Monday, March 9, 2009

Kurihama Day Tripper

So Operation Tidy House? Lasted one day, and is maybe 10% done. Turns out I'd rather spend time cooking and hanging out with Josh than cleaning up. Oh, and hacking up a lung has consumed a fair bit of my time as well - I've got a superfun case of Welcome Home Bronchitis, or something.

Before the debilitating coughing started, Josh and I got to enjoy our first weekend together. On Saturday I found a monument to Commodore Matthew Perry's 19th century landing in Japan - the Black Ships show of force that precipitated Japan opening trade with the United States. Josh learned a bit about Perry in Newport, where Perry's Japanese successes are still celebrated with an annual Black Ships festival. Neither of us realized that his historic landing was so close to our house - just three train stops away.

The walk to Kurihama harbor was a little longer than I would've liked, but it was a cool, dry day and we both needed to get out together. Finding the monument was really simple, and I am pleased to say that we were the only non-Japanese there that day. It's kind of gratifying to find a tourist spot with no other foreign tourists. There's a beach there, a bunch of dive schools, and then this big monument facing the water.
That's a map of Commodore Perry's route around the world - makes my flight to Japan seem pretty wimpy! As I said, though, it was a long walk, and we were pretty wiped out. Luckily, benches!And this is Japan, so the landscaping was beautiful, sparse, and immaculate.
Now we've seen that little piece of history from both sides of the world. Crazy, huh?

We took a different route back to the train station and passed a gorgeously decorated Shinto shrine. I wish I knew more about Shinto, and I'd like to learn before we leave here. For now it was enough to see the decorations, and the first sakura - the iconic Japanese cherry blossoms - of the year!
I can't wait for more of the trees in Yokosuka to pop open with sakura. The effect is unreal.

We were hungry on the way home, and Josh's coworker Nina had told him about a conveyor belt sushi place near our house. We walked there from the train and, hallelujah, it was so delicious! And reasonably priced! And WALKING DISTANCE FROM OUR HOUSE - we'll be spending a lot of time at this place, let me tell you. The fact that it was packed with Japanese patrons (and again, no other foreigners) was high praise for the food. I had my first California Roll since I left the States, and it was pretty good! I'm so happy to be home.


clembo said...

She's back! Thanks for the pics and updates. Miss your blog when you don't write.

Melanie said...

Hi Em,
Missing you. Enjoying your blog again also :) You and I were united in California rolls today :) Mine was so good too, just at a regular Sapporo though. We did have a view of Monterey bay from our table though, so that was nice. Have been busy with visitors lately, relaxing now. Want to have a skype date my tomorrow evening, your Tuesday morning? Love you. Catch up soon. Hi to Josh and welcome home.

Kendall said...

We are getting ready for cherry blossoms on this side of the world too! In a few weeks its festival time....