On Sunday, we travelled with Culture Group to UkaiToriyama in Takao for a farewell party for Tom and Donna. Tom is in the band with Denny, and they move Saturday back to the states. Tom has been a part of culture group for a while now, and really stepped up when Denny and I couldn't come any longer because of Dylan. I know he will be missed.
Our culture group in front of the restaurant "Toriyoroshi". From left to right, Tadashi-san, Wakako-san, Takagi Tadashi, Denko-san, Naito-san, Tom, Donna, Yukiko-san, Suetsugu-san, Mie-san, Denny, Dylan and I.
Sunday was a nice and clear day (but hot hot hot). We met Tom and Donna at the train station and met the rest of culture group in the first car of the train heading for Tachikawa (where we changed trains for Takao). We dressed Dylan in a traditional japanese outfit for boys called a "jimbei". Unfortunately, he wasn't comfortable in it....we think it was too hot. Luckily, I packed an extra lighter outfit for him just in case. I nursed on the train for the first time. It wasn't too crowded and Denny sat next to me. It worked out pretty well. Once we arrived in Takao, we took a taxi to Ukai Toriyama. I'm not sure of the meaning of Ukai, but Toriyama means "bird mountain". It is located in a beautiful wooded setting and is a collection of buildings (some very old) and tea houses.
Dylan and I sat in a nice gazebo next to a little waterfall and had a snack while everyone else wandered through a very old house (that is on the list to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Denny took some photos so I could see the inside too. Then we took a walk around the grounds over lovely bridges and tea houses to an area with foliage and flowers. There is also a firefly house that I'm sure is really cool to see at night. Dylan loved all of the rushing water...there were lots of fountains and mini-waterfalls everywhere.
Lunch was in our own little teahouse. We had a couple of vegetable dishes to start. And then they brought in small charcoal grills that fit into the table for us to grill our own chicken on. Everything was tasty, and I'm sorry I didn't get photos of the food...we were too busy baby wrangling for that. We really enjoyed seeing everyone from culture group and taking part in a traditional Japanese meal.
After his lunch and some playing, it was time for Dylan to have a nap. Which, luckily, he took in my lap. By the way, chopsticks are great for eating when you only have one hand.
Dylan perked up a bit after his nap. Here he is chewing on a fan that Naito-san gave us.
Before too long he was tired again and resting his sweet little head on my leg.