I've been bad, I haven't been posting every weekend. But the truth was that there wasn't much to tell except that we got our boardgames and were eagerly board gaming every weekend with people. An then I starting feeling crumby all the time and it turns out I'm pregnant!
This last weekend was a lot of fun, which is really going to be the last fun we have for the rest of November because Ian is going to be working all the time. We might have to hold off our anniversary for a bit. On Saturday we went to Japan Day on base - It's kind of like a Japanese cultural festival. There was Ikebana, Kogin Embroidery, Tea Ceremonies, Singers, Dancers, People to dress you up in Kimono, dried flower stuff, Masks, Bonzai, Food (which I tried to avoid), Balloon animals. It was a whole bunch of fun. I got to try on a Kimono.
On Sunday we took a trip out to Hirosaki Castle for the Chrysanthemum Festival. It was super fun because we got to go up into the tower, which is all that is left of the castle and walk about the grounds and see all the lovely flowers. There were so many lovely things to see. The foliage is gorgeous with all the Japanese maples turning red and purple.
Fun facts about Hirosaki:
Hirosaki used to be the capitol of Aomori Prefecture - our prefecture - until Aomori City got really big. Aomori City was completely destroyed in WWII but Hirosaki was not. It retains a lot of it's charm an so even though it's not the capitol any more it still gets a little more respect. Hirosaki is also really difficult to navigate. It was built in very confusing ways so that the enemy has a harder time invading - as well as tourists. If you have no sense of direction this is the town for you because aimless wandering is the best way of finding anything in this town according to our guide.
Hirosaki does apples and french food really well - and I mean REALLY well. They are famous for their apple crop and their apple pies. We went to a wonderful French bakery - Boulangerie Four (Not sure about combining the French and English on that one). It was an amazing lunch - you can see the food swiftly disappearing in the web album. They sadly had no apple pie so we went down the street and found another cafe - very pretty and out of the way - that had apple pie and coffee. It was the perfect end to a deliciously french lunch.
Hirosaki also has an indigo dye factory really close to the castle grounds. So Ian being the wonderful husband that he is takes me there and buys me threads and a beautiful book mark with Kogin Embroidery on it. According to Ethnic Fiber Art, LLC (I just discovered them and I'm already in love) Kogin is "Kogin is a uniquely Japanese needlework technique that was born of a practical desire for warmth, and the need to strengthen a fabric used in everyday life. Kogin is recognized by its characteristic blue and white geometric designs, which are embroidered with thick threads on a base fabric. The origins of this technique can be traced to the peasants in the Tsugaru Peninsula at the northwestern tip of Honshu - Japan's main island – in the 1600's." Now this Tsugaru Peninsula is in our back yard, almost quite literally, how lucky are we? Here's a photo - maybe this should be worked into artistic inspiration?
Enough of my yammering - here are the pictures from Sunday - Hirosaki Castle and the Chrysanthemum festival