I’ve been to a Japanese garden before, sure. Two, actually. The one in Portland and a huge one on the big island in Hawaii. I had never been to one in Japan, though, and in fact I was starting to doubt they even existed! That all changed Saturday afternoon when an English teacher Kenny works with and her daughter took us to one in their town of Katsuura. A short 30-40 minute train ride plus a 10 minute trip in their car and we were there.
My favorite part was the beginning. I just love bamboo.
The town makes a big deal out of decorating dolls (more on that in later post). There were a few in the bamboo and many more in the shop at the end of the garden.
The above two pictures are of a temple and perhaps the prettiest cemetery I’ve ever seen.
After walking up a million steps, we were persuaded (easily) into getting some ice cream. I’d never tried sesame ice cream before and I have to say, it’s quite tasty. I was skeptical at first, but it was very refreshing!
After the trip to the garden we went to some viewpoints around Katsuura beach.
…And then out for Katsuura-style tantanmen, an award-winning type of ramen. It’s spicy, which I love, but Kenny is not as adjusted to. He said he loved it but the rest of us couldn’t help but laugh a little he was sweating profusely and kept needing to cough. He adjusted, though, and even finished off my broth after finishing his own.
We didn’t want to miss our train, so we were rushed back to the train station where we left for Ichinomiya. We could have just gone home, but, we realized we hadn’t been to the bar across the street in a couple weeks and decided to stay out.
That’s mikan (satsuma/mandarin orange) sake. It was SO good.
That inside the glass is the one ice cube to rule them all. Japan uses ice cubes specifically for drinks. They’re huge so they don’t melt as fast. We joked that we should take it home and put it in the freezer and take it out when ever we wanted drinks to see how long it would last.
Of course drinks turned into splitting some more ice cream.
And that turned into not eating much the next day to prepare for a sushi outing on Monday. Can you believe I’ve been in Japan two months and hadn’t gotten any sushi until yesterday? That was a ridiculously long time to go without tuna. I was quickly reminded of how much better it is here than it is in the states. Yum.