Today turned out to be a busy and fun day. First off, Kaichou brought us to the greenhouse to help pick oranges. We learned how to identify the ones that were sweet, as opposed to the sour ones. And yes, it involved a lot of tasting. Afterwards, Kaichou brought us to a farmer’s supermarket and we had coffee at the adjoining coffee shop, overlooking the prefecture. It was beautiful.

 

Afterwards, Kaichou drove us back to the places where we select lemons. We did some quality selecting till lunch. After which, we had lunch at a local Ramen shop. Kaichou informed us that the restaurant was quite famous, we soon realized why.

 

With our bellies filled with delicious ramen, Kaichou once again brought us to a different working site. It was atop the Buddha mountain. There we helped gather the bamboos, simultaneously enjoying the view. The entire experience was peaceful and exhilarating all at the same time. We were on the edge. During our break, we sipped orange cider and swung peacefully on the swings. Furthermore, the weather went through a cycle of sun and snow, we were able to see the mist gather as the sun shied away.

 

Kaichou to the rescue picked us up and took us home to drop off our things before going for groceries and dinner. It seems we went a bit too crazy doing the groceries, there was so many Japanese food we wanted to try, it was great fun. For dinner Kaichou took us to another famous restaurant, this time for okonimiyaki. Kaichou knew the owner, I swear, the man knows everyone in this prefecture. We practiced Japanese, as we congratulated the owner with his son doing the entrance exams for university.

 

After dinner we came back to where we helped gather the bamboos since Kaichou needed to drop some food for his staff. Again, the view was amazing, you could see the towns all lit up, against the silhouette of the mountains. As if that wasn’t sufficient enough, we were able to see all the stars. The constellations, scattered on a coal canvas. I didn’t realize just how much I missed seeing the stars. The rare glimpses in Tokyo pales in comparison.

 

When we go back to the house, Kaichou and I played around the piano he brought over earlier. Yes, the piano he brought over upon learning I could play. We laughed and bonded, as he played us different songs, teasing the other interns for not being familiar enough with the German national anthem. As he played the tune on the piano. To end the night, we tried the yuzu curd, all in approval.

 

[By Maria Diaz – Kannonyama intern from Ireland & Philippines]

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