Three-Years Ago (27-January-2016) — Japan

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 22: Hiroshima.

I am not going to say much here. We visited the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum. I just wish we could learn from the past and not be two minutes left on the Doomsday Clock. Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock.

Little Planet View of the Display of Ground Zero at the Hiroshima Peace Museum. Composite of 19 image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 23 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 23 mm, f/1.4, 1/30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Little Planet View of the Display of Ground Zero at the Hiroshima Peace Museum. Composite of 19 image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 23 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 23 mm, f/1.4, 1/30 sec). (David J Mathre)



Individual Images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Three-Years Ago (26-January-2016) — Japan

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 21: Hiroshima.

Our local guide in Hiroshima recommended that we try “Okonomiyaki“, a traditional Japanese savory pancake for dinner. We found a restaurant/grill that had room for a dozen of us to sit on stools facing the grill. With a bit of translation, we selected the toppings for each of our creations (pork, beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, oysters, octopus, or vegetarian). The very efficient cook turned preparation of the okonomiyaki into a performance. It started with the pancake, followed by chopped cabbage, sprouts, cheese, the selected meat or tofu, noodles, another pancake with fried egg on the top. Finally, some chopped green onions. Everyone’s eyes were wide-open realizing how big a meal each one of the creations had become. While enjoying the meal, the cook picked up a guitar and did a Elvis serenade for the students at the far end of the grill.



Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Three-Years Ago (25-January-2016) — Japan

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 20:  Yokohama.

It was clear, but cold when I woke up. The full moon was setting over Yokohama. What I didn’t notice the day before was Mount Fuji. I could see and take pictures of the mountain right out my cabin window. Before the sun rose, the sky above the mountain was lit up with the unique blue colors of the earth shadow, and pinks of the “Belt of Venus”.  Shortly after breakfast I was part of a  group that departed for the Hakone, Hiroshima, and Kobe Overland Field Trip. We would rejoin the ship in three days in Kobe.



Larger individual images in this slideshow can be viewed here.

Three-Years Ago (25-January-2016) — Japan

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 20: Hakone.

Our group departed Yokohama for an overland bus and high-speed train tour of Hakone, Hiroshima, and Kobe. The first stop on the bus was at Fuji Hakone Izu National Park where we rode a gondola up Mount Komagatake. A short hike on an icy trail brought us to the peak (1327m). I could have used crampons on my boots, and was glad I had a walking stick. It was very, very cold, but we had a perfectly clear view of Mount Fuji covered with snow and Lake Ashi below.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.

We then visited a Shinto Temple in Hakone. I focused on the “water purification” process before entering the temple. One or two other tour buses with students from the ship happened to be there at the same time so we had to be careful which bus we got back on.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.

We were dropped off on in Hakone on the shore of Lake Ashi with free time to get lunch. Several of us stopped at a local noodle restaurant for lunch. We were given menus with pictures of the different meals. I selected the  “Smelts and Buckwheat Noodle Soup”. The waitress kept asking if I knew what “smelts” were. They looked like the fresh water smelts my grandfather would bring home from Lake Superior.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.

After lunch we waited at the Pier for our “Pirate Ship” ride on Lake Ashi. That was hokey. The tourist pirate ship looked exactly like the one I rode in Gdansk, Poland — except with Japanese pirates.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.

The tour bus picked us up at the other end of the lake and brought us to the Hakone Open-Air Museum.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.

The final stop for the day was at Tenseien Yumoto Spring, a traditional Japanese hotel/spa in Hakone. When we checked in, we were given traditional Japanese Kimo’s that we were to wear during our stay. The room I was in was traditional Japanese style — minimal with a low table and pot of green tea. Later on the room was rearranged with a futon on the floor. Our group had its own room to sit for dinner, but we selected our food in a traditional Japanese buffet along with the other hotel guests.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.
Color versions of the images can be viewed here.

Three-Years Ago (23-January-2016) — Pacific Ocean

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 18: Crossing the Pacific Ocean.

I woke up to a dreary cloudy dawn sky. This was the final day crossing the North Pacific from Hawaii to Japan. You could tell we were getting closer to land as more seabirds were flying around the ship.

Dreary Dawn Panorama from the aft deck of the MV World Odyssey. Crossing the North Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Japan. Fuji X-T1 camera and 23 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 200, 23 mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
Dreary Dawn Panorama from the aft deck of the MV World Odyssey. Crossing the North Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Japan. Fuji X-T1 camera and 23 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 200, 23 mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)


Preparing for Japan. View from the deck of the MV World Odyssey crossing the North Pacific Ocean. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 55-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 156 mm, f/4.5, 1/600 sec). (David J Mathre)
Preparing for Japan. View from the deck of the MV World Odyssey crossing the North Pacific Ocean. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 55-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 156 mm, f/4.5, 1/600 sec). (David J Mathre)