We were so happy to find out that grandma and grandpa (Matt's parents) were planning to visit Japan! It was their very first trip out of the United States, and we couldn't wait to show them more of this wonderful place that we have been so lucky to call home. Here are just a few highlights from a great visit....
Hooray! We were so happy to see them, and they were so happy that the long trip was over with. (Now, for the 2-3 hour drive to our house.)
We took them to our Costco. There is a large parking terrace and you ride these long moving walkways to get to the store. The cart wheels hook into the walkway to hold it securely in place.
And, of course we had a hot dog! Some things are the same the world over.
Lots of card games were played. This was a highlight for the girls, for sure!
What is a trip to Japan without a visit to Mt. Fuji?
There are five lakes surrounding the majestic Mt. Fuji, and we took a boat ride on lake Kawaguchiko. It was cold, but beautiful and we had fabulous views of Mt. Fuji.
A little cold has never bothered Ella. She rode on the top observation deck,
while the rest of us viewed from the inside.
The sun was SO bright that we had a hard time getting a good picture, so, this is as good as it gets.
We ate at our favorite ramen shop.
Matt prefers this restaurant because they use pork broth, rather than a miso base.
We also celebrated Ella's 9th birthday during the visit. Ella was very happy!
This is a beautiful shrine very near our home.
The red pagoda makes for a great photo op!
We happened to be the only people at the shrine that day. Tokyo is usually not that quiet!
Japan has such beautiful, long seasons. This picture was taken the first week of December, and the tress were still such vibrant colors.
A visit to Japan also calls for SUSHI! I don't think grandma and grandpa loved it, but we found something on the menu for everyone.
Lots of empty plates! They charge you by the plate at this restaurant, (about $1.00 per plate), and they literally count them up when you finish.
Eva found some new friends at Joyful Honda, a large housewares store that sells everything!
We love trick art.
We finally tried a local restaurant that has been on our list for a while. I loved how the benches opened up for your coats and purses. Brilliant!
The concept of this restaurant was to fry different skewers of stuff at your table, similar to The Melting Pot, in the States. There were all sorts of meats and vegetables to choose from.
Then you batter your selection, roll in bread crumbs and fry.
There was also a large buffet of different salads and fruits to accompany your meal.
Also, lots of condiments and sauces.
They give you 90 minutes, and it is all you can eat, during that time. It was actually a lot of fun!
Grandma and grandpa even approved!
But, the best part was the chocolate fountain.
And, the soft serve ice cream. Yum!
It was a quick, but fun visit! We were so happy that we could spend the week with family. Thank you for coming, grandma and grandpa!