Obon is an annual event which is basically a nation wide week long vacation in Japan. You can read more about it here. Anyway I had an incredibly busy Obon this year. It started on August 2nd, a Saturday when I went camping with the people from my lab at Zemi Camp.(see pictures below)
Saturday night we slept at a camp site and I woke up early in the morning and rode on to my Shikawa race early Sunday morning. After drinking all night with the guys and sleeping maybe 3 hours I was happy to finish the race under 25 minutes, with an offical time of something around 22 minutes. Sunday evening the cycling team headed out to the beer garden where we got a buffet style dinner and all you can drink for 2 or 3 hours, it was awesome. At the cycling team party Tomoko gave me a present - my new camera DK2 - and the next day we headed out for Bali, Indonesia. All the pictures in the Bali gallery and the Onomichi Gallery were taken with the DK2.
The next day Tomoko and I left for Bali for 6 days and you can read the full Bali report here, and check out the Bali photo gallery.
So what's the first thing you do as soon as you get back into town with a brand new Badass Digital Camera of Death? Well sir if you're Matthew W. Johnson you go to one of the most beautiful places in Japan, you take 600+ photos and select the top 20 to post on your webpage. To check out the best photos ever taken in the history of Japan, look here.
After Bali Tomoko & I took it pretty easy, she cooked a lot and my Intuou3 came in. Master & Mayo, friends of ours who own a local coffee shop (Little Wing) came by for dinner one night during the week (maybe Tuesday). Then on Friday Mr. Nakanishi and Akemi came down from Tokyo and the four of us went to cooking class.
Afterwards Tomoko, Akemi and Mr. Nakanishi headed off for Hiroshima city where they stayed with Tomoko's parents. I on the other hand went camping again, this time with Master & Mayo and some other friends.
All in all this summer vacation was pretty damn good, I hope you've enjoyed the pictures, the stories, and all of you had equally good times.
One Final Event:
I was going to write a seperate article but I figure its short enough to just append here. The weekend after Obon Tomoko and I met her parents and some different friends in Onomichi to stay at a Ryokan. Tomoko's mother has a friend from middle school who now owns a kimono shop, and she did an incredible amount of work in preperation for our wedding. In any case Tomoko's mother's friend, her husband, and her daughter along with Tomoko's parents came to Onomich and we stayed at a traditional Japanese inn. Naturally it was awesome and we had a lot of fun. Below are some of the pictures from the event.
1 - You know you can tell when you are in old school Japan when your bathroom sink is a rock with a hole in it.
2 - The small booth in front is a stand for selling fish that the fishermen catch in the morning.
3 - Dinning hall of the Ryoukan (Japanese style inn)
4 - Entranceway to Jyoudouji temple in Onomichi.
5 - A two story pagota at Jyoudouji temple.
6 - Me wearing a Yukatta which is standard clothes when visiting a Ryoukan in Japan
7 - A real deal sushi shop in the city of Mihara (next to Onomichi)
8 - The bedroom of the Ryoukan, the white things on the left-hand side are the futons we will sleep on later.
9 - Tomoko in the morning wearing her Yukatta, the ocean is literally just outside our window not even a meter away (3 feet).
10 - Last but not least, sunrise over the inland sea bridge seen from our room.
This weekend much like Obon was fantastic and everyone really enjoyed it, lots of jokes, good food, nice people, and plenty of relaxing, what more can you ask for in a weekend.