Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mom and dad, you're not in America anymore...

My parents and brother came to Japan in August.  They stayed 2 weeks and I did my best (at 7 months pregnant and in the Japan summer heat) to show them our favorite parts of this country.

Even Beretta was happy to have them visit!  (She'd missed her uncle Blakey)
The first day we were pretty low key - after the long flight they were all tired.  We went for a walk around my neighborhood and the park by my house.  

After that we had dinner at one of my favorite places to dine near our train station.  Won's, an izakaya just down the street!  Very yummy.
The next day it was off to Kamakura to see the big Buddha

2 Buddha's

And the Hasedera Temple

That night we went to the local Bon festivals...
One at Yamato
and another at Hagashi Rinkin, where we watched my good friend Rebekah dance!
Day 2 : A day in Yokohama, the 2nd largest city in Japan
We went up to the Sky Tower to see the full sights of the city

Then had dinner at one of my favorite Shabu Shubu places!
The next day I introduced them to the greatest invention in Japan...the sushi-go-round!  
Then we had an evening sight-seeing in Shibuya, where we crossed the busiest intersection in the world!

Dinner at Gonpachi...

the "Kill Bill" restaurant in Roppongi

After a few days of touring the local areas, we headed out on the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Southern Japan to do a bit of site-seeing in Hiroshima.

We stayed at the Rihga Royal Hotel...a beautiful hotel right in the heart of everything!
This was the view outside our window!  Like I said, good location!

Nick's ship pulled into port a few hours away, so he was able to meet up with us for a couple days!
He took us to a famous Okinamiyaki place in the area.  Okinamiyaki is the "Japanese pancake" and is a must-eat while in Hiroshima.

Blake was glad to be reunited with Nick...he finally had a drinking buddy to go out with (Needless to say, I've not been as much fun since I got pregnant ;) !

We had a late night bar hopping in downtown Hiroshima!

Day 2- We got some gyoza and Chinese dumplings for lunch

Then took a train to the port where Miyajima Island is...
Where we took a ferry to the island

Nick and I've both been to Miyajima Island, but wanted to show my parents and brother it as well.  It's one of our favorite places in Japan.
Lots of deer...

And the famous floating torri gate!

The other thing one is supposed to eat in Hiro is of course we did!

Then another night out bar hopping with the boys!

Blake was excited to show the bar tenders how to do a "Sake-bomb"...which is what you get when you drop a shot of sake into a beer!  

Our last day with Nick we visited the Peace Memorial Museum and Park.

The A-bomb dome
By the looks of this photo, you'd of thought we color-coordinated ;)
My family enjoyed okonomiyaki so much, they requested we have it for dinner again...

Our last day in Hiroshima (sans Nick :( sadly), we toured the Hiroshima Castle.

The day after we got back from Hiroshima we went on an MWR tour to see the Odawara Castle, Saijoji Temple, and the Asahi Beer factory...

Blake and I climbed the entire 1,000 steps that led to the very top!  (most of the rest of the group stopped mid-way and didn't continue on)  It was a very very hot August day, but the greenery was breathtaking!  I'd never been to this temple before and it is now my favorite!  So beautiful.  A must see!

We got to take a tour of the Asahi beer factory and see how the beer is made, then sample the beer at the end.  Dad and Blake really enjoyed this part of the tour the best ;)
The next day my family got a special of my students invited us all over to have a traditional Japanese lunch in her home with her family!  (I teach the grandmother as well as the granddaugther) 
We got to sample several Japanese dishes and desserts....true to Japanese style, the food kept coming and one left hungry!
This was by far the best day of their trip!  My family really enjoyed meeting my students (Yuki, Yumi and Nana) and their families.  

The next day was my baby and I went while the men stayed at home and relaxed.  Nick's homecoming was the same day and so that evening we went out to dinner at his favorite place to celebrate!
Korean BBQ!

That night Nick and I took the family to our favorite darts bar by our dad schooled us all in Darts ;) 
(I don't come from a competitive family or anything)

Their last day in Japan we went to Enoshima Island.
We showed them our "beach"...just a little different than the beaches they were used to!
But it was a clear day, and they finally got a good view of Mt Fuji!

Nothing like a little flattened octopus and squid on a stick for a tasty snack...

Since it was their last night, Nick promised Blake an "all-nighter" in Tokyo!  (My parents stayed in of course, but I wasn't about to let the boys go without me....I have tried my best to not let being pregnant slow me down!!!)  

We hopped from place to place showing Blake what happens in Tokyo after the trains stop running (around 1am)

No late night in Tokyo is complete without takoyaki!  (This was around 4 am...)
So thankful that mom, dad and Blake came out to was a wonderful 2 weeks!  We were lucky that we got a few days with Nick and that we got to do so much site-seeing!  After living in Japan for over 2 years it was a happy reunion to get to see my family and finally show them our home overseas!