Big Buddha and Aomori

My first weekend back from San Francisco, which you may realize was a few weeks ago from today, Ryan and I decided to go visit Aomori City.  We live in the Aomori Prefecture, but we are about 90 minutes from the city of Aomori.  Now, it is closer than what you might imagine for 90 minutes, but you really can't drive fast on many parts of the road out there because they are more like back country roads.  In fact, at one point you drive through tunnels in mountains, one of which is quite long and seems to go on forever.  So the drive itself is 90 minutes, but it doesn't really seem that long.

Since it was 90 minutes, we did make a few stops for the bathroom and some beverages.  These pictures were taken at a Circle K along the way.  I just liked the mountain view in the background.  Of course these pictures don't really capture the beauty so well, but it was a great view.
DSC03092

DSC03093

DSC03094
We arrived at the Big Buddha just as it was starting to rain.  Good thing they have umbrellas there for you to borrow.
DSC03095
This area is a Buddhist Temple and of course the Big Buddha, which is a short hike from the parking lot.  I believe this picture is the main hall.
DSC03096
This is another building on the property.
DSC03097

DSC03098
I liked this dragon.
DSC03099
This is the 5 story pagoda.
DSC03101

DSC03102
Here we are by the pagoda.  You can tell based on our size that this is quite big.
DSC03103
Relaxing atmosphere all along the path you walk to see the sights.
DSC03105
Here is the Big Buddha.
DSC03106
If you are curious how big he is, look over the left and see there is a couple looking at some displays.  This will give you something to compare the Buddha with.

You can actually go inside the Buddha and see some displays, one of which I have pictured here.
DSC03108
I loved the way the sun was shining down on the Buddha after the rain had stopped.
DSC03110
This is a pond, with significance for a Buddhist teacher and it contains sand from 88 temples that he is associated with, or at least that is my understanding from the English translated material we were given.
DSC03111

DSC03112
These windmills are placed to honor the unborn children.
DSC03113
After seeing the Buddha, we headed into Aomori City and found a Halloween festival set up.
DSC03114
We walked out to the water.  This is Aomori Bay, which is the interior of Mutsu Bay.  From here you can get to the next island above us, which is Hokkaido.  In fact, they have a train that goes from here under the water, or you can take an overnight ferry.
DSC03115

DSC03116
Aomori is a key producer of apples in Japan and they are really apple crazy up here, which is of course a good thing.
DSC03117
They had all kinds of food vendors selling goodies, both unusual and normal things.
DSC03118
These pears are actually a lot larger than you can imagine based on this picture.  Trust me, they were huge.
DSC03119

DSC03120
Crab leg on a stick anyone?
DSC03121
Happy Halloween!  Don't ask, I really have no idea what this is.
DSC03122

DSC03123
Now this I can tell you is a pumpkin pie.  It was hot and fresh, and very yummy.  Basically this was a flaky crust with fresh pumpkin inside.  I should also mention that pumpkins in Japan are very different from what we know as a pumpkin.  But I can tell you that many of you are familiar with a Japanese pumpkin.  It's a kabocha!
DSC03125
This was too funny that I could not resist taking a photo.  This is a soy joy vending machine.
DSC03126
Lunch was at CoCo's Curry House because it was an off hour and most places close between lunch and dinner.  Ryan had his usually curry.
DSC03128
We had some naan.
DSC03129
Now, for my lunch I had to get creative.  I always get a salad here, but I wanted to try something different.  Using my Japanese written statement of my dietary preferences and looking at the menu of sides, I was able to order what I wanted and have the Japanese speaking only server understand what I wanted.

This is breaded shrimp over rice.
DSC03130
Then I ordered a soft boiled egg and used this as a sauce.  I mixed it all together and it was so good.  
DSC03131
 I was really glad she understood what I wanted.  Basically I ordered the base for the curry dish and the toppings, but not the curry itself since there is pork in there.

After lunch, on the way back to the car, we found that the Halloween kids parade started so we stuck around to watch the festivities.  They are very in to Halloween here, but not in the same way we do in the US with scary things.  This was a lot more fun and focused more on the kids.
DSC03132
Ok, this person was going for the scary look.
DSC03133

DSC03134
So that was it for our big adventure to Aomori.  Right after this Ryan became very sick (as in within hours we were in the ER).  It was a heck of a 2 weeks, but I am happy to say he is feeling much better now.  He had meningitis.  Yes, you heard me right, he had meningitis.  Thankfully it was viral and not bacterial, but he was in excruciating pain and had a very high fever for days.  Like I said, he is much better now and I am so happy for that.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever studied about Buddhism?  Does your town have a Halloween parade?  Do you know anyone who has had meningitis, or have you?  

5 comments:

Gina; The Candid RD said...

So interesting! I really don't know much about buddhism, but I do find it fascinating, really. I think they have done some episodes with buddhism invovled on the Amazing Race. Have you seen that show? This post reminds me of it because I can imagine them doing a challenge here.
How neat that their "pumpkin" is kabocha!

Mer said...

OMG I cant believe that Ryan has Meningitis! Sooo glad he's ok. Remember when BH had it in High School and my mom freaked out and I took the pills that made me pee orange. Good Times.

Love the food on a stick. You are like my own personal Anthony Bourdaine!

Special K said...

I also had one of those "squash" pumpkin pie ish things in China, which was my first forray into practicing Buddism (not Buddism for hip style sake_ and Confuscious-ism. I find it peaceful, practical and respectable.

Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian said...

Great post!
Ok, I am drooling over that curry and naan! It just looks amazing!!

Anonymous said...

nice idea, thanks for sharing

our websites are
徵信社 and 櫻桃

very welcome to see us

Post a Comment