19 July, 2015


Some were concerned that we left Australia exhausted. It was a concern because we were very tired, but the bigger picture was better. 

We landed in Japan in the middle of the school's summer holidays. We were in our house for less than a week before my parents arrived and we whisked them off to a holiday next to Mt Fuji.

Below is the view that greeted us on our first morning. We were gobsmacked. We had no idea Mt Fuji was so close to where we were staying (the summit was only 14 km away).

This is a view out of the lounge window. The house is on a property with six other cabins/chalets owned by a mission. Missionaries frequently stay here for a break.

On the first day four of us rode around the lake the chalets face onto. It was about 13 km around, a very pleasant ride. The lake is about 900m above sea level and hence the temperature was moderate (Tokyo was hot and humid before we left).
What I love about this photo is the huge bike park. No cars could get in here, and they'd painted bike-sized parks.

A couple of days later we drove south to Hakone, renowned for amazing marquetry, inlaid wood designs on products. It is a place we've been hoping to visit for a few years now, after our eldest son discovered the clever Trick Boxes that they also create. 

This is the view out of our bedroom window. If the temperatures were mild, they were even better under the trees. I even wore my tracky dacks (US = sweat pants) for some of the time. We slept long and hard in the peace we found here. It was restorative and desperately needed. Last Sunday morning we went to church in Tokyo and I struggled. I came home with a pounding headache and exhausted. Clearly a holiday was necessary. I'm please to say I'm feeling much more stable now with fewer headaches.

This was on our trip home. The day after our road trip to Hakone it rained continually all day. We all stayed inside and played hours of board games. It was a restorative day too. The next day we headed home, amidst grey skies and some showers. We were thankful for the grey skies as they kept the temperatures down in Tokyo for a couple more days.

Our away-from-home holidays aren't quite over yet. Next Friday we head away for four nights on our first camping trip in Japan this term. We're going to another new destination, a completely different part of Japan. I'm looking forward to telling you about it. I'm also looking forward to getting out of Tokyo's oppressive heat for another few days before we knuckle down and bear with it for the rest of the summer.

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