Published: July 12th 2007July 12th 2007
TAO Farm's rice field
It may look very tranquil, but this is the scene of my trauma with the rotavator
As I had time on my hands having left TAO, the previous farm, early I decided to spend the week meandering up the country to my next farm location. My stop over points were Kumamoto and Nagasaki (both on Kyushu island) and Yamaguchi, Nikko & Morioka (all Honshu island). You'll find a random selection of photos, including some taken at TAO, after this little story......
I found a really quaint ryokan (Japanese style inn) in Yamaguchi. I was fed up with the lonely existence in Business Hotels. Remember "Lost in Translation"?
My room in the ryokan was a spacious tatami (reed matting) floor with paper screens; so much more character even if it was rather ancient (see photo below). But along with the 'character' comes other 'charms' such as the cockroach who visited me last night. I first spotted him outside my bedroom door so gave him a hefty kick to send him on his way. But he obviously wasn't happy with sitting on my door step; later on he came scuttling across my room and took refuge under one of the sitting cushions. I found a heavy porcelain pot thingy and quickly put it over the top
The good old fashioned way before the petrol driven beast was given to me!
of him. Then worried that he'd be able to lift it up during the night (they're strong buggers aren't they?) I also put a jug full of water on top of him!! I didn't sleep very well as a result though as I kept waking up imagining herds of cockroaches climbing all over me. It's really hot here too, which doesn't help with sleeping. You know it's hot when you put the air-con on at 26C and it feels like a nice cool breeze!
Anyway I checked the next morning, and the cockroach was still under his pot! I left him there for the cleaner to deal with, as I'm sure they're experts! I was worried that he was going to munch the tatami mat during the night in a vain attempt to escape, or poo all over the place, but it appears he was well behaved!
But on a plus side, food here has been great (as long as I don't think of where the cockroach family might be living!). Dinner was about 6 different dishes including a white fish cooked in butter and lemon in a tin-foil parcel, deep-fried, breadcrumbed pork and onion skewers, assorted sashimi, a
light soup (not miso), salad, various pickles, rice and green tea. It's the kind of meal I'd happily eat at a posh London restaurant and pay a whole lot more than the 10GBP that I did for both dinner and breakfast!. Breakfast too was yummy; rice (of course), shell-fish soup (kind of winkle type things, in their shells too!), cucumber pickles, squid rings, huge salad, frankfurters, hard boiled egg and green tea! Impressive hey! I don't know how the Japanese stay so slim on such hearty meals three times a day!!
PS-have I over-compressed the photos? The computer I'm using here has a very poor monitor so I really can't see what I'm doing!
There are more photos below