Monday, 7 January 2013

Friends, Monkeys, & the Great Buddha

Well I returned Saturday from a long vacation. I visited several cities, one of them being Nagoya where I worked last year. I was able to visit many friends, sadly not all. I had a very traditional Japanese New Year's. My wonderful friend's mother made us soba noodles. We managed to stay up late enough to go to the temple and shrine in the first hour of 2013.

In Japan, New Year’s Day is the most important holiday for family. I tried my best not to intrude on my friend’s family day but failed greatly at it. I ended up eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a three different friend’s houses. They were all delicious and the company was wonderful!

On the firs,t I headed to Kyoto. One of my very kind friends from Sendai offered me his parent’s guest room for the night. The next day some of my fellow YASCers Jenny and Doug along with Jenny’s sister and another missionary from the Methodist church came into Kyoto. On the 3rd we traveled around Kyoto. We visited a monkey park, the famous Bamboo groves, and several shrines. That night we were invited to my friend’s house for dinner with his family. We were exhausted by the time we made it back to the hostel.

The next day I began my two-day trek back to Sendai. I decided to stay the night in Tokyo and spend the next morning finally seeing the second largest Buddha in Japan. It was huge! I even got to climb inside. While I enjoyed seeing this Buddha I liked the Hasedara Temple more. It was absolutely beautiful.

Soba dinner!

Osechi traditional New Year meal

great group of people


I eventually made it to Sendai late that night. I am very excited about 2013 and what crazy things this year might bring. I hope you all had a wonderful start to the New Year!

Katie Young