Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pilgrimages


Yesterday the Suzukis took us on the promised temple visit. Yoko and Mikio wore kimonos. Yuma couldn't be convinced to wear one, and as he is still waddling around from his surgery on his boy parts he can do pretty much whatever he wants. First we went to Kamoe Temple (Buddhist). Here we poored water onto a cool statue with really long poles with cups on the ends. We rang several bells, lit incense, drank hot sickeningly sweet sake, threw money in the prayer boxes and made wishes for the new year and bought safe travel charms. We also bought fortunes and tied them to the temple. Mark had an unlucky fortune, mine was a normal fortune but I ripped it in half when tying it to the temple. I don't think that's very auspicious. Then we walked to Gosho Shrine (Shinto religion). There we purified ourselves by washing our hands in holy, freezing cold water. We also through money into the prayerboxes and made wishes for the new year. The Suzukis bought us "Darumas". They are little round dolls. You make a wish and paint a pupil in one eye. When your wish comes true you paint the second pupil. Then we made the tradional pilgrimage to the mall to eat crazy crepes and visit the hyaku yen store. We then went back to the Suzukis house to warm up and rest a little and play some more poker. Then we went to dinner at "Jolly Pasta". Had to practically sumo wrestle the check from Mikio's hands so that I could pay for once, but I prevailed. I'm pretty scrappy, you know. Then we went to Yoko's mother's bar. I have only met Miyoshi a couple of times, but she's a real hoot. It's a tiny little place, but you can tell she's the queen the second you walk in. They talked me into singing on the karaoke machine twice and they served us each a drink. They (the entire bar) tried to talk us into more alcohol and karaoke, but we were pretty exhausted by this point and we begged off, even though it wasn't even 9 o'clock. My favorite part of the day though, was when Yuma would hold Mark's hand while we were walking from place to place during the day. Yuma holds my hand all the time, but this was just too sweet.

4 Comments:

At 1:39 AM, Blogger Wallflower3 said...

Mark is handsome.. and TALL! I bet he's a giant in Japan. Happy New Year from Texas and may you have many more safe pilgrimages with the ones you love. - Melanie

 
At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After all that holy shrine visiting you still went back to causing the moral decay of japan with your Texas Holdum game. But it all sounds really wonderful and the pictures are super.Mum P.S. I think your father is trying to kill me--he bought me an 18 speed mountain bike.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

Did you ever find Alex?

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger Natalie said...

No, we still have had no news. I can't tell you how hard it is to not know.

 

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