7/12/2010

Japan 2010: Day 13a (Okazaki Homestay 2)

On the morning of Day 13, I awoke on a futon on the floor in my friend Y-san's family's house. This was my second day awakening here and, just like the previous day, it began with a delicious homemade breakfast.


This morning, T-kun was much more awake and we played a bit of New Super Mario Bros. Wii together. I am a Super Mario veteran and have gone through this particular game with my friends here, so I quite impressed T-kun with my l33t skillz. (He admitted quite plainly that he was 下手くそ at the game, which was amusing and a bit endearing too.)

I am always Luigi.

It was raining this morning, so T-kun got a ride to school.



When we dropped T-kun off at school, the personnel there invited me to visit with the students again. The previous day had been very enjoyable and the flesh was willing, but the spirit was weak. I wanted to rest, so I politely declined the offer. I do intend to visit again whenever I next make it up there, though.

On the way back to her house, Y-san asked me if I'd like to see the nearby Shinpukuji (真福寺), the oldest temple in Aichi Prefecture. I was shocked that such a place was in Okazaki without my knowledge (not that I'm some Okazaki encyclopedia or anything!) and, of course, I said yes.

We drove up some very narrow, winding mountain roads (just a bit unnerving in the rain) and arrived to find the place empty. We parked in a large open area surrounded by towering, rain-soaked trees and began walking around. (The rain really helped the atmosphere.) These snapshots don't do the scenes justice.










This bridge traversed much of the grounds.







Hydrangea (アジサイ)


And that's Shinpukuji. (I found a Yamasa page with some more info on it and some other temples in the area, for those that are interested.)

After this, we returned to the house where I took a much-needed nap before I left Okazaki for Tokyo.



The Japanese have a reputation for putting
mayonnaise on everything. This is a salad.
With mayo. Y-san asked if I wanted to try it,
so I did. And you know what? It was good.

Some pudding that I bought for the family while
in Hamamatsu. It, too, was quite delicious.

And what better for an after-meal activity than a little American anime?


(Yeah, I guess you can't 直訳 that ...)


Since it was Tom & Jerry, who don't talk, watching this was not too unlike watching it in America, except for the occasional brief spoken lines that they added for the characters when they were off-screen (which they did, I assume, because they wouldn't need to match the dialogue to the characters' mouths). Not sure what was up with that.

This, by the way, was the (nice) ofuro that I used:


After this, it was time for me to hop the bullet train to Tokyo.







But first, I had a couple of stops to make. The first stop was W-san's house. I wanted to say goodbye to her husband, since I was unable to when I first left Okazaki. (While we were there, an Okazaki council member stopped by and derailed the goodbye a little bit, but he was nice enough and gave me a card too. I found his Japanese very difficult to understand.)


The second stop was down the street to Daiso to buy the sake glass that my friends Sharkbait and Spida-Woman requested. I just bought a whole set, with a bottle and two shot glasses. (They were very happy to receive the set, I'll say.)


After this, a trip through my old neighborhood. (I wanted to stop by the Yamasa Villas to see how they were holding up, but never got a chance. Maybe that's good, because I might have hassled whoever's in my apartment, ”お父様城.” Whoever's in Yamasa Villa 3 #203, I'm watching you.)




At last ... Okazaki Station. This is it ...



Toyohashi is where I boarded the actual bullet train.

So long, Okazaki.
You'd better believe I'll be back.




Toyohashi:











And after a long ride, I arrived in Tokyo. More on that soon.

2 comments

David said...

Cool post. I enjoyed all the photos. I've lived in Okazaki for 4 years and have been to most of the temples/shrines here (well, the major ones anyways, and many of the minor ones too) but have never heard of Shinpukuji. Whoa! Thanks for giving me a new place to visit! That'll be a fun bike ride (I live near Higashi-Okazaki station)

Jonathan said...

Oh wow. Yeah, I think you'll like it and it'll definitely be a great bike ride for you.