Megumu picked us from the train station near her house. Luckily she waited for us because we missed one of the trains (long story short but I thought I lost Fred at a train station).
Aki, Megumu's younger sister, came home to hang out with us. And Rika and Tamoka have gotten so big since I last saw them 7 years ago. (Way too much time has gone by.)
We played BINGO and Megumu's mom, Kaoru, fed us snack after snack.
The family made reservations at a tofu restaurant in Tokorazawa. The food was delicious, and it felt like it never stopped coming. By the time this dish came (rice with salmon eggs) I could hardly eat any even though it was so good.
Tea plants across the street from Megumus.
The next day after an elaborate Japanese breakfast made by Kaoru (Japanese omelet is my favorite!) we went to Takaosan. Takaosan is located in metropolitan Tokyo, and so is usually quite popular with tourists.
Mu and Aki planning our trip to Takaosan.
Before taking the cable car up the mountain we stopped in for lunch.
It is amazing to me that Japanese people eat so much for how small they are.
This cable car is the steepest in Japan. You couldn't feel it on the way up but on the way down people were lightheartedly screaming. It wasn't going fast but it felt like at any moment the breaks would not be able to take the weight and the cable car would turn into a not-so-fun-roller-coaster.
More food?! These are mitarashidanga, sweet soy flour balls. The sauce is delicious but I could only eat one because I was too full from lunch, and breakfast.
Fred is washing money for good luck to make more money (but then Fred put the coins in the fountain so I am not so sure about this custom).
The big nosed red guy is a deity on this mountain.
I love this picture. Takayuki, in the middle, is the girls' father.
Wafting incense smoke towards your head makes you smarter. Fred and I were instructed to take our hats off.
At the top of Takaosan, about an hour from the cable car, is a wonderful view of Fujisan.
It isn't just a beautiful view, the whole hike is spectacular. Especially when you have such great company.
This is shimobashila, ice crystals that form in dirt. How cool that there is a word for that.
This picture was taken at the base of the mountain while the family was taste testing local goods. Behind Fred, with the tree coming through the roof, is where we had lunch.
Takaosan was the perfect thing for Megumu's family to take us to do, yet another beautiful place in Japan.