Shimizu, Japan

This was our ship’s maiden call to this port and the local town went all out to welcome us. I would give this port 5 stars for the hospitality of the people. They had a college band playing on the pier, schoolchildren doing martial arts displays, craft and tea making demonstrations, as well as a display put on by geisha, and a small craft market. I missed the speeches! We also seemed to be a local attraction as loads of school children were bussed down to see the ship and many senior citizens and mothers and children came down to visit.  It was quite a party atmosphere. Our  send off was by a local drum group which included young children.  Apparently they only get one ship a year into this port so they go all out for the visitors.  The area is famous for two things,  the views of Mount Fuji – which stayed well hidden in the mist as you can see below, and the production of green tea, which was for sale on the pier. I occupied myself with walking around the town and taking in the various demonstrations.  I also saw the Japanese equivalent of the dollar store – the 100 yen store.  The sign is also in yellow and green just like at home.  I may have been better off taking a tour here.  However, it was pleasant to have a relaxing day in nice weather, having finally caught up with the time zone.  We have been moving our clocks back an hour about every second day and a couple of times, two nights in a row.   This actually is worse that just taking the long flight and getting off in the new time zone.   The seas are finally calming down and hopefully will stay that way though they have been having monsoon rains in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand.  We still have a while to get to those places so hopefully the weather will clear up a bit.

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