Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Vacation on the Sea of Japan

With the kids finally out of school and transfers over, we took a one night two day trip to the Japan Sea. The kids will be leaving for part of the summer so this was our only time to do something together as a family. Jeff Evans was visiting as well so we were happy he could join us. He will put in his mission papers in a few weeks. We travelled a few hours by car to Toyooka City and the little beach town of Takeno. We stayed at the Seaside Hotel and enjoyed the beach and hot springs baths.

The countryside was beautiful in this very small town. They did not even have a convenience store which is really strange for Japan. The hotel was pretty nice for a small Japanese style place. The kids had a great night of fireworks on the beach after we drove into Toyooka city for dinner and visited the local bowling alley for a few games. That was our Monday FHE. We then drove back to Takeno and our hotel and we all enjoyed our second trip to the onsen bath. Very relaxing.

This is the hotel behind us in the picture above.

We visited the Marine World located about a 20 minute drive away from Takeno. It was very nice with all kinds of shows and activities.

This was the penguin walk. They just marched around the courtyard and had a great time. Sister McIntyre thought they were cute.

Julie and the kids getting a shot of the little guys.
Mom and Dad out by the ocean at Marine World.
The giant sea lion show was very nice. They loved to dive off the rocks.
An action shot.
They also had a little fishing place where you can catch fish and then they will prepare them for you by making them into tempura right there. We had them for lunch. Real fresh fish and chips!

Everyone caught a couple. It was not very hard.
They were small but great for tempura.

The men with their catch.

Cutting and cleaning.

Batter and fry.

Watching the whole process.
Enjoying the fish. Some of the kids are not big fish eaters, but everyone tried it and actually liked it. Although you would not know it by some of their faces!

The highlight of the trip for Rika was the interaction with the dolphins. She loves dolphins and had a couple chances to touch and play with them.
She got to pet these two in one of the shows and pose for some photos.
They would not let her take them home.
Petting real dolphins was not enough for Sister McIntyre. She had to climb on this statue and pose for a picture as well! A nice family shot by the dolphin.
Mom and the boys.
Being around the dolphins seems to have caused mom to be in a really good mood.

We had a chance to play dolphin trainer as well. Here Julie and Jeff are ready to go.

Ricky shaking fins with a dolphin before getting in the water.

Julie feeds one after he did a trick for her.

Jeff getting ready to give a command.

James takes a turn.
They also had a pair of huge walruses there. This are how big his underwear would be if he wore them! The trainers are feeding the big guy here. He was so big and friendly. Although he is 27 times the weight of Julie.
There was some time for the kids to play on the beach as well. They buried James. That is what you get when you are the youngest.

The boys try a little body surfing.

Yes, we conquered the sea. Way to go Jim!
The water was still a little cool, but very clear. The beach was nice as well and not crowed at all yet. Japan summer season does not open until late July after the rainy season. We are in the rainy season now, but the weather was beautiful. On the way home, we timed our drive to stop in Kita Rokko around 7:45 pm just in time to see the fireflies near the little creek behind the church. It was a great day and a half and the kids enjoyed it very much. They are off to Utah tomorrow. Julie will be back in BYU and the boys at summer camps. Jeff will be getting ready for his mission.

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