Sunday, 24 May 2009

Holidaying at home

Been ages since my last post. Been a bit busy, but had so, so, so much fun! We've had visitors, my dear friend Ronna and her husband from our home church back in England! So the week before they arrived I had a ton of cleaning and tidying to get done (including our 'spare' room, aka the dumping room), then while they were here we were zipping here there and everywhere. Their visit was perfectly timed (of course!), we had fab weather for sightseeing and the mozzies weren't biting just then (although they certainly are now), so I took them to some of my favourite places.

Of course we just had to go to Ritsurin Kouen, a beautiful Japanese garden in Takamatsu. It was all very green on this visit with not many flowers in bloom, although there were some gorgeous irises:

We went into the tea house for tea ceremony, which I really enjoy, but was a little disappointed that they only served the tea rather than performing the tea ceremony in front of us.

I took them for lunch at my favourite kind of restaurant - okonomiyaki!

One day we visited Kotahira, where the men climbed 800 steps up to a shrine (Konpira-san) whilst we ladies enjoyed a pedicure by fish (hahaha, more of that another day, waiting for the photo!) followed by a soy sauce ice-cream (very nice actually, very subtle flavour).

Another trip was a ferry ride out to Naoshima, an island in the Seto inland sea which has been turned into an art project. I'd been dying to go, but K really isn't interested in art, and the boys would be quite bored I think. So hurrah, for visitors! We started off the visit at the Benesse House Museum, and was surprised to find works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and David Hockney, very unexpected. I think my favourite piece was the Banzai Corner by Yukinori Yanagi - hundreds of Ultraman dolls with their hands in the air, forming the Japanese flag! The World Flag Ant Farm (by the same artist) also caught my interest. Wish I could have taken photos, but of course that wasn't allowed. We wandered around the old village, peering in through gates to view the gardens, but didn't have time to visit the house project (artists were invited to come to the island and make houses into works of art), so I'm just going to have to go back there agin sometime (shame).

This was M's favourite piece, the Red Pumpkin (don't know who it's by) - she spent ages sticking her head through the holes and saying 'BOO'!

As I write this, Ronna and Ian are on a plane winging their way back home :( Their visit flew by, I was so sad to see them leave. But how wonderful to see good friends again, their visit was certainly the next best thing to an actual trip back home! I feel so blessed!


  1. Isn't it great to have an excuse to do all the touristy stuff that's right on your doorstep?

    How did your friends like okonomiyaki? My parents loved it but my sister found it gluey.

  2. Hi Heather,

    They LOVED it! I rather fancied opening an okonomiyaki restaurant in the UK... maybe I will one day...


  3. Hi
    I missed your blog. What a wonderful experience to visit Japan . It s my dream. I have just posted some cupcakes I made if you want to take a look here s the link

  4. I love being a tourist in my own city too and overseas visitors are a great excuse to do so :) Climbing stairs or pedicure? I know which one I'd choose and I've heard of the fish pedicures but have yet to try one. Look forward to seeing the pics! ;)

  5. Hi Snooky,

    Well, if ever you fancy a visit out here...

    I saw your cute cakes (the icing looks delish!) but I always seem to have difficulty leaving a doodle for you. xx

    Hi Lorraine,

    hahaha, I HATE feet, can barely look at my own, so don't know how my friend managed to persuade me to allow fish nibble at them! xx

  6. Hi A! I was beginning to wonder what happened to my friend- I was about to alert the PO lol Me too.. I hate fee and hate my own.... hate touching them but I like when someone else gives them a massage and a nice paint coat on the nails.

    I am so happy you friend came out to see you, I bet you had just a fabulous time.

  7. Hi GJ,

    lol, yes I'm still here! Missing my friends loads, though :( Was just thinking of you, actually, as I've just been busy in the kitchen ;)
    Oooh, couldn't have anyone massage my feet!! xxx