31 12 2009

While in Sendai we visited Zuihoden, the mausoleum of the first feudal lord of Sendai. The first lord of Sendai, Date Masamune, was born in 1567. He conquered much of the Sendai area and brought it under his rule. He had a huge income but only one eye (he wore a patch, making him look like a pirate samurai.)

In the Zuihoden surrounds there are momuments to 11 feudal lords in the Date lineage. They ruled over Sendai for a long time.

Sendai Winter Illuminations

28 12 2009

In December Sendai hosts some beautiful winter illuminations during their ‘Pageant of Starlight’ festival. We caught the Loople Sightseeing bus to the main street with lights and walked down the avenue of lit up trees. It was pretty cold so we stopped off at MOS burger and had some fries to warm up.

Earlier in the day we had lunch at Ohisamaya, a vegan organic cafe near the station.

For dinner we stopped off at Soup Stock Tokyo, a soup/curry shop in Sendai station. We had rice with minestrone – it was a vegan soup although not all of their items are vegan-friendly and they rotate their menu often.

Matsushima- scenic sights of Japan

27 12 2009

The three scenic sites of Japan a.k.a. “Nihon Sankei”:

1. Matsushima, the pine covered islands near Sendai.

2. Miyajima, an island with floating shrine near Hiroshima.

3. Amanohashidate, a sand bar covered in pine trees in northern Kyoto prefecture.

We have now visited 2 of these scenic sites. We caught the train from Sendai to Matsushima and went on a 50min cruise around the bay. It was rather quiet for a Sunday morning (there was only one other couple on the boat) and the tour guide kept trying to say things in English for us (except she had to check all the words with the other Japanese couple before saying it to us).

We had reserved our tickets online and got 10% off the cruise. See http://www.marubun-kisen.com/english/matsushima/basho.html

It was lovely weather – blue skies and sun shining. We walked around Matsushima after the cruise and wandered on some of the islands that were accessible by bridge from the mainland. Then we hopped back on the onigiri-samurai-trainline to Sendai.

Photos from mum and dad’s camera

21 11 2009

Photos from mum and dad’s camera of our time away in Hakone, Yokohama and Kamakura, along with some shots from mum and dad’s shinkansen trip up north to Akita and Sendai.

Cherries from Sendai

21 06 2009
Cherries from Sendai, northern Japan.

Cherries from Sendai, northern Japan.

After the school holiday break Maya-chan brought us some cherries from her home town. She comes from Sendai in Miyagi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Her family sends her cherries every season. And although cherries must be terribly expensive, she came around and gave a beautiful punnet of fresh Sendai-cherries. They were delicious.

It was back to school on Wednesday – lessons started again at 7.30am so I definitely knew holidays were over quickly…

Saturday was Parents’ Day. I was prepared to have flocks of parents in my room, one set for each child. However, my 7.30am lesson had no parents (not surprisingly, it’s much too early) and my 3rd lesson had only 2 parents. They just sat at the back of the classroom reading a book – maybe they weren’t that interested in food nutrients and digestion…

I got to go home at 11.30am and even though it was a short week I still felt exhausted by lunchtime.

We made some anzac biscuits on Sunday and took some to Maya to say thank you for the cherries… so she came out with yet another gorgeous punnet of Sendai cherries. Yum!

It’s gradually getting warmer here. Next week is predicted to be high 20s, low 30 degrees with about 70-80% humidity. It has rained the past few days – it is the rainy month – and I’ve decided that I don’t like humid weather for the sole reason that clothes never dry.