The summer holidays got off to a great start for the Wright Language School staff when Kazuko and her son Akira, Jeremy and I piled into Kazuko’s car to head off to Shimane and Tottori together for two days on the 12th and 13th of August. The weather was pretty bad (yet another typhoon?) so our initial plans to go to the Expo in Sakaiminato were postponed to the following day, and we headed to Matsue. We looked through the historical home of Lafcadio Hearn (小泉八雲) and through the wonderful castle close by. It was a great experience to see how life was over a hundred years ago, and to think what living in Japan as a foreigner might have been like way back when Hearn first came here. After that we went on to Izumo Taisha and spent a long time strolling through the grounds looking at the magnificent buildings there. The weather was still pretty bad, but nothing could take away from the serenity and beauty of the surroundings. On the way back to find our accommodation for the night we were slightly waylaid by the Shimane Winery offering free samples of their produce. A slightly jollier and red faced bunch got back in the car to look for our Minshuku on the Shimane coast.
Dream Port Expo in Sakaiminato
Our hope for better weather the following day came to naught as the rain was heavier and the wind stronger when we got up the next morning. The only blessing was that when we got to the Expo in Sakaiminato the weather seemed to keep a lot of people at home, and the lines waiting to get into the attractions were mercifully shorter than expected. There was so much to see; an unbelievable assortment of displays of local produce, exhibits from neighboring countries, major companies trying to outdo each other with the entertainment on offer, professional and amateur performances live on stage and restaurants offering food from all over Japan and the world. For about eight hours we wandered from one exhibit to the other trying to keep up with Kazuko’s seemingly boundless energy, but still didn’t manage to see everything there. It was a busy and exciting start to the holidays, but for one, left me looking forward to the next break. Thanks Kaz!