So, the weekend started off a little soggy, but we managed. We were waiting on a package from Poppy who sent some Garretts through the mail, so it was time well spent. Thanks fer the popcorn, Poppy!
After that, we made our way to the Iwakuni Driving School where the local police were putting on a display for the community. There were Police Power Rangers, White Snake Super Heroes, and a motorcycle demonstration that Rudy was totally enthralled with.
Af the end of the fest, police officers were throwing mochi out into the crowd from a flatbed truck.
The fun didn’t end there. The kids’ daycare, Funky Mo Mo gave us some information on a puppet show going on at Chou Kominkan Community Center. When in Rome… So we saddled up the cargo bike and headed from the Police fest where we made our way to the show. It was pretty cool. There were these two older Japanese ladies who were the puppeteers. They did some songs before the show and then put on two separate stories; all in Japanese of course.
Here’s my best interpretation of them both:
The first story was about four birds who meet. Then, they run into a greedy wolf in the woods who tricks them into thinking he’s friendly. After the wolf befriends the birds, he eats them. Then he comes upon a cart full of cabbage that a woman leaves unattended. The wolf eats the cabbage and passes out on the cart because he’s super full. The woman comes upon her empty cart and notices the wolf passed out, so she ties him down to the cart. She then hits him in the stomach and the cabbages all come flying out one by one. She does the same thing again and the birds all come out one by one. The birds then learn a lesson not to trust anyone… or something like that.
The second story had this keeping up with the Joneses kind of feel to it. Although I’m sure I’m waaaaay off on this one. This one was harder to follow and the only thing I got out of it was there were these two older couples who lived in the mountains. One couple was happy and the other was pretty grumpy. The husband from the happy couple went into the nearest town and an into these Buddha dolls. He had these sun hats, but he only had enough for all but one. The Buddha doll he didn’t have a hat for, he took home. The cranky neighbor saw this and wanted a Buddha doll of his own. That’s pretty much all I could gather out of it, there was some changing of the seasons and some comedy that I couldn’t quite grasp because of the language barrier, but it was fun nonetheless.
UPDATE: *HERE’S A LINK TO AN ENGLISH VIDEO VERSION OF THE PUPPET SHOW, courtesy of a co-worker* And from Mo-san, here’s a link to what the statues are called: Ojizo-sama. And so yeah, I was waaaaaay off.
All things considered, the two ladies that put the show on were top notch and the kids in the room (and even the adults) got a kick out of it. Alright, that was Saturday.
Sunday, we hit the road. We headed south to the Hikari Flea Market n found some cool stuff for the kids and some family. The drive down was something incredible. Lotsa ships on the inland sea and windy roads. There’s something captivating about the inland sea. Maybe it’s the mountains hanging in the haze on the horizon from far away islands, or the gentle waft of sea mist in the air. But either way, this is a killer place to live and these views are all the more reason to enjoy it to the fullest. We kept winding down the road and the Mukade Maru held up just fine and the kids enjoyed the scenery as much as we did.
Then we headed to Nijigahama Beach and had burgers and spent the rest of the day in the sand and surf. The burger joint we ate at is called Kuti’s and was pretty good. The food was fantastic and they had these Hawaiian beers that were pretty tasty, too.
Once we got to the beach we were splitting our time between soaking up the rays, checking out tidal pools around the rocks, picking up shells, waving at paragliders, digging holes to put Rudy in, and jumping in the super awesome surf. Some direct quotes from Rudy:
“I love this world!” and “This is the most perfect spot.”
The kid loves the beach, no doubt about that. What’s not to love?
Anywho… Sunday was an awesome day. The sun was perfect, the kids were having a blast and we couldn’t ask for a better place to be spending this time together. We’re lucky and grateful to have this opportunity to enjoy the culture and this foreign land.
Speaking of foreign, on the way home we spotted some Studio Ghibli stuff and decided to drop in for a photo op:
Rudy looooooves Totoro. And to be honest, I can’t say that I don’t. I wouldn’t know Totoro if it wasn’t for Mo, so thank you babe… We’re all better people because of it.
Alright, folks. It’s time for bed. Thank you again for following our adventures and keep watching for more, we’re only getting started.