One Week of Travelling – Niimi

The last stop on my way to my research prefecture Tottori was in Niimi, which was about half way from Hiroshima. I went there to visit my former language exchange partner and good friend Yoshino and her family. It was the time of the Hina Matsuri, the doll festival, and throughout the old street of the small town, the shops were decorated with small dolls. I hadn’t seen this festival in Japan before, as it’s usually more of an event within the family as far as I know, but in Niimi, they were even attracting some tourists with it – really interesting!

In addition to this, Yoshino’s mum really is a great cook and prepared extremely delicious Japanese dishes (I even started to like octopus) and the whole family was just very hospitable as always. I definitely hope I’ll be able to visit again some time 🙂

Summer Journeys – Niimi

With me having summer holidays in August and September, I set out to travel a lot of places in Japan to use all of the available time and see a lot more of this country. The problem is, I’m already 2 and a half weeks behind with my schedule of blogging about this (and it’s going to mount up a fair bit more, I guess xD), so please be patient with me 😀

But let me tell you about Niimi: it’s a small town in the north-western part of Okayama-prefecture surrounded  by mountains and generally beeing in a pretty rural location. In essence, it might be not the ideal place to go for sightseeing, but the reason for going there was a different one. My tandem partner Yoshino, whom I used to help with German and she taught me Japanese the last 6 months before I came to Japan, had invited me to visit her family in Niimi and of course I happily accepted this invitation. Beeing able to live in a Japanese family doesn’t happen all day and it was a nice chance to meet a good friend again 🙂

I stayed there for three days and while Niimi doesn’t offer much for tourists, the sheer hospitality of Yoshino and her family, as well as the nice atmosphere of the small town made it 3 days very well spent. I was treated to meals in the family, we watched movies and went eating ice cream together (and to the local art museum, which had a puppet exhibition – puppets are indeed a bit creepy…) and so on. It was really nice! The house was also quite traditional with tatami on the floor and rice paper doors and such and was very well tended to. Luckily the toilet was modern western style (with all the fancy buttons), because the traditional Japanese toilet is an abomination of a toilet. Not much mor than a hole in the ground – bwah xD

Anyway, with this little trip my whole tour started and on the first of September I went on from Niimi to Tokyo, which is of course another article or some more of them 😉