Friday, December 4, 2020


The week before our trip we learned a little bit at home about the atomic bomb and the events that lead up to it.  I wanted the kids to be aware of where we were going before we got there.  It really makes the who experience both more meaningful and memorable that way.

The first stop was the atomic bomb dome.  It was also covered in scaffolding, but we could still see it pretty well.  
Many people were coming to pay their respects.
I had to get a picture of this dog, it was cracking me up.  Who dresses their dog in not only a sweater but also a hat, glasses and a bow?  That is one well dressed pup.
We then made our was through the park.  We saw the peace bell.
The children's peace monument.
We learned the significance of 1000 paper cranes.
We walked past the flame of peace, which will stay lit until their are no more nuclear weapons on earth.  

The cenotaph for atomic bomb victims.

We wanted to go to the memorial museum next but they were staggering entrances.  So when we walked up we got a ticket to enter at 5:30.  I'm glad we were able to get in because I had no idea they were doing that and we barely were able to get a time slot before the closed.

So we took a lunch break and then headed over to Hiroshima castle.  We ate at 7/11 a ton on our trip. 

The walk was a little farther than we thought and we ended up walking for over an hour.  It was pretty cool when we finally made it to the castle.

We took our shoes off and went inside.  They had different things to look at on each floor all the way up to the top.  But no pictures inside.  Except for the designated photo spot of this cute guy.

We had just enough time to stop for a quick curry dinner before going into the museum at 5:30.  The museum was pretty depressing.  It was informative and good us to learn about.  "Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it."  But it was a little hard for me to go through.  There were many stories and pictures of the people who were killed and their families.  Beatrix and Calista were also being semi-loud.  They weren't really that loud, it just felt that way with hundreds of Japanese people around who manage to somehow not make a sound.  I think we were inside for about an hour, but Bob said he would have liked to stay and read all the signs but our children were not making that possible.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020


We went on a road trip!  We we were originally going to go last spring but 2020 happened and the base said no way are you allowed to travel and things got put on hold.  Even for the trip now we had to file and get permission.  

Our first stop was Miyajima.  We drove about 12 hours and slept in Hiroshima and woke up early the next morning to catch a ferry to the island Miyajima.  
They have a super famous floating tori gate.  Unfortunately we couldn't see it at all because it was covered in scaffolding.  I knew they were working on it, but I thought we would see be able to see it.  I had pictured in my mind one or two guys painting it, but that was not the case.  It was really disappointing.
To make up for it I bought a mini version of the tori gate at a gift shop and placed it on the sand to take a fake picture of it.  The kids thought it was a great idea.
Once we got over that disappointment we had a great time.
Miyajima is a really cute island.  They had several really nice temples and lots of shops and things for tourists to see.
I had fun taking tons of pictures but I narrowed it down to only like 20 for this post so... you might want to hunker down.

This next one was so much fun.  A man in a gift shop had this giant poster on his wall and floor.  He then showed the kids exactly how to stand and where I should take the picture to make it look like they were riding a horse.  It was fun to get to talk to the locals a little bit.  I think they are experiencing a lot less crowds than they are used to with both covid 19 and the main attraction being covered up. 

The place was swarming with deer.
There was one that scared Calista pretty bad.  She came up from behind to pet it and he jumped around and tried to nip at her.  
This was our fist time seeing deer that we so friendly.  I'm glad we came here before we went to Nara.
After exploring the main shrine a nice garden and the town a little bit we headed over to the main tourist shopping street.  Tucker loves soy sauce.
These rice paddles are a big deal here.
She was writing messages or prayers on them, like hope and strength.  
We tried some of the food they are known for.
I don't think anyone really liked the oysters.
And we finished it out with a large Japanese pagoda.  One of many we saw on our vacation.

I originally went to Miyajima for the floating tori gate alone but after getting over the initial disappointment I really enjoyed our time there.  I'm definitely glad we went even with it covered in scaffolding. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Yokohama Tsukushino Course

The Tsukushino course in Yokohama is one of my favorite places in Japan.  The playground is just so awesome I haven't seen any that are come close to being so fun.  

First off, it is set in the woods.  Right out front is a busy road but somehow you go through the building and it feels like you are in a different area altogether.  
On top of that the play equipment is so fun.  Never in my life have I seen a freefall slide, and they have two.  It is crazy scary to push yourself over the edge onto nothing and just hope the slide will be there to catch you.

We went with friends who have a costco membership so we headed there once finished at the park.  I haven't been in about two years.  
Calista and Beatrix were loving the cart with two seats up front.  We are lucky to get one child seat at the Japanese grocery store sot his was really exciting.  I think I loved it more then they did.  There are some things I really miss about America.  Places in Japan are not designed for families with six kids.
It was fun to walk around and buy everything I miss, like the chocolate muffins.
Of course we got pizza and hot dogs at the end.  It was a great day.