Travels & Adventures + Around Hino + Around Tokyo + Big trip + Day(s) trip + Just at home

Kite festival

On Childrens Day, 5th of May we went to the Great Kite festival at Sagami.

Azalas, Weddings and Noh

We found some fantastic places for viewing azaleas, the only problems was we visited them about a week too late!
We also went to Meji-jingu to see the festive activities, particularly the Noh performance which to our un-training eyes was a slow and labourious performance. We were greatly indebted to a visiting Assistant Professor (a chance meeting) who explained more of the Noh style and later sent us a copy of the play script.
A traditional wedding procession, often seen at the shrine.


Simon went to see a Yabusame festival which features archery on horse back.

Crowds and processionsCrowds and processions Rider with weaponRider with weapon
Releasing the arrowReleasing the arrow Judges sitting perilously next to the target!Judges sitting perilously next to the target!

Ready...Ready... Aim...Aim... Fire......Scored!Fire......Scored!

Mid flightMid flight DepartureDeparture

Sakura Photos

Some of Simons favourite sakura photos:

Fuji and Sakura in bloom

Ome for ume again

Simon was very pleased that we arrived back from Okinawa just in time to catch the plum (ume) blossom at it's peak. Once again returning to the orchard spread arcoss the hillside near Ome city (west of Tokyo).

Yaeyama and Okinawa Islands

Here are some of pictures from our 9 day trip to the far south of Japan. The culture is really quite different to that of mainland Japan as the Ryukyu Kingdom only became a prefecture of Japan in 1879. Located at the confluence of many trading routes there exists a stronger Chinese influence in food and architecture (than the mainland).

Okinawa Churaumi AquariumOkinawa Churaumi Aquarium Shuri-jo (castle) in NahaShuri-jo (castle) in Naha Kabira bay (Ishigaki) famous black pearlsKabira bay (Ishigaki) famous black pearls Sit still and shells begin to walk!Sit still and shells begin to walk! Amazing blues of the coral beachesAmazing blues of the coral beaches Kayaking out to Senga falls (Iriomote)Kayaking out to Senga falls (Iriomote) Early rice paddies of IriomoteEarly rice paddies of Iriomote Tsukigahama (Iriomote) the with finest sandTsukigahama (Iriomote) the with finest sand Haemida beach (Iriomote) with usual rocksHaemida beach (Iriomote) with usual rocks

Happy biker

On our walk home from the train station we came across this incredible bike!
And doesn't he just look so happy with himself??
No sneaking up on this guy, eh!No sneaking up on this guy, eh!

6 views of Fuji san

We took a weekend trip up to Mt Fuji as it was very clear skies - it's more so in winter rather than summer season.

Fuji peeping over into Lake Shoji
Lake Motosu great Red Peak
You never feel like your camera gear is too big in Japan. Here Mt Fuji is stalked by the paparazzi but they all flee quickly after the sun sets, missing the beautiful twilight

Twilight at Lake Motosu

Yacht on the still waters of Lake Yamaguchi by sunrise

Canoes by Lake Yamaguchi

Swans of Lake Yamanaka

Sumo January Tournament

This's now the second tournament we've attended and this time Caleb was alot more interested and even started to copy their leg lifting and body slapping ceremony!
It is very useful to have the English commentary radio and hear about the history between each pair of fighters that meets. During a tournament they battle for 15days straight, each day the bouts start at 10am and finish at 6pm, so in many ways it is a long drawn out event. Although on one day each fighter will only have one fight and that is a once only attempt to force their opponent to touch the ground (with any other part of their body other than their feet) or to step outside the rope ring. Generally it is over in 10 seconds!

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