Sunday, June 3, 2007

Country Roads ...

So the Daughter and I are driving around Lake Towada and she sees a sign ... "Christ's Tomb" that-a-way. And off we go into the Japanese countryside. And when we came to Shingo Village (google it for more info) this is what we found. The grave of Christ where he was buried after dying at the age of 109 and fathering seven daughters. He still has family in the local area and every year there is a festival with dances and songs in what linguists think is ancient Hebrew. How you may ask ... I don't know ... but I bet the Jesuit's were really surprised when they arrived several hundred years ago and found all of this legend already in place. It is a beautiful spot ... quite tranquil.

The way to Lake Towada winds up Oriase Gorge ... An extremely beautiful spot with wonderful trails and amazing scenery at every turn.

I had to hurry to get this post up as I am leaving with the Daughter tomorrow for Beijing. So, pictures to follow on that when we return. Bye .....

Saturday, June 2, 2007

And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun ...

We are back from Tokyo ... for days and days I know. The Daughter did not remember riding on the Shinkansen (the Bullet Train) when she was younger and so had a great time on the train. It is quite the cultural experience with the trolly girls and the amazing scenery whipping by. I highly recommend it and wish that the U.S. would develop something similar. It is the preferred form of travel here that's for sure. While we were in Tokyo ... but before the Daughters arrival ... we happened on a Temple festival that no one could tell us what it was about. But an amazing number of adult men were dressed in very, very short kimonos and not much else. So we dubbed it "The Naked Butt Festival". And we had huge fun!

There were parades of these men carrying huge golden shrines and dancing all around the Asakusa Temple complex.

And then later we went to the Meiji Shrine which is my favorite place in Tokyo. It is a huge park in the center of the city. But once you are in the heart of the park you would never know that you were anywhere other than in a beautiful forest. And there we saw several weddings and met some enterprising young students who were offering free guided tours in English so that they could practice the language. It was a brilliant day!

This picture shows the largest Tori Gate in Japan. And the Daughter ... of course!

The brides all looked scared to death. But I would be too with several dozen "foreign devils" snapping my picture ... not too mention the other 30 or 40 of their fellow countrymen doing the same picture snapping.

More tomorrow ... a visit to Christ's tomb and some more pictures of northern Japan.