Jufra, Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu, Japan


Posted Jul 5, 2012, 3:29 pm
Jufra is on the way to Seattle, shes very intrested in thinks that she can see:)
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:22 am
I have arrived safe and can't wait to start my adventure by going on a camping trip this weekend.  :D
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:33 am
Wow camping is so much fun. We got to sit in front of a campfire, play games, cook all of our food over fire and sleep in a tent!
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:38 am
Today went went on a hike where there were "snow caves".
"Snow caves" are the result of the snow from the mountains melting and making huge holes you can walk into. It was so fun to see snow in July, I even did a snow angel.

The hike up to the snow caves was only a mile but it was so pretty and easy to do seeing the waterfalls and then the snow was so pretty.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:50 am
SEA-AT-LE  SOUND-ERS SEA- AT-LE  SOUND-ERS I learned a new cheer today. We all got to go see a soccer match today. It was the Seattle Sounders vs Chelsea FC. The way to do the cheer is one side of the stadium says Seattle, and the other side says Sounders. It was really fun and loud and the whole place was chanting along. Look at all the people in the background. There were over 60,000 people there!

We did lose but this game was called a "friendly" since we were playing the best team in the English Premier League. They are considered one of the best teams in the world. It was just an honor to see them play and see the local team get to play such amazing players.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:52 am
I get to go on a plane! We are going to Boulder Colorado to visit some of my hosts friends. They even give you snacks when you are on the plane.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:55 am
We made it to Boulder, Colorado and we got to do a lot of cool things with my hosts friends. 
We went to the butterfly pavilion where we saw a lot of butterflies flying around. There were a bunch of different kinds and one even landed on one of my hosts!
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 6:59 am
Our next stop in Boulder was to a store called "GunSmoke".
This is the same shop that the reality show "American Guns" on the Discovery Channel is about.  They had a lot of pictures inside the shop and lots and lots of guns on display.

Our last stop was to a lookout point in Boulder that overlooks the entire city. It was a perfect day to see the whole city and enjoy the scenery.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:01 am
Our trip is almost over and it's time to head back to Seattle.
We boarded the bus from Boulder to take us to the Denver airport and then we get back on a plane an head back to Seattle for more adventures.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:06 am
Seattle has been having really great weather recently so we decided to go to the beach and take in some of the sights.
The water still looked a little chilly so we decided not to go in.
Do you see the Washington Ferry boats? They were made famous by the TV show Grey's Anatomy.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:12 am
No trip to Seattle would be complete without a trip to the famous Pike Place Public Market. The market is famous for having fresh produce and fish from around the Puget Sound area. 
They even throw fish around sometimes. It's really fun to see.
The big piggy you see below is known as "Rachel the Pig" she is a huge piggy bank that collects money for the Market to stay open and maintained. 
In addition to the fresh produce and fish they also have very pretty flowers for sale and and great prices too.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:16 am
Underneath the Public Market is a place called "The Gum Wall" 
It's a brick wall full of pieces of gum people have put there over time.  The tradition started because there is a local theater right next to the wall and they did not allow gum inside the theater. People started to put their gum on the wall right before entering and then everyone started doing it.  If you have any gum you are allowed to add to the wall at any time.  I tried not to get too close since it was a little sticky.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:19 am
Not too far from the Public Market is the very first Starbucks Coffee store. 
They always have a long line and it's a really small store but a piece of Seattle history.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:26 am
My hosts have family visiting so we got to do some of the more traditional touristy things today.
We went on a boat ride that also drives on the roads too.  The boat is called a "duck" and we drove all around the downtown Seattle area and then got to go into Lake Union.
We saw sights like the house from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle" and a place called "Gas Works Park."

GasWorks park is where they have the fourth of July fireworks over Lake Union every year. It's the location of a former Coal Gasification plant and still has some of the old equipment on display. 
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:29 am
We got to ride on the Monorail today! The Monorail was built specificially for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair but they decided to keep it after the fair was over.  It only has one stop but it saves us a 2 mile walk and it's super cool to say that I got to ride on the Monorail.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:33 am
Wow my hosts are busy with guests. As soon as the family left, a couple of friends from California arrived.  The good news about that is that, we got to go on another boat cruise.  This one was only in the water but we were able to see more parts of Lake Union and parts of Lake Washington.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:37 am
We got to go the top of the Space Needle today. The Space Needle was also built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. This year is the 50th anniversary.  It was a great day and we were able to see lots of sights. The brand new ferris wheel was really cool to see too.
Jess Roqs

Posted Aug 24, 2012, 7:42 am
The final two places we visited were The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visitor center and Kerry Park.

