Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week 61 - April 1-7, 2014

On Friday we picked up our oldest son (chonon) at the International Airport in Fukuoka.
Saturday was a day for rain, cherry blossoms and the Kumamoto Castle.
One of my favorite parts was the music played in Hosokawa Gyobu-tei which was the residency of the Hosokawa Clan during the Edo period.
April first was my birthday.  It was a real treat to have our chonon help celebrate.  We celebrated by hiking straight up Mt. Kimbo.  Kimbo is the tallest mountain seen from our balcony in Kumamoto.  
At the top of the mountain one can see Kumamoto city on one side and the Shimabara Sea.on the other side on a clear day.  
At the top we enjoyed watching little birds feed in the cherry trees.  This is a picture of one of them.  Does anyone know what kind of bird it is?
Wednesday found us again at the Kumamoto Castle with our Japanese teacher as a guide.  
As we left the International Center (Kokusai Kouryou Kaikan karasu) after our Japanese class and English Conversation (Eikaiwa) class we bought bentos and enjoyed dinner under the sakura trees.  We had okonomoyaki and takoyaki.  It was a fun dinner.  We ended the day teaching Free Eikaiwa in the evening at our church in Obiyama.
Thursday morning we drove to Nagasaki by the Kumamoto Ferry.  We visited the Peace Park and the Bomb Museum in Nagasaki.  
We hiked to the lookout point were one can see the sky line in 1946 and today.  
We drove to the top of Mt. Inasadike to see the beautiful view from that point.  The top of the mountain was in a cloud so we decided to take a ride on the tram so we could take pictures.  It was fun but the pictures have water spots on them as it was raining outside.  
Friday we visited the hot springs on Mt. Unsen on our return trip to Kumamoto..
Our next adventure was seeing the top of Mt Unsen.  In 1993 it blew its top and lava poured out of this volcano for five years.  Currently it just steams and grows a bigger cone.  
We visited the Unsen Observation Station.  It is a place were the people can became educated about this volcano and is situated in the path of the 1993 pyroclastic flow.
I found the channeling network outside the window interesting.  When this volcano goes off next time they hope to be able to guide the lava flow to the sea.  
On the way back to the Ocean Arrow or Kumamoto/Shimabara Ferry and to Kumamoto across the Shimabara Sea we visited Shimabara Castle.  Like the Kumamoto castle much of it has been reconstructed to preserve/share local history.  
Before going inside the staff took pictures of us. Don't I have two handsome samurai to stand between?
We drove to Yamato-cho to see the ''Tsujunkyo''(通潤橋) Bridge.release water back into the river below.  It is always a beautiful site and a wonder to me.  It was built about 1853 to bring water to rice patties on the side of the river without water.  A water duct brings water across the top of this master piece of engineering.  This bridge today is stilll used  to bring water to the other side of the Todoroki River.
For our next adventure we hiked to the Gorogataki Falls.  It is down river from the Tsujunkyo Bridge.  It was a beautiful 50 meter falls and well worth the time.
After our church meetings on Sunday we had a wonderful dinner.  Akemi showed us how to make Chicken Katsu, Miso Soup and Fried Tofu.  
It was a delicious meal.  Now to try making it myself.
Early Monday morning found the Koberstein's headed to the International airport in Fukuoka to say goodby to a fun filled week and visit with our chonan.
The cherry blossoms are gone but have given way to the beautiful azala hedge below.  Life is this way for me, a wonderful visit with our chonon is over but new experiences await.

Scripture of the week:
Moroni &:13
"But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."


Aaron and Emily said...

I believe the bird is a Varied Tit. So great that Lynn could visit you!

Katie said...

Thank you!