enjoying all the cherry blossoms in bloom. They had a festival going on, so we checked that out. I even tried cherry-blossom-flavored ice cream. It was a bit strange, but I thought it was good. And yes, I have learned how to say "ice cream" in Japanese---"aisu kurimu."

So that was my week, filled with lots of fun memories.

No comments: