I arrived back to Nagoya this morning after wonderful, refreshing, delightful nine-day trip to Sendai, Fukushima, and Yamagata (in the northern part of Japan). I went by overnight bus which is the cheapest way to get from Nagoya to Sendai and back. I really can’t capture in words how blessed I was during this trip – I loved being with a ton of beloved, old friends and laughed so hard I cried, ate a TON of delictable Japanese food, and watched a lot of goofy Japanese TV. I got to see and do a ton of things and enjoyed long, relaxing chats with old friends. I left feeling like I want to go back to there again…even live there. But I doubt that is possible; at the very least, I hope to be able to visit there regularly for many years to come.
One nice thing: While I missed the cherry blossoms in Sendai they are in full bloom here in Nagoya so I am thankful I got to see all the pink beauty! I will go out and take photos of the cherry blossoms tomorrow.
Here I am with my former Japanese teacher Junko (in red) and her mother Ai, a FABULOUS cook!
Ai with her delicious okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake
With dear friends Kikuko (my former host mother), Suk Hui (from Korea), and Edie Cummings (dear missionary friend)
Being silly with Kikuko, wearing our masks (Japanese wear masks when they have a cold or to prevent one).
My former host brother (who I call my Japanese little brother) Yotaro being cool
I got to see and do a lot of things – I got to go to a butterfly exhibition and loved it! They were so beautiful and lovely to see.
Here I am with two of my favorite English students, Eiko and Yuko – what goofy, sweet ladies. I had fun chatting and laughing it up with them for over three hours over dinner.
Eiko tried to set me up with her 32-year old son in Tokyo which was a source of a lot of laughter. She even went so far as to give me his email and phone number but I won’t be following up. 🙂
I headed to Fukushima next – I met my friend Ai and her children. I met Ai in Philadelphia and taught her English. I especially hit it off with 8 year-old Kanade, an energetic, smart, and affectionate little girl.
Doing karaoke in the car
Wonderful soba dinner with Ai and her family
Kanade and her soba noodles
While we were out we saw a display of needlepoint. Can you believe this is needlepoint? It looks like a real painting!
Needlepoint #3 – gorgeous!
Stopped by Eiko Church Sunday morning
Had tea with a friend Sunday afternoon
Met old students for dinner Sunday night
Delictable dinner of sashimi over ice (raw rish)
Yakitori – chicken on a stick
I went for a drive with wonderful friends near Zao mountain.
We stopped at a foot spa on the way and soaked our feet in the water for a while.
We passed by a giant carton of milk on the way!
Stopped to eat soba at a delightful place out in the middle of nowhere!
We enjoyed a fabulous sushi dinner!!!
Group shot – Kankako, Atsuo, me, and Atsuo’s sweet Uncle Tadamichi
For dessert we had delicious egg custard baked into these egg shells!
Last night I met an old friend, Roberto, from Mexico and Cal and Edie Cummings, missionaries to Japan. I had a wonderful dinner with them and enjoyed catching up!
I have to get to bed but I couldn’t before posting photos and expressing my thankfulness for such an incredible trip. I can hardly wait for my next trip to Sendai, a place with is my home away from home here in Japan. In a few days I will post a bunch of photos of silly t-shirts and signs I saw during my trip – very funny! Oyasuminasai (good night in Japanese).