Japan Trip Day 12 - 2013-07-07

On Wednesday we headed to Sendai! Before heading out, we took a few photos of our hotel in Aomori, Richmond Hotel. It was very nice and in an excellent location for watching the Nabuta festival.

When we arrived in Sendai, I ordered something that looked like it included a bowl of rice with some pink stuff in the middle, it turns out both the pink stuff and the rice were tiny fish! Sounds a bit gross, but it was actually pretty tasty!

After grabbing some food, Kellian and I headed on to our hotel. We took a cab since we heard it was a bit of a hike uphill to the hotel, and we weren't quite sure how to get there. We're glad we did since the hill was steep! The hotel was a traditional Japanese inn, a ryokan. Here's a few photos:

The view out the window was spectacular (see above): we could see and hear the river that runs through Sendai. After getting settled, we decided to check out the mausoleum near our hotel. It held the remains of the first person to consolidate power in the region, as well as his two successors. It was up a hill, so they loaned out walking sticks to get up there!

Unfortunately, it turns out they closed at 4:00, so we would have to check it out another time. They had these candles set up along the stairs to the top, and later we'd find out why!

We decided to head into Sendai to check out the Tanabata festival that was going on. It wasn't too far, so we decided to walk in. I was a bit parched so I grabbed some Power Squash on the way.

The Tanabata festival consisted of hanging a TON of these objects along the central pedestrian mall. It is a bit hard to describe, so check out the photos:

The different things they hang are for good fortune in various areas, such as weaving, craftsmanship, good handwriting, and so-forth. It was all quite beautiful, though it is hard to capture just how many of these thing there were because they block your view along the mall. That last one involved a ton of origami cranes, quite impressive and all hand-made!

As we were walking along, we saw an animal that appeared to be a small dog that was hopping unusually. In fact, it was a bunny on a leash! Very cute and quite well behaved!

For dinner, we headed back to our hotel where we had a magnificent multi-course vegetarian meal. This was quite a treat for Kellian since it is sometimes a bit tricky to find good vegetarian food in Japan, but they did a great job of it! The highlight of the meal was a roasted eggplant with a miso paste on it, very unique flavor and extremely tasty!

After dinner, we decided to have a stroll towards the mausoleum: we figured they might be lighting the candles we saw earlier for an evening event and we were right! It was gorgeous with the candle light flickering up the stairway. There was a live concert of some sort going on in the distance, so the music was echoing through the trees.

When we got to the top of the stairs, we saw that the whole area was decorated with candles. It was quite a sight!

We explored a bit, it was quite tranquil with the music playing nearby. As we were exploring, we found a panel that looked like an audio guide of the area. We pushed one of the buttons and a loud voice started explaining the site in English, much to our embarrassment, since there were a bunch of other people there quietly enjoying the scene. Each time we though it was done, it kept going! Finally, to our relief, it ended and we slinked away apologetically.

Unfortunately, by the time we were done looking at the different structures in the mausoleum, the concert was over! So we headed back to the inn to get some rest. Tomorrow we would explore some more of the sights around Sendai!


spletcher said...

B&K - great to have you resurface and start to catch up on your touring adventures. Saw that you're back in Tokyo. When is your flight back to Boston?

Christine Crivello said...

That is so beautiful with your pictures. Hope you are having fun. Having fun looking at all the Blogs, Thank you chris

Teddy Tablante said...

Thats awesome!!! I remember those places!!!