09 October, 2012

Our escape-Tokyo weekend

Our weekend up north was good, but too short. Three days isn't a long enough time when you spend six or more hours driving each way. Nevertheless it was good to get out of Tokyo.

Here are some random thoughts about our time away.

Saturday evening and Sunday were lovely. When we arrived mid afternoon on Saturday our hosts took us for a rambling hike that gave us some understanding of where we were located and also a lot of information about how the tsunami affected this coastal area.

The lay of the land is interesting. There are more than 30 missionary holiday cabins located up on these nobby hills. When the tsunami came last year it didn't get on top of the hills, but swept around them and behind. Because the land subsided below sea level, the hills were islands for some time. And the rice paddies behind them are currently unusable because they were inundated by salt water.

 Here you can see where the tiles were lifted away by the force of the tsunami. The fence was bent too.

Marked on the brown post way above the heads of my family is the level of the tsunami!
 Most of the damage has been cleared, but there is still evidence. Here is a gate that was smashed.

The beach was not quite a Queensland beach, but the sand wasn't too bad (not as dark and dirty-looking as some beaches we've seen in Japan). Not the best photo, though, sorry.

Our boys spent hours playing in the water. It was marvellous to watch.

I guess it is a challenge of being a TK (teacher's kid) that you get to socialise with teachers. And if you happen to be at the same school as your parents you get to socialise with your own teachers! The boys coped pretty well, though.

As for me, a TW (teacher's wife) I find myself socialising with teachers. This weekend I found myself residing in a house with four teachers. They were pretty good, though. They held off on much of the "teacher talk" most of the time. I shouldn't complain, I do remember some friends at uni who had to put up with us "therapy" students talking "shop" or worse (anatomy) at meal-times.

Really, though, our hosts were wonderful. Quite laid back and we could pretty do what we wanted when we wanted, without having to have a big discussion about it. They didn't even complain about boys who decided turn the light on and have a party at 2 am in the room above our hosts' bedroom!

Our hosts' life situation also posed an interesting thought for us. They're fairly new empty nesters. What will we do with our "extra" time when we're empty nesters (we'll still be our early 50s)? Maybe I'll write a book, or take up a new hobby?

When we asked the boys if they would like to go back to Takayama (as it is called), it was a unanimous "Yes". So I guess we'll be back there, maybe on our way home from an epic Hokkaido Camping Trip next summer?


-J said...

Glad you got to visit Tak! And how delightful to discover that it's an option for future enjoyment as well. A good reminder to me that I need to keep trying things (in lots of areas of life) because you never know when you'll happen upon something you enjoy! And YAY! for a weekend away, too.

Wendy said...

Thanks J. There are a variety of reasons we've not holidayed at Tak before, one being that neither of us really like beaches. But obviously our boys do! We all have very pale skin so it means lots of sunscreen which isn't much fun.

But yes, being willing to try new things is something we need to continue to work on, especially as we move further and further away from our youth!

AlyceB said...

We went to Sendai a month ago and I had the chance to visit a new friend slightly further north in Tagajo. She lives in a beachside cabin on a little hill with other cabins around - in fact it sounds very much like what you described! Her cabin overlooks this beautiful little bay and on that day she watched the tsunami come in. Still gives me shivers at the thought. There's nothing left there now other than some broken foundations and a lot of overgrown weeds.

And my husband and I were actually commenting on the fact that we had never really understood the fuss about Australia's beaches until we came here and saw Japan's! Some aren't so bad, but still nothing like our white sand!

Wendy said...

Alyce, I'd wager it was the same place. Tagajo is in that area too. The area is called Shichigahama, seven beaches.

Yep, Australian beaches are something special. And most non-Aussies don't understand why we're not excited about Japanese beaches.