The Gates Foundation supports initiatives in education, world health and population, and community giving in the Pacific Northwest. The visitor center shows how the Gates' Foundation has helped people all around the world. They also had a lot of interactive exhibits to show you some of the hardships other countries have to go through just to get water everyday.

Kerry Park is a park at top of a neighborhood called Queen Anne. It overlooks most of Seattle and it a perfect place to get a Postcard picture of all of Seattle.

Did you notice the orange top on the Space Needle? That's only something they are doing for the 50th Anniversary. They are going to paint it back in September to the while it used to be.

Posted Sep 11, 2012, 7:05 am
Hello - or as they say here 'Gidday'!!

I have arrived in Australia - photos to show me very soon!

From Jufra

Posted Sep 11, 2012, 7:59 am
Hey Dad,

Some photos to show you where I am in Australia - well the house I am staying at

My bag stopped moving around and I can hear voices!
when the bag opened lots of faces looked inside  :o

I was greeted by Tica, Ahouni, Glubschi, Calliope and Arthur
It around 1 in the afternoon and is 21 deg C and a little breezy but quite warm - this is the house I am staying in
looking down the side of the yard
resting in a gum tree Dad  ;)
just checking out the grass - important for us sheep you know!
Oh! There goes Tupai the chow chow!
watching Tupai going to the dam - he went in for a drink
there is a lot of blossom in this fruit tree - and a lot of bees too!!  :o
here is the east side of the house and the tennis court

More soon Dad
Jufra  :D

Posted Sep 11, 2012, 8:02 am
Hey Dad,

we found this truck in the shed so decided to go for a drive! Calliope had to drive because she was the only one who could fit behind the wheel!! I got to ride on the back!!
See you Dad
Jufra  :D

Posted Sep 20, 2012, 9:14 am
Hello there,

We had a day out to Eltham today on the other side of the city to Gisborne and went for a walk to see these posters telling us about local painters
then we came across a really old horse trough!
Later at home we went outside with the chow chow
It is a bit dark but here I am at the back fence.

Bye for now

Posted Sep 20, 2012, 11:06 am
Hi Mum,

Did you know today is Talk like a Pirate Day??
We met Pirate Dave!!! Arrr!
tried on a pirate hat
met a beautiful pirate lady !!  ;)
and found a pirate sword!!

Love and hugs

Posted Sep 24, 2012, 9:14 am
Hey Dad,

I am at the beach for the weekend.
my first view of the water - it is Port Phillip bay and comes from the ocean to Melbourne City.
heading off for a walk by the beach!  B)
we are going to walk along the beach behind us
Nice huh?
chilling by the water!
Nice view - the sun is warm but the wind is a little cold here.
Sitting with Arthur in the sun
Don't think beach grass is for me!!  :(
on the way home we saw these really nice flowers - they are bottle brush flowers!

More soon

Posted Sep 25, 2012, 9:37 am
Hi Dad,

We had a drive to a different beach after lunch and were going to walk along pier but it was closed off for renovations  :(
here is the light house at Point Lonsdale, it helps the ships come into Port Phillip Bay and up to Melbourne
behind us is where the ships come in
here we are going to another beach called Steps Beach
and here is why....look at all these steps!!!! :o
and this is what is at the top
more steps down to the beach
Phew!! On the beach.  :D
Guess what we have to do now!!!!! Go back up again  :o
Home for a rest now I think!

Best wishes
From Jufra  :D

Posted Sep 27, 2012, 6:29 am
Hey Dad,

Another walk in the park today
stopped for a drink
saw some mosaic poles in the park

More soon,

Posted Sep 27, 2012, 6:51 am
Hi Dad,

We are off on a road trip today
more gum trees
now we are on the freeway,
more freeway
looks like more freeway but we are arriving at Ballarat! :D
We are here at the Wildlife Park
my first Australian animal - an emu!  :D
I got to share some grass with a kangaroo!!
That tickles!!  :D
Then I met Miffy the koala - she was very soft and was interested n eating her gum leaves!
having a chat with a couple of kangaroos!!  :o
here is a Tasmanian Devil - called that because of the glowing red ears they have and the horrible noises they make!
this is Patrick the wombat and an unknown child!!! It was a very busy day here and hard to get a good photo! Wombats are nocturnal so need a bribe (food) to come out in the sunshine.
Over the back are two echnidas - they are the Australian version of an ant eater or hedgehog.
some sleepy koala's in the tree
looking out over the park
Well Dad I have seen a little of Australia - will be off on my travels to Japan tomorrow!

