Tanabata Matsuri Festival in Misawa

The only way I can describe this festival is Multi-Sensory.  As a teacher, we naturally consider different learning styles in our lessons – Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Tactile and even Olfactory and Gustatory – it is second nature.  This festival packed a punch by involving all of my senses!  Where else could I experience origami, the Olympics, making wishes, poetry, Taiko drummers, traditional dance, decorating competitions, live music, goldfish, yummy fair food, beer, yukata dress, and even a watermelon pinata contest?  Sorry readers, but explaining the history behind this festival would take too long.  I know you really enjoy it when I am winded ;-).  Here is some information if you would like to read up on this amazing Star Festival – it reminded me of a celestial Romeo and Juliet.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanabata

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Yabusame (流鏑馬) – Towada City Women’s Horseback Archery Festival & Oirase Gorge

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Yesterday, Ginger & I visited Towada City and watched women and young girls shoot targets with large bow & arrows at the Woman’s Horseback Archery Festival.  They accomplished this task while dressed in beautiful silk costumes and mounted on galloping horses.  Soooo, imagine if you will the amazing strength, balance and beauty that these girls demonstrated – it was nothing short of miraculous and so quintessential Japanese.  The horses were so content and well-loved while they waited for their show time.   Towada was historically known as a breeding area for Samarai horses.  The horse theme can be seen all over the town.

After the festival, we wandered around Towada and took some photos outside of the Art Museum, purchased some items at a sidewalk flea market and then enjoyed a worth-the-wait organic lunch at the Bistro & Farm CAFE ORTA.  I am getting used to not knowing what lunch I have ordered until it arrives – point, smile & cross my fingers!  HaHa.  I ended up with homemade pasta with shrimp, a potato soup and crusty artisan wheat bread.  Yummmmeeee!

On our ride home through the Northern Japan mountains, we were both giddy with excitement at being able to open the car windows while driving.  It was such a perfectly beautiful day.  We decided to take a little detour and head up to Oirase Gorge.  The snow is almost all melted.  It is about time.  We received 222.9 inches of snow this season!  And as I say, the best snow is melted snow…

Cherry Blossoms – Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo

Last week, while we were in Tokyo, the cherry blossoms were completely amazing!  I am getting so excited about seeing ours bloom within the next week or so.  The blossoms were all over Tokyo – everywhere we looked, these beautiful white to bright pink blossoms brightened up our views!  Here are some photos from the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.  So breathtaking!

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GINZA (銀座) chez tomo – Très magnifique!

While searching tripadvisor.com, I came across a Michelin-starred French restaurant in the Ginza district of Tokyo.  I figured this may be my only chance to partake in such a glorious lunchfest with my Momma (and within my budget!).  Ginza is considered one of the luxurious shopping districts in the entire world.  Emerging from the subway, I felt as if I had entered another world altogether.  A very high-end Apple Store was to our left and, across the street, a Harry Winston jewelry store and a Bvlgari department store.  Oh geez, why do I have to be so poor??  Yet after experiencing my sense-awakening at chez tomo, I felt so wealthy.  Maybe it was the champagne buzz??   I took a few pictures of some of the courses but, dimly, left out the main course.   Next post…cherry blossoms!  Enjoy!

 

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Tokyo Disney Sea

I absolutely loved our day at Disney Sea!  The park was impeccably clean and organized, even by Disney standards.  Mom and I spent an entire day being kids and making memories.  The Easter parade that morphed into a dragon and unicorn parade was fantastic.   Our lunch on the S.S. Columbia felt more like the Titanic – delicious meal and super-attentive service.  I can’t wait to go back!!

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The legendary, though slighly annoying, guardian of the forest…

Our Read Across America week was postponed until this week because of our spring testing schedule.  What a super first day it was!  There are many things taking place around our school like a Door Decorating Contest, Bear Decorating, Seuss story readings, Guess the Book skits on our CNBC Morning News Show and more.   But today was the icing on the cake!  Our entire school went, in two shifts, to the base theatre to see our own screening of The Lorax.  What a super movie and time with the students!  I fully enjoyed myself.  Check out this mini-trailer if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

http://youtu.be/lApymnMxGQ4

 

Saturday Shopping in Sendai, Japan

Had a super-fun day of walking, shopping, eating and some major coffee drinking today!  Ginger & I also met some new people on the ITT bus that departed from Misawa AFB just after 6:30 am.  We arrived in Sendai around 11 am and walked many miles and literally shopped til we dropped.  I can’t remember the last time that I trudged around with 5 shopping bags but it was just too good to pass up!  My feet were humming and my heart was beating out of my body (or should I blame the espresso for that?).

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