Hotel Kintetsu Aquavilla Ise Shima
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... is fine and sunny. The volcano, Mt Ontake, is due to erupt again. It had killed over 40 hikers and there are a few more that are still missing. This is the first time for us that there are so many natural "events" happening on our trip. We have been here 7 and 8 times and the most that we have had was slight rain on arriving in Tokyo last year, the typhoon on landing in Taiwan, and then the impending typhoon on leaving Tokyo. We missed that one.
We arrived in Toba following a short ride on the train from Ise. It was
pretty much deserted at that time and very dark, so much so that we didn’t know
if we were going in the right direction to find our hotel, but fortunately we
The next day (15 November), we had initially intended a boat trip in
the bay but as it was raining a lot we changed our plans a bit. First we headed
to the almost empty town ...
... it is very popular to visit the shrine and pray to the Kami-sama. Because this year is the twentieth year since the last renovation, it is a big year for Ise Jingu, and my host family wanted me to come with them to see Ise Jingu in all its glory this year.
In order to have a hope of getting a parking spot at Ise, we had to get up at around 6am and leave by 7. By car it takes about 2 hours to get to Ise from Asahi, so we arrived at Ise Jingu around 9am. It's a good thing ...
... octopus. The towns were made up of typical Japanese prefab buildings with narrow walk ways. We hired bikes in Shinojima and circumnavigated the island, which involved some fun off-road time. We had lunch in a small Japanese pub with some locally caught ...
... duets that included what I termed as a "Stephen Foster Fest". Note that the instrument, while resembling half a log with strings on it, sounds like a banjo. Karen said that she messed up a lot, but we couldn't tell even with our critical Koto listening skills that we'd just developed. As it was her final lesson, she surrendered the instrument, thank goodness, so we didn't have to carry ...