Thursday, September 22, 2011

Touring Japan

There is a program on the base here at Atsugi that provides tours to different sites in Japan.  I really wanted to go on one of these tours before Luke left on deployment, so I booked us on one.  It was super nice to not have to worry about transportation and to go to places that we may have not heard of or done on our own.

Our first stop was the Odawara Castle.  This castle was resided by different samurai throughout the ages.  It was destroyed multiple times and has been renovated since it was first built in the mid 15th century.  It is now a museum full of old stuff.

Our first vending machine ice cream, green tea flavored

Our next stop was the Saijoji temple.  It was beautiful!  It was up in the mountains among huge cedar trees.  We had to climb around 700 steps to get to the top to the main temple on the grounds.  It was quite a workout.  The tour guide kept telling us to fill our water bottles with the mountain water.  The water gives longevity.

People get together every week to carve their own Buddhas out of wood.

only some of the stairs

the top

It was much easier on the way down.
Our last stop was one of the Asahi beer factories.  We took a tour and then got to sample the beer.  I, of course, had the orange drink that they make.  We couldn't take pictures of the factory, so I don't have any to share.

I was so glad we were able to do this tour because a couple days later we found out Luke was leaving the next day.  It was a fun day out, and Bronson did great.

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