December 11-14,1998 ; A young couple came back home: by Mie

My son, who got married in February this year, came back home for the first time since then with his new wife Yasuyo. They look very happy and we are delighted as well. They named a memorial tree in the garden as "Takehito & Yasuyo's lemon tree." I also planted a Kabosu tree in memory of my husband's retirement. We put four lovely tulip-shaped nameplates beside the trees.
On a warm day in December, we walked around our Fujimigaoka town under the beautiful sky. Mt. Takasaki (right), Mt. Tsurumi (center), and Mt. Yufu are visible clearly in the distance. We dropped in an old friend nearby who had loved Takehito as if he were her own son. She met him after a long time and said, "You've well grown up." We all burst into laughter. We had a pleasant time.

In the evening, we headed to their company's convalescent in Yufuin. We will stay there for two nights. I am really moved to have such a wonderful present from my son and his wife. After we relaxed in a spa, we enjoyed tasty dinner. Next morning, I walked out to overlook a grand vista of Oita valley running down from Yufuin basin to Oita City.
One of the big expectations of the young couple is to play tennis in Yufuin. We borrowed the tennis court exclusively and enjoyed the game. After a long absence, I warmed up myself and swung the racket timidly. The young couple played beautifully because they play tennis whenever they have time. Yasuyo, my new daughter-in-law, became a player as a representative of the company, and got the second finish in a non-professional tournament in this autumn. It is very nice to watch her beautiful form. We played a mixed- doubles game. I could recall the pleasure of a tennis play.

After the play, we relaxed in the spa and then drove down to Yufuin Beer Hall. The hall was crowded with many guests, but I coincidentally met a managing director and a planning general manager (one of my Internet friends.) We introduced each other and they kindly found a table for us. We enjoyed four kinds of local beer and tasty foods in a smorgasbord style. The young couple said the local beer was very good.
We walked around Yufuin in the afternoon. Mt. Yufu towers high overhanging over us, small fish make jump in a stream, and duck families drifting among the reeds. Time passes slowly.
We came to Kotokotoya coffee shop, my favorite resort. The young couple also looks like to enjoy the atmosphere of the shop. Thick wooden black-shinning beams on the ceiling, back music of Gregorian sacred music, bittersweet aroma of original blend coffee, and above all, special wine-stewed apple made by my close friend Mrs. Misako Fuchino, all fully fascinated us and stayed there longer than had expected.
Next stop was hotel Tamano-yu. They touched the steaming water welling up from the bottom of a stone pod and delighted to find that it was a hot spring. At the souvenir shop, they bought some items for their company members.
We walked along a stream and arrived at Kamenoi-Besso hotel. Unfortunately, an old restaurant, to which my son Takehito resorted in his small days, is demolished for construction of a new restaurant. When I look up Mt. Yufu, it was shinning pink in the afterglow. They bought another souvenir as well. We have had a pleasant time today.

The last day in Yufuin. We left the resort house of Honda. The young couple again enjoyed tennis from early in the morning. We relaxed in the hot springs. Then we drove through Yamanami driving way, dropped at Makinoto pass, the entrance to Mt. Kujyu, and arrived at Kujyu local beer restaurant for an early lunch.

The pleasant four days had passed before I knew. It is time to return to Tokyo already. It was very delightful to see them who had managed to take a vacation together in their busy days. After they passed the gate, they again got additional souvenirs. I have learned sweet cakes are welcomed in an off time in their offices. Please keep you healthy and return to Oita again to see us, Good-bye!

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