Today's post is sponsored not by a family member, but by a great friend who used to live in Japan. She sent me this photo from 12 years ago when all our children were tiny! My kids loved looking at it and seeing how the cupboard in the background has now miraculously disappeared and a fireplace has appeared in its place. They also couldn't believe that I was once young and relatively slim..... Of course they also loved looking at the tiny twins too!
These next photos date way back to October (I'm beginning to think that letting my blog go was a bit of a stupid thing to do....). Dad came to visit again and we managed to find a few more places to go to that he hadn't been to before. One of them was the Cosmos festival in Nakatsu. As with a lot of things I had seen the signs pointing in the direction of the Cosmos fields many times, but had never bothered to detour that way to go and see what it was all about. This year we took the chance that it might be worth a look and were pleasantly surprised. The photos don't do them justice - there were many, many, many fields filled with flowering cosmos. From what I have heard it is the 7th year of the festival and the town has given the locals a lot of funding to plant the flowers rather than rice or other crops. Local schools and other organisations help to plant them each year - and with a total of around 20 million plants spread over 21 hectares they probably need a bit of help! There is no entrance fee, but there are a few stalls around that are selling local produce. The day we went there weren't many people there, but in the weekends I think it gets pretty packed. Definitely worth a wander if you are in the vicinity in October!
The video I found gives you a better idea of exactly how big the area is that they have planted.