|Autumn in Gobo|
While we were in Gobo visiting the grandparents in November, Yoko's old junior high school held its annual autumn festival. We decided to walk to the school, and ended up following the same path (at right) that Yoko took as a student. Yoko remarked that the path seemed a lot narrower and shorter than when she traveled it daily so many years ago.
|In addition to the standard school festival events and foods, there was a paper-making booth . (The nearby area is a major paper-making center.) Colored paper pulp is suspended in tubs of water. A postcard size, fine-mesh screen is carefully dipped into a tubs and the pulp is agitated into place. Dipping into different colored pulp tubs produces a multi-colored piece of paper. When the desired effect is achieved, the wet pulp sheet is removed from the screen, placed between two towels, pressed reasonably dry, then ironed to flatten and completely dry it. Some people embedded small maple leaves and other autumn-themed objects in their postcards.||This is Steve's paper-making attempt, complete with hand-stamped markings for use as a postcard.|
|I'm beginning to think that cotton candy is a Japanese invention. It is available at every festival, school activity and temple event.|
|On another day, Yoko's father took us along the coast to a place called Shirasaki, known for these rugged white rocks and arches. The rock at the left in the upper picture is actually a basin, with steep walls surrounding a flat central valley. Inside the valley are a campground, picnic area, and a restaurant/rest home which, unfortunately, was severely damaged by the last couple of typhoons and is still under repair. But the campground and picnic area are ok, as are the nearby swimming beaches. We'll be paying an extended visit next summer for a day or two swimming and camping.|