Early during my stay in Tokyo I was able to take a few days off to visit good friends of mine in Okayama in Fukuyama, both cities in the Japanese Chugoku region. Some of you might remember that my first journey to Japan back in 2010 also went to Okayama. So during these past five years I developed a certain fondness of that city, which is still going strong. For this reason I try to make a point of stopping by there whenever I’m in Japan – which is even more enjoyable with great friends there like Gen and Hana and their family, who were – as always! – a pleasure to meet. I didn’t do much sightseeing this time, except walking through Korakuen again, which is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan.
For the next step of the small trip I went to Fukuyama to visit Yoshino, whom I’ve also known since 2010 and who has become a very good friend of mine. Together we discovered a bit of Fukuyama and she introduced me to a really nice Izakaya (Japanese-style bar) in Onomichi, not too far away. We also discovered Mametoku (豆徳 まめとく), a shop that is specialised on sweets made out of or with various beans. Definitely have a look at their webshop (though only in Japanese), if you want to try something a bit special 😉
The second day in Fukuyama brought with it the Rose Festival, a big event during which the city celebrates its famous roses and thousands of visitors come to see the flowers as well as all the artists, singers and other attractions that are in town during the two days of the festival.
Of course, I won’t leave out the main attraction of the festival, the flowers:
And of course, there is the usual dose of weird and interesting things to find on such a festival. In places this far from Tokyo you’ll also get asked to take a picture together with someone quite often. Personally, I don’t mind this most of the time. At the worst it’s going to be a weird moment, but at the best times you take away a good memory and have built a small intercultural connection. And it’s even better if the images turn out nice as well 😉
That’s it for now. I hope to be able to post some more articles in the coming days. Stay tuned and leave a comment! 🙂