|Our room at the Cypress Hotel (CNB 2012)|
|Nagoya skyline from our window (CNB 2012)|
Yukari went home to come by later with her car to take us out. Our first stop was to see the beautiful cherry blossoms along the Yamazaki River at twilight. Indeed they were surreal (read: magical) at this time of the day.
|Cherry blossoms as far as the eyes can see. Note the sakura|
petals in the river (CNB 2012)
|Can't help but pose! (YT 2012)|
|AH also poses! (CNB 2012)|
|Another magical sight (CNB 2012)|
Then we stopped by an upmarket 'supa' (supermarket), Sapure, for Yukari to buy our dinner that we would have at her apartment home. (We'd agreed that there was no time for any cooking, only sight-seeing and shopping!). At the supa I could not help taking pictures of the huge array of premium foods there.
|Sushi packs to go (CNB 2012)|
|Octopus tendrils for you? (CNB 2012)|
|Hello delicious food! (CNB 2012)|
And the fruits and vegetables - so juicy and fresh, they were just asking to be bought and eaten!
|Premium grade melons (CNB 2012)|
|Yummy in-season strawberries! (CNB 2012)|
|Vegetables so luscious! (CNB 2012)|
Dinner was graciously hosted by Yukari at her home, because she wanted us to experience a Japanese home atmosphere. Hadakimasu ('I will receive'). We truly appreciate this very kind gesture, and truly enjoyed being her dinner guests. Gochiso-sama deshita (It was a real feast).
|Our gracious host Yukari (CNB 2012)|
|Sushi, so oiishi (CNB 2012)|
|Grateful guests in a Japanese home (YT 2012)|
After dinner Yukari took us to the Aeon Depato for some retail therapy. We all bought something or other that we needed (like socks and bags for more shopping!).
|I liked this blue display in the depato (CNB 2012)|
The next morning it was raining cats and dogs when Yukari came to fetch us to go to the Noritake Garden, which is made up of two gardens and many buildings including the Craft Center (where we experienced 'the drama of transforming earth into porcelain with fire..'), the 'Celabo' Noritake Showroom, the 'Canvas' Morimura-Okura Museum (red brick factories which was the birthplace of the modern ceramic industry and where Noritake's products were sent out to the world), the 'Stage' Noritake Prestigious Shop, the 'Palette' Lifestyle Shop (where we spotted some 'Made in Malaysia' Noritake tableware) and the 'Box' Outlet Shop.
Nagoya ceramics are well-known worldwide, and Noritake is a leading brand. The history of Noritake goes a long way back to 1904. In the Noritake Museum we were able to see beautiful pieces of 'Old Noritake', some in the art-nouveau and art-deco styles. Suffice to say, we were thoroughly impressed. Before leaving, we bought some (affordable) souvenir pieces at the outlet shop.
|The Noritake 'Square' Cafe and Nagoya skyline (CNB 2012)|
|A Noritake table setting (CNB 2012)|
|Fish lanterns between 2 of the 6-chimney monument at the|
Noritake Garden (CNB 2012)
It was still raining when we left, but Yukari took us to the Nagoya Castle area anyway, where we managed to take some pictures of the castle. In the vicinity of the castle are said to to be 4,000 cherry blossom trees!
|Nagoya Castle in the rain (CNB 2012)|
|In the pouring rain, we catch a glimpse of some of the 4,000 |
trees around Nagoya Castle (CNB 2012)
Then we had a very quick lunch at a St. Marc Cafe, before Yukari had to send us back to the hotel where we said our arigato and sayonara. "Thank you for sharing a part of Nagoya with us".
We then hurriedly claimed our luggage, and took a taxi to the station to catch the 2.24 pm Hikari shinkansen to Tokyo (and thence onward home).
I think we must have set some kind of record - nine Japanese cities/towns in nine days! Our Japan Railway passes were very definitely put to good use, and I really loved the trains!
|Our last shinkansen ride approaches (CNB 2012)|
|From a JR train crew: 'Peace' and have a good journey (CNB 2011)|
3-12 April 2012