When we moved here, I joined a group that holds monthly events. Americans living on post work with Japanese nationals to plan great local outings. Americans and Japanese families attend and you get to learn about culture while having fun and exploring new places. What an awesome idea, right?
Our latest event was at Aikawa Park, about a 45 minute drive into the mountains. It was a beautiful, clear day.
William loved being able to run ahead of me down the path (which incidentally ended up being the wrong way and resulted in an arduous uphill backtrack.)
We found all sorts of fun places...
We found this giant, dead beetle which was thoroughly investigated by William and declared to be "cweepy."
While we went about our important work, Luke took Ivy and June to this cool little studio.
Each child had their own little pottery wheel where they made their own plate or bowl.
They had a great time and June wept real tears when she learned that they couldn't bring their dishes home just yet.
We then headed to a large field where we set up a picnic with our group.
There was a large wading pool of which my kids took full advantage. Any time I'm like "Nah, they probably won't need swimming suits for this outing!" they definitely need them. Not pictured: William picking up the shoes of a small Japanese child and throwing them in the water for no discernible reason. Kids, right?
Also nearby - these bouncing, bubble-like structures that look so fun. It takes most of my willpower not to join in.
We absolutely loved this park. It wasn't very crowded and it was so green and lush up in the mountains. Between the fun activity, water, and bouncy...whatever those things are, we were already planning a trip back before we left the parking lot.
As for our current life, it's pretty low key.
Ivy is 5 and loving kindergarten. She has lots of friends in her class and makes more every day.
June is 4 and just so cute. She likes to do crafts at home with me and awaits Ivy's return daily.
William is two. He loves construction vehicles, riding his little scooter, and being a little stinker that somehow we all love to death.
Ruby is 3.75 months. She has recently discovered her hands. She is happy and sweet. Ivy's love for her hasn't waned a bit. She's a trickier than our other babies in a few ways - spitting up, late late nights - but we will probably keep her.
As always, Japan is wonderful and you are missing out. Come visit us and I can promise you a baby to cuddle (who will definitely throw up on you) and all sorts of great quirkiness and natural beauty.