Oh my gosh. Yesterday (the 19th in Japan) we had the ultimate Japanese experience!! But let me start from the beginning.
We left Tokyo and headed to Abe’s dad’s hometown on the Shinkansen (bullet train).
So cool! His aunt packed us breakfast of salmon, rice, and sesame seed seaweed wrap.
We transferred to a more local train and his dad starting telling us stories as he recognized local scenery – mountains he had climbed, rice fields he biked in.
It was beautiful!
When we arrived to his hometown, Naoetsu (just outside Nigata) Abe’s dad’s step mother’s daughter(??) Picked us up from the train station and took us to the beach!
She’s on the right!
Mountains AND Sea!
My toes touched the Sea of Japan!!
Then we headed to the man’s house that Abe’s dad is thinking of selling his land to. We had a formal sit-down with his family and the four of us, almost entirely in Japanese. I really had very little idea of what was going on. Turns out Abe’s dad wanted us to meet them in case we ever come back- kinda like keeping the legacy alive. But at the end of it, they offered for us to stay with them and take us out to sushi for dinner! So awesomely kind and generous!
The sushi restaurant was the kind where you walk in to a separate room with your group and sit on the floor.
The sushi was amazing, as was the company. I also tried sake for the first time, which was tasty.
The ultimate sashimi platter!
The family consisted of the father and mother, their son and his wife, and their son and daughter. We talked with the son and his wife (closest to our age, the parents of the youngest) using Google translate! They were so cool and kind and I wish we could have bonded with them even more. She complimented my chopstick skills!
We were so full and satisfied! We came back to the house and went to sleep, and then this morning the grandmother made a beautiful breakfast of rice, egg, sausage and miso soup. They also own a dairy and rice fields so we had fresh milk too!
Their home, and the grandmother and soon on the right.
Overall it was just an amazing experience the average tourist never would be able to have. We’re so thankful to them and to Abe’s dad for providing that connection! The son dropped us off at the train station, so now just Abe and I are headed off on our own to Takayama.
Eek, let the solo adventure begin!