Monday, May 28, 2012

Hiroshima: Part 1

This weekend, the husband and I toured Hiroshima. I had no idea what to expect. My mind pictured Hiroshima as it was just after the A-bomb was dropped and could not conceive of the area being rebuilt. Boy, was I wrong! Hiroshima is a bustling city filled with art museums and cultural sites. It is also home to the Mazda headquarters.

Our Hiroshima tour guide.

On Friday we boarded the bus at 4:30 and headed to Haneda airport. From there we flew to Hiroshima airport and took a bus to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Peace Memorial Museum.

View of the Atomic Bomb Dome from the bus. It was one of the few buildings at the epicenter that was still standing (partially).

A model of Hiroshima after the A-bomb.

A model of Hiroshima before the A-bomb.

The museum's exhibit's signage was bilingual, Japanese and English, thankfully, and went into great detail about the what, whys, and hows surrounding the bombing. And then, there was the grisly information on the aftermath of the bombing... 

It was a grey and pouring morning and we only had one tiny umbrella. Luckily I had my hooded rain jacket.

A view of Peace Memorial Park.

High School students in the rain.

Monument to the victims of the bomb.

School children singing.

Displays of paper cranes donated for peace.

The Atomic Bomb Dome in the grey, depressing rain.

I was very wet by the time we got back onto the bus.

Next up: Lunch!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tiny Hina Dolls. Score!

Re-ment has made tiny Hina dolls, but I had not seen them at any of my local haunts, since they were discontinued. Then, while in Hiroshima I found a toy store that had them. Yay! I could not resist, and bought a set.

Click on the photos to see them larger.

The set is about 3 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide. The emperor and empress dolls are about 1 1/2 inches tall. Perfect for Licca and Jenny dolls to display.

Unlike the mystery packs, this set comes all together.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brief Segue on Wrapping Gifts

I went to my second gift wrapping class today. Today's topic was Furoshiki and their many uses.

The instructor went over many different folds, but here is an extremely cute one, the bunny fold.

Here you can see the bunny's face and ears

And the cute little tail.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mount Fuji

After lunch, we headed to the 5th station of Mount Fuji. This is the end of the line for vehicles. 

Mount Fuji is 3,776.24 Meters tall. We did not hike up this time, but we are in training to officially climb it before we come home to the States in 2015.

Here is Dave standing beneath the Tori to the shrine at 5th station.

A view of Fuji.

Horsies for pony rides up the trail.

Map of the trails.

View down into the valley.

Dave at the start of the trail.

A wall of omiyagi (souvenirs) charms.

The shrine.

Last, but not least, Hello Kitty made of solid rock.

The gift stores were full of tourist crap/souvenirs, but we found some pretty nice postcards.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Shiraito Water Falls

Yesterday we visited Shiraito Falls and Mount Fuji.

The Falls were lovely, and the water was crystal clear.

Click on photos to see them larger.

View of Fuji from the Falls parking lot.

Another view of Fuji from the parking lot.

The main food for sale at the falls was ice cream, ice cream, and more ice cream. (being 10AM the lunch vendors were not quite up and running yet. So, we had ice cream. Peach ice cream. It was the best, most real, peach ice cream we had ever had. We had been informed that this area was known for the quality of it's peaches, and they weren't kidding.

We then headed to a lunch buffet at the Fuji View Hotel. There was a lot of food to choose from. My favorites were the tofu with tomato and cheese, the tamago (Japanese layered egg omelet), and the thinly sliced swordfish.

The hotel had a lovely, little pond filled with huge koi.

Next up: Mount Fuji.