Dec. 16th 2018 -Boat Ride from Marco Island to the area of 10,000 islands and a Dolphin stop along the way.
December 10th 2018-Big Cypress National Preserve
We stopped at the visitor center and watched the lizards for a while. They are quite small, only about an inch and a half to three inches. After that we traveled one of the unpaved roads that bordered water and view birds and alligators.
Our final day traveling in Japan. The sites we visited today were National Treasures of Japan and so no photos were allowed inside.
The Castle was not what you would think of as a castle. It was only a single floor and a traditional Japanese structure but it was inside a walled fortress and the home of the past Shogun ruler of Japan. Visiting this reminded me of viewing images of Japan when I was a youngster. There was a time when my Uncle Laird Fletcher showed slides from Japan. He was in the Navy during the Korean was and visited Japan while he was on leave. He told us that the floors were designed to squeak so that assassins and others could not move about in silence. Today I heard the same story which brought back this 50/60 plus year old memory.
The Temple had 1001 statues. 1000 life size and 1 giant one in the middle of Buda. On the site, outside the building, is also used for an annual archery contest – shooting arrows the length of the building.
My guess that photos are not allowed is because there are an extremely large number of visitors and if there were allowed to take photos it would slow the movement of people through the buildings by quite a bit.
We visited the Unrakugama Pottery first thing in the morning. I took videos to send potter Mark Tunison. The Nara-Todaiji Temple is the largest all wooden building in the world. The Kasuga Shrine does light all of the lanterns on special occasions. Both locations had a large number of small size deer roaming around. We had lunch after visiting the Shrine at what some people call an American Embassy. Travel back to our hotel was on a typical elevated roadway.
Aug. 24th 2018 – Train to Kyoto – Kinkakuji Temple and Ryoanji Temple
We walked to the Kanazawa station about a block from our hotel to catch the Thunderbird limited express train to Kyoto.. After arrival at Kyoto, we explored the Kyoto Station and had lunch. After lunch we went by bus to Kinkakuji Temples and Ryoanji Temple, returning later to Hotel Granvia (which is part of the train station).
Kyoto Station is a massive 15 story building. It is one of the country’s largest buildings in Japan, incorporating a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities.
Oct. 22nd 2018 Shirakawago-Ogimachi Village-Kanazawa -(Higashi-chaya District)
We took a bus ride from our hotel to Shirakawago a scenic Ogimachi Village and visited one of the thatched roof housed. After lunch we continued on to Kanazawa to visit the Higashi-chaya district in the city and our final stop was the Nomura Samurai House.
Aug. 21st 2018-Takayama-Local Market-Cooking-Old District
Our day started out with a visit to the morning market in the old town section of Takayama along the river. We then took a short walk to a local Shinto shrine where we would be cooking lunch. We participated in preparing dishes which included dashi broth, ajigohon (rice with veggies), Matcha Jerry (green tea flavored gelatin), spinach dressed with Egoma, miso soup, Koroimo (potatoes flavored with sake and soy sauce) and fried eggplant. After lunch we toured Takayama Jinya, an old government building and a sake factory. We then had time to wander around the streets of the Old District and we met a couple out for a walk with 4 cats.