2009年の夏の私達。 Yuzo and me back in 2009 summer. (No Sana yet.)
2010年8月に見えた二重の虹。くっきりと半円に見える、素晴らしい光景でした。 Two layered rainbow we saw back in 2010 August. It was almost a half circle, very clear and beautiful view.
大公開！咲名おなかで7ヶ月。このお腹で、四万十3.5km完泳しました！（お勧めはできません。） Jajah--n! Sana 7 months in my tummy :D! 2010 Aug. I completed 3.5km swim in the SHIMANTO river with her! (although I won't recommend this to anyone.)
I think it was maybe 5 years ago when we first found this place KAIYU. Actually it was "Ohki" beach which struck my heart with a first sight, the beach is white (which is rare in Japan), water is so transparent and the wave... really good for surfing!
We visited KOUCHI every year with our University friends, to attend a swimming competition at SHIMANTO river (which is famous for it's beauty in Japan). KAIYU locates 20-25 min drive from SHIMANTO river. When we did a sight seeing, checking ASHIZURI Promontory（足摺岬）, this white beach caught my eyes and I just said "Hey!! Let's drive by that beach!!".
The Ohki beach was just great. Even after swimming 5 km a while ago, we jumped into the ocean and enjoyed there for another few hours.
And then, when we looked up, there was a white building on a hill beside the beach. "What's that?" "Maybe a hotel?". We went up and checked, it said "Hot spring Available". How perfect it was. After an ocean swim with salty skin, we found hot spring place! Yes, and it is "KAIYU" where we found, and who could tell at that point that we will come visit here again and again and again every year.
I could say this place is somewhat "addictive". Your body would tell you that you can fully enjoy the entire environment. Water, wind, fire, green and the sun & moon. Well, I should not say too much, I should say, please come here and see how your body would feel.
先日の私の労働「苺のパイ」 One of my piece of "work" the other day - Strawberry pie.
Tae chan wakes up every morning around 5 or 6 o' clock and cooks BENTO (lunch box) for Zen kun and Marie chan which they bring to their school. As their elementary school located far from KAIYU so that Zen kun walks for one hour everyday.
Yu chan, he starts his work from 8am, washing ONSEN hot spring facility, then chopping the wood and putting those into the ONSEN oven to boil the ONSEN water to the right temperature.
Hanako grand ma also starts her day cleaning up dining space, and dish wash is one of her main work so she cleans up everything whenever she finds dirty dishes.
Tae chan, after lunch box cooking, she uses vacuume-cleaner here and there, then drives out to shop foods and daily materials, then as soon as she returns she starts preparing our lunch.
I myself, doesn't work much. Carrying Sana chan on my front or back, wondering around dining space, sometimes I bake some sweets for visitors (but mainly for ourselves to enjoy refresh time.). Since I still endure 3 times breast feeding to Sana at night-morning time, I don't wake up early. Updating this blog is also my small work in order to make people want to visit this special place.
When noon comes, everybody start gathering at dining space, preparing chopsticks, cups of tea, putting rice in a rice bowl, then start eating Tae chan's delicious lunch all together, with talking and laughing. After lunch, Mitsu chan drips coffee, and we pick biscuits or some small sweets and relax for a while.
Mitsu chan does not only the KAIYU's owner job, but also everything. He chops woods for ONSEN, bakes pan-cakes for visitor's breakfast, fixing furniture and renovating old rooms using abandoned materials.
The other night, Yu chan explained Mitsu chan as a person who does " heal and restore" everyday, I really like that expression. Actually that's really true. Everyday, Mitsu chan heal the people who visit KAIYU with great hot water and nice meals, and fixing the "dead" refuses and gave another life to them. Everyone at KAIYU find whatever each of us can do, and make this place comfortable, tries to make here better place. That's how they spend their life everyday.
How they work, spend their time is equal to their life, which is so different from what I've known as "work" where time can easily converted into money.
Mitsu chan told me that there's two contacts who want to stay here long period. (maybe they check my blog?!) They may also want to do "work & stay" at here like us. Not sure if they'll come or not, but hope they can understand how they work and live here.
