Our Quick Japan Recap

So many things to say, but so little energy to do so!  That is how I feel right now.

Our trip to Japan was awesome.  Just phenomenal.  I put over 100 pictures up on my Facebook profile, but I still want to repost a few of them here since our blog is a sort of family journal.

But first, a few little tidbits that I will always remember about Japan.

  • Japanese people are probably some of the nicest and most hospitable people I have ever met.  Ever.  Each person I met, whether it be an airport employee, a waiter, or just a passerby on the sidewalk was so courteous.  Everyone smiled and had such a polite air.
  • Japanese cars are hysterically tiny, and it took a few days for me to get used to driving on the right side of the road.  (Okay, I didn’t drive, but it still felt weird.)
  • There are virtually no strict traffic laws in Japan.  I think we ran more red lights during that 9 day period than I have run in my entire driving career.  My sister said they are more like “recommendations” but not mandatory.  Therefore, you actually have to use common sense (a novel idea, right?) and pay close attention to traffic.  There are also no car seat laws.  My sister borrowed a car seat for Poppsyeed, but I will admit that there were a few short trips where she just rode in my lap.  That felt completely bizarre.  I am definitely not as strict about car seats as some of my friends, so this didn’t bother me too much.  She absolutely loved sitting in a forward-facing seat for the first time, and it was nuts to look into other vehicles on the road and see little tykes sitting in the front seat or crawling around in the back.
  • There is a soda machine on every corner.  They are even on the side of the highway.  You literally have to dodge parked cars on the freeway because people will just pull over to the shoulder and get a coke.  And an ice cream.  There are ice cream machines everywhere, too.
  • I had no idea that curry was such a big thing in Japan.  But it is.  And it’s delicious.
  • Rice is everywhere.  I don’t know how the Japanese stay so thin, because they seem to be obsessed with ice cream, soda, and rice, rice, rice.  I actually have 7lbs of rice bloat to lose now that I’m home.

Anyway.

In case you need a little background info, my big sister is married to a Marine.  They are currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  They have lived on both U. S. coasts (several times each) but this is their first time to live overseas.  I hadn’t seen my sister in a year when we arrived in Japan.  Here is a shot of my sis and her family.  She and her hubby have been married for almost 17 years (yeah!!) and they have kids Sydney (12), Walker (almost 7), and William (almost 4).

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There were a lot of fun activities, but here are the ones that immediately come to mind…

We drove about an hour to a really large park with some awesome hiking trails.  We hiked for about an hour, maybe more.  For my sister and I, it was a pretty rigorous workout.  For the daddies, it was a a bit more challenging!  Oatmeal had our 25lb kid on his shoulders for the majority of the hike.   My brother in law, Shayne, actually carried a 40lb William and a backpack full of water bottles.  I was impressed.

Anyway, the hike was gorgeous.  There were two spots on the top of the hill/mountain/trail where we could see the beach and ocean.  A lot of people compare Okinawa to Hawaii, and from that spot on the island I could definitely see why.

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After the hike we let the kids run around at the playground.  I didn’t get as many pictures of the playground as I should have, but I definitely noticed that Japanese playgrounds are far more intricate and exciting than the playgrounds I have seen in America.  Poppyseed loved the net, and the boys loved the zip lines.

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A few days later we drove to a resort called Okuma.  We played on the beach, went snorkeling, rode jetskis and go carts, and stayed a night.  Again, it was just beautiful.  Walker talked me into a go-cart ride and then a jet ski ride!  I am sort of petrified of jet skis (thanks to a backwards flip off of the back of one when I was about 13), so you know he is obviously quite convincing and cute for me to have agreed to do that!

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Another fun day trip we took was to a really old castle.  It was also quite a bit of exercise and walking, but the views were worth it.

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There were other fun little outings… to a Japanese market/village to see an authentic historical parade, to a shopping mall where we took goofy photo booth pictures and did some minor shopping, a few stops for sushi and several stops for curry, and more.

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It was a great trip.  I already want to go back.

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Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    I never realized how beautiful Japan was! Glad y’all had a great trip. Beverly looks fabulous (and you do too)!

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