There's Something About Tango

Last weekend was the annual Tango Kimono Matsuri.  Seeing as I've never missed one in all the years I lived in Japan, I wasn't going to let living in Osaka stop me from attending this year (more on that in another post).  Since it was a bit late notice, I decided to be cheeky and called up the Yoshida's, a family I am good friends with, and invited myself to stay for the weekend.  They were more than delighted to have me, and suggested I take the (gasp) bus from Osaka to Tango.

I'm much more of a train girl, you see.  When I ride the train, I go into the ticket office and talk face to face with the person to buy my ticket.  Speaking to someone in a foreign language face to face is much easier and less daunting than doing it over the phone.  To take the bus, I needed to reserve a seat...over the phone.  I sat there holding my phone for ages before I finally convinced myself that I knew how to say all of the things I needed, and dialed...she answered...I somehow ended the call with seats reserved and I was SO proud of myself!!!

The bus ride itself was fine, but I have to admit, I do prefer the punctuality of the train, even if it costs twice as much.

Kumi and Masami were waiting at the bus stop for me, and swept me off to Kaya where we would have lunch.  A new onsen (spa) / restaurant had opened near the Kaya artists' all you can eat buffet stocked full of seasonal Japanese foods, made with fruits and veggies grown there on the grounds.  After lunch we took a walk through the artists definitely made me miss the countryside!

As we walked back to they car, the Yoshidas asked me if there was anywhere I wanted to go, and when they mentioned Amino, my old hometown, I couldn't say no!  We drove from Kaya to Amino - a drive I made almost everyday during my last year and a half living in was very natsukashii (nostolgic).

A lot of sand and washed away, and the whole coast line was littered with trash that had washed up in the typhoon last week.  Too bad the local junior high school only does a beach clean up in spring!!

There were loads of surfers out!

I could have sat on the beach all evening, but when one of the new JETs in a neighboring town called to cancel plans with the Yoshidas the next day as she had caught a cold, Kumi and Masami jumped into action and we headed back to their house to collect some homemade bread to deliver.  By the time we got back to their house it was well after 9, so we had a late dinner (complete with homemade umeshu, plum wine) before I climbed into my futon and was out for the count.

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