Posted in Experience, Feelings, Flower, Food, Place, River, Shopping, Travel, Waterfalls

Trip to the US (Day 2)

It seems many cargo trains passed by last night; but I didn’t wake up till my alarm went off.

I woke up feeling fresh this morning.

I had a typical American breakfast: egg, sausage, beacon, turkey ham, cheese, pan cake, yogurt, fruit and Starbucks coffee!

I departed Double Tree by Hilton Modenas for Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite is Native Americans (Indians) language meaning Brown Bear.

A bus is climbing mountains. 

On the way to Yosemite, we drove through Mariposa, which was a gold mining town in 1848 at the time of  the California Gold Rush.

Many speculators rushed to California to look for Gold especially in 1849; therefore, they are called 49ers which now named for American football team, San Francisco 49ers.

Players are definitely “49ers” because they also rush for an opportunity (ball) to make them famous and wealthy.

This town didn’t die after the California Gold Rush era died because the town became a resting area before reaching Yosemite.

The town preserves cowboy town look.

This is how they mined gold. 

On the way to Yosemite, I could see old mining points.

It took over 3 hours to reach the Arch Rock Entrance of the Yosemite National Park and also the Unesco’s World Heritage.

I am lucky because I was told that past 7 – 8 years it didn’t rain enough so waterfalls and rivers were thin and some points dried.

However, last year it rained well so I could enjoy powerful waterfalls and rivers today!

At the Tunnel View point, I overlooked the Bridalveil Falls (on the right), Half Dome (a peak in the center) and El Capitan (solid granite mountain which is popular for rock climbing on the left).

From a different point, we can take a look at Ribbon Fall next to El Captan.

And moved to another point to have a close look of Bridalveil Fall.

This fall named Bridalveil because at the bottom of the fall, the mist looks like as if bride’s veil is flipping by wind.

How romantic!

This dynamic cascade fall is 740 m length Yosemite Fall.

From the different point, I enjoyed peaceful looking Half Dome.

After viewing iconic points from different places, I became hungry.

I had a turkey burger (not a sandwich) and salad with ranch dressing at Yosemite Valley Lodge.

After lunch, I walked to the bottom of Yosemite Fall.

It’s so dynamic and powerful so I got wet at the bottom of Yosemite Fall.

On the way out of Yosemite, I enjoyed closer look of El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall.

I could feel the great power of Mother Nature by looking at many huge rocks cracked in two like this as if somebody cut it by a knife.

I bought a pair of socks and cap for the memory of Yosemite.

Agriculture is one of major industries of California.

California is famous for production of almonds, pistachios and olive oil.

This is an almond tree.

And these are almonds.

I bought these as my sourvenirs: Californian inshell almonds, inshell pistachios and olive oil.

Not only shopping, but I also enjoyed window views such as Wind Power Station (there are many as 300) and trains (could be over 100 cargo containers).

Before reaching to the hotel, I had a nice over 200 g rib eye steak and local beer, Sierra Nevada, at the Black Bear Diner.

Salad, corn bread, ice cream and coffee are also nice.

Restaurant is so cute, fully decorated with black bears!

Black bears are everywhere!

After a nice dinner, passed by Rakuten (Japanese leading e-commerce platform with 30% market share follow by Amazon (15%) and Yahoo Japan (3.2%)) and reached tonight’s hotel: the Best Western Plus Grosvenor Hotel.

Okay, my bath is ready.

Good night.

Posted in Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Pilgrimage, Place, River, Shrine and Temple, Travel, Waterfalls

Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage (Day 2)

Sayonara Kushimoto Royal Hotel.

And I enjoyed varieties of food at breakfast.

Wakayama is the largest production of sour plum in Japan; I tried my first sour plum porridge.

We are at the tip of the Kii Peninsula; therefore, we need to drive back over 200 km.

We stayed in bus for long; but I enjoyed scenery from a window.

I looked at Hashigui from the other side.

The scenery is so peaceful.

First we stopped at Nachi no Taki (Nachi Falls).

This is the tallest waterfall in Japan (133 m).

No. 1 Seigantoji

This is the World Heritage Site.

Main Temple

We can view Nachi Falls from here, too.

This temple is next to Kumano Nachi Taisha (shrine).

There is a simple gate to divide the two.

This Miagatahikosha is for safe travel and safe drive.

Obviously, I love traveling so I need God’s blessing.

In addition, Yatagarasu gets me excited.

This shrine is for Yatagarasu as well.

If you look carefully in a picture, you will find a crow with three legs.

Yatagarasu is used in design of Japanese national football team’s uniform because it plays a role as a guidance.

There is a hope that Yatagarasu would lead a Japanese national team to a victory.

Go Japan!

I also prayed for my good health by writing a wish board and to walk through 1,000 year old tree.

Time’s up!

I rushed back to the bus.

I continued enjoying scenery from a window again.

The water of Kumano River is so blue!

There is a boat to enjoy a river cruise, but we didn’t have time for that.

Perhaps, next time.

This is my lunch today.

I bought my own dessert: sour plum ice cream!

Next is the final destination of this trip.

No. 5 Fujiidera

Last sutra recite at the temple.

I love to visit Temples and Shrines because I can feel and touch real Japanese culture.

Many of them are located at peaceful places (mountain with full of trees, scenic ocean, etc).

I feel refresh visiting these temples and shrines and blessed.

We reached Shin-Osaka Station to catch a  shinkansen back home.

Ate dinner on Shinkansen.

Once I reach home, I take a shower and go to bed.

I plan to visit other 29 temples later this year.