Yesterday Satoshi had the day off so we decided to do ohaka mairi (visit the graves of his ancestors), since it is the end of O-bon (the season to visit your ancestors graves).
We got up at our "normal workday" time and left for Shiga Prefecture, which is about an hour and a half by train. The weather was sunny--HOT and very HUMID. Our first stop was Nagahama. We visited here last year to do ohaka mairi and I posted about that here.
Since then, they have renovated the station and have this huge stained glass.
There were many utsusemi (shells of the released cicada) on the graves which was actually kind of creepy.
And also this little guy was hanging around the gravestone.
From Nagahama, we went to Hikone. We prayed for Satoshi's mother's ancestors here and then had lunch at a cafe called Milk House. They specialized in Mediterranean food and wine.
We each had a plate of appetizers (smoked mackrel, brook trout fritter, octopus carpaccio and tuna carpaccio).
Satoshi had the seafood pasta.
I had their homemade bacon with tomato pasta.
And we each had an assorted dessert plate (grapfruit gelatin, chestnut cake, coffee gelatin, and pannacotta).
After eating a big, delicious lunch, we walked back to Hikone station. Walking down the street was kind of like taking a trip to old Japan. There were many wooden signs.
Like this pachinko parlor, the top half of the building is modern, but the bottom half is maintaining the theme of the town.
There were also these cute tiles all over the place.
It is the "world series" of high school baseball now, many teams from around Japan play-off to enter this event. This event happens every spring and summer. Summer's games are a bigger deal than the spring. The whole town kind of stops to watch their team play and the team get lots of attention--like this team from Shiga.
From Hikone, we went to Kyoto to visit Satoshi's father's ancestor's graves.
We decided to take a taxi since we were in no mood to stand in a crowded bus. The line was long for the taxi. But, still moved rather quickly.
The taxi driver we had, had zero personality (he didn't even answer us when we told him where we were headed, but could stop and shout out to his friend to go drinking!), plus he smelled REALLY stinky. BLAH! Thank goodness the ride wasn't too long!
I noticed on many of the graves that families have their mon (crest) on the container that holds the candles. Satoshi's family crest is the chigai kashiwa (different oak).
As we were making our way down from the cemetery to catch the bus, we were lucky to come upon a taxi with a very personable driver. After chatting with the driver, we caught the train and made it back to Osaka. (What a hot, sticky day! I think they said it was 37C(98.6F) in Osaka.) It definitely felt hotter, almost like when you stick your hand in the oven to take something out.
We bought ourselves some Nagahama beer, made by the Nagahama Romanticist Beer Company.
I got their stout--a smoky dark beer and Satoshi got their Weitzen (he didn't let me taste it! must have been good!)
It was a very long, sizzling day and a very long post, but at least we got to do all the things we set out to do, and they say today will be even hotter...oh, boy!
Closed on Wednesdays