Kaiyu has the room called "moon-viewing platform". When I was first led into that room, Kaiyu's owner Mitsu chan explained to me that this room is designed to view a moon while lying on the bed, so the bed has higher height than normal one. After that, we come to Kaiyu every summer for several years and staying this moon-viewing room once or twice but I couldn't get the view of moon lying on the bed, so I couldn't fully get the intention of this room's design.
Although we staying now not moon-viewing room at 5th floor but the room at 2nd floor, I saw the moon by chance when I waked up last midnight.
The moon was center of the window which I can see from my bed without moving my head. Because I just waked up, moon was first vague but soon my eyes got focus and I realized the moon is about 3 days old.
"ah, there is the moon...."
I got mysterious feeling. "Good evening, Dear moon. You come here stealthy very close to us while we are sleeping." The moon viewing lying on the bed was luxurious and fantastic.
Kaiyu suggests not "staying" but "living" to their guest. I realized Mitsu chan wanted show this view to his guests at the moon-viewing room. Moon razing, moon set, and the direction of moon's position is changing every day, every month. I could get the view which can be got only by long "living" stay. By short staying, I couldn't get that view, I think.
As I watched the moon last night, Sana, sleeping between me and Yoko, cried for milk and Yoko started breast-feeding her. Both Yoko and Sana was almost sleeping. When the sounds of Sana's drinking disappeared the moon silently disappeared from the edge of the window.
Marie ちゃんと、Rica さんのおもしろ写真。 Marie chan on Rica san's hands.
丘サーフィン。 Surf on Marie.
金賞作品。 The best picture yesterday.
素で面白いZenくん。寝てます。 A boy with Natural-born humor. He is sleeping!
I'm so sorry but Rica san has gone.. Mitsu chan, Marie chan, Yu chan and I talked how we can make her stay extended, because we just love her and need her. But we failed, she has gone.
Time just flied during her stay, it was only a week and we felt it was only a few days stay. With her direction we all work really hard every day from morning till night peeling wall papers, paint walls, and moving furniture here and there. All was so fun and I really loved how we all work together as a team. There'smore things to do at the first floor in the old facility here, so we have to keep continue but I have to sayit won't be easy without charismatic guide.
And as for us, the day after tomorrow, 29th of March will be our anniversary one month, and which is the original plan to go back home. This one month was so fast and I cannot believe it has come already. We planned to finish the homepage revision by now, but we haven't complete it yet, and also there's some concerns around nuclear plants and our life in Kanagawa, so,,,, we decided to extend our stay :).
So I will continue this blog a bit more. （Qin duo guan jiao.）
Yu chan said "Everyday at KAIYU is miraculously fun!", and maybe that's the main reason for this extension. However I want to come back where I live with the best condition, and I think I can do that with a little more time.
Today is the second day we focused on cleaning up the dining and the entrance sections. Both Mitsu chan and Tae chan liked Rica san's suggestion and since she can only stay here for 4 days, we decided to focus on cleaning & changing the 1st floor of the old facility with Rica san's direction.
Yesterday, we put away many piece of furniture and try to make comfortable "library" space. Because KAIYU's old facility is very big, there's too much space and too many stuffs everywhere. Rica san suggested that those "dead" space make here a bit deserted so that we should only allow to put selected things which we really want to show to KAIYU's customers. We put away lots of chairs, tables, and move the glass shelves from here to there,,, and the entrance space became so different now.
Today, we decided to peal the old wall paper on the pillers. And to be honest, I really really like to peal something!! :) I think it's a family taste. I remember when I visited my sister's house in San Francisco, she worked to change her wall color and was pealing the old wall paper, and I jumped to join her and we both peal the paper all the night while talking. Anyway, we completed to peal 5 pillers today, and we'll paint those into white tomorrow onward.
If you want to learn new things, you should go ahead and find the place where you can do it and just do it. That's my learning today & yesterday. I wanted to do some DIY but there's not enough tools and things to do by myself so I didn't have much chance to do any DIY. However we jumped into this place and there's so many things we can do by ourselves. Yu chan learned a lots from Mitsu chan and I think when we will have our own place in the future, we'll definitely do something by ourselves.
Last but not least, I just admire Rica san's talent!
Ricaさんのお家のお部屋の片鱗。。勝手にのせて怒られるかしら。。:) I took this photo at Rica san's home...which is very fancy I think. Hope she doesn't mind my putting her home photo here w/o her permission!
