Rain storm at Show Kinen Park

The same day we went to the Tachikawa Bosaikan we also visited the Showa Kinen Park with our Japanese class. This is a huge and impressive park which has many natural areas (from swamp to bonsai) and recreational areas (including water playground & mini golf).

Together as a group we got to go on the mini "train" transport (which Caleb didn't want to get off) and have traditional Japanese green tea/sweets, all compliments of the Japanese Class funding. The timing was impeccable as we watched a sudden torrential downpour over this lake from the air-conditioned comfort of the tearooms. This cooled the humid 33 degrees a little, with steamed vapourising from the hot ground.

Kamakura

What should have been just a simple 1 hour train trip south, turned into a day of train connection mayhem. Still we had a nice time.

Steeped in history, Kamakura was a seat of power 8 centuries ago. Many of the shrines (19) and temples (65 of them) date from this time and in season, the Hydrangeas are beautiful.

Hino Hydrangeas

In our Hino city (suburb of greater Tokyo if you like) there is a big hydrangea park. We went to visit but we were a little early to see the full blooms. I never realized that there is so much variation in these flowers.

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens

On the same day we visited Meiji-jingu we also visited this garden, to see if the irises weren't further advanced in their bloom. Indeed they were.

I thoroughly enjoyed these gardens as there were so many different bridges and hidden valleys to explore.

Spirit is everywhere

You can't avoid religion in Japan, it is indeed everywhere. Go out into nature you might say, and avoid all the shrines and temples. But even as you may, you will most certainly pass under a tori at the start of the mountain path or else come across places to worship the spirit in nature like here at this waterfall.

Wisteria wonder

Well we had seen some amazing advertising posters of this tree and resolved we should go. A special excursion was planned, although we only realized how far it was after spending 3 hours on the train.

This is tree is really amazing, we went the first day after Golden Week holidays, but I think all the seniors had the same idea to avoid the school kids.

Nagasaki

Urakami cathedral: The atomic bomb detonated only 500m away.Urakami cathedral: The atomic bomb detonated only 500m away.Nagasaki has a fascinating and complex history.

Firstly, it is the port where intial contact and trade with European foreign countries began and was continued, and it was the only port open (with restrictions) during the 200years of Tokugawa seclusion.

Secondly, it has deep Christian roots (from first contact with the Portuguese) and the faith lived on even under sever persecutions.

Lastly, it was the second city to be devastated by an Atomic bomb.

26 Martyrs: Cruxified in 1597.26 Martyrs: Cruxified in 1597.

Better late than never... (the first post)

...seems to hold quite well for my siblings and I, although I'm not sure my husband would quite agree :-)

Enter through our door ... to JapanEnter through our door ... to Japan

So after being away for some time, it is about time to organize a better way to keep in contact (well at least let everyone know what we are up to). Hence the development of this site.

I hope you enjoy it!
Tania

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