Thursday, March 09, 2006

The James Visit Japan: Day 3

Today was another slow day.

Emily had to work another half day, so to kill the time the family wandered around SATY the entire morning. We had plans to jump on the train down to the Himi Coast, but it was really rainy, so shopping was a better choice.

It cleared up a little (and I do mean a just a little) when Emily got home, so we decided to chance a trip down to the sea of Japan and the Himi Coast. Now, I don't even know if there is something called the Himi Coast, I'm just calling it that because the place I wanted to go to was on the coast, on the way to Himi, and you got there using the Himi Line.

We got off at Amaharashi Station, which was a whole six miles away. I think it was two stops before Himi.

Every nook and cranny of Japan is famous for SOMETHING. You could get off at almost any train station in the country and ask the station master what the area was famous for. He would likely reply, "We are very famous for (insert natural area or historical building) which was first used by (insert name I can't pronounce) during the (insert Japanese historical period) period. (Insert name of Japanese poet/writer) wrote about this in his famous (insert type of Japanese literature/poetry)."

Amaharashi has a shrine, some ancient burial mounds, and a rock with a tree just off the coast that is used in every tourist brochure in Toyama-ken. Oh yeah, if it is a clear day, the Tateyama mountain range is visible behind the rock. It looks like the mountains are coming right out of Toyama bay.

But on our visit it was so foggy that we could hardly see the rock, which I am sure has a name, nevermind the mountains behind it.

After checking out the rock we strolled through some of the neighborhoods around Amaharashi. We were there right around the time that school lets out, so the grandparents (the Japanese variety) were out in force to help kids cross the street.

Every time we passed one of them they bowed and said, "konnichiwa."

I love this country.

After our stroll we took the train back to Takaoka and went to Jacasse for shabu shabu and beer. We figured out how to get Grandmother to use chopsticks. All you have to do is give her 3 beers. If we give her 3 more after that she'd probably start speaking Japanese.

After dinner everybody went to bed.

The plans for Saturday: Kanazawa.

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