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One Saturday, the weather was nice but we didn’t have anything to do and didn’t feel like snowboarding, so we just took a drive around Fujioka to look at the kofun, or burial mounds in the area.

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First stop was a small museum on the archaeological items found in Fujioka and their history. A lot of recreations here, including some Haniwa like we saw one trip to the Gunma museum.

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It made me miss archaeology! First picture is many arrow heads, etc. the second is writing on bark, and the third a special exhibit about how the Fujioka roof tiles are made.

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Next up is the kofun with a nice view of the snow-covered mountains, including Asama.

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We also walked to a second kofun a few hundred yards away. The wind was super strong that day!

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Then we decided to head to Yoshii, to Mt. Ushibuse, where the replica castle is. This was where I walked with Nishi ninensei once. The day was pretty clear, so the view was nice!

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The concrete castle

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A little further up from the castle was a small temple with a bell anyone could ring once. We had fun, but it was REALLY loud!

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Me and Kenji ringing the bell!

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There was also a little underground passage with lots of statues.

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Circling back towards Fujioka we stopped at Hiraijou, the remains of a small castle that was the administrative center of the area. Nothing is there now except some raised land and a field, but they still have festivals there and stuff.

On the way back, we stop at a combini. Products in Japan sometimes come with little toys or something as a promotion, and Kenji’s coffee that day had a little wind up horse and guy in the theme of the famous samurai of old, which actually fit pretty well into the historical theme of the day. So we did what any 24 and 25 year olds would do: went in, bought another, and FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT! For the record, I won:

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Videos. The first is just the one horse, the second one I’m making fun of Kenji for going back inside and buying another one, and the third is the battle. Please note, this entire 20 minutes was spent sitting in the parking lot at 7/11. I don’t want to know what the other patrons thought!

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The next day, we headed to Kyoko-sensei’s so Kenji could photograph Taku’s first shrine visit! He’s cute, but chubby!

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Not content with one baby, we also visited Scott, Naomi, and Saya-chan. Brandt poses Saya with Scott’s hat, awww! We played games for awhile. Scott has this zombie game that he plays while Saya looks on… glad to know she’ll be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse!

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That Monday was an important day. It was February 22nd in the year 22 Heisei according to the Japanese calender. We decided to be silly and hit the combini for a receipt, but then I thought of getting a ticket at the train station! So we did, with about 10 seconds to spare after waiting for some old guy who took forever. So this is our ticket! Heisei 22 February 22nd at 22:22pm. That is a lot of 2s!

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Video! Can you feel the tension?! Also, I don’t know why the sound cuts out after awhile. It is like that on the computer :/ Also, it is kinda long, sorry!

The next Friday I didn’t have my kimono class since one of my teachers was on vacation, so instead I tried my hand at putting on my new kimono by myself! Yeah, I need more practice! It’s HARD! This blue kimono my sensei’s bought for me for 500 yen (around 5 bucks) at an estate sale. I love the bold colors and pattern!

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Full view

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A close-up of the pattern and looking down

I didn’t bother taking a picture of the back, it was pretty bad lol! Anyway, so that was some of the random happenings in February.

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