Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cruising in Japan

My first introduction to Japan was about 40 years ago when I read a story about Miss 1000 Cherry Blossoms. Since then there have been many books and many films, the last one being the last samurai.
The southern Japanese Island were severly damaged during the intense fighting in WW2 and after the war it was the Americans who did the rebuilding so intially all the buildings looked familiar. But as we have slowly moved up the chain of islands the Japan of my imagination has slowly begun to appear.
Our routine is the same at each port. We tie up and make sure we are safe and secure. Then its on to land and off for a quick look around. ( I am looking for that elusive gheisha, Brian is looking for a shop that sells icecream !!!!!!)
The people we have met have been generous and friendly. Generous with their time, given freely, to show us the special places where they live, generous with their gifts from the vegetable garden and orchard. And generous with their acceptance of our fractured Japanese.

The things that have amazed us so far;
the amount of concrete that is used to build safe harbours for a few fishing boats, the huge wharfs for an island that has a population of 120 people....
the number of discarded bycycles..all they ned is a bit of TLC.....
the drink vending machines that can be found everywhere.......

Every day we wake up and wonder what will be the days is some of them..
a gift of three new blades and a nose cone for our damaged wind generator...which is now know as the Mighty Quinn...(thanks Mike)
Fishermen giving us `just caught` fish
Our first Onsen...Nude thermal bathing....(thank goodness the sexes bath in separate areas)
Islands with a population of 120, 11 of whom are of school age, and the school has a staff of 12......
the polystyrene fenders washed up on the shoreline..(they look like legless sheep)
seeing more turtles here than in the South Pacific
Supermarket picture and by feel. ( I cant read the labels!!!!!)

We are now in Fukuoka. Andrew, Avril and the girls have arrived for a two week vacation and one of Andrews jobs while here is to get my computer organised so we can have internet connection onboard. We are hoping that this will enable us to keep our blog more up todate.

We will be leaving for South Korea early August......
so keep watching this space