Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ramblings and Thoughts from Japan

Hi Everyone:  Well, we made it to Japan and to Iwata City with no major catastrophes.  Well, I guess, maybe 1 even before we left Kamloops.  There have been labour disputes happening at Air Canada for the past couple of weeks. I seem to remember there was one when we were on our cruise last fall as well.  Maybe it's something about Lloyd and I traveling.   
Anyway, we were delayed flying out of Kamloops by a couple of hours.  First they said it would be about a 4 hour delay which meant that we would have missed our flight to Japan, but it  turned out to be only a couple of hours. 

Even though the flight was a long one - about 18 hours from beginning to end, Lloyd and I both survived and slept quite well on the plane.  By the time we got to Darryl's place, we were ready for bed, so didn't have too much time adjusting to the time different.  I hope that  it will be the same going home.

We spent the first couple of days getting our bearings and yesterday, Lloyd and I walked to the grocery store and then home again without getting lost.  Actually, it is easy to get around Iwata as it is very flat, lots of rice fields so it is easy to see landmarks and everything seems to be square and logically laid out.

We went to a mall the other day and was amazed to see so much in English and people are more than willing to help you out and try to get through the language barrier. Last night we had an elderly lady come up to us and start speaking in English to our surprise.  Of course, the usual fare was there, the Body Shop, McDonald's, Starbucks, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a few others.

McDonald and kids fun park in the mall

Yesterday, we went on a steam train up into the mountains.  The mountain sides are covered with tea plants and they are meticulous manicured. Just rows and rows going up the mountain slopes.  It's very cold here. Although the sun is bright and clear skies, the wind is howling and it's very cold.  I am not sure that I brought enough clothes and may have to go shopping, aw...rats. 
Tea plantations in the mountains

OK back to yesterday.  we had reservations on a steam train to go into the mountains.  We traveled by car for about an hour and a half.  before we boarded the train, we paid a visit to the Tokaido trail.  this trail was used by the warlords to get back and forth between Kyoto and Tokyo. 

Cobblestones line the trail as they did in the days of the warlords Maya, Darryl and Scooby
Getting ready to leave the station  -Karen, Lloyd and Maya

Standing in front of the steam engine

Hako drove the car from the Kanaya station to Sensu and then her and Kian met us for lunch. 

From Sensu, we traveled back to Iwata over the very windy road and on the way stopped by an ancient castle that was refurbished after the war.
Ancient castle

Ninjas at the castle
The stairs were so steep, it was like going up and down a ladder.  I had to go down backwards.  Much easier not to see where you were going
The view from the top
 Well, that's it for today.  I am having problems with my computer and it is causing me some frustration, so hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and the little bit of history that I had to share with you.

Until next time...



  1. Thanks for sharing these great photos of your adventures in Japan, Karen!

    Japan is on my bucket list!!

  2. Great photos Karen..I do hope you two have a fabulous time there.

  3. Thanks for sharing Karen! Hope you have a fabulous time!

  4. Karen it looks and sounds like you are having a wonderful time exploring and seeing all the sights. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of them too!

  5. Great photos and know you're having a marvelous time! So many interesting things to see!

  6. Great photos! It sounds like you are having a marvelous trip!!

  7. It looks like you're having lots of fun. Enjoy it.

  8. Thank you for sharing your pictures. It sounds like you're having a great trip. Looking forward to seeing more.

  9. Thank you for sharing your photos, Karen! I know that I will never make it to Japan, so I love seeing it through your eyes!


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