Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bizen day 2

We got up in the morning in Okayama and decided to check out the garden, Korakuen.  It is fairly famous in Japan for being unique with it's size and open spaces.  Most Japanese gardens are smaller and do not have as expansive of views.

This little girl was all dressed up with her parasol for some photos in the garden, I thought the kid to parasol ratio was pretty awesome so I grabbed a pic.  There was also a couple getting wedding photos while we were there.
Koi hoping I would feed them with the lake in the background.  If you look in the top center of the photo, you can see the top of Okayama castle.
Tree just starting to turn and a more expansive view from the garden.
Chrysanthemum from their fall display.
I think I prefer the more intimate feeling smaller gardens but I was glad we took the time to explore this one.

After the garden it was getting about lunch time when we happened across the Organic Garden Market.  It was maybe 50 tents of people with organic veggies, fruits and other products.  The best part however, was the pizza oven.

Mobile wood fired pizza oven.
My very tasty freshly made pizza.
It may look like R2D2, but the mini wood fired pizza oven made darn good pizza!

Next up was the Bizen Sword Museum.  They had a great video (though unfortunately no English subtitles as it was all in Japanese) that showed how they start with iron ore and how the heat it up and fold it over and and pound it out and fold and hammer to make the steel so strong in Japanese swords.  They also showed the shaping, polishing and sharpening processes.

After watching the video we walked around and looked at the swords they had on display.  The artistry in them was amazing.  We then walked around the compound which had a working forge, they heat it up every other weekend and still make things at this site.

The forge.
Jeff checking the weight of one of the hammers they use to pound out the steel.  They are very heavy.

Where they do some of the blade polishing and shaping.
The sword museum was very interesting.  It was a shame it wasn't one of the weekends where they were making things but it was still very cool to see.

After that we made a quick ice cream stop and headed for home.  It was a great weekend trip.

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