We have a guest from our hometown KAMAKURA, her name is Rica san. She lives close to our apartment and my colleague who used to work with Rica san at different company introduced her to us as we live in the same town. What I want to tell you about her is, she has a great sense of beauty. We call it "Rica's magic" as everything she touched would change into a "stylish" one.
For instance, when she touches room decor/interior, she can produce not only comfortable and fancy room space, but also very efficient space by analyzing how people would move within that space. She speaks very softly and in a kindly manner, but (?) her suggestion is very persuasive at the same time.
Last Sep. we helped the opening of a small shop at Kamakura, she is the one who actually gave it's name to the new shop, and arrange the basic layout / decor.
As she can only stay here to work next three days, from tomorrow onwards we will focus on renovating KAIYU's dining space in the old facility. I will capture "before" and "after" photo, so stay tuned! :D
Seems like the news reported outside of Japan sensationally talked about the scary exposer of radiation, and sorry for Japan losing the half east side of our country due to the pollution, then now shifting their focus to Libya where mass slaughter has been prevailed by crazy old dictator. I believe we cannot expect foreign travelers for next decade.
On the other hands, when I did skype with my parents live in Tokyo, they said, although they have to still endure the rolling power outage "When I go to walk in the park, many children play there too. Our life has almost come back to normal." TVs also already go back to their normal programs, and those nuclear plants update is not "Live" broadcast anymore but reported in the normal news program hour.
I'm very very happy to hear and see the positive updates, like the electric power has been connected to those nuc plants and massive amount of water can be automatically spray on plants with special water truck. However, there is one thing we can never "go back" to before.
That is, the way we consume the electricity in Tokyo, which also means, we have to change our lifestyle drastically.
We didn't know that we can use powers and resources as much as we want, because we sacrifice Fukushima and/or other areas where suffers underpopulation and financial difficulties, thus agreed to accept nuclear plants building expecting more jobs opportunities and more happy life. We also sacrifice not only people who lives close to nuclear plants, but also our posterity.
"The nuclear power doesn't produce any CO2 thus it's clean."
To object above, I studied a bit and want to share this all.
To build one nuclear plant needs 5 years. And it could run and generate the power about 40~ maximum 50 years. And then after that, once we decide to abandon the plant, it will require another 50 years to completely close it. During this 50 years, we have to keep cooling down and continuously take care of it.
Surprisingly, there is zero plant we Japan have abandoned completely. The very first "abandon" plant is in Toukai, and it is still on going after 10 years.
Nuc plants require lots of time to close it but what is more, during active periods or after abandon, it generates radioactive waste materials, low level, middle level, and high level waste materials. And do you know how to dispose those wastes? The world doesn't know how to dispose it. Thus there's no way but bury into the ground. Those radioactive in the waste will be remained another hundreds years...
Some of you may have heard about "Rokkasho" village in Aomori prefecture, it is the disposal facility which accept low level radioactive waste. There is no place in Japan which declare "We accept middle or high level radioactive waste."
We built 55 plants across our country and try to build more, but we don't know how to close those without generating any scary waste. We use those power and enjoy our life, and generating those waste and leaving those debt to our children and posterity.
Who agrees to do this?
We'll all say "I didn't know." and regret the situation, but now you know how scary and irresponsible the nuclear electric power generation is, we have to stop it. We should not say "Ah, because there's no other option which can substitute nuclear..." anymore. If there's none, we should reduce the amount of usage. That's the way.
I read this interview and it gave me some courage. "Shift, instead of Stop". We have to recover from this catastrophic damage, but we cannot "go back" to before March 13th 2011.
Many of the stuff we need in here, we made it by ourselves, if something go wrong, we fix it by our selves. Things we buy is mainly materials instead of complete goods. It is really fun to first have a image what you really make, then try to create it.
I enjoy "shopping" in the city where I can find lots of fancy cute things and buy quickly, but here, folks who can do DIY, or drawings, singing, or dancing would consider as "cool". I should try to cook more :)!!
I have to step forward, which has to be brand-new step. I think I understand this necessity.
And I know many of the Japanese people already start doing that.
Before the earthquake, I was thinking I have to return to work with fresh mind and new perspective instead of doing the same thing and the same approach, and I thought I could do that after one month dense vacation.
