Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Family Pictures and Iyashi no Sato Nenba

I don't want to leave Japan without taking a great family picture with Mt. Fuji in the background, so a few weeks ago, we drove out to Fuji to get our prized picture.  However, we got there and this is what we saw:

No Fuji!  Haha!!!  See that grey sky?  Well, it's actually a whole bunch of fog completely covering Mt. Fuji.  On clear day, from this exact spot, Mt. Fuji in its entirety is visible.  And it's stunning!  But, of course the day we get all dressed up for family pictures and drive an hour and a half out there, it's too foggy to see anything!  So, we decided to make the most of it and go visit Iyashi no Sato Nenba (an old fashioned thatched roof village) since we were all the way over there.  The drive over to the village turned out to be beautiful--the fall foliage was bright and beautiful with all sorts of yellows and reds adorning the hills.  As we pulled up to Iyashi no Sato, we found a prime photo spot and decided to take some family pictures real quick since we were all dressed and ready.

After taking pictures, we went in to walk around the village.  Walking through Iyashi no Sato is like stepping back in time!  All of the buildings have thatched roofs, and there's a little river that runs through the middle with a few water wheels next to some of the buildings.  Each building has a different activity or different local crafts/souvenirs.  There are a bunch of ceramics for sale and we were able to find some really cute octopus and sumo wrestler chopstick holders.  We ate lunch at one of the two restaurants and enjoyed some soba and udon as well as some green mountain vegetables that (surprisingly) Bennett loved and (not surprisingly) Will and Clara did not.

The absolute best part about visiting Iyashi no Sato though is dressing up!  For only ¥500 each, you can dress up in kimonos, samurai, or ninja clothing!  Then, you're allowed to walk around the village wearing the clothing--it gives you the chance to really experience what it would be like living in the village at the time.  It was so much fun!  Peter was our samurai and Bennett was a little samurai baby, Will was a ninja and Clara and I both dressed in kimonos.  Watching the two little old grandmas dress Peter in his costume was so funny!  They barely reached his chest!

Since we now had more awesome family pictures, we decided to incorporate them into our Christmas cards as well.  So, here you have it!  Merry Christmas from the Frandsens!

GPS Coordinates for Iyashi no Sato Nenba:  35.505223, 138.661551

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