Saturday, December 16, 2006


Apologies for the lack of posts lately. Hannah has been away and it has been too cold to go into the garden so I figured you weren't very interested in seeing pictures of me cleaning the bathroom or reading my book....
Hannah is back now though and this afternoon we ventured a little further (about 40 minute drive) to the "resort" town of Yufuin for a couple of hours. We started at the folk museum where you can see a variety of traditional crafts being done - paper making, traditional dying, bamboo crafts (we were shown about 30 of the 400 different ways in which you can weave bamboo), glass blowing and my favorite of all - spinning top making! The man that was making them today took great pride in the tiny ones that he made. The tiny one on the coin in the picture is less than 4mm in diameter. It is perfectly made and spins just as well as a big one (if you can get your fingers around it!). I always enjoy watching the traditional craftsmen at work, but talking with them today it is obvious that it is just a tourist attraction in many ways. Although they are very skilled and make beautiful things they know that they can not sell the goods that they are making - they are just too expensive compared to the cheap imports made from plastic etc. They were confident though that people will soon turn back to using quality goods and are therefore trying to keep their crafts alive.
After the folk village we had a quick walk to the lake (which is warm as it is part of a hot spring) then we headed for an icecream (I know it is winter, but the kids were determined...) and spent a while feeding the carp. For anyone who has never seen carp in action I highly reccomend it. The ones that we saw today were just babies, but even so they are pretty impressive. Carp are often seen as an important element in Japanese gardens and as one person wrote
"Japan is a country where a large population leaves little land available for flower gardens. The Japanese, therefore, have found places to grow living flowers, the colored carps. Carps can live for up to 50 years. In Japanese culture, they are a symbol of strength and perseverance."
They are definately strong anyway - you wouldn't want to put your hand in there at feeding time!

1 comment:

  1. Mickey3:50 PM

    Whoops, I couldn't notice the top on the coin.
    Welcome to Yufuin.