In the spring of 2006, Ron went back to Japan to work. This time Carol joined him and they spent a few days touring together.
The missed anniversary: since Carol and Ron left on different days and traveled across the International Date Line, they managed to skip right over their anniversary. They made up the day on the way back, but it just wasn't the same.
Day 1: JR train, monorail and local train to the village of Hase to see the 13th century Dai-butsu (Great Budda) and 8th century wood sculpture in the Kannon Temple. Then local train to Kamakura for the Hachiman Temple.
Day 2: Ron works. Carol tours Yokohama.
Day 3: Day tour of Tokyo.
Day 4: Three hour JR train to Matsumoto to see its wonderful 16th century castle.
Yokohama. The view out our hotel room of Sogo Department Store. Ron and Carol spent 23,400 yen there! (It is OK, that is about $200.)
The monorail from Ofuma to Enoshima. Ron took this to work every morning, and also took Ron and Carol down to Hase Village to see the Diabutsu.
City of Ofuna - Kannon (Goddess of Mercy). Modern, but quite beautiful. Picture taken from the monorail.
Village of Hase - Daibutsu. (Mid 13th c.) Carol in front. (35.31662, 139.53572)
Hase - Kannon Temple. At a cave located at the temple Ron saw this old man, bent over with weight of the world upon him. Until he stood up and brought a huge camera and lens assembly up for a picture.
Hase - Kannon Temple. In the cave were several Buddhist saints, with candles being lit as prayers. Carol lit one here for her sweet departed sister, Marjorie.
Hase - Kannon Temple. The magnificent statue of the Kannon. It is 9.18 meters tall [30 ft.!] According to legend it was carved in 721. No pictures allowed so this is from the net. [Back in 2006 there were no pictures of it on the net.]
Hase - Kannon. At the temple there is a sizeable shrine to the saint Jizo, who is the saint for aborted, stillborn and miscarried children. Heart rending. (Only a small part of the shrine shown here.)
Hase - Kannon temple. Sakura (cherry blossoms). It was just the beginning of the sakura season. Since it was Ron and Carol's wedding anniversary, they purchased a lacquer plate with a sakura design carved in the wood (known as Kamakura bori).
Tokyo - Meiji Shrine. Beautiful small torii (gate) on the west exit.
Tokyo - Entrance of the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. The very old with the very new.
Tokyo - East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. A beautiful traditional residence on the grounds. Note the cherry blossoms.
Japanese Alps. Picture taken from the train on the three hour trip to City of Matsumoto, which sits in the middle of the Alps. See the map.
Matsumoto - Castle. Built in 1590. One of the oldest in Japan. One of the four castles listed as National Treasures. Words just cannot describe it. (Ron took this picture!) (36.239,137.9681)
Matsumoto, Japan - City Museum. OK, so these sandals are bit big for Carol. Think they would fit the DaiButsu?
Narita Airport. Koto players inside the airport. They were so good Ron and Carol delayed getting lunch just to enjoy. (That is saying a lot.)