The first weekend in April, we packed our bags yet again and made our way to Shimanto City in Kochi Prefecture. Seeing as Kochi is the birthplace of Anpanman, what better way to get there (and make our children's day) than taking the Anpanman train! William, who is especially obsessed with all things Anpanman at the moment, was thrilled beyond words.
It takes about 4 hours by train from Fukuyama to Shimanto and so the kids were somewhat bribed into good behaviour with the purchase of these Anpanman themed bento.
|Theo modeling his bento lid|
|We only remembered to take a shot of William's bento after he had taken a couple of chomps|
out of Anpanman's head
We wanted to have a chance for Obaasan and Ojiisan to get to know Dustin's parents a bit better, so we invited them along with us for the weekend. We were able to book this fabulous house in the middle of nowhere for the time we were out. It is a model eco home built almost entirely, inside and out, with local cypress and smelled absolutely amazing!
|Front of the house|
|and the back|
|Grandma and the boys peeking down from the second story balcony|
|Waiting to eat some yummy nabe|
|Theo and I hunted down this 5 cm monster for our more squeamish|
housemates and deposited him outside
|The gorgeous all cypress bathroom|
Even more amazing than the house itself were the views of the mountains and the Shimanto River. Directly across from the house was this large display of koinobori strung over the river for Children's Day.
|Enjoying a walk in the sunshine with Grandma|
|Trying, and failing, to find fossils in the rocks|
Theo soon made a new best friend when the boatman let him control the motor. Theo sat with one hand firmly planted on the man's thigh and the other on the tiller, and giving us all a choppy, bumpy ride for most of the trip. I think he was a little surprised (and probably annoyed after a while) to find out that Theo could speak Japanese. There was an endless stream of prattle and questions from Theo about everything and anything he saw.
The day ended with a barbecue in which Theo forsook all of his previous claims that he was an herbivore.
And here are some final random pictures of our adventures:
Theo checking out a rock slide that was blocking part of the road. There were also mountain monkeys on the road which we weren't quick enough to get pictures of.
Dustin, the hunter-gatherer, finding the biggest bamboo shoots the forest had to offer