Yesterday I went with the whole family to Bungo Takada and to a little cafe called Momokusa. TLG had found the place while researching locations for her work, and we decided to make the trip (about an 1.5 hour drive on the Highway) to attend a live musical performance by Bob Uchida and poetry by Mr. Naaga. The theme of the event was “Goodbye Nuclear Energy” in support of those protesting the continued use of nuclear energy in Japan and throughout the world. Naaga-san’s peotry was moving, bringing some in the house to tears, and likewise Uchida-san’s music, with it’s Island-Folk-Guitar sound, and a voice perfect for his musical style sang songs with poetic beauty in them as well. I particularly enjoyed the last song of the night “おおチェルノブイリ” which although written more than 20 years ago after the Chernobyl disaster, is even more relevant as a song for Japan today.
Momokusa is a very lovely place run by Sari, Mario and their family. All of the ingredients they use are grown locally (many actually by themselves). The cafe is in an old farmhouse that has been restored by the family. I am always so happy to meet people who appreciate these old houses and make the effort to keep them alive. I was especially impressed with the words of Sari’s father who advised me that when restoring an old house, “あんまり手を入れない方がいい” which I took to mean “don’t overdo it”, just bring it back to some of it’s original state. I completely agree with him.
Anyway, We had a great time there and the kids did too. We’ll definitely be going back.
Also while there I met Paul Christie, who runs WalkJapan. We immediately hit it off as we both have a passion for composting toilets! Yum. Paul has been using composting toilets, specifically the Humanure method for many years and I was so glad to be able to talk to someone who has been using this method with success, as it is something I have planned on implementing once we secure our house (which currently has only a pit latrine).
So all in all a great weekend so far. Today I am meeting another friend who restored a Minka here locally. You may recall him as “Mr. Yamamoto” from this post. I look forward to reconnecting with him.
That’s all for now.