Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day 13 - Getting to know each other, Takayama style

We were loath to leave our idyllic island retreat, but I was looking forward to the next leg of the trip – family time!

The hotel had nightshirts just like the ones we had in Tokyo.

Another reason that we didn’t mind leaving Naoshima was that the morning was wet and grey. Naoshima is definitely best when the weather is nice.

Unki also thought that the Oval was the best of the four accommodations the hotel had.

We departed and got one last shot in our funny conveyance.

Even as we left on the ferry, there were still more art pieces we hadn’t discovered.

We had a long trip to Takayama, so we got bentos at one of the stops to eat on the train.

The train ride from Nagoya to Takayama was incredibly beautiful, but the rain and speed of the train made it hard to take photos.

Kanchan, Mama’s younger sister, picked us up from the train station. I hadn’t been to Takayama since I was 4, and she kept asking me if I remembered their house. To be honest, the only part I remembered was their toilet room! She prepared a delicious dinner for us, featuring foods that Mama likes.

There were cute pictures drawn by my cousin’s son Souichi, who we’d see in a few days.

Of course, no welcome dinner would be complete without a bottle of sake. Kanchan had saved this sake from a trip to a brewery in Kyoto earlier in the year.

Kouichisan, Kanchan’s husband, kept offering us all more and more sake. The funny thing about drinking sake from the small cups is that you lose count of how much you drink. We all had a great time getting to know each other and laughing our heads off.

We quickly needed another bottle of sake.

Huay became addicted to some sesame dressing and ate it with everything.

Kanchan brought out a Chinese stringed instrument she had “borrowed” from my Uncle Mimichan (of the famous sashimi dinner) and played it for us.

My ears! They burn!

And at the end of a night of drinking? The requisite drunk photos.

Kanchan and Kouichisan are such warm and welcoming people. It was a great introduction to Takayama. Both Huay and Rob were overwhelmed by their generous spirits.

Huay was so overwhelmed she passed out.

Next – traditional architecture and more communal bathing. But this time, I behave myself.


yumi said...

Looks like lots of fun in Takayama. Mari, did it bring back memories? The food looks so yummy! Thanks a bunch!!!

yaiAnn said...

Can't have drunk pictures with out the peace sign!