xxooxx  B)


Posted Oct 2, 2012, 9:37 am
Hey Dad,

I am saying goodbye to everyone here and getting ready to travel again....
got everything together
into my bag


Posted Oct 10, 2012, 7:11 pm
Shodo-shima - Shodo Island
Shodo-shima is located north of Takamatsu, the capital city of
Kagawa prefecture. The ferry boat took us here. It was about one hour trip from Takamatsu port.
Now we stand on the highest place in the island. This area is called
Kankakei, if it's November we can see the beautiful autumn
On the way to the rest house from the peak of the mountain, we came
across a group of wild Japanese monkeys!!!
I was surprised :o  :o :o :o :o :o


Posted Nov 19, 2012, 6:57 pm
Takamatsu Castle
This castle is also called Tamamo Castle. Exactly Takamatsu (Tamamo) Castle Ruins. Main tower doesn't exist today. A few buildings still remain in the Japanese Garden.
There is the Sea over the road. The sea water is brought into the castle-moats.

Takamatsu Castle (Sanuki)

Posted Dec 8, 2012, 4:07 pm
Saburo-ike, The pond where the dragon lives in
Legend has it that the guardian of this pond is a large snake.
In Japan dragons and snakes are often worshiped as a deity of water.
They call clouds and shower benefits upon fields. Japanese folklore.
See the map. The shape of Japan looks like the dragon climbing the sky.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Posted Dec 8, 2012, 4:43 pm
The night view of the Takamatsu central station. It is the most busy station in Shikoku.

Posted Dec 8, 2012, 4:48 pm
Christmas is coming :)
In Japan Christmas is not a holiday and just a commercial event for most people. However, they enjoy it, decorating trees, preparing presents for families and friends.
Today in the center of the shopping mall, the big decorated tree appeared.

Posted Dec 8, 2012, 4:57 pm
hanachan bought 'take-out' sushi and arranged them on a cute plate :D

Posted Feb 2, 2013, 7:14 am
Otsuka Museum of Art
The world's first collection of Ceramic-Board Reproduction of Masterpaintings.

Now I'm not in the Sistine Chapel, Rome. The room is an authentic-looking reproductions of the Sistine Chapel's art works. This is one of the exhibits in this museum. These are not original paintings.  They are ceramic works using a special manufacturing technique. Visitors can see over 1000 full-size ceramic reproductions of major works of art. The works are transfer-printed from photographs before being fired and retouched.
Of course I enjoyed reproductions of great paintings in the modern ages.

Posted Feb 2, 2013, 7:19 am
Say Good bye to 2012 :)
Japanese people have many parties called "Bo-nen kai" in December. Bo-nen kai is a drinking party where they begin to forget about the problems in this past year and look forward to the new year.

:D :D :D
(oops, the battery of camera is empty...) :mad:

Posted Feb 2, 2013, 7:22 am
Happy New Year! - Akemashite Omedetou!
Osechi Ryouri & Ozouni
Hi :)
The new year day in Japan is very calm. Family people meet together at their parents' house to celebrate the New Year, wishing for the future health of everyone.
The first meal in the new day is Osechi Ryouri and Ozouni. The New Year's food arranged in the lacquer boxes and special soup with rice cakes, vegetables, etc.
:D :D :D

Posted Feb 2, 2013, 7:26 am
Melon Pan - a type of sweet bun from Japan
In Japan, western food is often developed and changed in its own way by fusing with Japanese original culture.
It's interesting. What do you think? :D

P.S. Oh, I know I always eat...  :p

Posted Feb 2, 2013, 7:30 am
Yashima Shrine
This shrine was built in 1651 by Matsudaira Yorishige, the first Feudal Load of Takamatsu. It is the place where to worship his grandfather Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.
When we visit the shrine, first we wash hands. An old tap is often decorated everywhere in the world. In Japan lots of shrine and temples have "Doragons" like this.
Then I went up to the long steps of stone and looked back... wow!
:o :o :o

Posted Mar 14, 2013, 10:59 pm
Ogijima is an island in the Seto Inland Sea. It is next to Megijima, a few kilometers from Takamatsu port. It's a very small island just 4km around, about 150 people lives.
Today we go to the island by ferry boat. 

The weather in the island suddenly turned to bad.
We reached the lighthouse in the stormy rain :(
This is the northernmost tip of Takamatsu city.

