Thursday, September 17, 2015

Golden Week holidays - part 2

As I wrote in the previous post, hubby and I had been to our home in Ichinomiya City for the Golden Week holidays during the end of April and the beginning of May. This post is in continuation of the previous post. We reached home in Ichinomiya in the evening of 30th April. On the morning of 1st May, we cleaned our home and then went to a nearby restaurant named Hakuryu for lunch. Hakuyru is a small old traditional Chinese restaurant. It is more than four decades old, and hubby used to visit the restaurant often as a small child with his late mother and later on with his friends or by himself. It is probably one of the first restaurants he recalls visiting as a child and developed a taste for Chinese food here. Hubby has a lot of sentimental value and pleasant memories of the place. And now I know why hubby likes Chinese food so much.

Hakuryu restaurant is located about 4 kilometers west-southwest of our home and it took us about 10 minutes to reach there by our car. We noted that the restaurant did not have any parking lot, and so we parked our car at a nearby convenience store and went to the restaurant. As soon as we entered the restaurant, hubby was overwhelmed with good memories of the place. He realized that it was 30 years ago that he had last visited the place. He noted that except for an air conditioner, everything inside the restaurant was the same as he had seen in his childhood. He was very confused as to what to order as he wanted to taste as many food items as possible. Finally he ordered Chahan fried rice, Gyoza dumplings, Shoyu based Ramen, and stir fried vegetables and pork called Hoikoro. Everything tasted delicious. Gyoza looked very different from the usual ones but the wrappers were very chewy and the stuffing was also great. Hubby loves the Hoikoro of this restaurant so much that he told me to remember its taste and try to reproduce the same taste at home. Unfortunately I have not yet succeeded. Hubby was overwhelmed and happy having the food at this restaurant after such along time. The nostalgic taste of the dishes and the ambience of the restaurant brought tears of happiness to his eyes. I was also very happy to see him so content and joyous. It was a fun and memorable lunch outing for us.
Hakuryu restaurant (photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Hubby looking at the menu and very confused as to what to order



Shoyu Ramen


Hubby having lunch

Overwhelmed hubby and tears of happiness in his eyes

In the afternoon, hubby’s sister and her two daughters visited our home. We chatted for some time and then went to the backyard of our home where my father-in-law has put up a golf practice net and a horizontal bar. My father-in-law often teaches the basics of golf to the older niece as she is very much interested in the sport. That day also she learned some techniques of golf from her grandfather for about an hour or so. The younger niece practiced her swings on the horizontal bar for about 5 minutes and soon afterwards was very happy playing with her uncle. Hubby also practiced his golf shots for some time. Later in the evening we all went to a nearby Sushi restaurant for dinner.
Hubby practicing golf at the backyard of our home

Older niece practicing golf at the backyard

Older niece learning the techniques of golf from grandfather while the younger niece is playing with uncle

Uncle very happy to play with younger niece

Uncle a bit tired after carrying younger niece on his shoulders

Younger niece having dinner at a Sushi restaurant

Older niece having dinner

On the morning of 2nd May, hubby and I visited my mother-in-law’s grave located near our home, and offered our prayers. Hubby cleaned the gravestone with water, offered flowers, and lit some candles and incense sticks. Afterwards we returned home, and hubby started working in our small garden located at the back of our home. We had started the garden in May 2014 and had planted several saplings of vegetables and flowers. But we usually do not stay in Ichinomiya, and therefore several plants had dried up and a few had grown too much. I should mention here that father-in-law is kind enough to water the garden from time to time in spite of having an extremely busy life. Hubby weeded, pruned, and cleaned the garden for about an hour. Afterwards we went to a nearby home-center and bought a few saplings and brought them home. Hubby planted these new saplings and worked in the garden for another two hours. It seems tending to the garden was very therapeutic and relaxing for him.
Hubby offering flowers at his mother’s grave

Hubby cleaning the gravestone with water

Our garden after pruning

Hubby holding a few saplings at a nearby home-center

Hubby planting the new saplings in our garden

And the work in the garden continues

On 3rd May, my father-in-law, his wife, and hubby went to play golf at a nearby city. I am not much interested in the sport, so I went with hubby’s sister and her family to a nearby sightseeing spot named The Little World Museum of Man. It is an open-air ethnological museum cum amusement theme park and a tourist attraction located in Imai-Narisawa of Inuyama City in Aichi prefecture. It opened in 1983, and has an area of 1230000 square meters with beautiful natural greenery all around. The museum park has a collection of a large number of buildings that were built according to the native architectural styles of various countries around the world. Visitors can experience and learn about the life and culture of these countries from the open-air and indoor exhibitions as well as other artifacts. The open-air exhibition is a 2.5 kilometer pathway route which has 33 traditional buildings from 23 countries along it. Visitors can enjoy and experience the way of life of these 23 countries by seeing these reconstructed traditional houses and buildings, trying on traditional ethnic costumes, enjoying folk entertainments, and eating authentic ethnic dishes at restaurants in each country’s pavilion area. There is an indoor exhibition also, where about 6000 materials gathered from 70 countries are displayed in the main exhibition hall. Visitors can learn about the culture of each country from this indoor exhibition.

