The Cutest Children Imaginable
Trip Start Mar 11, 2010
24Trip End Mar 24, 2010
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Today, we had a leisurely breakfast (including rice, for a change!) and then hopped on the bus for the long ride to Kyushu, the southern island of Japan.
On the way, we drove through beautiful, mountainous landscapes to Iwakuni, and crossed the Brocade Sash Bridge. According to our guide, this was built to be unbreakable, but in 1950, it broke.
Once there, we found the expected souvenir shops and ice cream stands. Would you like red bean and pumpkin, or green tea, or garlic flavour? The garlic, according to , is delicious. And garlicky.
We took the rope train (cable car) to the Iwakuni Jyou, a feudal castle at the top of a small mountain. It was warm here, and Ms. Putnam mentioned later that we are lucky enough to get a double spring ... one here and one when we get home. The castle held many Japanese katana and wakazashi, the long and short swords, and gave us a sentry's eye view of the river.
We were in small groups, but most of us scaled the mountain and assailed the castle. And most of us found the kids.
There were about seventy of them, and they were all in the Japanese equivalent of kindergarten, and they were all in uniforms and smocks, and they were the cutest kids imaginable. They were wary of us but when their teachers encouraged them to come over, they quickly warmed up. They began doing the sorts of thing that little children all over the world must do: showing off, acting shy, making the "peacu sign" and taking delight in interacting with willing adults. One boy came up to Ms. Putnam and Mr. Craven and in a very clear voice said, "Hello, my name is Guro."
The teachers eventually blew their whistles, and the children obediently lined up in ranks
We boarded the bus and hunkered down for the long drive to Kyushu and our hotel in the cosmopolitan city of Fukuoka. And here we are. Tomorrow, we travel to Mount Aso, the largest volcano in the world. But don't worry parents ... earthquakes near Tokyo cannot stop us, and neither will fiery magma. Gambatte!
(A note: We didn't feel the earthquake. Nobody in Japan cares about it. The volcano is also completely safe.)