Julian arrived on Friday. It’s so good to see him. I took Monday off, so I was able to spend 3 days with him before I had to go back to work. I can’t stop staring at him because I can’t believe he’s here. We had a really fun and busy weekend. Saturday we biked around Himeji, got coffee, went to a gallery, went to Himeji Castle. Since it was Julian’s first day, he was in a bit of a daze. Himeji Castle is spectacular and Julian’s keen eye was drawn to the small details of the castle, the metal doors, the ceramic tile roof with family crests pressed into them, the beautiful stone walls, the wooden floors and steep stairwells.
After Himeji Castle, we went to the Aboshi Festival around 4:30 in the afternoon. There were many food vendors so I introduced Julian to the joys of tacoyaki (grilled octopus balls), yakisoba (grilled noodles with meat and vegetables), okonomiyaki (grilled egg/flower with meat and vegetables-like an omelet) and some sweets such as taiyaki (grilled sweet bread shaped like a fish with azuki, red bean paste, in the middle). I love taiyaki, it’s crunchy and warm and gooey on the inside. He also tried catsuterayaki/tamagoyaki (little balls of sweet bread that are grilled). I love festival food! I will take pictures of the food next time.
The festival had 18 yatais or shrines. Julian enjoyed the festival, but he got tired, so we went with some friends to an izukaiya restaurant. It’s an appetizer bar with drinks and pretty inexpensive food that you can sample. Sort of like a tappas bar (Spanish version). I guess many cultures have an appetizer restaurant. After the restaurant we went to a bar and then to a party. It was a full day.
Sunday we went to a small festival near the castle. We heard there would be tacos there. I miss Mexican food so very much! There is a foreign food store where I can get spices, salsa, tortillas, sour cream and chips, but it’s a bit expensive, so maybe I’ll just feed the need once or twice a month. They do have avocados here – yay!!! The tortillas were handmade and the tacos would’ve been great, but they didn’t pour the grease off of the meat – ugh. We rode around, went to an electronic store, made dinner, played video games and had fun. Julian brought all of our music and speakers with him. I’m so happy to have music in our home!
Monday was really nice. We just did domestic stuff, cleaned the house, did laundry, cooked lunch, etc. We also went on a 2 hour bike ride. One of the Austrailians in our building is fixing up a bike for Julian for free. Many bikes are thrown away here, so he has a lot of parts. Mark was also nice enough to work on my bike, fixed my breaks and gave me a back wheel basket and holder.
I need to start writing more about the day-to-day stuff in Japan. There’s so much! I will try to remember to take more pictures for my next post.