So after we climbed down we headed to an "Okashi" shop. That’s a place where you can get cute little snacks and drink tea or coffee. I got a "sakura" one to fit the chery blossom season :). After our snacks and rest we decided to climb up to a big red shrine that was built about halfay up a mountain. But this path had steps and tories (red shinto gates) lined the entire way up. Each tori was donated by someone, family, or company, so their names re written on them. At the top is the red shrine. I was most surprised by these huge decorations they had made from… I don’t know. But they were bundled and twisted, then hung over the entrance to each of the shrines buildings. So We hung out there for a while, then walked down. Next was dinner, but we ad no idea where we wanted to go. We checked out a travel book we had and decided on a place, but when we got there it was closed. It was about 7 by now, so most of the places were closed. So we drove around looking for another place from the book, but we couldn’t find it, or it was closed also. We ended up going to an Italian restaraunt. It was very nice. The food was good and they had delicious garlic bread also. Then, on our way out, after paying, one of the workers comes running out after us and he gave us some cookies!! It was very nice of them. Things like that happen quite often here. People like giving small presents.
On the way home we stopped at an "onsen" or hot spring (yes the naked kind). It was nice though, especially since we were like only people there. So we got to soak our achin feet in the hot mineral waters and relax. Very very nice!!!
Wow! So that was all one day, in Tsuwano. The next day Melody and her friends went to Tokyo! I stayed in Hagi and relaxed (well, sort of).
For the next few days I went to view the cherry blossoms on about 3 occasions with different friends each time. The first time I went with the pastors wife from the church where I sing in the choir. We went to Hagi Castle park. It has more then 300 sakura (cherry blossom) trees. Beautiful! So we walked to that place, then drove to the river where sakura trees were planted all along it. I think it was most beautiful here because of the beautiful blue sky, the sakura, the sound of the river water…. Perfect! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there long. I had a Bell staff b-b-q to go to!!!
The b-b-q was fun! We had hamburgers with REAL hamberger buns (which I had not seen since i left America) and hotdogs, snacks, salad, coleslaw… It was nice. No pics though, I think… sorry.
After that… on April 6th I went to a kimono tea party! A former Bell teacher came back to Hagi to visit and since she loves kimono her friends set up this get together. I had never worn a kimon before and I didn’t have one, so the lady that cuts my hair was kind enough to let me borrow one of hers. At her beauty salon she does weddings so she often dressed women in kimono and does their hair as well. That’s what she did for me. And she was great! She did everything in about 45 minutes. But man, was it tight! And all the layers! There are so many strings to tie things down and wrapping to flatten and smooth stuff out. Then there’s more wrapping to cover the other wrapping!! Crazy! But an great experience nonetheless. So I went to tea party with my friend Eriko and we talked, I ate a delicous cheese cake, had coffee. Then we did a pictures outside, came back and had green tea and "okashi" (same as in Tsuwano), played bingo, won some prizes, talked some more, and took more pictures! It was a beautiful day so we hung out outside for a while. Good times.
After the tea party I was dead tired, so when I got home I crashed on the couch, kimono and all, and just layed there for a while. Then, as I layed there I got to thinking… How am I gonna get this thing off me??? I had NO IDEA how. There were so many strings, I didn’t know where they were and they were tied behind me…. So I called the pastors wife that I went to look at sakura with and asked if she could help me out. She happily agreed so I look another walk to their church. It is close by, so not a big deal. It was a little wierd though walking through the streets of Hagi with the kimono on. I stopped by my friends jobs to say Hi too. They were surprised!! It was fun.
So I went to get my kimono taken off. That was a task. But we finished, I finally had the weight taken off me, and then we relaxed and had some tea. That was one crazy day!! But oh so fun!!!
Wow! that’s a lot! I hope ou enjoyed the read! And you learned a few Japanese words too!