This is a good map of where we went for the weekend.  We drove from South of Nagoya to Toba, taking the Ise-Wangan Expressway then the Higashi-Meihan Expressway.  We stayed the night in Toba and then took a ferry to Irago on the Atsumi Peninsula then back to Chita Peninsula via a ferry to Morozaki.

The first place we went was the Saiku Historical Museum.  Saiku refers to the palace of the Saio, who was also referred to as "Itsuki-no-homemiko" and appointed by each acceding Emperor to serve at the Grand Shrine of Ise, and her servant's public offices.  The Saio, selected from amongst the unmarried Imperial princesses and appointed through fortune-telling, would undergo purification rites with her court for a period of 3 years before embarking on the journey to Saiku.  Normally, the princess was less than 10 years old when she would leave her family in Kyoto and travel to live a life of near seclusion to serve at the Grand Shrine of Ise.

Ashley and Jonathan

Noriko and Daiichiro ... Noriko has been to this museum many many times and this was the first time she did this.

A display of the Saio and a servant (I guess).

A miniature of the Saiku where the Saio lived. She slept without being seen, ate without being seen ... basically was very lonely as a small child.

A picture of the "gunko." The procession from Oumi through the mountain range of Suzuka and ending in Ise, lasting 6 days and 5 nights.

I think I hear some sirens Noriko! Run!! Noriko picking some "weeds" that produce a seed that is very good for bean bags.

The Saiku Ato Roman Hiroba is a 1/10 scale historical model of the whole area of ancient Saiku.

Ashley and Noriko.


A festival that was going on during the weekend we were passing through along the Isuzu River.  Basically, they lit candles and put paper lanterns over them all along the river.

The river before the sun started to set, you can start to see some nice autumn colors in the trees.

Up stream

Down stream

Ashley, Noriko, and Daiichiro

Jonathan, Ashley, and Noriko

Ashley, Noriko, and Daiichiro. I like this picture because Ashley knew to stand completely still.

A very beautiful kimono worn by a young lady, the long sleeves means she is a young single woman (probably there for her 20 year anniversary).

Another beautiful kimono ... we saw several that night.

Kind of dark, but a neat picture I think.


We stayed at the XIV Resort Hotel in Toba.  Noriko and Daiichiro are members of their hotel membership club ... needless to say it was a very nice hotel with great views and great facilities!

Our hotel room, picture 1,

picture 2.

Us at dinner ... a VERY good dinner.

After dinner we taught Noriko and Daiichiro how to play pool! They had never played before ... it looks like Daiichiro has good form.

Sensei Ashley.

Jonathan stinking it up as normal ... actually he didn't do too bad.

Ashley hit 4 balls in a row in! She is very excited!

Noriko and Jonathan taking a break.

I think we have a pool shark in the room ...

Ashley in her left-handed fashion.

The next morning next to the pool! It was a wonderful day and if it was warmer I would have been swimming.

Our room is the 2nd from the top and 4th from the left!

The view was great!

Oyster rafts in the water.

Ashley has her eye on something!

Every time Jonathan sees a mirror he wants to take a picture in it.

Us down by the water with the original section of the resort in the background. We stayed in the newer section.


Taking a ferry from Toba Port to Irago Crystal Porte on Atsumi Peninsula.

A different view of Mikimoto Pearl Island as we are leving Toba.

OK Ashley that is enough!

Ashley and her crazy hair!

Irago Crystal Porte

Daiichiro next to his new car, it was a really nice ride and it was very nice to be able to be a passenger for a change! Usually I am the driver.

Getting off the ferry.


We walked along the beach to Irago Misaki Lighthouse and then went to Hinosekimon.

Irago Misaki Lighthouse

Big ships and small ship alike share the water going around Atsumi Peninsula.

Ashley on a rock.

Noriko showing us her golf swing ...

It looks like a good back swing to me, of course I am no good!

Jonathan carrying a piece of driftwood back to the car for Noriko and Daiichiro's garden.

Look at that lady wondering what the crazy gaijin (foreigner) is doing!

Some neat rocks with waves hitting them on the beach.

The edge of Hinosekimon rocks.

Noriko was very excited about being taller than Ashley!

These are some very large rocks.

Daiichiro and Noriko, look at the size of the waves!

More large waves.

There were lots of fishing along all of the beaches that we saw.


We had lunch on a peak near Hinosekimon at Irako View Hotel ... and what a view it was.

Although cloudy it was beautiful to see the rays of the sun breaking through the clouds.

They have a wedding chapel on the edge of the overlook, I am sure a very nice back drop during a wedding.

Ashley and I under the wedding bell.

Getting ready to leave the ferry at Morozaki.

Daiichiro, Ashley, and Noriko ready to go!