Friday, May 4, 2012

Cherry Blossoms and Castles: It's Springtime!

The things I (Emily) love the very most about spring:

*Smooth legs! Yes, I shaved my legs during the winter, but let's be honest - they didn't stay smooth past the Arctic blast of air that came in as soon as I opened the shower door. Not anymore! Me and my smooth legs are here to stay!

*Leaving the windows open at night! I wake up to sunshine and birds singing at 5:20 every morning. It makes me actually happy to wake up.

*Going barefoot, at least in my own house. The floor doesn't feel like an ice rink anymore!

*My sun tan line. I have a serious farmer's tan on my neck, and I'm so proud of it.

*Color! The world is alive again. Flowers, flowers, and more flowers. I even planted a few of my own, along with some basil.

Ok, here are some pictures to catch up for the last couple weeks. I was a slacker and didn't post last Sunday (because we were gone), and probably won't post this Sunday (because we will be gone again), so this one will be full of pictures to make up for it.

The castle that is in our city. It is a great spot to see the cherry blossoms and we had tourists packed into the castle grounds for days. James and I went for a walk early in the morning and were able to catch a few pics without too many people in them.

The blossoms blew off the trees and into the moat that surrounds the castle. So pretty!

It looks like snow, but those are cherry blossom petals! I could go for that kind of snow all year round!

The English club at my base school invited James and I to go with them to the castle and have a picnic.

Some of my cute new first year students.

Last weekend, we traveled up to Aomori prefecture at the very northern tip of the main island of Japan. We stayed with some friends James knew from his mission. They spoiled us rotten. One place they took us was a museum filled with nebuta, or float-type structures that are carried in festivals during the summer.

The Kimura family, the ones we stayed with, had a beautiful grand piano. James was in heaven. We definitely need to get this boy a piano soon.

They also took us out for sushi!

Bread salad...interesting.

Aomori prefecture is surrounded mostly by ocean. I was happy to be close to water again, even if it was freezing cold water. This bridge is right next to the ocean and I was fascinated by it.

Yes, I even made James come walk across it with me :) We did the same with the Golden Gate bridge last summer.

We visited Hirosaki Castle in Aomori, one of the top places in Japan for seeing the cherry blossoms. Unfortunately, we were a bit early to see them at their peak, but it was still a fun day. 

We took a tour inside the castle and saw some ancient samurai clothes, swords, etc.

View from the castle grounds. There was still snow in some places, but the sun was shining and we wore short sleeves for part of the day and even ate ice cream!

Aomori is famous for apples, so they served apple ice cream at the castle. How fitting!

We also got a slice of the world's largest apple pie. Yummy!

Apples, apples, and...

more apples.

I caught James flirting with this statue on our way back from the castle.

Yeah, busted mister!

A very large...pig?

The Kimura family also took us out on their boat. It was chilly and very bumpy, but we had a blast.

On the left is Kosuke, the Kimura's son. He was a very crazy driver and made it fun for us. Pretty sure we all had bruised backsides by the time we got back.

View from the boat.

Mom Kimura. She spent most of the time on the floor of the boat while Kosuke was driving. She was hilarious and when we told her that we had a fun time, she yelled, "It was not fun!" referring to Kosuke's driving :)

I have such an odd husband.

And he has a perfectly normal wife.

Yesterday, we took a trip to Tokyo (I swear, I have been living on a bus for weeks now!) to go to the temple and to a BYU-Hawaii alumni event. It was fun to see some people from Hawaii and to catch up with some former students.


  1. Beautiful blossoms! I'm excited that you guys will be in Oregon!

  2. So fun! What great pictures! So glad you are experiencing so much while you are in Japan. Can't wait to see you this summer!