Hillary and Aron's Honeymoon in Nippon 2006 travel blog

In the garden ...

... at Kayo`s parent`s summer house

Overlooking Yamaguchi

Stone lanterns at the Edo-era burial site

The stone wall of Hagi Castle

After our sojourn in Beppu (the second day was fabulous but our camera batteries died, so we have no proof of the hidden outdoor onsen we found in the mountain or the incredible izakaya in the covered shopping area that served hormon. This is not a hormon, but rather big ol chunks of deep fried cow fat. Sick) we went to Yamaguchi with Kayo and her family.

Kayo and the rest of the Harada clan know to make time count! On Saturday we did:

2 temples, a bento lunch, an evening firefly festival, onsen, ryokan dinner, and visited with Kayo`s elderly grandmother and her uncle. All of this involved traversing from Tokuyama to Hofu then back to Yamaguchi. The firefly viewing was amazing. We didn`t understand the big deal about fireflies until we saw them- not your average run of the mill summertime bug. These suckers floated above the small river gently changing into giant blueish green orbs. It felt like a scene in Princess Mononoke. Very ethereal and beautiful. Hundreds of people were gathered peacefully to wander along the river and observe. It was a great experience.

Sunday was no different- we popped out of bed, had a surprisingly tasty tofu dish with our ryokan breakfast, then headed to Hagi. Hagi has many temples for the Daimyo Mori family and these temples have hundreds of stone lanterns. Awesome. We also saw some monuments to the rebels in Hagi who launched the Meiji revolution. Finally, we visited Hagi castletown and castle remains. Kayo`s uncle and her cousin accompanied us on this exciting day. We all had a great time. We also got to try natsumikan, these big oranges that grow all over Yamaguchi and taste sort of like grapefruit. They make a lovely ice cream flavor.

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