However after the earthquake, I don't think I can go back to the same place with a light mental "reset", but I have to consent to my heart fully, and it should not be a "return" but should be a "complete start". Although to do a light reset is still something for me, thus I've been postponing to face that topic until now.
I emailed several colleagues in US to catch up situations, and they provided me the latest updates on each projects and org changes which we were communicated before my leave. Those have been proceeded further but in the same sphere as before,,, I mean, their values and the approach looked the same as before.
I think I HAVE TO change myself and my values, but I have this fear that I may go back to the same world as before pretty easily.
Our recent life with Okada family at KAIYU is very heart warming. In here, every small things have people's face and kindness.
For instance, Hana grand ma always feels anxious about Sana, and treat her with deep affection. I myself love to talk the same things again and again with Hana grand ma, and yesterday she said to me "my room is messy but pls come by sometime."
Yes, there's such kind of life in this world. Thanks for Okada family.
In our daily life, we unconsciously do the routines. Athough it's unconsciously done, we actually select what we do by ourselves, and abandoned the other options which we are not selected. I didn't realize I've been abandon something, but I should consciously prepare myself that I select one by myself, and not select another one.
When I was doing the wash dishes after dinner which I seldom do, Mitsu chan came down and went,
"Is Yu chan already upstairs? Will he come back?"
"Well, I don't think he will come back. What's up?"
" I would like to show you guys a microcosm :)"
" !! "
I run upstairs skipping a few steps, and open the door of our room and said to Yu chan.
"Yu chan! Let's go to the universe!"
We quickly grabed our down jacket , and went to downstairs, Mitsu chan already got his car and started the engine.
He said "There's the ebbing tide two times a day, and the night low tide goes out further during the winter. With the blight moon like tonight, you can see the widest sand beach, that view is one of our highlight event during winter time."
We went down to the entrance of Ohki beach by car and, when the car headlight turned off, it was pitch-dark for a moment, but soon our eyes got used to see things in the dark. Well, it was not really dark, with this blight moon light.
I can see my shadow with the moon light!
While walking, Yu chan said it was when he traveled Africa that he realized the moon light can actually make shadows. I never, never think of if the moon light can make shadows or not.
But here, I can see that. With the moonlight, even the shadows of leaves and branches can be seen on the road, the leaf of camellia reflected the moonlight and they were twinkling. It was like a world of "avatar". And once we reach the beach,
I saw an universe.
Deep blue, but white spread over far away, and more dark blue sky covered with the ocean. Although the moon was pretty blight, I could also see lots of starts twinkling. I can hear the sound of waves, which came from very far place and made me feel a bit sorrow.
"I'm hoping, someday I'd like to request a professional photographer to take this entire atmosphere."
Well, I wonder if anyone can take this? This cosmo is what it gave us, I mean, the temperature and the sensation of when we were wrapped by this universe.. how the photographer can save these "things" into a photo?? Maybe they can, but I don't know. But I know if someone can freeze this into a photo, or a drawing, I really want to hang it on my home wall and to see everyday.
I decided to record our daily stuff while praying for Fukushima.
Those college students who came here for internship worked really great. The foundation of the stone oven is almost complete (Will update photos later!) , and the wall paint is also proceeding pretty speedy. With those human resource, we can proceed to visualize new KAIYU everyday which makes me happy.
Last night after dinner, I got a chance to speak with students as a speaker. While I was thinking about what to talk, I also set two goals. - Let those students also talk, instead of me just talking. - Also get at least one person who wants to talk to me more.
And what to talk.. I remember one quiz which I was told in a presentation training - "What is the most important thing when you do presentation?"
A. The speaker B. The contents C. The audience.
The answer was C. Of course all three are important but if you want to make an impressive speech, you have to know the audience, what they would like to hear, what kind of things they are interested in, otherwise you cannot provide interesting information to them.
I don't know anything about real college students. So I rather want to know who they are. What they like, what is the concern etc. In order to get to know them, I first ask lots of questions to them, like interviews :).
And the only thing I want to tell them was, after a decade, a lots of things will change.
When I graduate the University, the popular company/industory was stock brokerage, consultant, mass-media, advertising. And as you know, within the last decade, Lehman Shock was happened, the news paper is almost dying, and Apple deleted "computer" from it's name.
