Saturday, February 17, 2007

Using the Densha to Shop

This week was a hard one at work, so for the week end we just relaxed at home. Since we do not have new pictures, I am just going to post a variety of old pictures that were not posted previously.

The densha is 100 yen (approximately $1) each way. It is about a 5 min ride downtown to the main shopping area and much easier than trying to find a parking spot with the car. Our apartment is about two blocks from the stop to get on it.

The Hondori is the main market down town. It is a good place to people watch. You see the strangest styles here.

A small side street off the side of the Hondori shopping area

This is a picture of downtown Hiroshima at night. Not exactly Tokyo, but it still has a lot of lights and taxis.

Ticket machines are an evil you have to get used to. Most food courts in malls, zoos, and tourist attractions use these to order food. The problem is reading the buttons. At first my plan was to not eat anywhere that uses them, but after a few weeks I realized I might starve. You get used to them after awhile. Learning katakana helps.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hailey the Jack-o-lantern

Hailey lost a front top tooth today. What a cute smile!!!

Aquas Aquarium

On Saturday we went to the aquarium in Hamada on the north shore. We had intended on going skiing but when we arrived it was raining, dirt was showing all over the hill and the lift lines resembled those at an amusement park, so we decided to execute “plan B”. The Aquas Aquarium in Hamada was only another 20 minuets away. We could see the giant tower from where we had camped this summer but had never visited. There web site is located at if you want to see the official site (in English). It was a little warm wearing snow pants all day.

Killer Piranha!!!

This Octopus (taco) was huge.

My monthly turtle picture.

The trained beluga whales (white wale) were fun. They shook hands, swam through hoops, sang and blew bubble rings.

The aquarium had a giant play structure. I have never seen play structures like this in the US.

The town of Hamada.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Skiing at Yawata Kogen 191

Today we went skiing/snowboarding in Japan for the first time. This mountain is about an hour away from Hiroshima. The peak is about 3,000 feet so it gets more snow than in town. This week it snowed most the week so there was over a foot of fresh snow at the hill this week. At home in Hiroshima we only got about a ¼ inch on Friday. The weather was warm and pretty sunny so it was a bit like spring skiing. The hill had four lifts. The vertical drop was similar to the resorts in northern Michigan but the numbers of slopes was significantly smaller.

Nathan decided to switch to snow boarding this year. This is his first time on a board. Here he is renting his board. We both loved the graphics on this board. Check it out, it's a kart race!!!!

Amy and Hailey riding up.

Check out the beer vending machine in the lodge.

The kids crashed on the way home.