The O-Folk In Tohoku

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I know I told you we live in Misawa, and that's true, so far as it goes.

Misawa is in Aomori Prefecture, and that's one of the prefectures that makes up the region called Tohoku.

There are so many names to remember - Misawa, Aomori, Tohoku - it's like these Japanese have a name for everything.

These are some photos I've taken from around the Tohoku area, presented in no particular order at all. Let's have a look, shall we?

Now here's something I didn't expect to find on my wanderings around northern Japan: Christ's grave. What do you mean, Christ who? Jesus Christ, of course. See? You didn't expect to find out he was buried in Japan, either. As the story goes, he traveled to Japan as a young man, went back to the middle east, went through all those trials & tribulations, and then pulled a quickie and headed back for Japan, leaving his brother behind to finish things up for him. He lived to be something like a hundred six years old, and is buried in one of the two mounds at the top of this hill. That's what the sign said, honestly.

How about the Statue of Liberty? Did you know the Statue of Liberty was in Japan? I thought it was in Boston, or New York, somewhere like that. It's like everything you learned in school was wrong! I also thought it was taller.

We took a little drive along the Pacific coast, and we found Ireland.

If you look closely at these photos, you'll see that most people are carrying opened umbrellas over their heads. This is the place known among the locals as "Crap Island." The sea gulls love this place. You can't walk without stepping around or over a sea gull. And this is just the place where they come for hand outs. A small island, just off shore, is their rookery, and it's got so many birds on it that it's bright white from all the guano.

This is the oldest living ginko tree in Japan, or so the sign says. Might be the biggest, too. I couldn't read that part of the sign. This is the same kind of ginko that's supposed to be good for your memory. They grow everywhere here.

Keihi shrine. We pass it a couple times a month on the way to Shimoda from Misawa. One day, I abruptly pulled over and said to Barb, "We're going to leave Misawa some day soon, and we'll wonder why we never stopped here." So we took a walk up the path to check it out.

No matter how casual you try to appear, you always look like a tourist when you pose in front of something that obviously has nothing to do with you. Particularly if you wear clothes as loud as mine.

Barb and Tim at the shrine, on Horse Day. Used to be that farmers would bring their livestock to this shrine at the same time every year for a good blessing. Didn't see any livestock when we were there, just lots of tourists.

Good-bye to Keihi shrine.

Probably the coolest thing about going skiing is the view. The hills aren't that high, but the surrounding landscape is flat as milk on a plate, so you get views like this.

And here's another fantastic view - Barb on the chairlift at Owani.

Tim and I took a trip to Shimokura. This was his first time on skis. I ate his powder.

I misspoke earlier - the best thing about skiing is the ski parties after we're done. We joined a ski group, because they set up all the ski trips, do all the driving, pay the tolls, have a great party afterwards, and make sure we stop at a hot bath on the way home.

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