Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Noritake Gardens and Wagyu Beef

We had a lovely day yesterday.  We all took the train in the morning and headed into Nagoya.  Tatsuki quite enjoyed travelling on the train.

Then we caught another train, out to Noritake Garden.  Tatsuki wasn't quite so sure about that.  He doesn't approve of train hopping!

We had gone to  Noritake Garden partly because I like it and I don't get to go very often, but mainly because I wanted a couple of Totoro tea mugs and mostly because I wanted some of their chopsticks. If you are there in January they sell chopsticks with the animals of the Chinese zodiac on them.  I have a pair with sheep on (I am the year of the sheep). I bought a pair with monkeys on (that's this year and Kaori's year) and another with dragons (that's Tatsuki's year) and one with cows. I don't think I have a pair with horses (The Builder's year) or chickens (Austin's year). We'll have to get those next trip.

Right.  Lunch time.  And off we went to a CoCo Ichi curry house.  It wouldn't be a proper trip to Japan without a curry at a Coco Ichi curry house :-D

And then we headed to the Nagoya City Science Museum, which was lots of fun.  We only went into the museum, leaving the Planetarium and the Pokemon exhibition for next time.  We got a discount because we had come by train!  And we had a great time.  It was very busy, particularly on the lower levels where there is lots of stuff for little children.  But it was, of course, a public holiday. Tatsuki thought it was fabulous.

So much so that he didn't want to leave and chucked the biggest of huge big Wobblies as we headed off back to the station.  But we had to go.  We were due at Kaori's parent's place for dinner and it wouldn't do to be late - particularly since they were coming to the station in to cars to pick us up!

We had a delicious dinner at Kaori's parents' place.  They did us a lovely, traditional Japanese meal, with sashimi, chicken salad, tempura and wagyu beef cooked on a table top griddle.  I have never had wagyu beef before and it was absolutely lovely.  We muddled along fine with their English, my rather bad Japanese and Austin's translating skills.

When we were in the Science Museum, I stopped to play with one of the exhibits, where you put little balls at various places and push them off to see which gets there first.  The Builder went to show me how to use it (he had been watching some children using it).  I turned round and said "Yes. I know. I can read!"  And then realised that I can now read Katakana (sometimes with considerable effort). I could see the two different lines that said "start".  But it isn't that many weeks ago that I couldn't read katakana at all. I must practise it a bit more.  And learn a few more kanji so that they are reliably in my memory. I keep seeing kanji that I know I should know but which aren't planted in my memory sufficiently well for me to recall their meaning in the wild.  It's a bit frustrating sometimes!!

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