|Some of our day campers, who brought a tonne of food and had|
a superb time. We're so glad they made the effort to join us.
The four-family camping trip we'd planned for Monday to Thursday at one of the five lakes near Mt Fuji had to be cancelled due to inclement weather (yes, snow!). Our Plan B turned into a two-family camping trip from Wednesday to Friday at Tama Hills Recreation Centre with three other families joining us just for the day on Wednesday. It was quite a riot, especially on Wednesday!
|Pretty barren-end of winter look. These trees will be green within the month. |
But just now it was fantastic that they let us have all the warming
benefits of the sun because it was still cool in the shade (only about 10C on
Wednesday and today).
|Sunset on the first day.|
|Photos aren't allowed at onsens (understandably). But this is one of the |
toilet entry. Everyone was walking around in socks/bare feet.
It was a relief to have special toilet slippers to put on to use the facilities.
The adults walked and talked and sat and read, generally enjoying the lack of schedule.
The same continued the next day. We were slow in getting up and lazed around much of the morning. Several people had naps after lunch too, or read. Then we went down to the activities area and enjoyed archery or mini golf.
We didn't have showers on Thursday night (shhh, don't tell anyone). The shower facilities leave a lot to be desired. Though, it probably was a good thing, because the airforce were using the area for a training exercise, and that included practice interrogations in the men's shower block!
As for the the rest of our time, I'll leave it to photos to show you some of the things we got up to.
|Some of us tried archery on Thursday. This is not a|
usual activity found on a Japanese campsite!
|This piece of land has quite a history. It used to be a |
Japanese military munitions processing and storage facility in WW2.
|Two tents, one undercover "kitchen" area, and one cooking/relaxing area.|
It was like we had different "rooms" on different levels.
This top room would be called the living room, it had the fire.
|Even after the day campers left, we still had eleven of|
us camping. I loved the interaction between the kids.
None match up in age exactly. We had 17, 16, 14, 13,
almost 12, 10, and 7 year olds. Two girls and five boys.
|Of course campfires were a highlight. We were, unusually, allowed|
open fires and could use any wood we found around. And we found a lot.
|Free entertainment. Two boys (nearly 12 and 7) had a lot of fun |
making these art installations.
|Packing up to go. We rented one of the school vans and|
squeezed all our two family's gear into it, along with our
two families, sans the three cyclists.
|Periodically on our journey home, through familiar|
city streets, we encountered fabulously dressed
CAJ is more than a school, it provides a community for many who choose to get involved. We're so thankful for the friends we've made through the school. Life can be hectic, especially amongst a mobile international community surrounding such a school, so we're glad for this small opportunity to chill-out with friends.