Tuesday, September 15, 2009

let's sail round the bay

This wee post is about our trip to Matsushima, a coastal town about 20 minutes by train from Sendai, where they hold a famous firework and lantern summer festival.

We spent the whole day there wandering the streets and eating things on sticks. Chicken on a stick, pork on a stick and banana on a stick!

Unfortunately banana on a stick really wasn't that good. I don't know what we expected though - blue chocolate?

After our treat we took an hour long boat ride around the bay, weaving between the dozens of small islands. It was very beautiful. A cross between Akaroa and the Bay of Islands.

Enticed by the promise of sea otters, we went to the aquarium, only to find lots of beavers. But none-the-less it was jolly good fun.

Gareth took a million zillion photos on the camera, but these were some of our favourites:
Eels hiding in pipes

Panda dolphins

and lots of little jellyfish

Notable mentions -- gigantic, dinosauric, South American fish that were tricky to photograph. The Ocean Sunfish that just looked too sad to photograph because of its desolate tank. And the delightful seal show that kept us too entralled to whip out the camera.

Matsushima is also famous for its anicent temples and shrines nestled in forests and carved into rock faces.

It was particularly nice walking around through the trees in the gloaming with the fesitval lanterns in the background.

And then it was time for the fireworks! They were AMAZING! There were ones that made 3D shapes and faces.

The sea was covered in floating lanterns that made my heart melt.

There seems to be fireworks going off somewhere every weekend at night and sometimes during the day too. I don't quite understand this yet, but maybe in time it will all become clear.

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