• Maria Nightingale

Aizu Wakamatsu and Cinema

Aizu Wakamatsu 

Aizu Wakamatsu is very popular and touristy because of its Castle, Samurai\’s and it\’s Onsens. The castle was home to many lords however it was de-constructed, constructed and left derelict many times over the years. Its the castle that never knew if it was coming or going. But I am glad it made it in the end, its beautiful. Onsens are hot public baths that are heated and filled from Volcanoes near by, I left my swimsuit at home so we gave that a miss. If you\’ve watched 47 Ronin you may have heard of Aizu or the White tiger brigade. Quick low down; the castle comes under attack and the warriors/samurai this can see the castle go up in flames from afar and they think they have failed, so they kill themselves. It later transpires that they actually won and they were hero\’s. Communication is key!

We did something a little different that the normal western tourist wouldn\’t do, we went to a small shop and painted a paper mache Cow, ok that sounds weird but its normal I promise. The red cow is the mascot/lucky charm for the town, so we thought we would make one for our apartment.

Bell Mall

On Sunday we decided to tick of another of the numerous shopping centres in Utsunomiya. From the station it is really easy to get to only a short bus that only costs 150 yen and runs frequently, even on Sundays. That is something to note; Japanese shops do not close early on Sunday like England, in fact sometimes places stay open later on Sundays. It is a really nice mall with lots of variety, it caters for everyone with several different kinds of shops, however no shops that I had remotely heard off. The mall also has a gym with a swimming pool which im sure we will be getting plenty of use out of in the future. 

After trawling through the shops and their summer sales, we stumbled upon a Cinema! Even better it had films that were in English as well as others with English subtitles. So that means we can watch movies, which is great because we used to regularly go to the cinema and I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms. As I said it was a particularly warm weekend (hot) and that weekend the Terminator Genesis came out we decided to go see it. I will try not to spoil to much but, it was so good. Not to mention it has Matt Smith in it (he plays the bady), the 11th Doctor and one of the best. I nearly squealed with excitement but I was forced to hold it in because you are no allowed to make any noise what so ever in a Japanese cinema and they are very strict. The film is so good and I do recommend you watch it, to the very end as well I might add, because I may have almost walked out and missed a vital bit of information.

I will catch up, nearly there.

Maria xx

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