Today we had a full day away from singing. That doesn't mean we were left to our own devices, though. The Izumo-Canada Friendship Society had a full day of sightseeing planned for us. We were up early and on the bus to our first stop. We visited a museum of sculptures made entirely out of sushi dishes. (So Japanese; it's cute, you like it, but you don't entirely get it.)
This is a bug made out of bicycle parts??
We were there for around 15 min. before being ushered back onto the bus to go to our next stop.
The town of Matsue is so beautiful. We took a trip on the Horikawa pleasure boats, traveling past some of the ancient samurai houses and some pretty amazing scenery.
The canopy needed to be lowered for when you went under some low bridges, at which point you had to practically lay down.
We went to a great Japanese restaurant for lunch!
It had a lovely Japanese zen garden in the back.
This has inspired me to create one in my backyard. (You do all realize a mucky mess will be the more likely outcome.)
After lunch we went to the castle in Matsue. Second-largest of the 12 remaining medieval castles in Japan, it was built over a period of 5 years, and was completed in 1611.
We were of course greeted by Samurai warriors -- people from the village dressed in traditional costume especially to greet us. Wow.
We sang for them.
The views from the top.
You had to take off your shoes while inside. This is as closed as I could get the locker for mine.
Really cool displays inside as well.
Helmets and armour
I really enjoyed it.
On our itinerary we were next scheduled to go to a kilt museum... apparently the only one in Japan. We were all a bit leery. I have not run into many Scots here, or for that fact seen too many Japanese men in tartans (outside of Shinjuku, if you know what I mean). It turned out to be the only QUILT museum in Japan. By quilt I mean the most beautiful/priceless works of art made out of ancient kimonos, housed in a 250-year-old Japanese home that made my mouth drop.
This is the owner/designer of these beautiful quilts. Her quilts have been exhibited all over the world.
We presented her with a traditional Inuit wall hanging.
This day was so amazing. It was made even more special by the people from the Izumo-Canada Friendship Society, who followed us around everywhere. At any given time we had an entourage of 25 or so smiling faces. Where words could not communicate, their love and friendship definitely came through. I hope our appreciation did as well!