Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gosireh Hwa I

Hi Hi sisters ........ this gotta be one of the nicest out-of-town trip I had so far in Japan. A HRH destination, wonderful companions and NO luggage ...... what more can a Bae girl ask for? The 'Gosireh Hwa 1-day lunch tour' is the brainchild of our ingenious Kiyomi san. She chartered a luxury coach bus for her 'April Snow & Now' circle sisters from Tokyo to Nagoya and arranged to have the restaurant opened up in the afternoon just for our gathering. Moreover, she is generous enough to let an outsider (though she never treats me like one) like me join in, doomo arigato :)

As much as this ajumma feels young at heart, but I know my 'over the hill' back and neck would never forgive me if I take that 10-hours bus ride to and from Nagoya within the same day. Cloudnine was kind enough to take the Shinkansen (bullet train) with me instead. See, how can I not be touched? She sacrificed her socializing time with other Bae sisters so I wouldn’t be alone, sob sob ;o

I met my 'mentor' bright and early Sunday morning at the Shinagawa Shinkansen station. You see, there are endless varieties of beautifully-arranged Japanese bento boxes and specialty food stores at most train stations. It is quite an experience itself just to browse and select what you want to eat, and they are all delicious! We grabbed some croissants, apple flans and drinks for breakfast on the train. Since the Shinkansen only took 1.5 hours, so we had a few hours to spare in Nagoya before meeting the other sisters arriving 2pm at Gosireh Hwa.

Cloudnine’s friend from Nagoya met us at the train station and accompanied us to the famous Nagoya Castle. Nagoyajo was completed in 1612 under the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu to serve as an important military castle. It was also the residence of the Owari lineage from the Tokugawa Family. The Hommaru Palace, the main and small donjons were burned to ashes during WWII and have since been reconstructed. Miraculously, the corner towers, wooden gates, most painted screens in the Hommaru Palace survived the fire and are now designated as 'Important Cultural Assets'.

Entrance to the main Donjon

The prominent feature of Nagayajo is the pair of Kinshachi (golden dolphins) adorning the main ridge of the castle roof. It is believed since structures back then were built with wood and got burnt down easily, therefore the dolphins were present to ward off fire. Look! Both the inner and outer moats of Nagayajo were dried up.

Because of its reconstruction, the interior of the castle is like a museum with elevators and modern facilities. This is a life-size model of how workers hurled the giant boulders to build the castle base and the whole mechanism moves too!

A beautifully decorated palaquin (remind me of Untold Scandal and .... Cho Won of course :)

This one is even more fun, you sit inside and it has visual and audio simulation as if you were a real princess from the past being carried in a palaquin! Hehe, both cloudnine and me couldn't control ourselves but succumb to a ride, hehe :)

But then we were pulled back to reality when we saw this primitive kitchen with stoves and bowls :(

The room of an ancient scholar, I believe?
A hon-ya (book store)

A weapons store

I personally am drawn to ancient objet d'art, these pieces are comparatively too 'new' to me :) We took a leisurely stroll around the court gardens. Cloudnine and her chinggu wanted to rest at the castle teahouse, but regretably it's time for us to go to our main course.

We quickly boarded the Higashiyama subway train and headed to Sakae where Gosireh Hwa is. My heart was pounding as we have seen numerous pictures of our prince walking around inspecting the place and riding on that infamous ferris wheel, and I was about to see them all myself very soon .......


bb said...

i'm back! and one of the first things i do the moment i've time is to check out your blog! haha, that's even before checking my workmail, and believe me, that's saying alot :)

glad to read your first sentence... that the outing was a great one.

but... haiyo, you had to end the posting with such a cliffhanger?!! can't wait to read ALL about it!

and... i soooo... wanna go nagoya too!

p.s. i really did wear a green silk blouse thingy on sunday, and i was smiling to myself as i put on my clothes that morning :p

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

You learned about Nagoyajo much more than your 'mentor' did. Let me add that actually it was only four hours bus ride, including 2 stops for washroom, from Yokohama to Nagoya according to Kiyomi-san's account. They arrived at Sunshine Sakae unexpectedly early, (at 12:30) as it was Sunday I guess.

Midori-san, my Nagoya friend will love to read this and so will the sisters of Kiyomi's circle. Is it all right to post the translation on their site?

cloud nine

jaime said...

Hi Hi princess,

Really?! You checked my home before your own home the moment you are back?? Hahaha, next time I better make sure I have enough to entertain my VIP if you come visit :)

Hehe, I bet you if you told your associates the underlying reason you were wearing a green blouse that day, they would be rolling on the floor laughing! But of course, this is among us Bae sisters only :)

Actually, everywhere I went that day I kept evaluating if it would be worth your while taking a side trip to Nagoya if you come to Tokyo. See, I thought about you too :) Good to have you back!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi cloudnine,

Hehe, I forgot to mention Nagoyajo is much more 'foreign' tourist-friendly with their signs and volunteer guides than most Kyoto heritage sites. That's why it's easier for a gaijin to appreciate the history and treasures of Japan. Thanks for taking me there.

I appreciate you translating as I can't wait to write about our fun in Hwa (hehe, and the ferris wheel too :) Please thank Midori san for me as she is most hospitable and patient.

love ... jaime

bb said...

and... boohoohoo, i love ferris wheels, you know :(

Anonymous said...

Hi bb,

Welcome home! You love ferris wheels? I don't.

cloud nine

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

Nagoya is one place I'd like to go when I come to japan, that's where Su studied in 2005.
Although the ancient castle is interesting and beautiful, the cream, which we all are waiting for is not up yet. Don't leave us with that cliffhanger too long, OK.
thanks much ...


jaime said...

Hehe Yee,

I'm whipping the cream, please stay tune .....

love .... jaime

Anonymous said...

Hi Chinggu!

Wow! thanx for posting the pics! and more to come? don't keep us waiting for too long. Glad you enjoyed the ferris wheel. Me, aiyo no ferris wheel nor roller coaster, hehehehe!

Take care,

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hyds said...

Hi Jaime, thanks for posting this trip. I kept thinking about it too. Lovely pictures of the place and there's so much history.
What interest me most is the weapon store. Hubby likes swords of various sorts. We actually have a samurai in here and he intend to collect more..
So what's the next bit? keep them coming..

Love, Hyds

p.s. I changed my blog's template so don't be surprise when you visit. ;-)

jaime said...

hi hi chinggu,

you too, no dare-devil rides like roller coaster? Hehe, not even with our prince by the side?

love .. jaime

jaime said...

Hi Hyds,

so your hubby likes swords and sumurai stuffs. Does he like Lord of The Rings too? My hubby has those shields and sword memorabilia from LOTR, and all those space crafts stuffs from Star Wars, guys! Looks like you need many rooms in your house to accomodate all your hobbies :)

love ... jaime

Hyds said...

I think I have to make room in the future. He's into gadgets at the moment and yes we both like LOTR and anything that has swords fights in it. He believe it's the most dignified way of fighting. He used to do fencing in the past that's why.
Thanks for all the BYJ posts. I'm afraid I couldn't catch with all Bae related stuffs..doesn't have a lot of materials but will make do ;-)
Love, Hyds