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Our Second Wedding- and First Anniversary! (Lots-o-pics!)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So the pics are a little smaller than usual! We had a marvelous time on our vacation to Japan. Whether it's considered our second wedding or first anniversary or just a vacation, it was great! My dad, husband and I went back to Japan to stay a week, from 8/27 to 9/3, to stay with my host family from when I was an exchange student 9 years ago in high school. While there, they threw us a "wedding party". The wedding party was 8/31, our first anniversary was 9/2.

Since some of you requested, here are way too many pictures of our time there!

MY volcano! It was cloudy most of the time, so we didn't get many good pictures of it, but it's beautiful.



And, the City. We live about 30 mins outside of this city, in a nice little suburb.



Things change a lot every time I go back, and this time, this is my favorite change- they put grass all around the tracks! SF should do that with their cable cars!



The first day we went to my grandparents' house, which is a farm house out in the boonies. I love it! This is the kind of experience normal toursits don't get.

The 100 year old farm house.


Part of the actual farm and the newest addition- a "log house" that has a room for cooking and an outside bath.


Inside the "log house". A traditional Japanese iryori, which is how they traditionally cooked. Watch "Last Samurai" for examples. He he.


Part of their farm is unfarmed, and what grows naturally there? Bamboo! We cut one down for decorations for the wedding. Here are the men folk being manly!


They may not treat their animals well by our standards, but this is one happy farm kitty!



My host dad is big on "yachting". I don't do much with boats in America, so this is what I learned as a "yacht". Seems English speakers don't define it the same way! My real dad wanted to do this, so they took us out on the water! Getting ready.



One of the days we went down south, to the southern most tip of the island for a plain old relaxing day of sight seeing and being tourists.

Posing with the local landmark.


My dad and I being touristy.


A picture of the "newlyweds"! Hubby was enjoying his still sorta new toy (the camera), so he had it most of the time, so we didn't get many pictures of just us.


Soumen Nagashi- a fun way to eat lunch! Soumen noodles are put in a flowing water, and you kind of fish them out to eat. Fun and yummy!


A small little shrine. My dad got the best luck!


At the southern most tip of the island is a little stretch of rocks. To get the actual southern most tip, you have to climb over these lava rocks. My host mom was very brave crossing this little bridge!


And we made it to the southern most tip!!


Hubby and I have plans to go to Hawaii next year. But why bother when there is a warm, black sand beach that's completely deserted right here in Japan?? We had more fun playing on this empty beach!!


Hit my limit! More pics on their way!
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Suna Mushi "Sand Bath". Here's a Japanese experience! Especially when it's already 32 C (90 or so F) outside and what feels to this California girl like 200% humidity! That sand is naturally heated by the volcano from below, so it's really hot!



Family coming over to visit before the wedding. Not everyone could make it the day of, so we had a constant stream of people before and after!



My host mom did my hair for me and is very proud of it, so I have to share! These are real flowers.



And the wedding part itself!

We marched from home to a community building down the block. We had a little boy in front, two little grils in matching dresses holding my train, and my dad behind us with another little boy. The wedding in America was a potluck picnic in the park, so we mirrored that as much as possible. We only went indoors because in Japan this is the rainy season. And it's good we did, too, because it was pouring buckets for about an hour or two while we were inside!

During the march, some people from the local senior center decided to come surprise us and cheer us on. So we had to stop for pictures!


The march ended in the community building, with all of us on stage.


My host mom over does things in the best way, and put so many things in to one day!

We had traditional Japanese music and dancers, along with modern ones. This is us with one of the groups of dancers.


We had taiko. These kids were in middle and high school, and were AMAZING!


We had a flower arrangement sensei (master, I guess you could say, of the art form) do all our flowers for us.


They even made me get up and sing Japanese songs that I had learned! My voice is terrible, so I wouldn't sing alone, so the taiko group helped me.


Our friends even drew me a picture. They have a degenerative disease so can't use their muscels hardly at all, and as a past time, the man on the left draws paintings that sell for a lot of money, and prints of them end up everywhere. He can only paint by someone tying a paint brush to his foot. And he painted an original of "my" volcano for me! I was crying.


Kanpai- cheers! All that food was potluck, and SO SO yummy!!


When the first half of the festivities were over, we got to play! The kids had a hard time behaving during the "party", so for them, the real party started afterwards when we could all play and run around and throw balloons!



