Sunday, January 04, 2009

"Homeleave" in Japan - Hakuba (Nagano), Dec/Jan 2008/9

Ailey's first day on skis, on the bunny slope naturally. Not for long though as she pleaded for Mihwa to take her on the lift that afternoon.

In case you were wondering why Ailey doesnt have ski poles...

Ailey's second day of lessons, already riding the lifts and cat tracks back down. Ailey's instructor was impressed with her progress and called her a natural.

Ailey's ski instructor Peter from Perth aka "Pita fram Puth". Good guy.

Ailey's fourth day on the slopes...notice the offroading and jumps!

Panorama of the Hakuba ski area
Homeleave" in Japan - Tokyo, Dec, 2008

At this temple, you wash your body with the incense smoke to heal your ailments or give blessings. We saw one guy who had brought his surfboard to bathe in the smoke!

Ailey was pretty fired up about the ipod she got for Christmas!

Best sushi we've ever had! The chef has been perfecting his art for over 50 years and would give you grief for even thinking of dipping in soy sauce (he had already glazed it with the optimal amount).

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

aye, scurvy dog!

20,000 leagues under the sea!

"Homeleave" in Japan - Ohara, Dec 2009

Ohara is a northern suburb of Kyoto, home to a number of beautiful temples. We visited SanzenIn and JakkoIn.

If you receive a bad fortune, you tie it up for the temple spirits to drive away.

We slept on the floor made of tatami mats like this one.
"Homeleave" in Japan - Nara, Dec 2008

Nara is another ancient capitol city near Kyoto. The deer there are considered sacred and allowed to freely roam the city and parks. They are absolutely everywhere and can be quite agressive, particularly if they know you have something for them to eat. But they are polite, however, even bowing their head to ask for food!

This "sacred" deer decided to steal the map from Mihwa's back pocket and eat it!