Melrose retiree takes a flyer to Japan

... Coast Guard captain Rick Mockler writes on visiting island nation

Letter from Carl Mockler

Melrose's Rick Mockler (back row, left end). Other tourists are from Someplace Else.

Hi All:

As you may know, I spent three weeks in Japan a month ago, with a 16 person group thru OATS (Overseas Adventure Travel). Here are a few pics form Japan.  Watch for more on my Picasa site

Hi all: So how was Japan? Glad I went. Really liked the countryside (very hilly and lush greenery) once out of the sprawling cities. They really are in the 21st century. Cities by and far very clean, hardly any litter. Rails and roads great. Bullet trains run every five minutes or so between Tokyo and Kyoto at speed of 180 mph! Wow!   

Food on the expensive side. Five tangerines for $4.50, etc. So portions are small and all Japanese skinny. All we hear about food here in the states is sushi and tempura. Sure they have that, but they have so much more.

Hiroshima and the Peace Museum very moving. Really liked Kyoto as a city best. Hakone, a small spa village near Fuji was fun. We stayed there in a traditional ryokan  inn, a type of traditional inn that originated in the Edo period (16031868), when such inns served travelers along Japan's highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata (we all wore one to dinner both nights) and talk with the owner. We slept on pads on the floor, etc.

We covered a lot of ground, walked five or so miles each day, made sushi, and rice muffins and drank a fair amount of Asahi beer.  Great trip.

December 3, 2010

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