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!

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