May 27-28, 2002: Welcome to Oita
In downtown Beppu, I found a "soccer ball" in the shopping arcade. World Soccer Game is just four days away.

We waited our friends at JR Beppu station.
Yes, Ben and Jan found our homepage on the web and sent us E-mails to meet us and know about Oita.
They prefer to stay in a Japanese style inn in Yufuin. We introduced a reasonable inn and joined them to stay there.
The green slope of Mt. Yufu welcomes us under the bright sunlight. Ben seems to have studied much on Yufuin through the web. He asked me at Sagiri observation platform "Which is JR Yufuin station designed by a famous architecture?"
We enjoyed a late lunch at Yunotake-Ann restaurant in Kamenoi Besso Hotel. Ben and Jan are always on good terms.
Grilled Bungo beef reminds Jan of her uncle who was a cow boy. The dessert was tasty as well.

They have recently graduated from a university and got new jobs. They are enjoying a vacation before the new works to come. We should learn their positive way of life.
Kinrin pond surrounded with thick green fascinated them.
They checked in to deposit big luggage anyway.
An hour comfortable drive through Kujyu plateau led us to Kujyu Flower Park.
Flower beds and grand view of Mt. Aso in the distance welcome the guest from afar.
A good couple in the herb garden.
We were taken picture as well in the poppy garden.
Lavender blooming is about two weeks ahead. I suppose the full bloom will be really great.

A piece of white cloud is beautiful, indeed.
Daisy flower bed offers the tapestry of red, white, and pink.
A snap shot at the pansy garden on the background of Kujyu mountain range.
We returned back to the inn, Onyado Nakaya, as scheduled. After enjoying hot spring, we came down to the restaurant for dinner. As they don't like raw fish, the chef offered meat dishes instead. Ben and Jan use chopsticks very skillfully. We enjoyed the tasty dinner over pleasant chatting.
The landlady kindly tells us that fireflies are dancing in the stream just in front of the inn. We walked out wearing Geta (Japanese wooden clogs) and saw many fireflies dancing in the dark.
I got up early in the next morning and walked around the village after bathing in the spa. The main gate of Kouzan temple sits still in the quietness of the morning.
Geese enjoy morning bathing in Kinrin pond warmed up by welling hot spring in the center.
Ben and Jan have enjoyed morning bathing, they said.

To my regret, we have to head to Yufuin station for departure. We saw off the good couple at the platform. See you again, someday, somewhere!
They gave us wonderful presents. We were moved very much by their thoughtfulness.

My husband got a jam bin from Silver Dollar City and I got an ornament of cardinal. Jan said they have cardinal nests in the backyard.
Ben and Jan found our homepage on the web and kindly shared two days for us. We would like to think a great deal of an encounter like this. We hope they will return home with a lot of good memories in Japan.