Sunday, January 03, 2010

Blundering Adventures in Japan

I have created a notebook of places we'd like to see in Japan. It contains driving directions from various spots. We looked through the notebook and decided we'd like to see "Nejyo Castle" in Hachinohe. The directions looked doable. I googled and found a phone number. They were open. I also discovered that it is called Nejo Castle or Nejo Historical Park. Mike went to work. The kids and I headed out.

The directions would be good IF you knew the area already. BUT I'd never taken the toll road to Hach and when it said, "Turn right onto Route 45"....I took that literally. I did not take "exit 7, and turn right at the end of the exit on to Route 45". I determined to stay the course on the toll road until I could find a spot to turn right onto Route 45.We drove a LONG way up the toll road before we could turn around. Past Nambu, to Nango (sp?)....I ended up taking 2 1/2 hours and around $16.50 in tolls to drive 10 miles from our home. ::snort::

I realized I was very low on diesel. We had our first gasoline station adventure. I did it on my own....fairly easy....I was impressed that they washed my windows etc.

The directions got worse.....we were supposed to run right into the fish market, and then we would know we were close. Following the directions, we never found the fish market. We finally found Route 19 and I headed only took 20 min to get home. Maybe next time we try this we'll get a google map and go up Route 19 instead of the toll road.

As I pointed out "my Onsen" to the boys....I hit the curb. Curbs here are not like in the U.S. They aren't gradually slanted and you don't simply drive over them. They are concrete blocks...barriers....and so I got home to find a split tire.

Poor Mike had to come home and get Jared for his dental appointment.....and we'll have to replace the brand new snow tire! I offered that the tire could be my birthday present. ::snort::

I've been back online finding directions to the Fish Market so that I can find Nejo Castle Ruins...and we'll try again on another day. I did find this at the Misawa Airport site:

"Nejo Castle was built by Moroyuki Nanbu in 1334 and was home to the ruling
Nanbu Clan for nearly 300 years. The whole outline of the castle was restored,
the first such attempt in japan. It is now a park where visitors can learn about
Japan's Middle Ages. "

Doesn't this sound intriguing? I'm trying to find someone locally whose been there. LOL I've also found that there is a town up here that claims to have "Christ's Grave" in it....hmmm...

Stay tuned...we'd really like to see some castle ruins before the boys leave. We discovered we have some in Hachinohe and in Aomori.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Darshia said...

Better a split tire than an injured person. Quite the adventure learning the roads in a foreign country. I admire your desire to get out there and go!

Anonymous said...

I was driving our small van one day with some Japanese friends driving behind us. We were going to a small farm house and tea house museum (actually where we met). I was tutoring their 18yo daughter in English before she went to college (very cool God-story of how He set that one up). I drove over one of those large curbs, and we *almost* tipped over then down a steep embankment. But didn't. The tires and axels were all messed up. And we all laughed and said that I probably shouldn't be the one to teach her to drive, too. LOL

Michelle said...

What an adventure! Praying you're able to see some castle ruins before your young men must return stateside.

Cynthia said...

YIKES! You do have quite the driving adventures. I've driven all over Europe and into the middle of Times Square without nearly the excitement (LOL)!

Paula said...

I'm truly impressed with your spirit of adventure and how much you have already ventured out into Japan. It is so incredibly hard to learn your way around life in a new place, especially one where the language and culture are so different. You can't rely on automatic responses and expectations for anything, and even small things become complex.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Cindy - In my "defense," the difference is that Europe and Time's Square have maps, road names etc. We don't here.

When you are following directions given to you that say "turn down green pole road" only to find that there isn't a green pole road because the poles are now white...well....that one was pretty easy to figure out after driving around the area....

Yesterday, "turn at the big orange building"...but there are now NO orange buildings in a mile radius.... well - if that's ALL you have and no one understands you, you can't read the signs, you have no're lost. LOL

Asia is a new experience. I don't think you would be allowed to drive here if you visited. ::snort:: We are given special permission due to SOFA. Tourists don't drive. Actually many spouses don't venture far from the base. I don't want to wait until I learn the language to go explore...

The roads are very narrow (like Italy I've been told) but they have these clunky, tall, concreate barriers at the edge of them...and often light poles IN your's exciting....and it appears I'm attracted to the curbs....LOL

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Oh wow, Mel.I'm glad I've not had THAT adventure. LOL

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Exactly, Paula...but it IS fun to learn.

** You can't rely on automatic responses and expectations for anything, and even small things become complex.**

True. Well spoken.

Anonymous said...


Honey, your adventures are not just new..... I could tell stories of your learning to drive in the Philippines. :):):):): or of your adventures in Springfield.

I have always liked Mike's attitude and it is so true........ "If the DMV gave her a license then that is good enough for me." :):):):): Love your G'Ma S. and Mom T. given spunk!! :):):):) love/prayers --- Mom T.