Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Hello everyone!

So, our time in Japan is almost over and we are getting very excited to come home and see everyone and are also very busy planning our time in Europe and getting very anxious to explore everything we have been reading about. Thanks to everyone who sent us info about the places you loved or hated - any other information is always greatly appreciated.

February was pretty normal here, we did go on trips although not together. Denis went to an onsen in the snow with Gary, Ray, Masa, and Casey where they saw lots of snow, had naked snowball fights, ate strange but elaborate Japanese meals and stopped for bear and deer on a stick, and saw barbecued sparrow, which we learned is the original yaki-tori (meaning barbecued chicken but literally translates to barbecued bird) but since chickens aren't native to Japan the original bird was a sparrow.

I went on a girls only weekend with Alison and Leigh and although we did find a lot of snow along the mountain road as we were driving to Takayama, there wasn't any on the ground when we got there (which is very strange but it has been unusually warm this year) although we were blessed to have snow fall, but melt when it hit the ground, almost all weekend. We walked through a traditional Japanese street that looked exactly as I had pictured Japan looking, I guess we were only 200 years too late, and saw the traditional houses built 100 - 500 years ago in the Hida Village. We also were blessed to find a great little Italian restaurant with the best spaghetti I may have ever eaten and a nice bottle of wine. We also ate Mexican food which is very hard to find in Japan so we were very lucky! We too stopped at an outdoor onsens and after wondering around for awhile looking for the bathroom to wash as is required before public bathing only to find there was no bathroom and so we had to just jump in which turns out what everyone does so we didn't feel so bad. But we had beautiful mountains and snow and fresh mountain air around us it was great!

The rest of February has been pretty normal. We went to pick strawberries with the preschool class, and that was fun. For 1000 yen (about $10) we got to pick and eat as many strawberries as we could for 30 minutes. Denis and I made the most of it, so did some of the kids but eating until your going to burst and then running around apparently doesn't make your stomach very happy and some of the kids were sick.

We are starting to pack up some things and are planning on making a couple trips to Tokyo to see some things we haven't yet seen and to party all night as everyone who visits Tokyo must do! And then we are off, only 19 more days!

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