ok, y’all getting tired of these japan pictures?

oh well. sorry, it is going to take a few more posts to get through them. ;) but in an effort to get it done, this is a super long one. don’t say you haven’t been warned!! fun fun!

while in Becca’ neighborhood of Yabu, we had a few adventures, driving in her car,  and lots of time to catch up on relax in her tiny apartment.

please note: car is backwards and it is tiny. it’s hard to tell just how tiny. should have taken a picture from outside. doh.

IMG_1506_becca driving

we made the obligatory visit to Becca’s school where she works and where they love her to death. and of course we had to take a family photo: IMG_1399_family

this is her school:IMG_1405_becca's school

after a morning talking with her friends and fellow teaches, we ventured to this town: Izushi. it had a pretty old clock tower and castle ruins and cute little streets:IMG_1416_town with castle ruins+ clock tower

a map of the tiny town:

IMG_1505_Izushi map

and it was really the only pretty day that we had while in her area of Yabu: IMG_1417_becca and mom and clock

look at how giant the produce was! those carrots. and then some strange root right next to it… wow:IMG_1421_town with castle ruins+ clock tower

i think the clock tower was pretty,  but the family would not pose for me:IMG_1423_town with castle ruins+ clock tower

a road side map to castle: IMG_1433_Izushi

i think this was my favorite little bridge in all of japan.IMG_1437_Izushi

IMG_1438_Izushi after you got through the gate: another little castle tower! so pretty!IMG_1445_Izushi

and a pathway up the mountain with this gates:IMG_1458_Izushi

another view of the “tower” from inside the wall area, looking past a shrine:
IMG_1467_Izushi

there really wasn’t any part ofthe castle left. just a wall and a couple of towers and a couple of shrines. i think it’s funny that the tower overhung the wall, they couldn’t build the wall exactly the right angle or something?IMG_1476_Izushi

from underneath:
IMG_1477_Izushi

another lantern? i don’t know, i just thought it looked funny with a giant rock on top of a tiny wood lantern area:IMG_1480_Izushi

had to beg for a picture of me: haha.IMG_1487_Izushi

Becca and i got a kick out of these dragons. on one side of the path were happy ones:
IMG_1489_izi dragon

and on the other side they seemed grumpy. Becca was trying to make it happy:IMG_1490_becca playing with the animals

not sure it worked, sweetheart. still looks grumpy even with the hug!IMG_1492_hugging animals

i think this may be one of my favorite photos of the whole trip: IMG_1497_dragon water fountainit’s a dragon water fountain! how fun! it’s actually so you can wash your hands before you go up to the temple but i just thought he looked awesome.

one of the other days while we were there Becca and i went for a hike up in the mountains above her apartment to visit a 1000 year old cherry tree. let me say that again: a cherry tree that is 1000 freaking years old! how cool is that? my dad wasn’t feeling very well so mom stayed with him for a while and it was a nice little sister hike. check out how pretty the path was:

1000 year old cherry tree path

in case you didn’t know, cherry trees are kind of a big deal in japan. Becca has had it explained to her that every year when they are in bloom, it is a cultural thing to go sit under the tree and drink sake until you’re drunk. this brings good luck or something because according to the japanese you’re not your “real self” until you’re drunk and all of your inhibitions are gone. oh boy. but apparently sitting under the cherry that’s 1000 years old brings extra good luck? anyway, it was a bit of a hike straight up the mountain… can you image coming down that when you’re drunk on sake?!

anyway. this sign was pointing out the 1000 year old cherry tree to all the sake drinkers:

1000 year old cherry tree

there wasn’t anyone else there because it wasn’t quite in bloom yet.  but check out how giant this tree was. it needed scaffolding to hold it up and keep it from falling down the mountain!! and i had to crop the photos together to get the whole picture! 1000 yr old cherry tree

we think maybe that sign meant that  something like “trespass at your own risk”  but we really can’t be sure. and all we did was look at the tree a little bit closer…
1000 yr tree becca being funny

but we don’t know for sure!

1000 yr tree becca

bawhaha. ok. she could get into trouble maybe for this one. but we don’t know what it says for sure, so really, could she? really, we’ll never know.

while in Yabu Becca also took us to her favorite sushi place. japanese sushi coming to you on a conveyor belt anyone?! how cool is this place?! you can just pick and choose which kind of sushi you want. you can also order it on a screen. then you pay  by the plate:

sushi plates and becca and it was really tasty:sushi

don’t we look excited?!

Sushiru

ha. we had a great time exploring the area where Becca lives. she is going to be there for at least another year! i’m so impressed by her. :) the next leg of the trip was Kyoto.

to be continued…

{to see the other posts about my adventure in japan click here:

Osaka: part 1, Osaka: part 2, Tondabayashi part 3, Himeji castle: part 4}