It’s hard to think that it is already July, but this year has been flying by for sure. There’s still plenty more of summer weather to be had. It’s great that we live where we do and have this near endless summer laid out before us. We still have so many different fireworks festivals and beaches in August, camping in September and who knows what past that.
Anywho, we jam packed quite a bit into July, so lets go back and see what the Pylinski fam did for the month. It all started back on the Fourth of July… Mo n I had the day off, but since we’re in Japan, the kids still had school, so we decided to make a day of it. We started off at the Yu Cafe where we had coffee n french toast. Later, we headed out to Sanzoku, aka the Chicken Shack for food n fun. The place was decked out for Tanabata, which is a festival celebrating the Star Crossed Lovers. Here’s a great link that explains Tanabata in detail. Anywho, we had the Sanzoku Yaki (teriyaki chicken on a stick), the Sanzoku Musibi (a giant rice ball wrapped in seaweed and filled with salmon and pickled plum) and a couple of beers. It’s such a cool place to check out.
Once we were done with our food, we decided to trek up into the mountains behind the restaurant for a bit and see where the trail led us. We happened upon a shrine and a couple of waterfalls. Pretty peaceful.
Not more than a few days later, there was heavy rain and flooding caused by Typhoon Prapiroon. Hiroshima, Okayama and outlying parts of Iwakuni were hit the hardest, but we came out unscathed. After the rain passed, we hopped on the cargo bike a took a ride down to the Kintai Bridge to see what came of the flooding. The waters were high, but it seemed the damage was minimal. The streets were flooded in some parts, and there were carp swimming along the streets. Crazy. We got twice the amount of rain in a few days that normally falls in the entire month of July. Talk about a send off for the rainy season.
Interestingly enough, with all the rain and everything, the city of Iwakuni held a track meet up at the newly opened Atago Sports Complex and yours truly competed in the 1500m race. I managed a 5:09 mile and came in second place in the 30-up age group. Not bad considering I thought the meet would be canceled due to all of the rain. Nope. Either way, I’m training for a Triathlon in September. We shall see…
With the subsiding of the rainy season comes the heat and humidity. I’m really enjoying this heat. It feels like summer here and the great weather is pretty predictable. Great thing is, if you’re in the shade you actually get a break from the heat. Anywho, Rudy’s new yochien had a Tanabata dance recital in the afternoon. We all got decked out in our summer wear and partook. Rudy was a little put off by the heat, but I can understand. Mo n EB looked great in their summer kimonos. Also, I just want to note that Rudy’s wish that he wrote on his Tanabata decoration is: “I Want To Be Black Panther.” Love it!
That Sunday, we packed up the Mukade Maru and headed out to Suo Oshima island where we spent the day at the beach at the Katazoegahama Seaside Park. Talk about a sunny and beautiful day. The beach was pretty nice, the weather was perfect and the water was so refreshing. Mo got this really awesome sun shelter from Subaru and we set up shop n hit the surf the entire day. Suo Oshima is a pretty rad island and we haven’t even scratched the surface of exploring that place yet.
When we’re not out tooling around the inland sea, we have a nice little oasis right around the corner from the house where the Nishiki River splits into the Imazu and Monzen Rivers. There’s a weir there that pools the water and provides a sweet little hang out for when there’s just enough time to get away from the house and cool off when the weather is crazy hot. Rudy loves it. He takes his green bug net and a bucket and catches fish. He’s a quick lil bugger, too. He can snatch up a crab or tadpole with his bare hands. I’m impressed. It’s a pretty popular hangout for the locals, too.
We did manage to get some front row seats to a fireworks display down at the harbor, too. Mo braved the heat of the day, hauled down to pick a spot at 3 pm on her bike just so we’d have a great spot when the show started. Something you couldn’t do anywhere in the states. You leave a blanket out to save a spot so you can come back four hours later n that thing would be gone. Anywho, the display was pretty awesome. I’m told the Kintai Fireworks display in August is a lot bigger. Not sure if it compares to the Fourth of July or New Years neighborhood fireworks shows back in Chicago, though… I mean, Beirut.
This past Friday, Rudy had the day off from school, so we went up to Otake to check out the newly-built playground at Harumirinkai Park. Even though it was pushing 100 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, we climbed all over the place, slid down all the slides and asked the giant robot if it would be cool if we played inside of him. Having a four-year-old keeps me young at heart (even if he drives me crazy on the regular). We finished off the day with ice cream at the near by YouMe Town and headed back to Iwakuni so mommy could drop off the van to get the A/C fixed. Just in time for the rest of the summer.
Last night, we went to a street festival in downtown Iwakuni. It was at this covered walking street called the Yellow Brick Road. There was food, beer, sake and live music. We stopped off in a restaurant where I tried the draft beer and sausage fare. It wasn’t too bad. I love it here in Japan, but they’ve got a lot to learn about how to make good sausages. It was still pretty tasty and the fest was a lot of fun. The fire department was there and they let us crawl in their fire truck n try on their helmets. We ran into some people from work and taste tested some local sake.
So this was pretty much our month. I’m sure I’m missing something, but we’re still going strong and exploring as much as we can. We still have to start getting our plans together for visiting China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia and anywhere else we want to see in the Pacific. That’s when the real fun starts. Alright, here’s some pics of the kiddos. arigatou gozaimasu!