July 03, 2012

ANOTHER Free Day in Japan

As I said in my last blog, this is the second time we have been in Nagoya Japan in the last 10 hours! We literally have been on the same airplane three times! We flew on it from Detroit to Japan, then Japan to Manila, then got back on it a few hours later to fly BACK to Japan…YIKES! We had an 8 hour lay over in Japan so we decided to once again explore the new city. This time we ventured farther away from the airport to visit Osu Kannon Temple and shopping district in Nagoya. It was raining—of course. Actually I think Lady Hiva and I have bought more umbrellas in Japan and left them as we finished the day that we have in the last few years total! HAHA!  Yet it was still beautiful.

The temple grounds were not as expansive as the temple in Narita Town, but it was still clean and ornate. What we enjoyed the most was the shops and restaurants that branched out from the temple. The walk ways were covered so that made taking photos on a rainy day quite a bit easier. We stopped and watched the cooks in the bakery windows making their delicious treats—that of course we had to go in and try. Our favorite was the fish shaped waffle filled with Azuki beans.

We wandered through the Kimono shops and admired the beauty of the silks. Lady Hiva decided that she loved the funky style of bright clothing that seems to be popular. Too bad we did not have more time because there was street after street of quaint shops and cute restaurants to explore.

We decided to eat at one of the local restaurants before we headed back to the airport. We chose one that looked good in the food photos that are iconic of Asian restaurants. We went in and sat down. The staff was really friendly, they greeted with smiles and friendly greetings—even though we could not understand what they were saying, it still was a warm greeting. We sat down to eat and they handed us a menu…despite all the road signs being in both Japanese and English, the menu was ALL Japanese! NOT even photos! LOL…Lady Hiva asked if we should go, because we could not understand what anything was. Luckily one of the cooks came out with a small photo book and we picked something to eat! What an adventure.

The Restaurant where we ate

It was interesting to see different cultures interact with each other. As we came off the plane from Manila there was a group of High School students going to Ohio for a choir competition. As they stood in the line they decided to practice. As I was going through customs the officer said, “Who is singing?!” And after he gave my passport back he jumped out of his seat, ran across the room and yelled, “Stop it! Stop that singing!” HAHAHA! You should have seen the faces of those kids…they were not sure what to do. Again at the restaurant the cook came out and told a family that was playing a game together to be quiet…wow! SO different from the many noises in Manila!

It was a great way to take a rest from sitting for hours. Next stop…Hawaii.

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