Thursday, 20 December 2012

Matsushima Light Up

I'm a million years behind on my blog, autumn is long past, John and I have now left Japan (sob, sob) and are currently holidaying in Korea before heading home next week, but I still wanted to share these lovely photos. For pretty much the whole time the leaves look pretty, Matsushima Bay holds a light up event. Every evening, a few of the islands, and all the trees inside the Entsu-in Temple are lit up. 

We managed to accidentally time it to pretty much the perfect day to go. By this point, all the leaves near our house were already down, but Matsushima is fairly sheltered, and the leaves were pretty much at their peak. The result was truly beautiful, even on the drizzly and very very cold night we went. Despite the rain, it was very busy and a lot of patience was required to get people free photos from the best spots, but we still really enjoyed ourselves. Obviously it's too late to go this year, but I'd definitely recommend it if you're in the area next year (assuming they hold it again, but it seems to be an annual thing). 

I wasn't a fan of the green islands. They look like somewhere the Wicked Witch from a fairytale might live. Too scary! 

But this was the view that greeted you as you went into Entsu-in Temple. Reds and yellows and oranges and greens everywhere! 

More scary witch stuff behind the main temple building...

...but the lanterns were lovely, especially when falling leaves got caught in them.

Due to a combination of different trees and different lighting, there were so many different colours and shades throughout the garden.

Trees reflected perfectly in the pond

Looking at those leaves makes me feel like it's autumn!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

7.3 Earthquake and John's 15 Minutes of Fame

There was an earthquake yesterday, a 7.3 that was in almost exactly the same place as the much larger one in March last year. I was at home at the time, and I will admit to clinging onto the nearest door, but it was never that strong, it just went on for a long time.

John wasn't quite as lucky as me, he was at school in Tagajo, near the coast, and following a tsunami warning he had to evacuate to a local elementary school. He was never actually in any danger at all, it was a case of better being safe than sorry.

I was at home, hoping he was OK, and I saw a BBC news article about it which was trying to stir up panic. After all, if a 7.3 earthquake ever hit England all hell would break loose. I commented on the article, and within a minute I had an email asking for my phone number. I had nothing to tell them, but I sent them John's phone number, and a little while later he was being interviewed live on the BBC!!

So, here's the link to John's 15 minutes of fame...

Following that, all the trains, except the one from our house to Sendai, were cancelled. I got the train in, and started walking to meet John. It was a pretty long way (about 13km), but I met up with him halfway and we got some dinner before finishing our walk.

Not the day either of us expected, but it was all very exciting!