Japan Day 5: Kamakura!

kamakura-buddahThe day before yesterday (I’m a day behind in reporting. Not so jet-lagged anymore.) we took a train to Kamakura. It’s funny because we almost blew off visiting the big buddha in favor of doing a craft for Alphamom but we couldn’t find some supplies I wanted for the craft so we decided to squeeze the buddha back in.

posing-with-buddahBoy am I glad we did! It was such a wonderful little day trip. It was the Japan of my imagination come true. Do you like how Buddha photobombed our photo? A really nice man took that for us in exchange for a picture of Elliora and Annalie cheesing for a picture for him. They were happy to oblige.

It’s totally okay to be silly and cheesy with the Buddha. There were people posing like they were kissing him. You can go inside and look at how he is built for 20 yen. You can even buy a sucker in a Buddha shape and eat him! Buddhists are a very easy-going happy people. A lot different from the religion I grew up in!
kamakura-shoppingI’m such a sucker for touristy shopping places. Give me little shops and a credit card that works and I am a happy tourist. I hate shopping at home but out and about, exploring new places and hunting for trinkets and treasures makes this little hoarding heart happy. Five hundred dollars later (kidding, mostly) I am now worried about how I am going to get everything back home. Good thing I didn’t pack much coming here!walking-kamakuraI’ve been really lucky to get perfect weather when I’m here. I am lucky like this all the time when I travel. Everyone always predicts snow or rain or heat waves and when I get there it’s like the weather puts on it’s prettiest temperatures just for me. Seriously, pleasant all the time.

Kamakura reminded me a bit of the little beach town I used to live in. Just with more narrow sidewalks and slightly  more tourists.
trains-to-kamakuraThen we took the train back home and had the nicest walk along the water back to the base.sunset-walk-home-through-yokohamaThe walk included some selfies with the sunset and a random attack of the giggles, of course.goodnight-yokosukaOh, Japan, you are so pretty.


Japan Day 4: Ramen!


On the fourth day of my Japan trip I discovered ramen. The end.

Just kidding. I’ve had ramen many times before but never like this! Everybody says the Japanese make ramen an art form and they are right. My ramen had milk in it and butter (!) and corn, asparagus, caramelized onions AND BACON! It was big bowl of cholesterol-sodium heaven. I would eat this every day if I lived here. I might even try to make it when I get back home. I don’t know how I’m going to make fresh ramen noodles but I’m going to look into it.


After our delicious lunch we took a walk to the nearby Mikasa Park, a World War II Memorial. It’s right across from the base and we had seen it during one of the drives around the base.


The walk there is really cool with water features the whole way. I was wishing I had a little sail boat that I could float along side me the entire walk. It was quite pleasant. Especially with a hot can of coffee as an after lunch treat.

The park is quite pretty. I love the Japanese style of gardening. The way trees are trimmed to hang downwards gracefully over water and how rocks look like miniature islands along a coastline. It’s fun to imagine you are looking at a tiny scene of nature. Like our tour guide said, “Everything is better with imagination.”


We spent some time goofing around the amphitheater. It had perfect acoustics. You could stand in the middle of the stage and whisper and people sitting on the grass can hear you perfectly. Even in the wind which was whipping up into a frenzy that day because there was a typhoon off the coast a ways. Nothing to worry about of course. Just a normal weather system that would peter out before it hit Japan. And there was a pretty mosaic that we all enjoyed taking pictures of and dancing in front of if you were Annalie and Elliora.


Then we enjoyed an impromptu Bellagio-esque water show. We didn’t even know it would happen but as we were looking at the pond, we noticed the fountain heads and sure enough Troy found a sign somewhere with times listed when it would go off. We took a seat and watched the show while an amplified music box played smooth jazz, pop songs and a few patriotic numbers from the bushes nearby.


Then we walked back and took a group photo in this fun-house style silver sculpture that for some reason makes me look like I’ve gained 50 pounds in the stomach area. Avert your eyes now that I’ve drawn you attention to that, please.  

Maybe not so much milk-butter-bacon ramen for me. Boo.