Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Letter Home

Dear friends,

I am sorry that it has been so long. Life seems to have taken on a day to day swing the past few weeks and months. Maybe it is that we are getting used to life here. We are happy and healthy, and still discovering new and interesting things.

We took a trip early this spring to see himeji Castle. It was a very long trip for us. It was about a two/two and a half hour train ride. I worried how Logan would do on the train that long, but he did well. We toured the castle, which is one of a few remaining wooden castles left in Japan. Most of the castles around Japan are modern reconstructions that use concrete, not wood. The castle itself was amazing. the stairs leading up were more like ladders than stairs. It still amazes me to think that at one time people lived there. We also went to a small garden near the castle that was very beautiful. Check out the pictures on our photo page. We have recently placed loads of new pictures from out adventures on the site.

Another great place we have visited is Nara. Nara is famous for two things. First it is famous for the tame deer that wander the streets of the city. Second it is famous for its temple and statue of the Buddha. Logan had a great time feeding the deer. There are numerous vendors, throughout the city, who sell special deer food. they are a lot like a small, round, flat biscuit. Logan kept telling the deer that he had a cookie for them. The deer did not care for deer cookies though. They prefered the crusts off of white bread. Which some people were kind enough to share with logan. There is also a temple called Todai-ji in Nara. Todai-ji is the largest wooden building in the world. It is a massive building. The doors leading in to the temple are what you might imagine would be at the gate of a castle. The amazing thing is that the current building, which was built in the twelfth century, is only two-thirds the size of the original. It is hard to imagine that the building could get much bigger. Inside the building is the largest buddha statue in Japan. This statue of the Buddha is collossal. See if you can spot the man standing on Buddha's lap. My favorite part of the temple is behind and to the right of the giant Buddha statue. At the base of one of the pillars is a hole. this hole is supposedly the size of one of the Buddha's nostrils. If you can manage to squeeze your body through the opening you are guarenteed enlightenment. I gave it a try. The hole is rather small, and I suppose the line of eight years olds should have given me a clue that this is not something for the over thirty crowd, but I tried it any way. And YES, I made it through! (Enlightenment is mine! Nirvana here I come!!) Nara was fun though and we are looking forward to returning.

In an effort to stay in better contact with everyone that we know and love, I have started a blog. It is a start. I will still send out periodic e-mails telling of our exploits, but I want to be able to tell about our day to day life here. So I have started to write. I hope to update and write in it every few days. Maybe just short musings and small adventures for people who are curious. The address is Visit, read and don't be afraid to leave a comment or a question.

We hope that this letter finds you all well and ready for summer which is right around the corner.

Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu, (please be kind)

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