Trying to live life with sandy toes and laughter
The bullet train from Kyoto to Maibara was fast and Michiyo an Maki met us at the station. It was so amazing to see them and catch up. Michiyo and her mum prepared an enormous sushi feast for us, and I learned a new Japanese word ooshee (delicious) which I used in abundance for the rest of the trip. Michiyo’s boys were adorable (little dinosaurs as she calls them) and Eric joined us after work. Felt like old times.
The next morning Michiyo made us this amazing breakfast and then took us on a tour of her hometown.
First stop was the Kabuki museum. The night before at dinner Matsuji Michiyo’s dad brought out some pictures of him as a boy performing Kabuki so it was cool to see the elaborate stages and history as context at the museum. He also taught us the secret Kabuki stare.
After the museum we visited The Daituji Temple. Meech knew lots of little things we would have missed on our own: the place where we washed our hands before entering. The coin prayer box, and my favorite… The story of how Matsuji used to feed the pigeons there and then catch them and take them home to become part of his pigeon trained arsenal.
After the temple we wandered the shops. I almost bought a Katana but couldn’t really transport it with my one carry on bag. We checked out some glass blowing. Pretty neat the process they go through… A real dance with the glass blower and his assistant.
Next stop was a Samurai castle…Hikone castle. So cool. And turns out Michiyo’s mum comes from an old Samurai family. Awesome! Climbed a lot of steps and then wandered inside the castle and grounds. The garden was gorgeous. There was a Japanese soap opera being filmed in the garden when we were there.
In Osaka I was sad from the goodbye but we did some shopping at this huge electronics store and then off to our airport hotel for our early morning flight – the amenities in Japanese hotels are pretty awesome.