April 1, 2006 part 2 – Sightseeing with the family

After an interesting cultural experience at the supermarket, The Penpal and her parents picked up my parents and I and we departed for two great sightseeing places in the area: Numazu Goyotei and Mishima Taisha.

Numazu Goyotei is also known as the Imperial Villa. It was one of the Emperor’s summer houses from 1893 to 1969, and is now open as a museum.

Family picture outside the Emperor's summer house

Meeting of the families at The Imperial Villa

The main building is a sprawling single story surrounded by beautiful landscaping. The building itself is traditional Japanese style with lots of tatami and sliding panels, but some of the rooms have been set up “Western style” for receiving visitors, one of the most notable being US President Grant. The most interesting part for me is the room with a large pool table, which looks very strange in a traditional Japanese house.

A mix of styles inside the Emperor's summer house

One of the Western Style rooms for receiving visitors

My parents really enjoyed the visit to Goyotei, and then especially enjoyed lunch at Numazu’s 100 year old tempura restaurant Uobun. The Penpal’s family had taken my family to Uobun on their last visit to Japan, and my parents had specifically asked to visit again. We ate delicious tempura battered seafood over rice, served with miso soup and Japanese pickles. Yum!

After lunch we visited Mishima Taisha. The grand shrine is usually impressive, but on today’s visit all of the cherry blossoms were in bloom. My mom was fascinated by the beautiful pink trees, and took about 50 pictures. One of them was this fantastic picture of the rest of us with pink trees in the background. As a rule, Japanese people (especially older Japanese people) don’t smile in pictures. The Penpal does more often now (I credit myself for that), but this is a rare picture where The Penpal’s mother is smiling.

Cherry blossoms at Mishima Taisha

The Penpal and I had a sudden engagement and it took a while for her family to get on board with the idea, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when my parents came to visit. I’m very happy and thankful that both families are getting along amazingly well and seem to really enjoy spending some time together. I’m a lucky man!

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  1. #1 by AdventurerDeb on August 20, 2016 - 3:17 am

    Really enjoying reading about your adventures for the past several months. I taught in Japan (Hokkaido) from 2002-2005 so the stories being back lots of memories. Thank you. Hoping eventually you will catch us up on what happened later in life. Fast forward a few times to see what happened and where you and the penal are now.

    Much appreciated. AdventurerDeb

    • #2 by Barniferous on August 20, 2016 - 10:21 am

      Thanks for the nice comments! Happy that I can help bring back some good memories!

      I love the fast forward idea! I’m going to come up with a way to use that. I did write a few stories about returning to Japan, and also a 5 part story about the birth of our child https://drinkinginjapan.net/2014/03/05/incoming-baby-part-1-i-failed-the-test/ but I’ll try to come up with a few more.

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the stories – I still have a few good ones before I moved back to Canada.

      • #3 by AdventurerDeb on August 20, 2016 - 11:12 am

        I’m sure I will. I have had a chance to look at one one of blogs about the birth. That’s awesome! Keep it up. Thanks so much for sharing.

  1. April 1, 2006 part 3 – Movie and drinks | Drinking in Japan

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