Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Golden week holidays - part 5

On May 02, after enjoying sightseeing in Azuchi town of Shiga prefecture, hubby and I went to my hubby’s ancestral home in Ichinomiya city of Aichi prefecture. The next two days hubby, father-in-law and his wife went for playing golf, while I had a nice time with my sister-in-law and her family. Hubby was kind enough to write about his experience of playing golf in the previous post. Today I will write about my stay in Ichinomiya on May 03-04.

On May 3rd, my hubby, father-in-law, and his wife got up at an unearthly hour of 4.00 am, got ready, and left home at about 4.30 am to go for playing golf. All of them really love the sport. However, I am not much interested in golf, and so I preferred to stay at home and relax. I was going to meet my sister-in-law later in the day. So I spent the entire morning lazing around. I read a few pages of a novel, drank several cups of tea, and watched television.

My sister-in-law and her family live nearby in Ichinomiya city itself. She came home with her kids at about 12 noon. It was fun playing with my nieces. They are so cute. Older niece made a home using building blocks. Kids are so intelligent and innovative. I did not even realize that it was supposed to be her home until she told me. Younger niece jumped and ran around the house for almost half an hour. I played with her and was too tired after 30 minutes of continuous movement! Kids have a lot of energy.
Older niece made a home using building blocks

Younger niece running around the house

While I played around with my nieces, my sister-in-law made okonomiyaki for lunch. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake containing a variety of ingredients like flour batter, water (or dashi-stock), eggs, shredded cabbage, green onion, pork, bacon, squid, shrimp, and many more things. She used the ingredients I have mentioned here. It was a simple but very delicious lunch.
Sister-in-law making okonomiyaki for lunch


All having lunch

After lunch and a bit of chatting with my sister-in-law, we all went to Omiya Shinmei shrine nearby. The shrine had a lot of trees, cool shade, and open space. So the kids could play around a lot. Older niece found a large black butterfly and ran about merrily trying to catch it. Younger niece is just 1.5 years old, but she usually wishes to do whatever her older sister does. However, startled by the unusually large black butterfly, she just froze in place. It was so funny to watch the surprised expression on her face. We relaxed in the shrine’s premises for an hour or so. After that we went to a convenience store and bought some cold drinks and snacks, and had them after returning home. After a whole afternoon and evening of excitement, the kids were rather tired and sleepy. So my sister-in-law and kids went back to their home at about 6 pm.
Omiya Shinmei shrine

Another building of Omiya Shinmei shrine

Nieces playing in the shrine premises

Younger niece surprised at seeing a large black butterfly (butterfly not in photo)

At about 7.30 pm, my hubby, father-in-law, and his wife returned back home after a long day of playing golf. They already had dinner on the way home. Father-in-law and his wife went to sleep within ten minutes of returning home. Hubby and I went to visit my mother-in-law’s grave to offer our prayers.
Hubby offering prayers at his mother's grave

Later we had dinner at a restaurant named Curry House CoCo Ichibanya. Hubby had already eaten dinner, but seeing the menu he had dinner once again! This restaurant served typical Japanese style curry. We ordered sausage curry and fully-ripened tomato and asari clam curry. The food was simple yet delicious.
Our dinner

We returned back home at about 9.30 pm. Hubby went to sleep and I watched television for some time. One of my favorite television drama (soap opera) was being aired and I enjoyed it very much. Later I read a few pages of a novel and fell asleep while reading it.

Again on May 4th, my hubby, father-in-law, and his wife left home at about 4.45 am to go for playing golf. I got up at 9 am and had several cups of tea. Later I read a few more pages of the novel and watched television until 11.30 am. At about 12 noon, my sister-in-law and her family came home to pick me up for lunch at a nearby restaurant. My sister-in-law’s husband also accompanied us. We had lunch at an Indian restaurant named ‘Bindi’, which served authentic Indian food with too many choices on the menu. So it was challenging to decide what to order off the menu as everything sounded good. Finally, we ended up ordering a lot of food. We all relished our lunch. All the food items were mild in spite of the fact that they were cooked with a lot of spices. That day both my nieces made their debut of eating Indian food. It was nice to see the happy faces of the kids eating Indian food.
My nieces and sister-in-law's hubby eating Indian food

I and sister-in-law eating Indian food

Younger niece very happy to eat Indian food

Older niece surpised but happy with the taste of Indian food

After lunch, we all went to a nearby park named Asano Park. This park was the site of an old royal palace that belonged to the feudal warlord Nagamasa Asano. The park was created in 1916 from the volunteer efforts of local residents. We all had a leisurely walk and chatted a lot in the park. There were more than 1000 azalea (tsutsuji in Japanese) shrubs with red, pink, and white blooms. All the azaleas were in full bloom, which made a wonderful sight. We took several photos of us near the fully bloomed azalea flowers for keepsake. We walked around for about thirty minutes and then sat on two cement park benches under a pergola. As soon as we sat there, we got a whiff of very lovely and superior fragrance. We all looked up and saw many white Chinese wisteria vines (wisteria sinensis Alba; shina-huji in Japanese) with spectacular hanging flowers in full bloom that gave off such lovely smell. Nearby was a small pond full of lotus plants and many blooming lotus flowers. The park was a perfect place to walk, sit, relax, and chitchat. At about 3.30 pm, we all left the park and went back home. It was hubby and my last day in Ichinomiya city and I was a bit sad to say bye to my sister-in-law and her kids.
Asano park

Younger niece in the park

White and pink azalea flowers

Pink azalea flowers

Sister-in-law with azalea flowers

I and azalea flowers

Hanging white Chinese wisteria flowers

Many lotus plants and flowers

Lotus flower

Hubby, father-in-law, and his wife finished playing golf much earlier as compared to the previous day, and they returned back home at about 4 pm. Hubby was too tired due to playing golf on two consecutive days. So he took rest for an hour. I packed our baggage. At about 5.15 pm, my father-in-law gave us a ride by his car to Komaki airport. Hubby and I dozed off on our flight back to Akita. On reaching Akita airport, we took a limousine bus bound for Akita railway station. We had our dinner at a restaurant named ‘Hanamaru udon’ at the station area, and then took a taxi to reach Akita seaport where we had parked our car for the onward journey on April 30. Finally, we reached back our home at about 10 pm. We really enjoyed the golden week holidays this year. Now our life has returned back to normal routine.
Hubby playing with Rubik's cube in the limousine bus bound for Akita railway station

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