The following day, my former homestay sister picked us up to spend a few days with her family. On the way, we took a long, relaxing detour to Sankeien, an expansive park with lots of trees flowers and a small lake, opened to the public in 1906. There are also a few relocated buildings, including a pagoda, tea house, temple and an old farmhouse filled with implements and furniture they would have used in the Edo Period. We also sampled the park’s special noodles.

The Takemura family’s involvement in the business community meant we were lucky enough to get two third row seats for a baseball game at Yokohama Stadium that afternoon. The Baystars were ultimately defeated by the Yakult Swallows, but it was a good game and the weather was perfect.

When we got back to the house, the table was filled plates full of Japanese specialties. There was every type of sashimi and vegetable imaginable along with rice and seaweed to make your own handrolls. The octopus was to die for. There was also cooked fish in ginger broth, whole, sweet raw shrimp (which Donny was encouraged to suck the brain out of before eating the rest–think crawfish), piles and piles of tempura, salads, and some natto (fermented beans) for Donny to be initiated into as well. Dessert was a well-known green tea roll cake with cream and/or some homemade jello fruit pieces.

It was nice to be home!

Click HERE for photos.

About the author

Tamara and Donny have wandered together since 2004, with no cure for their insatiable wanderlust. They write about discovering new destinations including beautiful photography, plus budget travel tips and how to give back through travel.