Thus, I want to tell them that we cannot really foresee the future. No one can really tell our future, that's why it's ridiculous to decide something which you cannot enjoy or sacrifice "Now".
Some of you may realize this,, I take this idea from Steve Job's speech to Standford students - "About connecting the dots".
I hope their heart received my message.
Tonight, everyone hold hands each other and we pray for people wwho died from this earthquake, who is enduring this hardship at stricken area, who is rescuing people, and fighting to control nuclear plants. Thank you that we are safe in here and can live. We have to act whatever we can.
I hear and check so many scary things about nuclear plants everyday, and I strongly agree the opinion that government and TEPCO should publish the exact/ complete data as soon as possible, however if those "real" data shared with and well-explained to people including the victims who still force to bear this very hard situation, how they would react...?
Well, these ambivalent feelings kept me sick, and I'm not productive at all... I do understand there's nothing I can do but to live seriously, and do whatever I can do right now, so I think I should at least keep this KAIYU stay journal constantly.
Today, there's six "young" college students arrived at KAIYU (yes, "Young" people which is not including me :P ) for three days internship. Their words and behavior remind me of my university era, and I recall maybe I was like them, very fresh and very green.
Their assignment for next 2 days will be, renovating the old rooms, and or building a wooden stove. They made two teams and each worked hard to complete their work under the warm spring light.
Today, it was very beautiful, peaceful spring day at Ohki beach.
After enjoying the yummy dishes by Tae chan, Yuzo had a short speech about his "value - no need to overwork, but get on your flow." which he found from his back-pack experience and also Shimanto river Long distance swim competition. I fully enjoyed his speech and also wondered how it sound to these young students. Also I imagined if I had heard his story when I was in University, I wouldn't have understood his value. Maybe too advanced :).
And then Sana's sleeping time came, I went back to our room and saw Mr. Goto's interview (who was a design engineer of nuclear plant at TOSHIBA) at Ustream and his clear explanation of "The worst scenario" made me sick again.
When I stared at my Mac screen, he hold out a brown box, and said "Today is white day, Yo chan."
The box was BEL AMER, one of the best chocolate sweets in Japan, and which I have never expected to see at this place at this moment. Thank you Yu chan and I couldn't help crying with joy and fear. And after some crying, I can get some space to take courage.
It is the time for us, to look up and see around ourselves, and try to make yourself and people around you calm and happy as much as possible.
I pray for people at all the stricken areas, who are still suffering from this tragedy and also people who has been working to help victims without getting enough rest nor sleep, who are trying to control the nuclear plants. Thank you for all those people and I respect all.
I think the nuclear plants situation is worse than reported in Japanese TV/media after researching the situation via Ustream interviews, however I cannot be prepared to accept the situation yet.
The place we are in right now, TOSASHIMIZU Ohki beach, didn't experience any earthquake nor TSUNAMI fortunately, very safe at this moment.
Please give me and everyone self-possession, courage and power.
The old facility were called "Sunny Green" and it used to be a vacation condominium where people owned each rooms and used as a summer house. The building got old and Mitsu chan bought each rooms one by one and retained those rooms as KAIYU condominium by renovating each rooms by himself.
The new ONSEN (hot spring) facility also has two rooms for stay, which are made from natural woods and local TOSA WASHI paper. I think this new facility is fancy enough to make people be surprised at finding this place.
When I first found KAIYU, I was fascinated by this roomy ONSEN & lounge space, and also, Mitsu chan kindly offered a "tour" of old facility space, he renovated each rooms with different concept, so all rooms were different. I was again fascinated by that unique approach and took to this place.
I LOVE so called "luxury" things and places, but also some how be interested in unique, extraordinary stuff as well. I can say, KAIYU is very "unique" in a positive way.
During this stay, to refresh the current KAIYU homepage is one of my assignment, so I took some room pictures to introduce these rooms on the web. All the rooms here have beautiful ocean view and my photo turned out to be "stylish" one with blue and fancy sun light. I was happy with my work, and showed them to Mitsu chan how he thinks.
Mitsu chan first said it looked great and he liked it, and soon added important comment. "Well, I think these are TOO fancy for us. With these photo, people may think "Wow, very nice place!" and set higher expectation than what we will offer. To be honest, this place is old and those rooms were handmade by me so it's not perfect."
