Friday, April 1, 2016

Oswald twins take Japan!!

For the second half of Laney and Taylor's visit- we decided to spend more time in rural Japan.  Tokyo gets exhausting fast.  There's plenty to do- but sometimes it all starts looking the same.

First stop was Kamakura and Enoshima. We've been to both- but never checked out the island and missed a few shrines,  The weather was perfect and most of the drive was traffic free.

First stop- Big Buddha.  We should have just named Mack Big Buddha.
The sky was beautiful this day!  One of the reasons that I love my birthday is because it's usually also the turn of winter to spring!  the sun is shining and people are happy because it's starting to warm up and colors are starting to pop up!

 one of our stops included a mountain cave with a baby shrine.  Taylor barely fit.
 There's a small island off the coast here that you can access by a bridge.  The island is full of things to explore- and we spent the rest of the afternoon here.

 There's a lovely shrine that you can access by hiking- or by paying a few hundred yen to ride elevators up the entire mountain!!!   the japanese are so resourceful.
 We always try to get mack's picture with his fellow dragons!  This kid is our bravest little soul.  He loves giant dogs, big slides, and running full speed down hills and ramps :)  Dragon is a very fitting middle name for him (Ryu).
 The back side of the island is a little explorer's paradise! Sea cliffs and caves and fun little restaurants.
 at this cave they gave us handheld candle lanterns to see our way!  we traveled to the back of the cave and found a giant dragon who bestowed good luck upon us.  The Japanese are the luckiest people on earth for sure. The other cave continued on and on but eventually had gates to stop you.  They say it goes all the way to Mt. Fuji.  I'm not sure if it's true- but it was pretty cool.
My favorite part of the hike was this Japaenese Zen yard full of cats.  If you haven't played 'Neko Atsume' yet- you are missing out. This was an exact scene from the app!!  there are the cats 'peaches' and 'spots'. but really- get the app.  you can thank me later.
and the ocean!  our kids always love the water.

 Our hike down the backside of the Island mountain was beautiful and Fuji was off in the distance!  I love living here.
 The next day we decided to get a closer look of Fuji-San.  
we visited an old Japanese village with thatched roofs and little shops.  It was empty this day and so much fun.
The best part of the day- for sure- was dressing up in traditional Japanese clothes!!  I was so excited!! and doesn't metta look so grown up here??  she's the best.
the little kld japanese ladies were so kind and so funny.
she was so sweet to our kids, too.
metta opted for samurai gear instead of a kimono!  she's an adorable samurai!!

 They had a hard time fitting taylor.  Which made my sister and I laugh. a lot. The poor lady had to get up on her tip toes and taylor had to kneel down!!!!!
mack was not so happy to be dressed up- but got used to his little outfit!
Dressing up was so much fun.  The samurai's were rather uncomfortable with their heavy hats and breastplates- but the ninja costumes and kimonos were quite comfy.

Ike was having a hard time with visibility.

The japanese countryside is such a lovely place.  So much less stressful than downtown.  I'm still a little anxious after losing zeb :)
Taylor's giant hair hat was the best.  I love this picture so much.
We make a lovely Japanese family.
Fuji is such an amazing mountain/volcano.  Mostly because it's so out of place.  I'm sure she wouldn't be nearly as impressive nestled into the mountain at home next to Timpanogos- but here in Japan- she is so majestic.  Nothing in the entire country even compares.  Everywhere we travel- we can see Fuji!!

Our last stop was in downtown Fujiyoshida. It's a small town at the base of fuji. We found an incredible giant shrine where you can actually start the hike up the mountain.  We drove up part way and started from fifth station when we hiked Fujisan- so we had never seen this shrine. It was stunning.
and we were the only people there!!  which can be quite the rare occurrence ANYwhere in Japan!!

This tori gate was SO big. Tayl

or is 6'7" and looks to be rather tiny standing under it!  It was the first thing in Japan that dwarfed him :)
Since we've been here so long- I've been lazy with  my camera!! I should have gotten more pics with my sis!!!  but here's one of our birthday celebration! I had the most delicious grilled steak and avocado sandwich.  Sometimes (okay- A LOT of the time) here in japan all I want is some delicious American food and this sandwich was perfect.  AND I found a piece of carrot cake at Magnolia Bakery in Ometasando- so basically my birthday was perfect.  Good food and good company!!
oh- and for lunch! how could I forget?!  It was possibly the most delicious food I've had in Japan so far!!!  and isn' t a good birthday all about good food??  we went to the Ameyoko market in tokyo for shopping and had the most ridiculously delicious steak and chicken gyro wraps that have been created.  I am still craving them.
Kent and the boys tried to win me a stuffed cat for a present!
 and when they didn't win- got me a little plastic cat figurine from the vending machines instead :)
The day- and week- were perfect!!  Laney and Taylor only stayed a week- but we did so much in those 7 days that I;m still exhausted a week later!!  

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