Up Next – Osaka, Japan

Today is Saturday. I can’t believe the week is over already!

Our time in Hiroshima has been very low key. We went shopping on Thursday and on Friday we spent the day with some of Stan’s relatives. We had such a nice time – they are so sweet.

It was such a privilege to be invited to Stan’s cousin’s home. I finally got to see the inside of a traditional wooden Japanese home complete with wood floors and sliding room partitions. We took our shoes off just inside the door and we were offered slippers for our feet. We were led into the family shrine – a separate room with an altar, photographs of the parents (who are now deceased) and various religious articles. A tatami mat covered the floor and there were two large pillows on the floor in front of the altar for kneeling. It was just like the movies!
Cousin’s House
Family Shrine
Rice field in the neighborhood.
After a few minutes, we migrated to a small family room which was furnished with a sofa, chairs and a coffee table. Stan and I were offered the sofa, the men sat in the chairs, and the women sat on the floor. They served tea and desserts and we enjoyed looking at photographs and recalling memories from the past. I asked lots of questions and we communicated through Stan and through our translator apps on our phones. It was hilarious when the app translated words literally and the thoughts we were trying to convey were lost. Example: Mitsuru was trying to tell me that one of the aunts was killed in the bombing but the app translated his words,  “she died in the manuscript”. Huh?  At one point I was trying to tell Stan’s uncle he had a sweet smile, but it came out “sweet tasting smile”. LOL. We got a lot of laughs out of our app.

The evening ended with a nice dinner at a local restaurant and more laughs and conversation.

Uncle, Aunt, Cousins
Stan asked me if I wanted to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum but I didn’t think I could handle seeing it. The devastation was so horrible and I could not bring myself to face it. We saw a few plaques around the city that depicted some of the destruction and just seeing those was enough for me. It’s frightening to think about the pain and suffering we can inflict on each other in our diabolical quest for power, control and wealth.  May the God of Heaven have mercy on mankind and deliver us from ourselves!
This morning was a moving day so I had a lot of packing to do. I started out with three bags and now I’m up to four! Ha! Ha!

Stan’s relatives met us at the train station to see us off and brought gifts for him. (So sweet!) They invited me to come back soon and, departing from their usual custom of bowing, readily responded to my out-stretched arms with warm hugs when we said goodbye. We then boarded the Bullet Train for a 1-1/2 hour ride to Osaka.

Osaka has a high energy, fun, youthful but sophisticated vibe – not quite the formality of Tokyo. We are staying at the Hilton Osaka. As I write this, I am relaxing in the Executive Lounge and enjoying the view from the 32nd floor. (I love high-rises and big cities. You would never know I was raised on a farm in west Texas!)

Hilton – Osaka, Japan

My room at the Hilton, Osaka

Speaking of shopping (we were, weren’t we?) . . .

I took this picture of a window display because I thought it was cool how the mannequins have straight, black hair – like the Japanese women.  I also loved these shoes and boots. Notice the cut-outs on the boots? Very chic!

Mannequins with straight, black hair.
On my Christmas list!

Tomorrow we explore Osaka!

Right now, it’s bed-time for me. Zzzzzz.
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