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Summer in Tokyo Part 6

Another thing that’s pretty common in Japan is for companies to give their employees one week off in the summer for the Obon festival. Obon is the festival of the dead, where spirits of dead ancestors are supposed to return to the family altars. There are usually city festivals with dancing and food. Anyway, I had Obon week off, so my grandmother, who is Japanese, decided to come visit me and her family during this week. We traveled to all sorts of places together.

The first place we went was Kinugawa, which is a river up in the mountains. We took a boat ride to see the scenery:

Next we went to Hunter Mountain, which is a ski resort in Tochigi prefecture that is covered with Lilies in the summer:

Hunter mountain was really awesome. The flowers were beautiful and there were more dragonflies than I had ever seen.

Another interesting thing we did was eat a type of noodle that I’ve forgotten the name of. These noodles were served to us by placing them in a basin of water that ran in a circle continuously. To eat the noodles you had to catch them with your chopsticks.

It was quite odd, but a fun way to eat cold noodles on a hot summer day.

Next we took a trip to Kaurizawa, which is a famous vacation spot for Tokyo residents. It’s up in the mountains, is typically cooler than Tokyo in the summer, and has beautiful scenery.

This is me in front of a crater created by a dormant volcano.

This is Kaurizawa’s famous waterfall.

Our final trip was to Nikko, which is probably the most popular tourist spot near Tokyo. It has a famous temple and is also the burying place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the most famous shoguns of Japan.

Nikko is also home to another beautiful waterfall: