Posts Tagged Goyotei

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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November 2, 2003 – First visit to Numazu

Goyotei Memorial Park

Rewrite of original post

Today I went to visit The Penpal in Numazu. From Noborito it was a 2 hour train ride; first a train on Odakyu line to Odawara and then switching to Tokaido line to Numazu station. Compared to Kawasaki, Numazu is a beautiful city. Numazu is on the ocean and the skyline is full of mountains. I wonder if NOVA Numazu needs a new teacher?

I met The Penpal and one of her students who likes to be called Williams (his name is Akira). Together we went to Goyotei Memorial Park. This used to be one of the Emperor’s houses in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa era. The house stopped being used in 1969 and became a museum in 1970. US President Grant visited the Emperor at this house. It was very cool to see.

We went for lunch at a trendy restaurant where I tried to explain the many uses of the work “fuck”. Normally it isn’t polite to explain “fuck” and all of its variations in a restaurant, but this is Japan and I am an English teacher. After our lunch we went to karaoke. This was my first time with Japanese style karaoke, which is usually in a small private room instead of on a stage in front of strangers. I absolutely rocked on Monkees songs and Bohemian Rhapsody, but totally sucked many others. I really need singing lessons! After Karaoke we drove around and went to a massive sushi restaurant. I love sushi!

2013 Update

This was the day that started my love of karaoke. To say that I sung Bohemian Rhapsody well would likely be very generous.

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