2011 September 9-11: Mr.Klaus,welcome to Oita
In September this year, Mr.Klaus who took us to Lapland journey kindly came to Oita together with his friend Ms.Kaeko in Osaka. We were very glad to see them for the first time in two months.
After a short time seeing with Ms.Kaeko, we drove around the central Oita befor heading to my home. We first visited Funai Castle. There is no main building of the castle, but the corner turret,the main entrance gate, and the canal attracted Mr.Klaus's interest.
He was specifically interested in the trimming work of the pine trees. Four gardeners trim one plant carefully. It was a surprise finding that it takes two days for one tree trimming.  
Beautifully trimmed pine tree. Died needles and twigs were trimmed needle by needle to create the whole tree beautifully. I asked the workers and took the close up pictures. They kindly told us how to make the wonderful shape.  

Near the Prefectural Office are some statues. Oita (old name as Bungo) is one of the earliest district that the Western culture landed for the first time in Japan. The statue of St. Francisco Xavier, boys mission to Europe in the 16th century have attracted Mr.Klaus's camera focus.
iThe statue of western music birthplace.j
Mr.Klaus was very glad to learn the connection of Oita and the Western world.   
As he knew the name of "Monkey mountain(Takasakiyama)", we drove up to the nearby hill to view the location of my home relative to the mountain.

From left, Mt.Yufu(1583),Mt.Tsurumi(1374), and Mt.Takasaki(628).
Before the dinner, Mr.Klaus enjoyed our history by the album.
Now, the dinner is ready. I asked the special dish of sushi including sea beam and Norwegian salmon which we couldn't eat in Norway. We toasted by special dry Japanese sake. It is well known fact that sake matches sushi very well, but wine doesn't.
After the dinner, we shared the pleasant memory of Lapland journey. The last picture was raspberry picked by Mr.Klaus and his friend in Norway.

This time Mr.Klaus kindly brought me the homemade raspberry jam and a pack of dried cranberry I enjoyed through the Lapland journey. Ms.Kaeko made a great effort to look for the pack, thank you very much. Both of them were really good souvenirs.

We walked around in the scattering rain.
We visited a small temple just under my home and climbed up the watch-night bell tower.
In the main building, the golden shinning Buddha welcomed the guest from the overseas country.
The next visit is nearby Hayashi shrine to which I usually make the first visit in the New Year. The stone gate and upstairs were beautifully cleaned up. The half an hour walking was very good.
As it looked small rain, we drive out as scheduled. On the way to the spa, we dropped in a scarecrow display in the dry rice field.
Among the scarecrows of "Men's cooking school" was a visitor from the far away country in dark suite.  
A scarecrow was added to the representatives of the group. A pleasant autumn festival after the crop.  
We have arrived at Banshou-no-yu spa in Nagayu spa resort. The spa is a sister spa to Bad Krozingen in Germany. Mr.Klaus said that Krozingen is located in the southern Germany.  
The restaurant is next to the huge spa just built in last March.
We enjoyed many kinds of bathing spa such as open-air bath,inner bath and soda bath.
Then, we enjoyed the medicinal herb based dish in buffet style.
Local-produced-local-consuming foods were very good for health. Fried river fish Enoha was an excellent dish.
It was really great.
We then headed to Kujuu highland. Japanese pampas grass were swinging beautifully in the cold wind. 
On the way back home, we stopped at my friend's house. The garden was already prepared for winter.
Mr. and Mrs. Yamada, the owner of the wonderful Canadian house, welcomed us despite our sudden visit. It seemed that Mr.Klaus was moved very much.

We took a we-were-there-picture together with their dog just like the Polar sled dog we saw in Lapland journey. From left,Mr.Yamada,my husband ken,Mr.Klaus,me, and Mrs.Yamada.
Mr./Mrs. Yamada guided us around the large garden. Mr.Klaus looked like interested in the mushroom nursing log. 
As we took much amount in the lunch, the dinner was light with bread and simple soup. I then baked the bread for next morning breakfast. 
Just-out-of-the-oven bread made Mr. Klaus happy. 
November 11:

Mr. Klaus now goes to Tsuwano city in Yamaguchi prefecture by train. We saw off him at Oita station. See you again next time in Germany! Have a good trip in western Japan! 
back   Photo:K.P,Ken,Mie