Adventures in Oita Part I

The first week after my in-laws arrived we stuck around Fukuyama and kept it mostly low key. I am really glad that we planned for a whole week of down time since Dustin's father was really hit hard by a combination of jet lag and stress about leaving his business for a month which gradually turned into a cough and cold. None the less, we had a nice time catching up and enjoying the nice spring weather around the house and in our little neighbourhood playground.

Puttering around with Grandpa
Playing Catan Jr. with Grandma and Papa

Theo, doing typical Theo things that only he really understands

On March 27th, even though dad wasn't really feeling fantastic yet, we packed up and got on the shinkansen for a trip south to Oita Prefecture. It is funny to think that after being in Japan for nearly two years it was the one of the first real trips we have taken. We have taken small trips all around our prefecture and the neighbouring prefecture of Okayama, but beyond that most of Japan is a mystery to us. It is not that we don't like traveling, Dustin and I love it and the children hold up fairly well on trains and in hostels or hotels, but all four of us (and soon to be five) on one income doesn't usually leave much room for jaunts across the country. Also, anyone who has ever traveled with multiple children under the age of five knows that by the end of a trip you feel utterly exhausted, glad it's over and that everyone managed to survive, and a little bummed that every restaurant and entertainment choice was based on what your children wouldn't complain about or could handle. That being said, with adults heavily outnumbering children, this trip was great.

And why Oita Prefecture, you may ask? None of us take any kind of pleasure strolling around in a large city, so immediately Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe were off our list of places to visit. Really what we wanted was a chance to get out into the country and show Dustin's parents a taste of raw and natural Japan, not the heavily populated, neon lit, metropolitan Japan that many tourists experience. There is a family that we have always wanted to get to know better that live in rural Oita, so we took the opportunity to visit them and enjoy the gorgeous weather and countryside. We had a great time visiting and got to stay in their amazingly beautiful cottage:

Spring came early on this side of the globe (sorry to all of my family back in Canada that still have snow in late April!), and even earlier in Oita compared with Hiroshima, so we were able to see beautiful blossoms everywhere.

The children were ecstatic to find out there was a chicken coop full of friendly, inquisitive chickens. Theo especially took an interest in the chickens and spent hours every day feeding, watching, and talking to them.

He even went so far as to insist on having a chicken costume made so that he could "trick them into thinking he was a chicken too". I drew the line though when he asked if he could sleep in the chicken coop at night.

Theo is still talking about his friends and I have been consoling him with the promise that one day we too will have enough space for a chicken coop of our own. 

...to be continued!


Sophelia said...

Oh wow, no one ever visits Oita! Thank you for coming to my lovely little part of Japan!

Laura said...

I didn't know you guys were in Oita! You live in a very beautiful prefecture!

Sophelia said...

I try to be relatively cagey about where I am since I 'tell tales out of school' (literally). But yes, Oita! If you ever come down for another visit let me know and we'll whisk you away to our favourite places :)