Thursday, 5 May 2011

March Spring Break

The shock of the Earthquake was quickly covered over with the sudden arrival of Spring Break and my Dad coming for 10days for touristy Japan fun times. I’ll make this as brief as possible because I want to catch up on what’s happening now:

So Dad arrived in Osaka and unfortunately had to wait 2 hours because I didn’t leave on time and then underestimated the train ride from Hirakata to the International Airport -_- But I managed to get him and we took the loooooong trip to Kyoto and from there on a bus to the north of Kyoto, just outside the city, to our ryokan. (Yes I took advantage of the fact that dad was paying to stay in a ryokan, but I also did it so dad and I could experience more Japanese culture). I have to say though, the place was reeeeaaaally nice! The family who ran it were really nice and the food wasniiiiiiiiiiiiiice ^^ That’s the best way I can explain it ^^;; (Although the weather was chilly for the whole week).

Our first big touristy trip was to the Golden and Silver pavilion, and it started to rain in the evening! When we were at the Golden temple I got dad a goshuin, a temple signature. (Also got myself one but I’d forgotten my book so had to get it on paper). He was really please with it (I hope) because I knew he likes calligraphy (they’re painted by professionals) and the moment before he was eyeing up a 90,000yen calligraphy picture. These are more personal I think.

Later in the evening my friends were having a last minuet bowling trip for Aya before she left (I’d missed her graduation the day before getting dad :( ). So had to leave dad to recover from jet lag while I went bowling, but I had a cold and got a terrible fever half way through. It was funny though. Didn’t get back til very late and fell asleep almost straight away.

The following day was going to be a HUGE cosplay march in Nipponbashi in Osaka, but it got cancelled which was a good thing coz it made stuff less complicated and I could go with dad and people to Toji market, the giant flee market. And then we all went to Fushimi Inari. Coz it’s my favourite place and I had to show dad. Only problems were it was raining, I was sick and dad had jet lag. Hahahaha. But all in all it was good.

Then it was another early day for NARA! Home of the Daibutsu (Giant Buddha) and dear! When we arrived we found out the city offers free guides in English, as in a volunteer not a recording. We met a nice woman (whom I forgot the name of) and she showed us around the temples and took us to see the Buddha. She was really nice and bubbly, helped me with my Japanese and told us some really interesting stuff about Nara. Although I don’t think she realised that she sometimes spoke to dad in Japanese ^^;;;

The following dad we went to two really famous temples I can’t remember the name of them...oh and Nijo castle ^_^

Then we were off to Hiroshima! We went to the castle, and wandered through the city to see the memorial park and peace museum. It was really…the city is gorgeous, and the park too. The museum was really…informative. I’ve never seen anything in quite so graphic detail, and I hear the other nuclear museum in the south is even more graphic! The evening was sooo good with a really nice crab meal (the most expensive I’ve ever had in Japan!). At first I was terrified that I couldn’t read anything on the menu, but it worked out fine in the end ^_^

The following day we went to Miyajima, an island just off the coast of Hiroshima which is basically a huge mountain (which we climbed first) covered in little temples. It’s particularly famous for a tori which is on the sea that looks like it’s floating. That temple even had a traditional Shinto wedding! I was too embarrassed to take photos though. Also it wasn’t the best day for a wedding (the weather was a tad chilly and grey again). Then we got the shinkansen back.

Because we were both sooo tired we took the following day slowly with a late start and a short trip to Arashiyama. And the next day we went to Kyomizudera in the morning. (kyomizudera was the place in Kyoto I went to the first time I arrived in Japan). We walked through a really pretty and old style of Kyoto and ran into volunteer guides again at the temple! Three boys who were quite funny. Apparently people believe that if you jump off the platform of Kyomizudera you can go to heaven (survival rate is 80%). Then in the afternoon Dad went to Tokyo! Yeah, all the way up to Tokyo. He got the shinkansen up and met a friend of his who has been living in Japan teaching martial arts for goodness knows how long, and English in Waseda university! I went karaoking with friends again as a last one for Katie who were leaving the following day (waaah I’m gonna miss her and Gilli’s version of Acid Black Cherry!).

After Dad got back from Tokyo we had a really nice meal at the ryokan. The couple who run it, I said are really nice and the food is amazing. The next day they gave us presents and I had a rather awkward picture with them. Hahahaha ^^;; The spring break was good, it was a nice break although I began to stress about the work I hasn’t done as soon as it was over. It was really nice seeing dad and hanging out with him for the week. Exhausting though!

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