When I tell someone I live in Japan, their mind jumps to Tokyo. They think of crazy fashion, creative cafes and restaurants and city-life. But, we don’t live there. We live in a tiny city on the very Northern part of the island. We live in Misawa. It’s so small that when you meet locals in the airport in Tokyo- they have no idea where Misawa is. Kind of like how everyone in Western Washington lives in Seattle. I can look out my window and see a field filled with vegetables and mountains in the distance. It is absolutely beautiful, but it is a place that you have to search for things to do. We have done a few really fun things around where we live, but not everything. And we leave this amazing country in 4 short months! So- we created a bucket list.
The list consists of all of our favorites and, more importantly, places we have read about on the Facebook community pages but never experienced for ourselves.
Bucket list check off #1- The Aomori Aquarium
I am writing this with a smile on my face. Our aquarium experience was so great. We took the 1 hour-trek to the Aomori Aquarium. The drive was gorgeous. We are bear-hugged in rolling hills covered in all shades of green. We drove by farm after farm of home grown vegetables and small Japanese homes that created stories in my head about the families that live inside. Our drive took us along the ocean that was filled with small fishing boats. We finally pulled into the large parking lot of the aquarium right behind a bus full of young Japanese students all wearing the same hats for their school trip. They were excited to greet us in English and they swooned over Ariel. Our trip was off to a great start.
Due to the remote location we live in, I figured the aquarium would be filled with local fish and a small gift shop. I figured it would be fun for Ariel because of the lights in the fish tanks. My expectations were surpassed immediately as we were greeted by big green sea turtles before we even entered the building. We lifted Ariel up to see them, but she didn’t quite understand what was going on, so we went in the aquarium to buy our tickets. The tickets cost us a measly $20. That was money well spent! The aquarium was filled with colorful fish of countless species. We walked through a tunnel where sharks and other fish swam over and around us. We took pictures in a photo booth, watched sea lions swim and penguins sleep. Ariel loved watching the sea lions swim, but her favorite part was the dolphin show. We had no idea there was a show and happened across the dolphin exhibit just in time to see it! I was so impressed!! Ariel loved the music and the clapping and all of the lights. This show finished our time at the aquarium and we left with big smiles and an ice cream in hand as we headed to our car.
This was the start to our Before-We-Leave Checklist and it was a hit. Winter is drawing near and we are ready to pack our last months full of all we can do in our tiny piece of Japan we have called home for 3 years.