Northern Japan (Hakodate, Otaru, & Aomori)

Float Nebuta Matsari Festival Aomori Japan
Float from Nebuta Matsari Festival 
- Aomori, Japan
Wayne Pat Dunlap Nishin Goten Hering Museum Otaru Japan
Nishin Goten Hering Museum - Otaru, Japan
Japanese Gardens Aomori Japan
Japanese Gardens - Aomori, Japan
Japanese Children Preform Squid Dance Hakodate Japan
Children Preform Squid Dance 
- Hakodate, Japan
Crab Fish Market Hakodate Japan
Fish Market - Hakodate, Japan
Pat Dunlap Beating Drum Nebuta Museum Aomori Japan
Pat Beating Drum at Nebuta Museum 
- Aomori, Japan
Float Nebuta Matsari Festival Aomori Japan
Float from Nebuta Matsari Festival 
- Aomori, Japan
Japanese Children Drumming Aomori Japan
Children Drumming Send-Off
for Our Cruise - Aomori, Japan
Northern Japan (Hakodate, Otaru, & Aomori) (10/4-6/2009) – WE LOVE JAPAN! People are very friendly and the food is wonderful!

After an 8-day crossing of the Pacific Ocean on the Holland American Volendam cruise ship, we landed in northern Japan. All three cities we visited were largely destroyed in the WWII bombings. Although much of these cities have been rebuilt with modern architecture, Japanese culture abounds.

Hakodate was one of the first Japanese ports opened up to the West in the mid-1800’s. We visited the morning fish market where there were hundreds of live crabs, squids, and fish.  

Hakodate's old warehouses have been turned into shops and restaurants where Wayne had sea eel - yum! Six-year old Japanese children preformed the Squid Dance for us - so cute! (see photo)

Otaru, once known for its herring industry, has a beautiful canal district running for about a mile and is the sushi capital of Japan with sushi restaurants everywhere. We visited Otaru's Herring Museum (Nishin Goten) and dressed in komodos (see photo). We ate sushi (what else in Otaru?).

Nebuta Matsuri Festival Aomori Japan
Nebuta Matsuri Festival - Aomori, Japan
Aomori is famous for its Nebuta Matsuri Festival where 3 million people come to Aomori in August for a parade of beautiful massive paper floats with over 2,000 rowdy chanting dancers. We visited the museum where they had some of these wonderful floats illuminated. Wayne got in there to carry a float and Pat did the dance and beat the drum (see photos).

The Japanese people are so helpful. One lady went out of her way to take us to a bus we needed to catch. Every port on our cruise had a ceremony sending us off.

Please also see our 10 other blog posts for wonderful Japan:

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