From 20th to 22nd November, hubby and I had been to Hamamatsu city of Shizuoka prefecture and hubby’s ancestral home in Ichinomiya city of Aichi prefecture. We made this entire trip by our car. On 20th November we started from our home at about 12 noon and reached Chofu city in the outskirts of Tokyo at about 7 pm. We stayed overnight at a hotel, and the next morning we continued our journey by car and reached hubby’s home in Ichinomiya at about 1 pm. After taking rest for 1.5 hours, my father-in-law, his wife, hubby, and I went by father-in-law’s car to Hamamatsu city. We reached a luxury hotel named Grand XIV Golf and Spa Resort Hamanako in Hamamatsu at about 4.30 pm. In the evening, kanreki celebration of father-in-law was held at a restaurant in this hotel, which was really a fun event.
Grand XIV Golf and Spa Resort Hamanako
Kanreki is held on the 60th birthday of a person, which is a great celebration in Japan and is traditionally hosted by the honoree's sons, daughters, and other close family members. The celebration of this feat has been popular since the Edo period. According to the Chinese tradition that is also followed in Japan, the sexagenary cycle that begins in the year of a person’s birth is completed in sixty years, and then the person returns to the same year and horoscope sign in which he/she was born. They begin the traditional cycle all over again. Kanreki is also known as honke-gaeri, which means the beginning of the second life cycle and return to a second childhood. A baby or a child in Japanese language is known as aka-chan or the red one. Aka mean red color. Therefore the person embarking on the next sexagenary cycle dons red colored clothes, which symbolizes the return to babyhood or rebirth. The traditional garb includes a red bouffant hat named eboshi, a red sleeveless vest named chanchanko, and a red seat cushion similar to those used by a newborn. Dressed in red, the person takes the seat of honor during the celebration, and his/her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends wish him/her a happy new life and many more years of joy.
On 21st November, we had kanreki celebration of my father-in-law at a Chinese restaurant named Suiyou located inside Grand XIV Hamanako resort hotel. We reached the hotel at about 4.30 pm and the celebration was to begin at 5 pm. After checking into the hotel, hubby and I got only about ten minutes to refresh and change our clothes. Although the restaurant was inside the hotel premises, we were provided with a mini bus to go the restaurant. All others relatives were already present at the restaurant. It was an informal dinner party. We began by toasting to father-in-law’s long life and health. All of us congratulated him on his birthday and wished him many more years of happy life. Soon our dinner was served. The menu of the dinner was Chinese, which consisted of appetizers, soups, several main courses of fish, meat, and rice, and finally desserts. There was a free flow of alcohol throughout the dinner. Food was very delicious and we all enjoyed the meal.
Winter special appetizers and soup made with shark fin, crab, and white fungus
Two types of prawn dishes and stir-fried beef with Hamamatsu vegetables
Chinese fried rice and dessert platter
Father-in-law and his wife having dinner
Hubby and sister-in-law’s husband having dinner
Sister-in-law and older daughter having dinner
Three sons of father-in-law’s wife enjoying dinner
All the relatives gave presents to father-in-law while we were mid way thorough our dinner. Hubby, being the eldest son (chonan), presented his father with a red colored kanreki set consisting of chanchanko vest, eboshi cap, and seat cushion. We had bought the kanreki set online, and the photo of the kanreki set shown here is taken from the website of the shop selling the set. We also presented father-in-law with golf apparel in red color. All other relatives also presented him with something in red color.
Father-in-law wearing chanchanko vest
Father-in-law wearing eboshi hat and vest, and holding a folding fan
Father-in-law and red seat cushion
My sister-in-law’s (hubby’s sister) older daughter was very amused to see her grandfather wearing bright red clothes, and she had a lot of fun time with him. Soon everyone started chatting with each other. Hubby played with the two daughters of his sister for almost an hour. The kids have a lot of energy to run around, and hubby became rather tired playing with them. I took a photo with my sister-in-law, with hubby, and a group photo for the sake of memory.
Older daughter of sister-in-law having fun time with her grandfather
Hubby and younger daughter of his sister
Hubby and older daughter of his sister
Sister-in-law and I
Hubby and I
Group photo at the restaurant
The dinner was over by 8 pm and a mini bus took all of us back to the hotel. All other relatives went back to their respective rooms, while hubby and I explored the hotel. It was the first time that hubby and I stayed in such a grand luxurious resort hotel. We just cannot afford it. Father-in-law, a businessman, bore the expenses for five suites in the private resort for all the relatives. We would like to thank father-in-law for letting us stay for a day in such an expensive luxurious hotel. The hotel had an artful balance of contemporary elegance and modern design. The splendid white lobby was beautifully decorated. Artistic mirrors and lamps in the corridors were superb. There were several rooms in the hotel for playing various kinds of sports and games. We went to a Mahjong play room and a game center (amusement arcade). I played for a while at the game center and lost several thousand yen!
Me along with a few relatives in front of the hotel
Flower decoration at the hotel entrance
Front desk of the hotel
Me standing next to a mirror and decorative lamps in the hotel corridor
Mahjong play room
After exploring the charming hotel interior, hubby and I went to our suite. We had worn Indian dress for the Kanreki celebration party, and wished to take photos of us in the Indian dress. So hubby used the self timer mode of our camera and took a few photos of us. I took a few photos of hubby as he looked really handsome in ethnic sherwani and churidar. After some time we went for a walk outside the hotel. A hotel staff was kind enough to take a photo of hubby and me in front of a decorated Christmas tree. After about half an hour of walk, we returned to our suite and retired for the day.
Hubby and I wearing Indian dress
Hubby wearing Indian dress
Hubby and I standing next to a decorated Christmas tree
The next morning, we got up at about 7.30 am and had buffet breakfast with all other relatives at a convention hall named Crystal Lake located inside the hotel itself. The dinner was too heavy the previous day, and so I just had a few cups of coffee. After breakfast, hubby and I returned to our suite and enjoyed the beauty and luxury of our suite. Our suite was of the kind known as suite grade E1 type having a living room, a western style bedroom, a Japanese style room, and a luxurious bathroom with a Japanese style shower as well as a Jacuzzi bathtub. Television sets were there in the living room, Japanese style room, and bathroom! We could see the golf course from the balcony of our suite. Hubby wished to play there and looked so longingly at the course. In fact, father-in-law, his wife, and hubby were supposed to play golf later in the day. However, the plan was cancelled due to some other work that hubby and his father had. We wished we could have stayed a bit longer at the hotel. Hubby and I had a remarkable and memorable stay at the hotel. At about 10 am, father-in-law, his wife, hubby, and I checked out of the hotel, and returned by father-in-law’s car to Ichinomiya.
Suite living room
Western style bedroom
Golf course at the resort hotel
Another view of the golf course
Hubby, I, father-in-law, and his wife standing in front of the hotel
After reaching hubby’s ancestral home we all took rest for an hour. At about 2.30 pm we started back on our long drive to Akita by hubby’s car. Father-in-law had presented my hubby with a new car the previous day about which I will write in the next post.