|Otafuku and Hyottoko sake cups in Matsushima sake shop.|
As we map and email and pack and prepare posts ahead of time, I took some time to peruse photos from two earlier trips we made in 2011. They were when I first fell in love with Aizu Wakamatsu and Sendai. After the triple disaster, Tohoku became part of my consciousness. Those two trips showed me a place steeped in history, rich in natural beauty, full of good food, and populated with some of the best people I've met yet in Japan. When we left part of my heart stayed there.
Pictured here are sake cups in one of Matsushima's local shops. Located near the bay dotted with islands large and small, a natural configuration that experts believe may have lessened the tsunami's effect, we spent an hour sipping and sampling, laughing and talking. Pictured here are Otafuku and Hyottoko, who represent household happiness, and are often seen on traditional masks.