Mirei's Japan Trip 

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The Engineer
The Engineer
Here I am with the engineer of the train!
The Next Engineer?
The Next Engineer?
And here I am, ready to drive the train away...(just kidding).
Lunch
Lunch
Later, we had lunch on the eighth floor of a big department store called Daimaru.
Long Way Down
Long Way Down
Don't worry; we were being safe...
Glass Pyramid
Glass Pyramid
Then we visited a museum of the artist Isamu Noguchi. It is in a park he designed. He also designed the Hart Plaza, next to the Renaissance Center in Detroit.
Inside the Pyramid
Inside the Pyramid
We climbed the frame of the building a little bit.
Top-Down View
Top-Down View
We also rode a glass elevator up to the top of the pyramid.
Old Fish Merchant's House
Old Fish Merchant's House
In Otaru City, Hokkaido, we visited the 100 year-old house built by a very rich fish merchant.
Fish Merchant's Garden
Fish Merchant's Garden
This is the garden behind his house. It has a fish pond with a bridge, and a double-waterfall too!
Japanese Toilet
Japanese Toilet
This is an expensive version of a traditional Japanese toilet. Can you figure out how to use it?
Isamu Noguchi Slide-Sculpture
Isamu Noguchi Slide-Sculpture
This is a slide carved out of stone, made by the famous artist Isamu Noguchi. His father was Japanese, and his mother was American.
Getting Ready...
Getting Ready...
The inside is a stairway. I'm on the stairs and my dad is getting ready to take my sister down the slide.
Here They Go!
Here They Go!
This slide was really fun!
HEAT - Hokkaido Express Advanced Train
HEAT - Hokkaido Express Advanced Train
We didn't ride this train, but it looked neat.
Super Hokuto
Super Hokuto
This is the train we took from Sapporo to Hakodate. Usually, trains in Japan are electric, but this route uses a diesel.
Old Street Car
Old Street Car
In Hakodate, we rode an old street car with wooden floors.
Onsen Resort
Onsen Resort
In Hakodate, we stayed in an onsen resort. An onsen is a volcanic hotspring bath.
Room with a View
Room with a View
The inn was right on the seaside. This was the view from our room.
Yukata
Yukata
The resort gave us light cotton robes called yukata to wear around the resort. Here are my mom, my sister and my grandmother wearing them.
Rotenburo
Rotenburo
Our room even had a wooden bath out on the balcony!
North East Express
North East Express
This is the train we're taking from Hakodate to Hachinohe. This train go through a long undersea tunnel that connects Hokkaido Island to Honshu Island.
Pantograph
Pantograph
This is called a pantograph. It is used to connect the train to the electric cables above.
Running Along the Sea
Running Along the Sea
The Hokkaido leg of the trip runs mostly along the sea. It was a great view!
Hayate
Hayate
Finally, we switched from the North East Express to the Hayate Shinkansen, or bullet train. This took us to our final stop for the day, Tokyo.
Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3)
Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3)
This is a celebration of being 7-, 5-, or 3-years old. You get dressed up and go to the shrine.
...But I Don't Like This!
...But I Don't Like This!
So I made a few good silly faces. That'll show'em!
Shrine Gate
Shrine Gate
Here we are at the shrine gate, getting ready to take -lots- of pictures.
Water
Water
Water is used to wash off your hands, a purification ritual. The "Mi" in "Mirei" means "water".
Offering
Offering
An offering is made: Seri and I throw coins into a box.
Make a Wish
Make a Wish
Then we clap our hands twice, make a wish, and bow.
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