Sunday, December 06, 2009
Yesterday was Kimiaki's (my Japanese dad) birthday...he turned 72! Looking sharp for his age, huh? He is pretty healthy and independent. In fact, a few months before I came here, he went hiking on a nearby mountain by himself. All was good until he slipped and fell over a small drop off. Luckily, he was carrying his cell phone with him by which he called the park ranger immediately. He escaped with a few bruises, but, much to his dismay, is not allowed to hike by himself anymore. Happy Birthday, Kimiaki!
My days have been filled with a number of various activities since the last post. We went to a nearby hot springs town called Hakone. I've been here numerous times in the past, but still thoroughly enjoy each visit. Hakone is up in the mountains and is basically a town built around onsen, which is the Japanese word for hot springs. Let me tell you, Japanese people love hot water. They travel great distances, domestic and international. They build cities and railroads and expansive hotels. They change the course of rivers for a good soak in onsen. We stayed at a Japanese style hotel called Odaka. You might say DUH, of course it's Japanese style! But these days, Japanese people have the opportunity to go western in the little things: rice or bread for breakfast? squatty potty or sit down style toilet? green tea or black tea with dinner? AND the big things: kimono or wedding dress? Futon or bed? Wooden floors or the traditional straw like tatami? It's quite an interesting phenomenon- although you can't really say western culture is new to Japan- to see how naturally western culture has integrated itself into Japan.
Anyway, it was a good time wearing yakata (like kimono, except cotton), eating the 7 course dinner and, of course, soaking nakie buns (as the frangers would say) under the stars.
Other than that, time has passed quickly while...
painting Japanese style New Years postcards with my mom.
eating lunch with hilarious Aunt Toshiko.
visiting ancient castles
and reading funny signs inside the castles :)
- ► 2006 (20)