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Matsushima

by kawaii_ninja:hellokitty.com

 

Matsushima

Saturday K and I took a tour to Matsushima bay in Miyagi Prefecture. That’s actually 2 Prefectures south of the one we’re currently living in, which is Aomori Prefecture. It was quite a long bus ride (4hrs) but well worth it, we both agree it was the best tour we’ve been on so far. The first place we visited was the Marinepia aquarium, we arrived just in time to catch the seal show for that hour. Seal shows are so much fun ^^ The seals names were Andy, Asuka, Noi and Ruthy.  I love all the cute stuff they have them do, they played volleyball 2 on 2, had a race with each other, and a bunch of other fun stuff.

Then we walked around the aquarium and got to see all sorts of awesome sea creatures. They had this giant manta ray that’s wing span was bigger then my arm span! It was freak’n huge! They also had a shark tank, an otter, penguins, electric eels, and hundreds of other things. I have trouble turning off the flash on my camera so I didn’t risk taking any pictures while we were in that area.

After there we headed over to the Zuiganji Temple. Right after the gate into the temple complex is a stand of sugi trees and these wall of caves dug into a rock face that house stone tablets and Buddhist sculptures, many of which were of Kannon. Kannon is known as the Goddess of Mercy and is a very prevalent Buddhist deity. These caves are pretty cool looking, and the statues look very old. The complex itself contains several buildings, the main one being the Temple itself, but there is a nice museum that they built next to the temple containing many Buddhist relics as well as Date Masamune’s armor and a life sized replica of him. Masamune is known as being a great military leader as well as a devout Buddhist. He had the Zuiganji temple rebuilt in 1609 and also founded the city of Sendai, which is now the capital of Miyagi Prefecture. He’s a pretty fearsome looking guy, he had an enormous crescent on his helmet, but it’s kind of funny, the mascot for Matsushima/Masamune is of a cute onigiri with the crescent on his forehead. XD I wonder what he’d think of it as the mascot representation of him?

The temple contains many beautiful paintings on sliding doors and hanging wall scrolls. I picked up a nice book with pictures of artwork since you can’t take any pictures inside the temple. There are some amazing wooden carvings decorating the temple too.


After that we wandered around the city for a bit, got some food and headed to this little island connected to the main land by a little red bridge. There are actually several islands connected that way but we only got to see 2 while we were there. The third one was connected by this incredibly long bridge and if I remember correctly has more Buddhist temples on it, but we didn’t have time to get over there. The island that we did get to that we liked the most was Oshima, and it had dozens of really old sculptures and more caves dug into the rock walls. It was incredible, like walking into history. It wasn’t a really big island either, but it had paths going everywhere, many of which were just the rock of the island worn down by thousands of people over the centuries. There was even a tunnel dug through the rock.

The last thing we did was take a boat cruise around the bay where we got to see dozens of the islands that Matsushima is famous for. A lot had really interesting histories, like this one that legend has it Masamune used to have midnight parties on this one island, and another was where retired horses were sent to live out the rest of their life in peace.






I signed this post up for the SanrioTown Travel the World event - http://blog.hellokitty.com/traveltheworld

Sendai

by kawaii_ninja:hellokitty.com

 

Sendai

Sendai is northern Japan’s fashion and electronics center. We took a bus trip down there from Misawa which was a 4 hour drive. When we got there we realized the train station was right downtown and we could have saved ourselves 3 hours of traveling but oh well XD live and learn. So we had about 5 hours to walk around there, and it was raining out XD It was clear in Misawa so we didn’t even think to bring an umbrella with us lol. The whole down town is practically an outside mall, there is so many stores. Oh, and tons of arcades ^^ I really enjoyed those, I played a couple UFO (claw game) machines but didn’t win anything ; ; I really tried to get a Piplup (pokemon) plush, it was huge, but the Japanese claw games are much harder the the American one cause most only have 2 claws instead of 3 or 4. A big majority of the outdoor shopping area is covered so we were dry for the most part. Oh, at one of the intersections there was a big clock that when it struck the hour and half hour it played a melody and panels rotated around and little guys played instruments.

I’ve entered this in the Sanrio Town’s Travel the World Event: http://blog.hellokitty.com/traveltheworld

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