I agree that with photos, I can trim a right portion which looks nice, and ignore the shabby part. Maybe my photo might look 20-30% nicer than the real rooms...but..
He said "So, I also want to use the power of movie and published via Youtube. I think with the video camera, you can see the real size of the room and maybe more detailed parts or whole atmosphere which photo cannot pass to the audience."
OK, now I get what he means. He wants to be honest and also show the bad side as well. To me, a web should be something cool, which can "capture" new customers instantly, and make them want to come this place. However it won't match Kaiyu's stance "Don't overwork or put on airs, do our 70%".
The baseline is to establish and continue long relationships with the visitors. Mitsu chan does unique filter check when people first contact KAIYU if he think the person will match and understand KAIYU's policy. Sometimes it is so unique that people get confused, but that is how Okada family keeps this place and increase their fans all over the world in last 10 years.
If people understand and agree with it, they will come, if not, they won't come. That's how it should be and I will try to update the current website to hook people who will understand it.. I know it is hard but I will try anyway. :)
It was very impressive when we first stayed at KAIYU in summer, Mitsu chan asked me if we wanna try "beach dinner" or not. The answer was of course "Yes" and we enjoyed Tae chan's dishes at beach like a picnic at dusk.
In here, you enjoy swimming (or surfing) in the beautiful Ohki beach, then enjoy the hot spring (onsen), and then with your empty stomach at dinner time, you will smell delicious dishes at dining space... You would sit around the big table and sharing the foods with Okada family and the other guest which is very hart-warming dinner indeed.
This place, Tosa shimizu area has nothing, but great nature. That's why the nature stands out, and eating would be one of the big entertainment.
I believe the food you eat would make not only your body but also your soul and your feeling as well. And now, lots of people are focusing "food" & "eating" what you eat, how you eat, where you eat.. It is now spotted ever recently in various aspects.
Most of the people, including me, is excited about the positive aspect of the food, however I think we have to soon face the dark side of food, lower rate of food production, aging farmers, and the #1 food disposal rate country in this world.
I questioned to myself , if you want to quit the current work and switch to a farmer? The answer for now is No. Then how about helping farmers sometimes in the peak season? Maybe yes. For instance, buying local food from the farmer who I'd like to support is definitely a help. We now lives in Kanagawa prefecture so buying Kanagawa food is preferable. If so, how I can help the local orange farmers in Kochi? I don't want to raise the food milage, so to buy farm products and ship is not the ideal...
The question which I've never had while working in Tokyo office, is again increased.
Although I cannot find the answer now, I would request Mitsu chan to introduce orange farmer and fig farmer. If Mr. Mokunen who we met the other day, starts strawberry farm, then maybe we'll have some connection with him.
Last weekend, there was over 20 customers stayed at KAIYU. Tae chan, by herself, treated them all with great dishes. All were really yummy! Thank you very much! :)
We came here for our child-care leave, so I should write something about Sana - our best baby.
Sana is now four months and 1wk. Maybe over 7.5kg weight, very healthy and happy girl baby. She cannot tossed and turned by herself, nor sit down without any support.
Her meal is my breath feeding, and she gets it starting from 8am, noon, 3pm, 6:30-7pm,11pm, (3am), (5am). 3/5am is while she is sleeping and recently she only needs it for a few minutes, so hopefully she won't request it anymore in near future. so that I can have decent sleep ;). She wakes up around 7-8am and goes to bed at 8pm, also requires a nap during morning time and two times nap in the afternoon.
I use my iPhone to play a music for her every time when she goes to sleep, it is Fishman's "an unreliable angel - TAYORINAI TENSHI". We realize after 3 months, she can tell that with this music, she should go to sleep. So right now, she can immediately fall in asleep after listing this song, it's like NOBITA kun in DORAEMON anime who is the king of nap in Japan.
I realize during our stay in KAIYU and living closely with OKADA family, everyone willingly take care of Sana, and helping us voluntary. I think we are in the opposite situation from "solitude child-care" where a mother have to take care of everything not just taking care of baby but also cooking/washing,, all the housekeeping by herself, and no one to grumble. Recently I heard so many sad news which a mother killed her baby because of her stress/depression of child carein Japan.
Everyone in here, when they saw us together, comes to us and touch Sana's plump cheeks, and say hi to her.
