Okayama: Inaka Edition

Despite it being summer, things have been crazy busy for me.  However, I haven’t forgotten about this blog!

While I have been to Okayama before, this time around I felt like I saw another side of it.  This time I was staying over at my friend’s parent’s house.  This house is literally in the middle of nowhere; it’s completely surrounded by mountains and rice paddies.  If this wasn’t the inaka then I don’t know what is.

The first thing we did was check out this traditional house that one could rent for the night.  It was on top of a rather curvy mountain.  If I wasn’t already staying somewhere similar, I would be tempted to stay here for a night with a few friends:

 

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Apparently the staff from a movie was here and filmed the majority of their movie in this area.

 

Signatures were scattered all over this small room.

Signatures were scattered all over this small room.

A picture of the film crew.

A picture of the film crew.

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After a quick lunch, we finally arrived at the house.  Their place was enormous—it was a Japanese house mixed with Western design.  They had two living rooms—one with tatami but the other looked like a living room from a Western house.  It was definitely a great place to stay at:

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Igo, a game I like playing but am terrible at.

Igo, a game I like playing but am terrible at.

The rest of the day involved swimming in the river (something that I surprisingly enjoyed), taking walks around the countryside and lighting fireworks at night.  I had not seen that many stars in the sky since well…ever.  Being a city boy, it was fascinating to hear the sounds of nature while looking at a blanket of stars above while being surrounded by the mountains’ fog.

Father and daughter.

Father and daughter.

My friend's dad, aka Papa, is more energetic than I am!

My friend’s dad, aka Papa, is more energetic than I am!

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The second day was a bit more mellow than the first one.  As soon as we got up, we picked some vegetables from her father’s farm.  We got a ton of free stuff from it:

 

The farm.

The farm.

Watermelons are given a birthday when they grown.  Once a month rolls by, they're good to eat!

Watermelons are given a birthday when they grown. Once a month rolls by, they’re good to eat!

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Picking veggies.

Picking veggies.

A small portion of what we received.

A small portion of what we received.

After being baked in the sun while vegetable picking, we were welcomed by a banquet of food for breakfast:

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The breakfast of champions.

The breakfast of champions.

Papa and I played a couple of games of Igo before departing.  Thanks Judith for the pic!

Papa and I played a couple of games of Igo before departing. Thanks Judith for the pic!

 

Afterwards we visited the local castle which gave an excellent view of the tiny village:

 

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Later on in the afternoon we made teacups from scratch in the Bizen pottery style.  As predicted, mine came out awful and it looks like it’s going to end up being a tiny bowl.  I’ll know in a couple of weeks how bad it turned out.

The weekend in the countryside was the perfect getaway from the city.  I really want to go back again and soak in all the nature the little city of Wake provides.  While I couldn’t live there, it’s a great area to just relax and enjoy life.  I want to go back already!

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One response to “Okayama: Inaka Edition

  1. Pingback: Teacher Trip to Shiga | The Space Between Two Worlds

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