Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Festivals / Ward Party

On Monday, we were invited to the home of a member family (Sacomoto).  They host a party every year at their home.  It was a bit of a drive to get there.  We rode with Pres. and Sis. Smith.  Our bishop is the gentleman in the white jacket.

They made pizzas in this huge outdoor oven.

They invite all the neighbors to come too.

Sis Sacomoto is telling the Smiths her conversion story and about her family.

For this activity, they put up this big bamboo chute.  There is a water bottle at the top and a basket at the bottom.  They put cooked noodles at the top and you try and catch the noodles before they land in the basket.  (With chopsticks!)

Sister S is passing the pizza around

The boys were having a watermelon seed contest

And how about this shirt!  Utah State (Salt Lake City?)  What about Logan??

They cooked yams in this big oven.  There was also rice and green beans.  And they started cooking some chicken as we were leaving.  They were planning to wait for the fireflies to come out!

How about these beautiful flowers?

Part of their garden.  We had a lovely time!

On Wednesday, we had our English class.  The elders played a little game about listening (while blindfolded).  The object was to see which team could get their player to the candy at the front of the room.  Our two little boys "might" have peeked beneath their blindfolds (the elders' ties)!

On Saturday, we and the Taylors went into the city of Sendai.  We wanted to see the main train station and the "Sun Mall" which is an open door type mall that goes for several blocks near the station.

Of course, in the mall, what do you expect to find?  McDonald's of course.

But we did not expect to find Uncle Sam!

He has to be the tallest Japanese man in town!

We went to our favorite sushi place for Sister Kakuda's last dinner.  Then we were going to stay in for the evening, but we heard some music coming from the park up the street, so we went to check it out.

Lots of traditional costumes!  We also met a lady from our neighborhood who likes to come to the Family Home Evenings every month.  She asked if it is OK if she comes on Monday.  Of course!  She told us that this is an annual event for Summer Festival.  They had traditional music and lots of food booths and fun.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20. Trip up the Pacific Coast Highway (Japanese Style)

We decided to do a little exploring this past weekend.  We and the Taylors drove north about an hour to the fish market by Tagajo.

Lots of interesting things to see.  And of course, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Hello Kitty are there too!

This is the view from the harbor nearby.

A bit further north, we came to the town of Matsushima.  We drove through 4 or 5 tunnels to get there.  It has hundreds of islands off shore.  It is kind of a touristy town.

This sign explains that Matsushima is one of the three most beautiful places in Japan.  They even have a holiday to celebrate it.  It is tomorrow.  Now we know that the holiday is all about!  I wonder if we'll still get mail tomorrow?

A few of the nearby islands have bridges that you can walk over to the island.

This little island has a little shrine on it.  Originally built in the 9th century and rebuilt in the 17th century.

This little gal was visiting town by herself.  She is a student and has some time off this weekend.  She came along with us for the day and helped read the signs.  (Our tour guide!)

Japanese love to flash the peace sign!

The turtle dragons were pretty neat.  Hard to get a good shot of though.

While we waited for the tour boat, we walked around a lovely garden/ mausoleum across the street.

This little woman was cleaning up the leaves with a little whisk broom.  They keep it looking beautiful!

There are also a lot of bamboo structures in the water for the sea weed farmers.  We had to go slowly through those areas.  It's amazing that the bamboo can hold up against the sea.

The boat tour took almost two hours.  We got to see lots of little islands with trees growing on them.  Matsushima means "pine tree island".  Well named!

A sturdy little tree on a lonely island.  Most of these little islands were washed over by the tsunami.  But the trees have grown back well.  They said that the water was about 5 feet high at the boat dock and it went inland about 150 yards.

Elder and Sister Hill met us for the tour.  It was a fun day together.

And we made some new friends!