Monday, October 25, 2010

Toyota City Shrine

Carter and I walked around and found this Japanese Shrine in Toyota City one afternoon. It was very peaceful and interesting.

Ema, or the tags in the pictures below, usually purchased for around 500 yen and bearing the chief symbol or characteristic motif of the shrine or an animal associated with the Chinese zodiac, ema are inscribed with a wish or hope: success in exams, luck in marriage or finding a partner, a healthy child-birth, financial prosperity, winning the lottery...anything is possible...just buy a plaque, fill in the details, pray to the kami (gods) and hang it up with the rest.

World Expo 2005 Park

Around the first of October we went to a park about the size of Kings Island that was once built for a World Expo in 2005. Scott's first trip to Japan was in 2005 (we didn't even know each other then) and he went to the Expo while it was happening. He said it was really neat. They constructed huge buildings knowing that they would be demolished after the Expo was over, but the park still remains and has different things to see and do. ie: An indoor water park, an ice rink, a Tea House with beautiful gardens surrounding, an indoor children's activity center, and much more. It was free to get in and worth every penny saved!

This was taken from the Expo 2005 Aichi Japan website, just a little description of what the Expo was all about.
"The EXPO gave visitors a chance to experience at first-hand the leading-edge technologies, new social systems and future lifestyles that may provide solutions to the many serious issues now facing the entire world. This was also an opportunity for people from all nations to share their varied insights and unique approaches, and to lay the foundations for working together on a global scale."

The indoor children's activity center (just a small portion of it)

Carter loved the pit full of wooden balls

And playing blocks with Daddy

The mascots of the World Expo 2005

These are some of the garden areas surrounding the Tea House.
They were so pretty!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sorry to Neglect

I'm soooo far behind on posting, but we've just been so busy while here in Japan. It always seems as though Carter and I are doing something, walking some where new each day. And when the weekend is here the 3 of us are walking to a new place.

So, I promise that this coming week will be dedicated to updating this blog. In the meantime, search for me on FB. I post all the good shots there!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Park in Toyota City

Yesterday we set out on a small hike to try and find another park in Toyota City. I'm not sure of how long it took us to get there, but I'd say a solid hour. The park was just ok. They don't seem to have playground equipment in park here. Children must just have to make up their own fun and run with it. It was a nice walk none the less and Carter seemed to really enjoy having the open space to walk and attempt to run. :)

Bridge that crosses over to the Toyota Stadium

Park Rules

The park

He was too quick for me to even snap a photo of him!

Those of you who know Carter, know that picking up things that are dirty is just not his style, so I was really surprised when he went after this stick.

He carried it for about 5 minutes, just here and there.

Cute collage I made of him and the park bench. It took him just as long to get up on and off of the bench as it did the actual time he sat on the bench.

** Can anyone explain to me why I have a line under my text? It happens randomly and I can't figure out how to get it undone. Help!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Trip to Nagoya

First, a note about getting in touch with a Toyota wife that is here for a year with her hubby and 3 beautiful children. Her name is Dirsa (Deer-sa) Smith and her husband is Robert Smith. He works in Safety with Kara Yde. They have 2 girls, one is 12 and the other is 4 and are both in school here, and an 18 month old boy. We've only chatted via email and Facebook, but it's so nice knowing there's another wife out there that is looking to be friends with any other American around. (I'm not desperate or anything! Ha!) And such a small world because when I did a search for her on FB, I found that we share two mutual friends. They are two of my neighbors, one living right behind us, the Lozen family. I just think that's crazy! So, hopefully we'll be able to meet up soon. We plan to get together this weekend at their place. :)

Yesterday, Scott, Carter and I packed up and traveled to Nagoya by train. It was very hectic carting Carter around and all of his things, but an adventure none the less. We got a late start, so we didn't get to see all that we wanted to see, the Nagoya castle, more of the city, etc., but it was so much fun.

Nagoya is about the size of Chicago, so a pretty big city with alot of things to do. We went up in the TV Tower (like the Eiffel Tower at Kings Island, but maybe a smidge taller), so we could see all of the city and just how big it is. The tower is in a park, like that of Central Park in NYC. It's a beautiful place with lots of little cafes to eat at and fountains. A great place to take pictures!

After the TV Tower, we ate dinner at Outback Steakhouse, and yes, it was A-MA-ZING! I had the prime rib with mashed potatoes, green beans, a caesar salad, and THE BEST bottle of Coors Light I've ever had in my entire life. It was a $7 bottle of beer, but it was sooooo good. Carter and Scott both had burgers. The bill came to $62.00, so it def won't be an every weekend kind of place to eat, but it was nice to have a nice meal to kind of celebrate making it through our first week here. Hopefully we can go back and do it again right before we leave.

After dinner, we visited a store called Loft. Scott calls it a huge Bed Bath and Beyond and I call it an IKEA on crack. Either way, it's a pretty cool store and it's big! It's 8 or 9 stories and they sell a little bit of everything. I hear the store calling out name for some Christmas gifts.

When we left the store, it was about 6:30 and by the time we navigated to the right subway line and finally made it home it was a way too late 8pm. Carter had had enough and was overly tired. We had a rough night with him, being awake from 3am on. Scott and I were both up with him separately. Ugh! Hopefully tonight will be a bit better. (As I type this, both the boys are napping)