View from Matsushima Kaigan train station.  Goodbye, Matsushima!  We are heading to…….


Sendai City!  All decorated for the holidays!


My son’s primary goal was to visit the Pokemon Center.  It’s basically a gift shop, IMO.  Not terribly exciting to me.  My son said, “I will never grow out of Pokemon.”  Um.  LOL I think.


While my son was at the Pokemon Center, my friend and I went to Starbucks and then the bookstore.  They have a lot more English books and Japanese learning books than Fukushima City–a lot more!  Anyway, my goal was to get a book of Japanese essays that I could learn from, since I don’t do well at reading comprehension on the JLPT test.  There were only two or three essay books and they all had furigana.  So I did not buy them.  The book I have now, Chukyuu Kara Manabu Nihongo, introduces the kanji and their furigan and then the essays are without furigana (generally.)  I much prefer this style, so I can’t cheat and peek at the furigana.


Next stop: The Loft.  I took a photo of these Japanese wreaths called kadomatsu, for anybody out of Japan reading this blog.  They are hung around Christmas on doors.  Then in January they are burned to release the spirits.  (I can’t imagine Americans burning Christmas wreaths!  These kadomatsu are too beautiful to burn…..IMO)


2015–Year of the Sheep!  Japanese celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 1st, not in February.


I have already bought our family calendar, where we put our schedule.  However, I loved this Curious George one.  Want!  Want!  Want!


Otoshidama packages…..They are envelopes for giving New Year money to children.  They come in a variety of styles.  These in the picture show traditional scenes of Japanese life.  Adorable!


Not a good photo, but these are New Year cards.  Again, a wide variety of styles, but I thought these were especially nice.


Funashi–mascot of Funabashi City.  He is charismatic and cool.  Fukushima City’s mascot Momorin is, in comparison, quite boring.


Bought this!  It’s a map of Fukushima Prefecture!  How could I resist?

I’ve seen these dogs out before.  They must go out a lot.  I am starting to feel sorry for them.


Sendai illumination!!!!!!!!!!  Sendai is famous for its brilliant lights.




Sendai City is so incredibly bustling.  It is four times as big a Fukushima City, but ten times as exciting.


Posh Sendai City.  What a pretty display.  We had a great time!