We have been spending a few weeks during summer in upstate New York with the same family friends for the past 4 years. As a mother, it is far from a relaxing vacation. There are always dramas, chaos and hungry kids, but we learn a lot from our conflicts. Nothing can beat the fresh air and the gorgeous land with fun folks.
4 days after the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, we resumed our Japan trip. The next destination was Naoshima (直島). We were coming from Yamagata. Due to the earthquake, Shinkansen the bullet train was not running, so we decided to take a train from Sakata (酒田), a town by the Japan Sea. After hours of busy train rides, we arrived at Uno port (宇野港) in Okayama. From there, we took a ferry to Naoshima. I remember the tension that has been built up over the past few days was loosening, as we we traveled farther away from the north, where Fukushima power plant with nuclear radiation leaking.
In Naoshima, We stayed at a guest house Oomiyake (おおみやけ). This was truly a unique experience. During our stay, we were the only guests, and Miyake san, the owner welcomed us with Shochu, Japanese vodka and lots and lots of talks, finished with some drum session. Next morning, I was waken up by the sound of a house rooster. During the day we strolled around town. The town was quiet, warm, and peaceful. What a contrast from where we were a few days ago.
I felt lucky that I picked his guest house, not just for his hospitality, but also the architecture and historical details of the house. Again hats off to the craftsmanship of our older ancestors. The main guest house was registered at a Tangible cultural property by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁登録有形文化財).
It has been 10 years since we visited Naoshima. The town must have changed a lot, with more art installations and projects throughout the Setouchi area. It would be fun to revisit the area. Feb. 21 2021
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