Saturday, March 18, 2017

Japan 2017 Day 11: Edo Mura Wonderland!

In spite of having three kids five and under in the house, I was the earliest riser today. I had a bit of a coughing spell, so decided to come downstairs to the kitchen so I wouldn't disturb anyone. Momo convinced me to try wearing a mask to bed last night, since the mask keeps moisture in & your throat doesn't dry out in the night. It really worked & I slept much better than I have since I got bronchitis, so I wore a mask all day too. At this time of year, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the people you see are wearing masks, so I was right in fashion.

I activated all the heaters when I came down, & made a big pot of tea as well. Momo had warned us that Mai-chan doesn't sleep through the night, but she only woke up once, & slept even longer than Aoi-chan did. Everybody was stirring by 7:30, so Momo & Hiroko got breakfast going together while Charlie watched morning cartoons with Aoi-chan & Nozomu-kun in the living room. I made tea & kept track of Mai-chan.

Breakfast was a cheese omelet, green salad & cucumbers, tuna salad, some leftover side dishes from dinner, a lovely tomato sauce, & bread. The house doesn't have a toaster, so we made sandwiches with everything in them.

In between getting everyone ready & dealing with some door issues (one wouldn't close & one wouldn't lock, but addressed quickly by the owner) we got out of the house around 11:00 am for our day trip to the Edo Mura Wonderland. A friend told us about this theme park quite some time ago, but we'd never had the chance to come here before. "Edo Mura" means a village of the Edo era in Japanese history, which is the era right before Japan opened to the West in the mid-1800's.

We took a train and a bus to get there, & it took about an hour. While waiting for the train, the gang posed in the owl hats I'd made for them :)

In Mai-chan's case, it was the only opportunity to get a photo of her wearing the hat, since she'd pull it off immediately when awake. Nozomu-kun adores trains & has all the different Shinkansen memorized, so even though we were riding a local train, he was mega-excited.

When we got to the station near the park there were photo-op cutouts:

Once we got to the park, we decided to look for lunch, since it was time to eat! We waited a bit for a table at a noodle place, & it was worth the wait. I had udon noodle soup with kakiage (tempura-fried veggies & shrimp).

The park reminded us very much of the Renaissance Faire, not far from Rochester, in that cosplayers were a big part of the show. It was hard to tell who was working there & who was dressed-up. You could rent kimono or ninja costumes & there were gangs of kids, little & big, all dressed up. I saw a little kid dressed as a ninja go for one of the actors that works there with his fake sword & it was a hoot. The actor went down quickly & dramatically. The kid's smile was priceless :)

One gang of kids was pressed into service to catch a thief. They were very earnest & very cute. There was also a street performer who borrowed my cane to do a bit of pantomime, too.

We saw a very dramatic & cheesy ninja show, & bought skewers of odango (yummy, sweet balls of mochi) to eat. The park is set into the side of a mountain, so when the sun went behind the mountain it started getting cold. We decided it was time to head home then & caught a bus back to the train station. Momo said that, although they had fun, probably Aoi-chan & Nozomu-kun will have even more fun if we come back again in a few years. I think they'd really enjoy the dress-up then. I kind of can't wait :)

The rest of the evening was spent cooking dinner (we had rice & nabe, which is a simmered stew- we used veg & tofu), taking baths, & getting kids to bed. I completely forgot to take a photo of the nabe, but in my defense, it disappeared pretty quickly.

Tomorrow we plan to go to a park near an imperial residence that Charlie read about, & also to a senbei (rice cracker) factory where you can make your own. I think the kids will have a blast!

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