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...
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. :)