Posted Apr 14, 2013, 10:37 am
Kobe is the 5th-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyogo prefecture.
We changed a train at Okayama station. Here the Shinkansen Express "Sakura" is coming. It's hard to take pictures of them, because they come quickly and stop just a few minutes :stare:
After 45 minutes, we reached Kobe. The weather was a little bad :thinking:

From the window of Marine Liner train
Our train is running across the Seto Ohashi Bridge over the Inland Sea. If it were sunny day, we could see a beautiful scenery.
Sakura, the Shinkansen Express train
Sakura N700 Series Shinkansen
In central Kobe city
I found cherry blossoms bloom  :)
Port of Kobe
From the center of the city we walked to the port of Kobe. That red tower is very famous as the Kobe landmark.
The Former Foreign Settlement
The modern-era western style buildings remain standing in the new city.
China Town Nankin-machi
Nankin-machi is a compact chinatown in central Kobe, one of the three Chinatowns in Japan. (others are in Nagasaki and Yokohama) This area was developed by Chinese merchants who settled near Kobe Port after the port was opened to foreign trade in 1868.

Posted Apr 20, 2013, 6:53 am
The weather is a little bad also in Takamatsu, but it's warm. Sakura cherry blossoms start to bloom.
Walking around my host hanachan's house, we can see many Sakura trees beside the streets.
Soon they are in full bloom.

Posted Apr 20, 2013, 7:00 am
This is Ritsurin Garden, a typical Japanese garden. It is located in the center of the city, among the modern buildings. Stepping inside it is like slipping into another world and another time.
For 228 years long since 1642, the Matsudaira family, the feudal lord of Takamatsu owned and maintained the garden. Today the garden is open to public.
What a wonderful world!

more about Ritsurin Garden

Posted Apr 20, 2013, 7:14 am
Sakura is in full bloom
The blue sky after bad weather which continued caused by low-atmospheric pressure!! ;)

Posted Jun 22, 2013, 3:58 am
Now our Marine Liner train is running across the Seto Ohashi Bridge over the Seto Inland Sea. We'll soon arrive at Kurashiki city.
Kurashiki, this area is kept the old city view of Tokugawa Shogunate period. (17th-19th century)
There are many historical houses beside the canal. These were once used as warehouse of cotton.
"Kura" of the city's name means warehouse in Japanese.
Today old warehouses were renovated as cute shops.
Look at this restaurant :o Fake dishes made of wax are displayed :D They looks real :o

Posted Jun 29, 2013, 7:37 pm
Shamijima - It used to be a small island in Seto Inland Sea, but today the island is connected to the main island by land reclamation.
Here we came in sight of the Seto Ohashi Bridge. Yes, we have crossed the bridge already.
The trains run through the lower, the upper is the express motorway.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Posted Jul 21, 2013, 11:49 pm
The lighthouse of glazing "Setoshirube"
This lighthouse is called "Setoshirube". It means the pilot of Seto (inland sea). They say that the only crystal lighthouse in the world. The whole of lighthouse emits red light by internal illumination in the night.

:) :) :)

Posted Aug 11, 2013, 7:18 pm
They say that severe heat of this summer is abnormal :(
It's unbearable to go out from the air-conditioned room in the daytime. In the evening, we finally started  :)
Mt. Yashima is a flat topped mountain in the east side of Takamatsu city. We drove to the top. It's about 300m high.

:D :D :D :D :D

Posted Aug 19, 2013, 11:44 pm
Oboke and Koboke The beautiful valleys located upstream of the Yoshino River.

Posted Aug 25, 2013, 3:27 am
And we are going to Kochi-city, where we can eat fresh and delicious fish. But it's a little bit early for dinner. So we decided to stop at the small zoo on our way.
This summer is terribly hot and humid. Because of it, many of animals didn't appear in a daytime. Probably they were hiding in their shady place.
Finally we ate Sushi!
Of course, it was great!

:D :D :D :D :D

Posted Nov 2, 2013, 3:10 am
waiting for the boat for the island Inujima

Oh... we were in a wrong place. Our boat is coming to the next pier :mad:
Run there!

from the window of the small boat ;)
(forgot to take pictures of our boat...)

Posted Nov 2, 2013, 3:18 am
Inujima Seirensho Art Museum --- the remains of a copper refinery on the island
Inujima is one of the large-scale art project set in the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

Posted May 17, 2014, 6:48 pm
The night view of Sakura cherry blossoms at Ritsurin Garden
I've already been here before. But it never looks the same. Here step into, it's as if we were in another world :)