When we eat, Hanako grandma kindly offers me "You eat first, I will hold her for you." and she looks so happy when she holds Sana on her lap. Also when I have Sana to take a bath (onsen), Marie chan kindly helps me, so that I can also enjoy Onsen (hot spring) bath. Zen kun, Tae chan, also Mitsu chan, everybody play with Sana very naturally.
Visitors to KAIYU also love Sana chan. They smile at her and we can start talking because of Sana. If we have stayed at home, we've never experienced such things, meeting many people and interact with.. though it's mainly people help us :). I think it's a miracle power of baby and we appreciate her power and this situation.
It has been a week since we arrived here in KAIYU. Time flies and still, so many things we want to do here.
To me, it is a natural desire to work as one professional person, have my personal time and also cherish family time all together. But I think it is not a proper expectation to have such things at one time, especially if you are a female.
I've been worked for this company for 10 years, yes, a "decade" already. It is my first company since my graduation, and during this period I have experienced so many things,, my colleagues who joined at the same year have left already, the department I first joined was extinct because of organization restructuring, and the team was broken up at a moment's notice in one night. And here, I am still here... well what a surprise.
And now we welcome our new family, and I'm taking a half year child-care leave, "OFF" from my 10 years routine days.
I'm going to take 5 and a half months "Long Vacation"!!
Of course I know I'll have new job, delivering a baby and take care of her though, to me, it will be definitely a reward after 10 years continuous work. When I imagine my "vacation", one idea immediately hit me :
" I want to go somewhere else, different place from my home, and having a very intimate time with my small family."
How this sounds to you? Then how about "During wkday, my husband go to office from morning till late night, and I'm with a baby all day long. Only two days wkend, we can have some family time with three of us."
I believe later is the reality for us typical Japanese woman. HOWEVER, this sounds not right to me. That is not what I want for my child-care leave.
So we've decide to go forward, to the place where only we can go now, and feasible to go with three of us. We talked and made a plan for our family future which is so "us", and in order to celebrate Sana's birth, we both take a parental leave, so that we could come here "KAIYU" to have a wonderful family time.
I think we should be brave enough to get, or at least to seek for what we really want. I even think it is very strange that everyone want the same thing, the same life style and values. Everyone cannot predict future thus it is inevitable to have concerns for one's future. If so, I want to focus on now and try to pile small happiness in every minutes. Hope we can pursue our happiness and so does other people.
Flower which Hana san arranged and SHIITAKE mushroom. By airing, vitamins will increase.
Flower, leaf, bloom.
KAIYU in is running by Okada family and there's 94-year-old grandmother living together.
"You are TALL !! ". For the very first sight of me, she said so, very straight, and which I haven't heard for a while as people who I already knew, knows my tall height, and people who I meet recently refrain from saying it to me (why?!).
She went "Ah, a baby! wow she is pudgy... what's your name?"
I went " Sana."
"No, Sana, S."
" Ta "
" S a "
" T a "
" Sa as in "sa shi su se so" "
" Tana chan. What should I put on the tana ( TANA = shelf in Japanese) ?"
" hahaha, Sana as in " Flower blooms ( = Chinese character of Sa means bloom)."
" Okay, Sah chan."
"Ahm, close. Sa na chan."
"I see, Sanako chan."
We've repeated this conversation for at least 4 or 5 times since we've arrived here already :) which is cute so I want to repeat every day for the remaining days.
Hanako san was a teacher for Japanese flower arrangement. So I picked up flowers and grass on the street, and she showed me how to do.
Her name has "Flower", and mine has "leaf" and Sana has "bloom", so with three of us a flower blooms, we laugh together and I feel happiness. Yes, I am very happy now.
やっぱり豊かな生活に美味しいワインは欠かせないと 改めて思った一晩でした。Thank you キョーコちゃん！！
In order to make our 1 month stay at KAIYU "Super", we prepared something in advance...
Now that Spring has come, in order to celebrate this beautiful season, I really want to enjoy good white wine under gentle spring sunlight, having a fine ocean view in the afternoon!
Also at night time, I want to enjoy red / rosé wine with local-delicious food, and have great time with people at dinner!!