On the morning of 3rd May, my sister-in-law and her family picked me up from our Ichinomiya home at about 9 am. The Little World Museum of Man is located about 40 kilometers east-northeast of our home, and it took about 50 minutes of car ride to reach the open-air museum in Inuyama City. We bought three tickets each worth 1600 Yen for the adults and two tickets each worth 600 Yen for the nieces as admission fee and entered inside the open-air museum premises. Inside the premises, we saw a paved pathway with many reconstructed traditional houses and buildings along it. We walked along the pathway and visited some of the houses and buildings from Japan, Taiwan, Peru, Indonesia, Germany, France, Italy, Nepal, Turkey, and several more countries. We enjoyed viewing the architectural style of these traditional houses. We also entered inside many of these buildings and learned about the people, history, culture, crafts, and lifestyle of the respective countries. The nieces wore traditional ethnic clothing of a few countries. Along with the nieces, my sister-in-law and I also wore the traditional costumes of Turkey and enjoyed posing for photos outside as well as inside a reconstructed house from Istanbul in the Turkey exhibition pavilion. In addition, we tried many ethnic foods of different countries at the restaurants located in each country’s pavilion. In the evening we enjoyed viewing a circus performance show at an open-air stage located inside the museum premises. It was so exciting to watch artists from various countries perform wonderful acrobatic circus. We also did some shopping and bought a few imported souvenirs. We had a fun-filled enjoyable time visiting The Little World Museum of Man and it felt like we took a one-day-trip around the world inside the museum. We left the museum premises at about 5.45 pm and started back on our way to Ichinomiya. Below are photos of some of the reconstructed traditional houses from various countries along with a few other photos inside the open-air museum.
A traditional house from Ishigakijima Island in Okinawa prefecture of Japan

Ainu house from Hokkaido in Japan

Farmhouse from Taiwan

I am standing along with my nieces wearing traditional ethnic costumes in the Taiwan exhibition pavilion. Older niece is wearing a vivid Cheongsam Chinese dress and younger niece is wearing Ao dai Vietnamese dress which is heavily influenced by the Chinese clothing.

Replica of a plantation landlord’s residence from Peru

Courtyard of the landlord’s residence in Peru

Replica of a Toba-Batak house from Sumatra Island in Indonesia

Replica of a Bavarian house with beautiful fresco style wall murals from a Bayern Village area in Germany

We had delicious food at a restaurant in the Bayern Village area pavilion

Replica of an Alsace house from France

Replica of Alberobello house from Apulia in Italy

Replica of a Buddhist Monastery from Nepal

Replica of a townscape from Istanbul in Turkey

We are wearing traditional Turkish costumes and standing in front of a replica of a private house from Istanbul. Sister-in-law, younger niece, and I are wearing an Ankara dress and older niece is wearing Cepken jacket dress.

We are standing inside the private house from Istanbul

Sister-in-law and I

Circus performance show at an open-air stage located inside the museum premises

Exciting circus performance

Artists performing wonderful acrobatic circus

We returned to Ichinomiya City at about 6.45 pm. Hubby, father-in-law, and his wife had also returned home after playing golf the entire day. We all went to a nearby restaurant and had Japanese style dinner. The food was really delicious. It was so much fun to chat with everyone and enjoy the tasty food. We had a nice evening.
Hubby, younger niece, and father-in-law having dinner

Myself, hubby, and younger niece having dinner

Sister-in-law and her family enjoying dinner and chatting

On 4th May, hubby and I just relaxed at home the entire day and watched some movies on television. In the evening, our nieces visited our home and stayed overnight with us. The nieces played with their uncle while I cooked dinner. At about 7 pm, we had dinner of Japanese style curry-rice. Nieces told me that the curry tasted good and they seemed to enjoy the food. At 8.30 pm, both the nieces took bath and soaked in the bathtub for quite some time. They looked very relaxed afterwards and again played with their uncle for about an hour. The girls were too sleepy and fell asleep by 10 pm.
Nieces and their uncle having dinner

Older niece watching some television program while having dinner

Nieces playing with their uncle just before sleeping

Selfie with younger niece

The next morning on 5th May, I made breakfast and fed the girls. Later my father-in-law drove them to their home. Hubby and I were to return to Akita that day itself, so we packed quickly and left our Ichinomiya home at about 12 noon. We took a train to Centrair Airport, and then a flight to Akita. We reached Akita Airport at 4 pm and our home in Yurihonjo City at about 5 pm. We had fun-filled Golden Week holidays visiting a few sightseeing spots and meeting relatives.

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