Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vacation Begins.

So we started our three week Japanese Vacation this weekend.  Really looking forward to having three weeks to spend with family and friends.  I am also looking forward to getting out and about in Kagoshima.  Amazingly no Jet Lag to start the trip.  Very lucky.

We had a great day on Saturday.  We got up early and were out the door before nine.  Our goal was Noma Dake.  The last interesting peak relatively close to our house.  After about and hour and 15 of pain and suffering in the car (two year olds just can't be reasoned with) we made it to the Noma Jinja, the inevitable temple most of the way up the mountain. 

We hiked for about forty five minutes from the temple to the top.  The view promised to be spectacular but then it reneged.  We were basically in the clouds.  It was muggy.  Summer has officially arrived in Kagoshima.  
 We didn't pack a lunch, just snacks, on purpose.  The plan was to get up and down before lunch and then hit a restaurant and an onsen.  Well the little guy was tuckered when we got to the bottom and promptly fell asleep in the car.  So we drove most of the way back home.  We stopped in Fukiage, known for its Onsen Baths.  It was the sage opinion of the Mrs. that to eat and then bath was foolishness.  So we drove around looking for a bath.  We stopped here.

 The place was deserted so the boys and I had our side to ourselves.  The pool was big enough for the older boy to try and swim in.  However, the water was hot and tasted of sulphur so he didn't make much head way.  The little guy, as usual, enjoyed getting in and out.  He also got a real kick out of turning the taps on and off.

Post bath I was fatally hungry.  We had a few minutes of indecision before settling on rice balls and assorted lunch stuff from a grocery store.  We stopped at a park and chowed down.  I gave the Mrs. the keys and had myself a nice big beer.  It was good.

Our last stop was a spot my Mother-in-law recommended.  It is one of her power spots.  It is a temple called Onamuchi Jinja.  The temple is your regular fare but the real reason to go is the trees.  Check out this monster the family is perched against.  It reminds us of the tree in "Tonari no Totoro" (Totoro next Door) by studio Ghibli.  It even has a little spot you could climb in and find a Totoro. 
This next picture shows how far back I had to go to get the sucker in the frame.
 After the tree we took turns drinking the magical temple water.  I got video.

Post temple we got back in the car and everyone kind of drifted off as the Mrs. drove us home.  Another fabulous Saturday and an excellent way to kick off our three weeks in Japan.  Lets hope the rest of our vacation is as exciting.

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