Friday, November 20, 2009

My mom visits!

My mom was here October 30th-Nov. 9th! We had an action packed schedule and I took off 3 days so we could go-go-go! First stop: Dotomburi bridge- classic Osaka scene with bright lights and hoards of people, with sushi dinner!

Next day: We were lucky that the Uchidas were also intown! Jeff had to work and I had a workshop to attend, so my mom hung out with them at the Castle and then Aquarium.

Day 3: Went to see Himeji Castle and get a personal tour by our friend Etsuko. The tour was great and really interesting! Now that I've spent a lot of time at Osaka-Jo (Osaka Castle) seeing Himeji was a treat! It's still in it's original form and it is really impressive. You can get the feel of the old times (as much as possible), unlike when you are at Osaka-Jo.

View of the Women's Quarters from the 5th floor.

If anyone needs a great guide let us know! I highly recommend Etsuko's tour and we'll be going back for more in the spring!

Day 4: I took my mom to Kobe while Jeff worked, these are out of order, but first we went to Oji Zoo where I saw my first Pandas! Then we went up to Mt. Rokko, where it was beautiful but freezing!! After dark we came down and went to Kobe's Chinatown. It wasn't as lively as normal, but we got some street food and enjoyed before we came home.

Day 5: Arashiyama, Kyoto. We spent the only time in Kyoto in Arashiyama, the leaves were just starting to change. We walked along the river, ate a yummy lunch, and checked out Tennruji Temple before going to a Kirtan at a Temple. It was an awesome day!

Day 6 & 7: Hiroshima and Miyajima. Again, out of order. We got into Hiroshima- a 1.5 hour shinkansen ride south of Osaka and headed to the Atomic bomb dome and the Peace park and Museum. It was sobering yet peaceful and I came out of it with a renewed energy for Peace. For dinner we tried Hiroshimayaki with much success! Oishii! We spent the night in a nice little guesthouse/hostel and then the next day we headed to Miyajima- by ferry. It's a World Heritage Site with a nice calming presence, perfect for after seeing Hiroshima. There are deer and temples/shrines galore. We took the ropeway-cablecar up to get a view of the islands...

Memorial that looks on to the A-bomb site, in the middle is the flame that won't be put out until there are no more nuclear weapons left on earth.

Day 8: My mom and I went to Hamamatsu, where this really cool Mosaic Culture exibit was being held. These are my favorite out of the 80 some sculptures...

Please see the album with lot's more pics from my mom's trip here:


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