One of the things I love about Facebook is the ability to join groups and meet new people. One of the military spouse groups I am in, I met an amazing woman named Heather. Her husband is stationed here in Iwakuni too. She lives in Pennsylvania still though. She came out to visit her husband for a few weeks. Her finally week here we started hanging out. Charrleen and I introduced her to shabu shabu, Daiso, and the Kintai. We spent the whole afternoon there exploring. I loved it because I got to see parts I hadn’t seen before.
The gardens in winter look completely different than when I went in the summer time with Jeremy but it was still beautiful.
While walking around we found an old man feeding the fish at the ponds. The best part was he had a cat that followed him from pond to pond.
Speaking of cats, there were sooooo many there that day. We saw at least a dozen just wondering around.
The funniest part was when we found two cats hanging around a sign. I used my translation app to translate the sign. The sign said:
“Abandoning dogs and cats is a criminal act! Please do not be irresponsible and feed the cat just because it is cute.”
We also found a beautiful swan that followed us around for a little bit.
While walking around, Heather and I went to visit the shrine by the Kintai. As we were there trying to figure out what to do a set of Japanese grandparents walked up with their two grandsons. They were teaching their grandsons the proper way to pray at the shrine. As they were walking away I used my translator app on my phone to ask the grandmother how do we pray. She didn’t speak any English but through gestures she showed us how to pray. The order was clap twice first, bow twice, pray, throw your coin into the offering box, bow twice, clap twice. It was really cool to experience that with a National.
Charrleen took Heather and I to a section of the park I have never been to before. There were interesting statues in this part of the park. Charrleen also led us over to the graveyard for the lords, their wives and children. It was interesting!
On the way out we had to introduce Heather to Kintai ice cream. They have the best ice cream!
The whole day was a lot of fun. I also realized that there is still a lot left to see at the Kintai that I haven’t seen yet. I can’t wait to go explore it again.