Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last Hoorah and coming home!

Well, we've been home for over a week now and things have been crazy busy, so sorry for the delay in the Japan adventure log.

Jared was able to take a day off before we had to head home, so we decided to use it to take in a little bit more around Tokyo. (We wish we could have had more time to go and see some of the surrounding areas. Maybe next time, right?)

So... Thursday (April 17th) was a great day with Daddy! Our first stop was at the Fish Market. We were a little late getting there so we didn't see a lot of the craziness of business there, but it's probably a good thing since we had Brigham in tow. It was really fascinating to see all the kinds of fish they had: large, small, dead, alive, and oh so SMELLY!

After the fish market we decided to try to visit a traditional Japanese garden style park. The park we picked from our internet searches to visit was called Kiyosumi Teien. It was very pretty and I was glad that Jared got to see it. Plus it provided a nice and relaxing piece to our day. Brigham was such a good sport and really enjoyed looking at the ducks, fish, and park benches. Hmmm - Funny kid!
I know that this picture of Jared and Brig is pretty far away, but isn't the scenery awesome!

After our time at the park we headed to Akihabara, which is known for its electronics. I have to say that we weren't overly impressed. Maybe it's because we weren't looking for anything specifically - I don't know. The good part though was that we found a great Tepanyaki place there for lunch! (Sorry no pics of that one!)

The touring part of the day ended after lunch time (which was more like 2 or 3 pm). It had started to pour outside and we were all a little tired. It was nice though to relax a little that afternoon and stroll around Ebisu one last time that evening.

Our flights home the next day were really pretty good. Brigham did well again and was a hit with the flight attendants.

We're glad to be back and settled into this time zone again. We loved our time in Japan, but it's nice and comfortable back in our home. Plus it's so fun to see our yard start to blossom and be here and excited for another summer!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Last weekend!

Last Saturday took us to a town called Kamakura. The train ride wasn't too long and it made for a fun day out and about seeing sites, tasting yummy foods, and just "experiencing" a little bit more of what Japan has to offer.

Our first stop was to visit the Great Buddha on the Kotokuin temple grounds. The statue is the second largest in Japan and was cast in 1252 - Wow that's a long time ago! It was really neat to see such a huge statue. Brigham just stared at it for the longest time.
After our first stop, one of Jared's co-workers, Yoigi, met up with us for lunch. We had a delicious tepanaki meal of a special Japanese beef. I think Jared would say that it was one of the very best meals here so far.

After lunch Yoigi took us to the Tsurugaoka hachimangu shrine. Our favorite part was having the chance to watch part of a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. How cool?
Yoigi explained about how people pray and even told us about the fortunes that some people get and what they do with them. We each got a fortune - mine was for "excellent luck" and Brigham and Jared both got ones for "good luck." ;)

After spending time with Yoigi, he headed home and pointed us in the direction of north Kamakura (Kita Kamakura). We enjoyed the walk and headed to take a look at another temple there. We visited the Engakuji temple right by the train station. The grounds were really large and the temples were really cool to look at. Brigham was especially happy here - he had had a bottle and a nap and was feeling great!One of his favorite parts was watching the fish in the pond. What a cutie!
Our day ended with a train ride back to the Kamakura station and a walk down to the beach. It was Brigham's first time to see the ocean. He loved the sand in between his toes and the water running over his feet. He had so much fun!
We really feel so blessed to be able to see and do so many things! We've enjoyed Japan so much more than we could have expected to. Our time here has been great!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sakura on Saturday!

Well, we can't believe that we've been here already for an entire week. We've been told that we came at the best time of year and easily believe it because of all the beauty around.
We had to stop in the Yebiso Garden Place to take a photo as we headed out on Saturday morning. We walk through this plaza every day. They keep it so nice and clean and the trees and flowers are beautiful! (Jared's not bad too, if I do say so myself!)

We jumped on the train and headed up to Shibuya where we transfered onto the subway to head over to the north-east side of town. Our first stop was in Ueno to take a stroll through Ueno park which we've been told is famous for it's Cherry Blossom (Sakura) trees. It really was quite the site to see. People were everywhere and the trees were in full bloom. We really are lucky to have come right at the peak bloom season!

Doesn't Brigham look so happy here? He is such a good sport and does really well site-seeing. He's also the star of every show. You wouldn't believe how many people stop to gawk at him and try to make him smile. (Which you all know isn't very hard to do.) The people love him here!
Jared and Brigham were actually smiling at on of the Japanese ladies when I took this picture. See - I told you they love Brig! Can you believe that tree in the background?

After Ueno park we headed on to Asakusa. We've been told this is the largest temple in Tokyo. There was shopping all around it; Good food - at least the stuff we tried; and TONS of people! We really enjoyed wandering around and visiting the site. By the time we were ready to leave we still had a few hours of daylight left so we stopped by the Imperial Palace grounds to take another stroll. The scenery really is amazing. We loved this view with the wild flowers, Sakura tree, and palace moat.
Saturday really was a great day!