Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mt. Mitake

I'm a little anxious about making sure that the three years we spend here in Japan are well spent!  I want to experience Japan!!  so- we are going to try and enjoy as many parts of this wonderful country as humanly possible!

This week we ventured out to Mt. Mitake in Ome, Japan.  The Air Force Base is pretty close to some fabulous mountains- and I think we could spend our entire three years just exploring a few kilometers away!  this area is a national park of sorts- and we only spent a couple of hours at the river walk.  I'm sure there is so much more to do.

The kids kept asking if we were in a Jungle!  the insect and animal sounds were so loud!  and pretty amazing.

I had all sorts of 'ideas' about what Japan looked like- but I don't think I realized how amazing the mountains are.  Everything is so lush. and there are a lot of mosquitoes.  Kent is convinced we all need to go and get the Japanese encephalitis vaccine that is 'optional'.  With as much exploring as we have been doing and with a s many mosquito bites as we all have (Zeb counted over 30 on his legs alone) I think I agree with him.  Now we've just got to convince the kids that the series of shots is mandatory.
Zeb found a really cool bamboo walking stick that he brought home!

His cheesy grin for the camera kills me.  Ike refuses to even look when I ask- so I can't complain about Zebby.
All of Japan uses public broadcasting speakers in their cities for extreme weather, earthquakes, and other warnings.  Apparently it's also often to chime the dinner bell or other things we can't understand.  near the river there are several dramatic cartoonish signs about running for your life if there's a tsunami!  They TERRIFIED ike. So- when the big loudpspeakers chimed some bells and a Japanese voice started saying things we could not understand- he panicked a little :)  "what are they saying!?!?!  mom!!  what?!  do we need to run!!!".  it was pretty cute!

Metta was not a fan of the face level foliage :)   and see that bag behind her in kent's hand? I got it at the 'daiso'. the 100 yen store.  The place is miraculous.  Imagine a target where everything costs ONE DOLLAR!  I'm in heaven.
The river was actually moving quite swiftly.  I made Kent stop before he got to the rock.  I wasn't going in after him if he slipped.
Japan is gorgeous, isn't it?!
we found this little shrine off the trail. It's the size of a fairy shrine.

I am trying to get a few more pictures with me in them.  and it infuriates Kent because I hand him the camera to take them and then I complain that they are a little blurry or not right.  I shoot in Manual mode and it requires some skill.  but if he would have shot this picture in auto- the flash would have gone off and we wouldn't have seen any of the background and the detail would all be left out and blah, blah, bah. I know I'm terribly annoying with the camera- telling him "wait- what mode are you in? make sure the focal point is on us".  Sorry, kent.  thanks for the picture :)

metta and the rabbit.

the kiddos did really well hiking around and enjoying themselves.  It was humid- but not unbearable.
this little metta is adroable right now.  She's so easy to love.  and is so loving.  we are 'de'binkying' currently and I think the binky was her talking plug.  she talked plenty with it- but now I can't get her to stop..  she'll spend entire car drives singing at the top of her lungs!  my ears hurt.
Ike looks so grown up here. He starts kindergarten in a few weeks!!   that's nutso to me.
And here is an example of the signs!  there were several- all along the river.  
I hope our reenactment isn't terribly insensitive.
"everybody run for your lives if there is a Tsunami"
Here's a picture of the town mountain road.  I love being up in the mountains!

and then this sign.  they are everywhere, too. and they all have the giant fish on them?!
After our advenures- we ate at Mcdonalds.  because we had to still be Americans somehow.  the boys were SO SO excited.  I was actually really surprised at their level of excitement.  I don't know if it was the familiarity of Mcdonalds and chicken nuggets- or the Pokemon happy meals.
they have all sorts of weird things on the menu- but we just stuck to kids meals and a melon shake.  Kent and I got rice bowls at a Japanese place nearby.  They were delicious.  and we REALLY need to learn some more Japanese!! :)  kent can read the mcdonalds sign at least!


Taylor's said...

Thank you so much for letting live in Japan through you and your family!
What an experience to remember and i love how you are capturing every moment! Something to cherish years to come.

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, Cora, and Josh said...

How is it your kids have grown up so much in just a month? Meta looks so tall!! Those mountains look lovely.

Annie Oswald said...

It looks like you're exploring Middle Earth! I am SO jealous. If I quit my job can I live parttime with you as a nanny?

Annie Oswald said...

P.S. My favorite pix is of Metta and the rabbit. I miss you guys.

XXOOO from Nannie Annie

Pat and Brent said...

What a beautiful place! I love how adventurous you are, making so many wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing. We really want to come sometime. Keep track of your favorite places. :)