It’s been well over a month and a half that a blog post has gone out. Apologies to all, seems like we’re on another planet sometimes with all that’s going on and just keeping communication with everyone back home. We’re damn near into October here and we’re creeping up on a year already having lived in Japan. Wow! Anywho, let’s dive right in…
Mo went back to the states for a week to start work on her second Masters. She had the illustrious privilege of matriculating at Auburn University in Alabama. War Eagle! Whilst she was away, I took the kiddos up to Hiroshima to this super cool indoor cardboard playground. Rudy put together a paper T-Rex and they both enjoyed the slides, rides and cardboard maze.
When mommy got back from Alabama, I was off to Tokyo with the Single Marine Program to cover their Tokyo/Mt. Fuji trip. To keep the kiddos busy while I was away, Mo took them to the Pixar Adventure in Hiroshima. I think you can tell by everyone’s expressions there was fun times had by all.
On the drive up to Tokyo, we stopped at various rest stops and in true Japanese fashion, there was no shortage of kitschy statues and gas station food. When we got to Tokyo, we stopped off at a huge mall with this crazy tall Gundam and there was a street fest going on. Then we go to the New Sanno Hotel.
We spent a couple of days in Tokyo before tackling Mt. Fuji. I cruised through a few neighborhoods taking in the sights. I visited the Kappa Dera Temple, dedicated to old Japanese folklore that tells the story of the Kappa which is an aquatic goblin who would grab unsuspecting humans who would walk over bridges and drown them. I found a pretty good description at this website.
After visiting the Kappa Dera, I went to the Snso-ji temple and then had a Melon Fanta at an owl cafe. True Story. Then I was off to the Tokyo Sky Tree to get a birds eye view of the city. Wow! Glad there was some J Pop at the top.
The next day I climbed Fuji. Mo n I climbed it waaaaaay back in 2007 and we started from the bottom, walked through the haunted forest, slept in a hostel at Station 5 and then finished to the top the next day. This time, I started at Station 5 right before the sun made its presence known. I can honestly say, climbing Mt. Fuji is one of my favorite parts of Japan so far. I’d be happy to climb it every year, just for the challenge and the views. And that weird feeling in your chest from the low oxygen.
Anywho, I came back to Iwakuni the next day and stopped at a cool rest stop that had a Ferris wheel and this cool little museum with these samurai floats.
Once we got the fam back together we went up to Miyajima for another crack at the Public Aquarium. We walked through the covered streets, got some oysters and some street beers. The kids as always had a blast.
A couple weeks later, I competed in my first triathlon. I was happy to not come in last and not die. It was a great experience and got me very much wanting to train and compete in a 50k ultra marathon. Luckily there’s a pretty cool one next year I’m going to do. More to come on that one. After the triathlon, we rustled up the fam and played at the Robo Park up in Otake. The kids love it so much. It’s a super rad park.
Wouldn’t you know it, Rudy turned 5 during all this, too! Yep, the kid’s getting older. Pretty soon he’ll be driving and going to the corner store to buy us cigarettes. Ha! Anywho, thank you to everyone who sent gifts and well-wishes. He was super stoked. I decoder the downstairs with origami. He loved it.
Last weekend we had our first Japanese camping experience. We went to Katazoe Beach on the island of Oshima with some folks from the Corps of Engineers. We were able to sign out some cots and a big tent from Outdoor Rec for free. It was a great camping trip. I can’t wait to do it more!
Thanks again to everyone for keeping up with our adventures. We’ve got Granpa Rick and Uncle Rick coming near the end of October. That should be an awesome time! Aight, I’m gonna sit here and watch this typhoon come through and see what happens. In the meantime, here’s some cute pics of the kids: