A Weekend in Kyoto

We wanted to take a weekend trip while my mom was visiting, partly to get out and do something fun but also to help her experience more of Japan than just Nagoya. After briefly considering a few options, the decision to take her to Kyoto was a relatively easy one. Kyoto served as the capital of Japan for nearly 1,000 years and, even though it no longer holds the political role, it still retains its place as the cultural nerve center of Japan. After all, it’s not easy to shake off 1,000 years of history.
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Cherry blossoms and a samurai battle (just another weekend in Japan)

Whew, am I behind on updates or what? The past few weeks have been busy busy busy, what with my mom in town and all sorts of traveling and sightseeing to attend to. This time of year has more festivals than you can shake a samurai sword at, so my time has been spent doing “blog research” (nothing but the best for you) instead of on the laptop. Now that I’ve taken a nap and had a chance to sort through some photos, it’s time to work through some recent history.
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Take me out to the ballgame

It is April now, which can only mean one thing: baseball season! Baseball is huge in Japan. The Japan pro league is really popular, but the frenzy over the game pales in comparison to the love that they have for the Japanese players that have made it to the MLB. Example: it’s quite common for people to ask us where we are from. We usually start with “America”. If there is still interest after that, they often ask which state. This generates a fair amount of confusion with the more familiar Washington, D.C., which usually results in an awkward interruption – “No, not that Washington, the other one tucked up in the corner… no? Oh.” One time I tried a new approach by responding, “Seattle?” A light bulb switched on and the person cried, “Ichiro!” (For those of you not in the know, Ichiro Suzuki is a famous Japanese baseball player that plays for the Seattle Mariners). Yes, Ichiro! I now go directly for that approach whenever I’m asked where I’m from, skipping right past country and state. “I’m from Seattle,” pause, “yes, same as Ichiro!”. I wonder what would happen if I claimed we were neighbors?
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