Yesterday we had a day out in the old Samurai town, Kitsuki. As always our friend, Mr. Nishi, did a great job of showing us around the Samurai house and after Trev managed to pick the lock on the storehouse we headed off to the wonderful 300 year teahouse for a break. As usual the owner charmed us with her knowledge and passion for tea - a dying art here in Japan. She commented that in the past all women were expected to take lessons in both flower arranging and tea ceremony before they were fit to be married, however now very people know how to pour a proper cup of tea. Gill was praised for her wonderful wrist action though and so I'm sure she would now be welcomed into any Japanese family.
For lunch we headed to the convenience store (or dairy for any of you uneducated kiwis) for a few more rice balls and then went to a place that most people wouldn't expect to see in high-tech Japan. My friend, Uncle Tom, has built himself a house in the middle of the bush. He doesn't have any official building qualifications (or skills?), but he has built a great tree house where he lives when he is not being a travel agent. I always take people in the front door without showing them the foundations and poles on which it is built.... that way at least most people aren't too scared to go in! The balcony was a great place to eat lunch and we all decided that the swaying movement of the building may in fact prevent it collapsing in an earthquake. Mind you... I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't want to be the one testing out that theory! Thanks Uncle Tom for a relaxing place to eat lunch.