- - - 3/28/2017 - - -

Mother daughter trip to Ehime

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:15 am

Suzuna and Melina took a trip down to Ehime during the middle of the week to do some sight seeing and visit a friend.

Matsuyama castle

Jakoten, famous foods

City bus train

Dogo Onsen - Oldest in Japan

Ferry to Deer Island

Anpanman train!

- - - 1/14/2017 - - -

Squirrel Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:37 am

Years and years ago I was in a bus and we drove past a squirrel park. Finally, the opportunity arose to take the daughter and visit that place I saw years ago. Melina was super exited to see all the squirrels but was still a bit afraid to feed or touch them. The park also had rabbits and guinea pigs to feed as well. Honestly, I think I had just as much fun as my daughter…

- - - 11/11/2016 - - -

Chiba Castles

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:42 am

The family and I took a last minute trip out to Chiba. We didnt really have any plans, so we just decided to drive around and see what we could find. We took the tunnel that goes under the Tokyo Bay on the way there and just keep going across the prefecture. We made it to Otaki where there was a very nice herb garden and shop for the wife to look at. We also made it to Otaki Castle before they closed. We then drove down the east coast looking for dinner before we stopped and had some nice seafood. By the time we ate and made it down to Kamogawa we were pretty tired but didnt have any place to stay, so we ended up putting the seats down in the car to make a bed and camped out in the car for the night. We had our sleeping bags with up so it wasnt cold, and Melina really enjoyed the experience. The next morning, we made our way to Tateyama, but before we got there we found a small but very nice festival/flea market type event. We spent the morning there eating lots of good foods and looking around. Afterwards we made it to Tateyama and climbed up to Tateyama Castle. The view from the castle was very impressive. Near the castle was Akayama Underground Tunnels that were built around WWII and are among the largest surviving air-raid shelters in Japan. Lastly we drove up the west coast, stopped at a temple in a mountainside, and took the ferry across the bay back home.

- - - 5/22/2016 - - -

Kusatsu Onsen

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:59 am

After the German village we drove over to Kusatsu onsen, which is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring towns. We spent the afternoon exploring around the town, taking a small hike, and relaxing in an onsen.


Filed under: — Andy @ 12:55 am

Although the festival in Gunma was going on for two days, we decided to spend the second day doing some sightseeing. Very close to where the festival was being held, was a German Village (Akagi Kronenberg). We spend the morning there looking at the park, trying the not so good German bread, taking the train trip, and petting all the animals.

- - - 4/2/2016 - - -

Hanami at Negishi Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:17 am

It’s sakura time. We met up with some old friends and went to Negishi park for Hanami. Melina had a great time crawling around the park and was the center of attention wherever she went.

- - - 2/21/2016 - - -

Kawazu Sakura

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:03 am

Kawazu is a place in Izu famous for the rows of Sakura trees along the river that bloom earlier that other Sakura and have a beautiful pink color. I took the wife and kid and did the entire walk up and back down enjoying the Sakura trees, weather, and food stands along the route. We also took a small detour to a hot springs geyser.

- - - 11/14/2015 - - -

Shosenkyo Gorge Fall Colors

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:52 pm

For the Veterans day holiday I took the family out to Shosenkyo in Yamanashi for camping and to see some fall colors. Melina really liked the new experience of camping and sleeping in a tent. She also liked picking up all the fallen leaves from around the tent and bringing them inside the tent. Near the campsite there was a place for apple picking, and even though in Japan it costs more to pick your own apples than it does to just buy them, we all picked some fresh apples. Also near the campsite we found a fancy restaurant that had cats everywhere around it… which of course we decided to go to for dinner. The food and atmosphere were great, and since it was the middle of the week we were the only ones there. On the way to the gorge, we stopped by some temples and took a short hike from the dam to a large waterfall. Afterwards, we took the Shosenkyo ropeway and from the top enjoyed the view and did another short hike to Rakanji Peak. For lunch we enjoyed the Yamanashi specialty of Houtou, although Melina prefered to chew on the table instead. Finally, we took a long walk down the gorge itself and enjoyed all beautiful fall colors, waterfalls, and rock formations.

Click to see 20 more pictures:

- - - 1/26/2013 - - -

Sankeien visit with Jeff

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:00 am

My friend Jeff has come back to visit Japan yet again and had asked me to show him somewhere he has not been yet. Another friend came down from Utsunomiya and I took them both to one of the nicest gardens in Yokohama, Sankeien. I had been there already in the spring and fall, but this was my first time to see what the park looked like in the winter as well. After a nice walk around the park we then walked through Motomachi, Chinatown, and up to MinatoMirai for the traditional Tonkatsu.

- - - 11/10/2012 - - -

Mt. Kami in Hakone

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:45 am

Three years ago for Veterans day weekend I visited Hakone with my girlfriend. On that trip we tried to climb to the top of Mt. Kami but due to unclear weather we stopped part way up and took the boat across the lake instead. Now, exactly three years later and with absolutely great weather we tried again.

Great weather and view of Mt. Fuji

I always have to eat the black eggs when I go to Hakone.

At Owakudani about to head up.

We made it to the top of Mt. Kami

View of Kanagawa prefecture

View down to Ashino lake