Monday, November 23, 2009

A little weekend getaway

Hello, class! "Dana Sensei" has a little geography lesson prepared for you today. :) Let's begin...

Japan is divided into 47 jurisdictions, called prefectures. As a reminder, I live in Iwate prefecture. Here's a map...

Side note: The islands above the white line on the map are all part of Okinawa prefecture, which is actually quite a ways southwest of Japan's four main islands -- Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu.

As you can see, Iwate is in the north, (where it's getting very cold!! by the way)
and is the second biggest prefecture. A few more things about Iwate prefecture, while I'm on the subject:
  • Iwate is one of six prefectures in the Tohoku region ("tohoku" means northeast) of Honshu, Japan's largest island.

  • Iwate is a rural prefecture, as you've probably noticed from many of my pictures.

  • People in Iwate have their own dialect of Japanese that's unique. In fact, when someone from Iwate is on national news, there is often subtitles so the people in the south can understand!

  • Morioka is the capital of Iwate. I've mentioned it before, but thought it was about time I give you a visual of where it is in reference to Kuji...
Kuji is in the northeast of of Iwate, along the coast. (I've put a yellow star by it.) To get to Morioka (circled in green), it's a 2.5 hour drive on scenic roads, and part of the drive winds through mountains. The other "big city" I sometimes go to (and write about) is Hachinohe (circled in blue). It's a 1.5 hour drive north on highway 45, and is the nearest place to go for bowling, a mall, or a movie theater! See? I really am in a rural area.

Ok, now to finally share about my little weekend getaway...

On Saturday morning, Jarlath (from Ninohe -- which you can see on the map is almost directly west of Kuji) and I took a scenic four-hour train ride down the coast, from Kuji to Ofunato, where our buddy Bobby lives. (It's the red route on the map.) :)

A view from the train.

We made it to Bobby's trompin' grounds!

While walking around, we spotted Yoda with a cowboy hat, and Jarlath wanted a picture. :)

Bobby was showing us the lovely library when we stumbled upon some Rotary Club members in kimonos serving tea to passers-by like us, to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The lady in the picture with us was SO nice, and her English was quite good.

At the town's main temple.

Besides taking a town tour, we chilled out with Bobby at his place, ate some sushi, sang some karaoke, played some video games, and watched a movie (The Fugitive. I recommend it.)

'Twas a nice time. :)


Lauren said...

Looks like you had another awesome weekend!!! You just seem to be having too much fun if that is possible!!!!

Dawn said...

Hey! Looks like an awesome weekend. You are rarely out in the middle of no where in reference to things to do - LOL - but I'm sure it has its perks too.

Anonymous said...

The Fugitive is my FAVORITE movie! Harrison Ford is yummy! Miss you!

Marti Schrock

B said...

Nice to see happy pictures of Ofunato from before March 2012. I lived in Ofunato in the 1990s, but still feel saddened---I can still envision walking those streets.

B said...

Nice to see happy pictures of Ofunato from before March 2012.

Sorry, I meant to write "2011."