SO, what I did was requesting one of my best friend Kyoko-chan, who is managing wine shop in Wakayama prefecture now to ship us "Spring wine selection". She picked up twelve wines from Italy, Spain and Chili, red, rosé, white and bubbles. Woo hoo! :D
Her selection focused "freshness" and "flowery" taste which can remind us of the new, fresh season. She also put "wine notes" which explains the taste and recommended foods as well. What is more, they were arrived at KAIYU on the second day morning! What a timely arrival!
At dinner time, we've enjoyed Spanish CAVA. (The fifth one from the right in the pic.)
I felt green apple taste, very fruity, not too sweet nor too dry... anyway easy to drink definitely :).It was produced in Penedes, close to Balcerona.
The dinner was mackerel grill with rosemary and garlic, local vegetable salad, multiple mushrooms sautéand some other side dishes. All were matched with the cava and we were so content.
I truly think wine is the necessities of rich life. Thank you very much Kyoko chan for your great selection!
On the day we arrived, there was one couple from Tokyo staying at KAIYU.
Go Anai and his wife Tomoko san. Both have the beautiful eyes which leave an strong impression to me. They looked relaxed, mellow character and also have the strength within their heart.
"Go kun is a dancer. He said it's contemporary, but I'm not sure what's kind of dance it is..." Mi-chan told us so and that made me pretty much looking forward to seeing him at the dinner time, because I like "dance" a bit!
And the dinner time came. In Kaiyu Inn. all the guest eat dinner like one "big family", gathering at one big wooden table, and we share big plates, passing around, and talking each other like a family. Thanks for that eating style, I've met lots of nice people during my stay here every summer.
I found after having such a dinner time, even once, people can get closer without any difficulty. I truly think "eating" is such a great thing and precious time which can make everybody so healthy and happy.
During the dinner time, we all asked lots of questions to Go kun and Tomoko san. Why he started dancing, which country he went for his performance, how was the workshop etc,,, and also after dinner, we sat around the wooden stove and kept the "interview", and after some moment, Go kun stood up and went "OK. I want to dance. Under this beautiful stars, and with the inspiration from this place. " Then he changed his clothes to the dance costumes - black, white and some gold pattern on it. The BGM started and the improvised dance show began with only five audience & one baby.
"Goohhn, ghoon.... ". With the low sound, his body gradually moved, with his face half covered by the black hood, very silently but fast. I felt like I was looking a spirit, a soul. The image of "universe" came to me, and I knew it's a real person who moved just in front of me, but I didn't feel his personality anymore. It was close to see "Noh(能) play" Japanese traditional performance. Sometimes it was a tiger, and sometimes the gravity went away.
I hold Sana in my arms, and surprising enough she gazed at his performance through the end, sometimes shaking her body and close to cry, but again focus...
Don't know how many minutes have gone, silently Go kun stopped his movement and showed his face and said "Thank you" with his nice smile. The special moment ended.
Our stay have started with such a great encounter. How can I expect such a good start more than this? I now just feel this month will be super-duper! Tomoko san and Go kun left us a piece of note when they left KAIYU which said "Good bye and we'll meet again." Yep, I too think we will meet them soon :).
Here is Go kun's homepage. There'll be lots of performance in Tokyo this month!
Today is the day 1 for us to start a month stay at KOCHI prefecture, TOSA SHIMIZU area.
The place we'll stay is "KAIYU" - a guest house with hot spring, beside a beautiful "Ohki" beach where sea turtles would spawn every year. Three of us will have simple, family time together for a month.
We stayed KAIYU every summer for a few days when we participated in a long-distance swim competition at SHIMANTO river, and last Sep. I found KAIYU's special offer which one can stay KAIYU for discounted price (or even free) as a reward for one's labor.
I was about 8 months pregnant, and had no idea how it will be like with a 4 month-baby, but I couldn't help asking this question to the owner Mi-chan "Can we stay here for a month?!".
Mi chan was first surprised but soon said "Sure! Why not?" and also his wife Tae chan said "Oh, Wow.. what a plan! :) If you all fine at the time of next March, Yup, we'll welcome you all."
Now my partner Yu-chan, lovely daughter Sana, and I are relaxing at KAIYU's room. I will post our day to day updates here from now on, so please stay tuned ;).
Kaiyu Hot spring building.
Kaiyu Old building.
Our room for this week. Full of boxes and stuffs...