About 2 years ago I got a crazy idea: why don't I try to find 2 Japanese friends from back in college over the internet (after 20 some odd years)?? Only info I had was the English spelling of one friend's name, his field of study (archeology) and memory of home town name in Japan. They came to visit us last Fri. and we spent 3 wonderful days together. They have 2 great kids now and it was a blast sharing some of my favorite places in Taiwan and favorite local eats with them. We got many "oishi's" (Japanese for delicious) from them, and I think they really enjoyed most of what they ate. Here 's some pictures from our jaunts around central Taiwan.
Here we are stopping in SanYi on the way back from the airport. SanYi is a town famous for carved wooden figurines. They noticed it was a festival day (1st day of Ghost Month in fact) and many people had this unusual fruit. They mistook for lychees in fact it is "longan" (literally: dragon eyes). A friendly SanYi merchant offered them a couple of bunches to try.
Beautiful pottery shop we stopped in. They had nice quality goods which were nicely displayed. Nice to see many Taiwanese merchants getting a better grasp on display and lighting for quality aesthetic impact.
Group of school kids in Sheng Hsing (former railway station built during Japanese rule of Taiwan) hanging out and snacking.
Kensuke and Nanako getting in the corny tourist spirit (after I pushed them into it :D). They are great kids! Was sorry my son wasn't back from US trip yet, so he could meet them.
My buddy the archaeologist checking stuff out. We used to spend many an evening sipping Suntory Whiskey and discussing the vital issues of life...or just shooting the breeze.
They have a photo exhibit of related imagery in the train tunnel. Kind of cool and eerie in there-in other words, I liked it.
Family group shot leaving the tunnel. It was about 10 degrees cooler inside albeit very humid to the point of drippy.
Very steep alley-at rooftop of adjacent house.
Here is the link for the complete set.