i have a problem…

i have eaten more McDonalds while in Japan than I have ever eaten before…. i swear even the 1/4 pounders are better and the fries are always pipping hot, and this morning i tried the mcgriddle and its magic.

its at least a once a week endeavor. is that a bad thing?

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prefecture getaway

Sometimes life in the “big city” can get pretty stressful, so we like to take mini breaks to put our minds at ease.  Ok, not really, we just get bored looking at the same thing so on occasion the OK crews leaves to city and heads to our mountain villa in Takahashi to visit our friend Dan. We had a backyard BBQ, and introduced Aussie Dan to the amazing American invention of s’mores. soo good.

We climbed to the highest castle in Japan, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, on Mt Gagyu. The inside of the castle wasn’t much to see, except for the movie set in inadvertently walked into. Although they were making a action film, the cameras placed throughout the castle grounds also seemed to follow the pack of foreigners. Wonder what their gonna do with that footage?

 

We also explored some preserved samurai homes and found an amazing roadside udon stand and bonded with the lovely restaurant owner.

blendy says it best

while in a delightful roadside udon restaurant i found these  cups with some wise words…

getting really dry and thirsty first makes it nicer- high noon, high summer

running around and getting good and dirty – its boys that get to do more of that in summer

and my favorite….

i wonder why coffee tastes so good when your naked with your family

 

..amazing..

i ((heart)) bathhouse

While wandering Naoshima on my own after I missed my ferry, I stumbled upon the i heart bathhouse. It is quite possibly the coolest building I have ever encountered. The exterior is looks like a vintage shop threw up all over the siding, and it was awesome. There was almost too much awesome, almost. Every inch has something to explore I couldn’t even begin to capture everything, but this is my best attempt.. (ps-  i’ve heard the inside is even better, but i still haven’t gotten past the whole nude public bathing thing.)

why yes that is a 2 headed emu…

island hopping

Since I enjoyed the art fest at Inujima so much the OK crew decided to hit up another island that was also part of the Seto International Art Festival. We took the train and ferry down to Naoshima to get our Japanese art fix. The island was much larger than Inu with the art houses scattered around the island. I was able to visit 4 houses before leaving. All the art seemed to have a playful approach and it was fun to see various mediums used. This was also my first outing with my new camera (Patrick), as I venture into the new world of photography.

?

during my self introduction to my classes the kids have time to ask questions. Other than the typical favorite food/color/animal these are my favorite:

How tall are you?

Is Santa real?

What country do you like better, Japan or America?

What kind of food does your dog like?

Who is the most attractive girl/boy in the class?

Do you like meat?

Why aren’t you in love? (this is the natural question after finding out that i am single)

Who is the most attractive / your favorite male teacher at school?

roadside joy

its seems that street signs here seem to have just a little more character…

there’s seems to be something about nudity here, and it makes perfect sense to urinate at a fashion leg shop….

nobody wants a sad phone..

 

the dogs here are so awesome they pick up their own excrement….

….and play tennis.

.enjoy. ❤

 

Inujima on purpose

Several posts ago I wrote about an island that my friends and I visited by accident. Later that week I found out that it is called Inujima (dog island) and is part of a famous international art festival which takes place on several islands off the coast of Okayama. So when my new friend Minako asked if i knew Inujima I said actually I have been there. She asked why I was there, I told here it was a long story. Minko ended up getting tickets to the art festival at Inujima. We took the ferry out to the island. (A much different experience when I actually knew where I was going) and explored the art installmentsof the island.

The art pieces were either houses or the size of a house, that all involved aspects of environmental architecture. The primary installment was a copper refinery that had burned down and was turned into a walk through exhibit that used mirrors to light a maze that worked through through the burned remains.

After we were done exploring the island Minako took me to a small coastal down where we explored a fish market and had lunch next door, and ate the freshest eel i’ve ever had.

 

It was a delightful day, and Minako and her son were wonderful tour guides. Definately worth waiting a couple days for the rain to go away.

my fantastic tour guides

rain rain go away…come again another day

I don’t usually resent the rain. Even when I’m riding my bike home from work and completely soaked through, I kinda like it. But not today.  Today I was invited to go to a fall arts festival with my new friend Minako and her family, unless it was raining. That’s right I finally made a japanese friend, this is a pretty big mile stone. Yes, I know this isn’t the only time we could ever hang but 1) i was super excited 2) i can’t stay in my apartment  much longer i’m getting some cabin fever. i might do something crazy- like clean

 

fishing without fish

who says that you have to catch something for a fishing trip to be a success? my last 2 saturdays have been spent failing to catch fish. regardless of the catch both days have been a success. the ok crew took on the Yoshii river armed with a single fishing pole, salami, and beer. It looked promising, the banks were lined with people also fishing, that’s a good sign right? Once we set up things seemed even better, the fish were literally flying out of the water. They would jump at least 2ft out of the water, its like they wanted nothing more than to be caught and taken home. Things were looking better and better…

However, hours later our coolers were empty of snacks and beer and not filled with fish. In fact, the only thing we caught was some trash we saw floating by. We tried to blame the salami and lack of bait, but saturday fishing pt2 used fish and prawns instead and had the same results. Regardless of the lack of fish caught (i don’t even know what we would do if we actually caught a fish), those were 2 pretty solid saturdays, fishing was pretty much an excuse to hangout with friends outside, there’s not too much to complain about other than sunburns.