As I alluded in my last entry my mother and grandmother are now
here in Japan on a two-week long vacation. They're with a tour group
from Honolulu and their tour will take them to some of the hottest
spots here in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Because of my classes I was only able to meet them this past weekend.
Saturday afternoon in Beppu I met mom and Little Grandma. I call
her that since she stands a mere 4'9". I had hoped to travel
with group to the famous boiling ponds, but due to the timing of
the trains, I was unable to do so. That night I met the tour group
at the hotel over a huge feast at the hotel’s extravagant
buffet. This time there were no time limits, and no extra charges
for leftovers. Since I am now a seasoned veteran when it comes to
Japanese cuisine, I helped my mother pick out her food. She tried
several new kinds of sushi and enjoyed them, and agreed with me
that it actually does taste less like fish than cooked fish. After
gorging myself, I took advantage of the free time to catch up with
my family. This was the first time I had seen Little Grandma since
Christmas of my freshman year, and thus we had lots to talk about.
I really loved seeing my family.
We woke up bright and early the next morning
for a day chocked full of sightseeing. Our first stop was in Iwakuni,
located in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In Iwakuni we saw the Kintai Kyo
Bridge. The bridge is a testament to the skill of the Japanese in
architecture, since it is an entirely wooden bridge that was constructed
without the use of a single nail. Its rippled shape is also very
intriguing. From Iwakuni we traveled to nearby Miyajima Island to
see one of the most three beautiful places in all of Japan: Itsuku
Shima Jinja. What's so special about this
shrine, when there are thousands of shrines in Japan you might ask?