Thursday, September 01, 2011

Three day trip away - Part 1

Because it was the school holidays while Mum was here we felt the need to take the kids away for a few days on an "adventure". It wasn't a wilderness adventure, but more an adventure into the unknown and unplanned - which for two control freaks like myself and my mother is a real adventure! We had accomodation booked for two nights in different places, we had the car navigation system and we had my husband. What more could we need! It turned into a really great time away - probably because we didn't have anything planned and could therefore go whichever direction we felt like, not have to watch the clock and worry about not being somewhere "on time" and not feel pressured to do anything if we didn't feel like it.
The first stop was for the kids at a town called Kusu (I'll try to work out how to get a map up later...). There is a huge natural "slide" there called "Ryumon no Taki" or Dragon's gate waterfall. Once you got over the nervous twitching as you watched kids flying in all directions and adults flying in even more directions (usually after being bashed into by other adults flying down the slide) it was actually quite fun to watch. I didn't feel tempted to have a slide, but got my feet wet as I tried to waddle across to the only bit of shade in the whole area.
I am always torn at places like this. I love the fact that everyone is having a lot of fun in "real" nature. I love the fact that there are no boundaries, there are no people at the top controlling when each person should start off down their slippery slope and that there are not thousands of signs with things that are prohibited in the waterfall. I think that in so many countries now there are so many rules about keeping everyone safe that people no longer learn to think for themselves about what is safe and what is not, about what their own capabilities are and whether it is appropriate for them to do certain things. If there is an accident there is always a need to try and blame someone for not controlling the environment enough rather than taking responsibility for putting yourself in the situation where the accident occurred. I love the fact that Japan does not have the "suing" culture that America has.
But... having said that I am still not so perfect at letting my own kids learn through their mistakes and spend half the time biting my tongue or clasping my hands so tightly that I get fingernail prints in my palms! The truth is there are probably far less accidents at this waterfall than there are at the river bed my mother slipped in the previous post! All in all a nice adventurous start to our trip.

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