After the wedding, the taiko group had us over for one of their practice sessions, and gave us a private performance. Then they let us play with them!


One of the best things of the trip was that I got to meet my host sister, who lives in Tokyo, and her two kids for the first time! (I've met her many times, first time to meet my niece and nephew)



We had a marvelous time, and to be honest, though I'm glad to get home to my zoo, I am sad to have left! Though it did make me feel better when I got home and passed out on the couch and Evie plastered herself to me purring for the next three hours.
post #3 of 17
What great pictures looks like you had a wonderful time
post #4 of 17
Wow, they are fabulous pictures!!!! I love the volcano, and the iryori, and the sand baths - what great local things to see!

And the wedding pics are great, I love your hair!! Your host family seem wonderful, how great that you've stayed close to them Glad you had a great holiday!
post #5 of 17
Those are great pics.
Looks like you had a great 2nd wedding.
post #6 of 17
Great pictures! It looks like you had a wonderful time! I think it's really nice that you really do consider them family. It must have been a perfect match.
post #7 of 17
What wonderful pictures! It looks and sounds like you had a marvelous time
post #8 of 17
OMG!....my friend! congratulations!... those are a great and wonderful set of picĀ“s of your trip!!!
It seems that you spend a terrific time!...
Happpppy Aniversary!

..........

Many Happy Returns!!!
post #9 of 17
Lovely photos! Looks like it was a great time!!
post #10 of 17
Fantastic Pictures, looks like you had a wonderful time...
post #11 of 17
Janet, so happy that you and Brian could get back for such an important event for both of you! Love the pics!
post #12 of 17
What a great trip and a wonderful ceremony! I love that some of them wore the traditional japanese clothing and did the traditional dances. I would have loved to see it in person. That must be a very special day for you! And your own painting of "your" volcano is so sweet. He actually paints with his foot??

I must have missed the thread explaining the "host" family, or maybe I just forgot (I'm getting old, you know ) Were you an exchange student in Japan? I've always been fascinated with Japanese culture. When I lived in Guam, I worked with quite a few Japanese employees, and I always thought they were so elegant and respectful. I will admit, I didn't get the hang of chop-sticks until I had a few cups of sake though.
post #13 of 17
Janet,

Loved your post! Great pictures and wonderul narration too

Your wedding grown is beautiful, and between that and the beautiful flowers in your hair, I bet you were totally beautiful!

And taiko is so great, bet it was fun to practice with them.

Glad your entire vacation was so fantastic.
post #14 of 17
Thanks for shareing , the pics are great!
Jess x
post #15 of 17
What wonderful pictures! congratulations.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I got home and had just enough time to post these pictures before I came down with a nasty cold! Sorry I haven't been able to respond sooner to your kind comments, I just barely woke up last night long enough to get a new foster kitty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clixpix View Post
Great pictures! It looks like you had a wonderful time! I think it's really nice that you really do consider them family. It must have been a perfect match.
Yeah, we started off rough (culture shock and language barriers, basically), but we ended up really close! I use their last name all the time. It's funny, but we were a really good match. The company I use usually assigns families, but my host mom was in good with one of the higher ups, so she actually got to pick her kid. Long story short, she picked me because I am the only one that sent in the "main picture" of me and my dog! So she picked me because I am an animal lover, and so are they.


Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
What a great trip and a wonderful ceremony! I love that some of them wore the traditional japanese clothing and did the traditional dances. I would have loved to see it in person. That must be a very special day for you! And your own painting of "your" volcano is so sweet. He actually paints with his foot??

I must have missed the thread explaining the "host" family, or maybe I just forgot (I'm getting old, you know ) Were you an exchange student in Japan? I've always been fascinated with Japanese culture. When I lived in Guam, I worked with quite a few Japanese employees, and I always thought they were so elegant and respectful. I will admit, I didn't get the hang of chop-sticks until I had a few cups of sake though.
Ha hah, don't worry, I don't expect you guys to remember all my stories! Yeah, I was an exchange student there, 9 years ago in high school. Like you, I've always been fascinated, too. My excuse is mostly that I am Japanese, my grandma is full, so I'm 1/4. So I got just a taste of it in my every day life, and it was enough to keep me entrigued! And yeah, everything gets better with a few cups of sake!

Thanks to everyone for your nice responses! We did have a great time.
post #17 of 17
Great pictures
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