Kon-i-chi-wa! Hello, in Japanese. Sadly, we have left Australia, but moved on to another great country, Japan! Here is happy arrival in Japan after a day-long flight from Australia through Kuala Lumpur and an overnight flight to Osaka, Japan.
We are staying in a traditional Japanese home. Arigato to Mariko’s friends, Mr. & Mrs. Kabashima for a fantastic home-away-from-home, not too far from Mariko’s hi-rise condo, in Kobe. Mariko Ohnaka is my kindergarten and first grade teacher (and Japanese teacher’s) mother-in-law, and has become a dear friend of ours.
Two years ago we visited Mariko in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. And many of you know her, too, because last year she came to visit us in the U.S. for a few weeks and we toured her around Northern California. Okay, let us talk about what we did with Mariko, after she picked us up from the Osaka Airport. Once we drove from Osaka to Kobe, in the morning, we went to a sushi restaurant with a conveyor belt, so sushi can ride right to your table and you can pick out exactly which pieces you would like to eat. It was so cool! Check out this video:
Advice from Makenna: Keep eating sushi!
After sushi, Mariko’s friend, Yumi Yamada, who is a licensed “Traditional Tea Ceremony” teacher (for over 40 years!), invited us to learn about the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Her Tea Ceremony Assistant was Toshiko Izutzu. We gladly accepted!
We learned how to wash our hands correctly before the ceremony and how to enter the tea room.
The next day, Mariko threw us a Welcome Party, with a surprise early birthday cake for me!
All her Japanese friends were so kind and generous.
The food and birthday cake were wonderful and so were the presents!
We all ended up singing Japanese and American songs together.
After the party we went to one of the world famous, Japanese Onsen’s in Kobe. This is a public bath (divided into girls and boys) with all kinds of hot tubs, that are different temperatures. The onsen has a sauna, steam room, and an ice dip pool, too. Then Mariko had made some home-made beef stew for dinner at her house……we went to bed very full from the party, very relaxed from the Onsen, and still very sleepy from our overnight trip. What a great day! The next day we got to celebrate Mother’s Day. I love my Mom’s! And Mariko! We made a special Mother’s Day breakfast before heading on the train to Kyoto.
We are very lucky, and as Mariko says, “Life is wonderful!” So far, Japan has been awesome! And much more to come!
Look for more sushi, I mean more posts, from your Junior Worldtrek Reporter!