Loving long weekends

In Japan, there are two national holidays during the month of September: Respect for the Aged Day and Autumnal Equinox Day. On rare occasions of heavenly intervention, these two days align to form a five-day holiday referred to as Silver Week. However, this year, the holidays came in the form of two three-day weekends. I am still a big fan.

On the first of the two long weekends, I stayed put–in none other than the world-renowned city of Fukuyama. Now, before you take pity on my seemingly domestic celebration of Respect for the Aged Day, let it be known that I did no baking or cleaning during that weekend. Rather, several fellow ALTs came to visit. Although the 11th edition of Lonely Planet Japan claims that Fukuyama is simply a “large industrial city without much to attract the traveler,” I think the weekend’s festivities prove that these professional travelers slash authors are sadly mistaken.

As tour guide extraordinaire of Fukuyama and its neighboring cities, the weekend included playing basketball in Onomichi, eating and drinking at several restaurants, strolling around the castle, visiting the port city of Tomo-no-ura and wandering on the island of Sensui-jima. Finally, to top the weekend’s events off, there was a festival in Tomo-no-ura the very evening of our visit. The festival seemed to consist of community members eating, drinking, singing and dancing. They encouraged us to assist in pulling their float around town and fed us boiling hot soup in the sweltering heat. Minus the soup part, the festival was extremely entertaining.

Take a look at the pictures and video below and remember to respect your elders–because they are wise and wonderful–and, they give us three day weekends!

Fukuyama castle

Tomo-no-ura and neighboring islands--Sensui-jima is in the bottom left-hand corner.

This was taken for my fishing crew back in North Carolina. They may not be brim or bass, but these squids are quite the catch. The darkest squid was the last to be caught. I am the farthest thing from a self-proclaimed squid-expert, but I believe they spit their ink out after being reeled in to land.

Sunset from Sensui-jima island looking at Tomo-no-ura.


7 thoughts on “Loving long weekends

  1. HI KATIE!!! I am loving your blog, thank you so much for doing this. It sounds like you are having a wonderful experience and making the most of your time there. I am thinking that it’s your birthday tomorrow, but I am not sure…..so Happy Birthday to you, and a very large hug from all of the Pratson’s (plus or minus a day or two in case I have the day wrong). We all are thinking of you and are so proud of all that you are doing.

    I saw your mom over the weekend – I was out riding my bike, and saw her at the corner of Union Grove and New Hope selling pumpkins. I was wishing I had my camera with me, she looked so pretty with her long hair, and this amazing stack of pumpkins…and it was an absolutely gorgeous day (65, sunny, and crisp). I’ve got the pumpkins on my porch and am telling all my friends about this amazing great pumpkin stand. Forrest loved the apples too!

    Another hug to you, and have a wonderful birthday!

    • HI MS. ELIZABETH : ) Thank you so much for the comment! It really means a lot. Thanks for all your support–I definitely appreciate the encouragement! I am so glad you stopped by the pumpkin stand. I am so sad I am missing the first pumpkin patch–but I have a feeling we will continue to grow them in the future. You should make sure to check out the apple cider press too. I’m sure the family would love to have you all over to make some cider.

      Anyways, my birthday is on Friday–I am very impressed that you remembered! I am turning 23–I have a feeling it will be quite a good age : ) Thanks again for saying hello! I hope you and your family are doing well! Please tell everyone I say hello and that I miss them!


      Katie Ray

  2. Pingback: Camping in Miyajima | sofarwestitseast

  3. Pingback: Not quite a little black dress | sofarwestitseast

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