The Gates to Heaven are

Now Open


The man who produced the now famous video "Missing Japan" has been released from his prison.

No, they haven't caught him for ...you know...yet. We're talking about the long drought of Tomodachi Tours to his favorite land because of covid.

The walls are down, Japan is inviting folks again and

Bobby Imoto is back in his

happy place.

Page 3

Following the usual wait for breakfast we're going to stop and smell the flowers for a bit.

Off to Tonami City and visit the Tonami Tulip Park.  It's quite a sight.

From there is shopping at the Aeon Shopping Mall in Takaoka. Money is burning a hole in our pockets.

We'll wrap the day going back to the hotel, shopping and finding dinner on our own.

Big lunch.

Long bus ride.

Everyone zonked.

Today we visit the Hakukokan Gold Leaf Shop. Sounds fancy and we'll get a chance to decorate our own chopsticks with a gold leaf design.  That will be interesting.

Then it's off to the Nagamachi Samurai District and continue to the Omicho Market Place for the usual more shopping.

Prior to returning to our hotel, we’ll stop by the Higashi Chaya District.

Back at the hotel, dinner is on our own.  I’ll bet that some will do more shopping.

While wandering around the class we stayed for quite a while in a park taking pictures. The Cherry Blossoms only bloom for one week of the year and it's something not to missed.

RHS'69's Wes took the opportunity to photobomb some young girls in kimono.

Wagashi 和菓子, are traditional Japanese candy that are often served with green tea as their sweetness combines and balances the bitter taste of the tea.

They are usually made with natural ingredients such as azuki beans. Japanese people tend to take wagashi back home after business trips or personal trips as omiyagi.

Making wagashi typically takes a lot of work. Which leads to our group now finding itself in a Wagashi-making class.

All of the instructions were in Japanese so they tried to follow the video presentation which resulted in some interesting designs, none of which we are allowed to share.

That's it for today. Everybody back to the hotel.

Dinner is on their own and more shopping is the priority.

Japanese chopsticks can be reasonable or wildly expensive. Supposedly it comes down to materials, hand-made or not, and brand names.

These gold-plated chopsticks are set with 4-carat round diamonds.

Yours for just $17,000.

Tonami Tulip Park is all about tulips, which are both the flower of Toyama Prefecture and Tonami City. A Tonami Tulip Fair is held every spring, when tulips of various colors come into splendid bloom.

The Tonami Tulip Gallery is the only place in the world where tulips are in bloom all year round.

How many tulips are there here? Millions. Literally.

Thursday, April 6, 2023