Saturday 28 January – Tuesday 31 January
The train ride from Kyoto was long, tiring and the cabin was really stuffy. I was relieved to eventually disembark in Oda, meeting the my Host family Isao and Miyuki Kuya was lovely we introduced ourselves at the train station then we were off to their home. Their house was lovely, half traditional and modern. Miyuki showed me around the house and made me feel completely at home until she left me to cook dinner, while Miyuki cooked dinner Isao and I sat down at the table to have a drink and a chat before it was time to eat a delicious home cooked meal.
I had an early night as we had planned a big day tomorrow at Matsue「松江」. I had a lovely sleep on the futon that night, breakfast was equally as delicious. After breakfast we left by car to Matsue, we filled the ride with friendly chatter until arriving in front of Matsue castle「松江城」(Matsuejō).
Matsue castle was built in 1611 and looked quite grand surrounded by its stone walls, what makes this castle so special is that among the many castle in Japan, Matsue castle is one of the few that stands completely original. We started our tour with a boat ride around the castle moat before checking out the castles interior.
You could feel the history and age in the wood, it was rather spectacular. (http://www.kankou-shimane.com/en/?p=649)
That afternoon we went out for okonomiyaki that we cooked ourselves, we was apparent that all of us were amateurs but we manage to cook it well enough.
Due to the rain we had to skip the shrine visit, so we drove home early for dinner and sleep.
The next day I met up with everyone for a trip to the University of Shimane. We began our university trip with a formal meeting with the University president. Next, we went for lunch in the cafeteria with the local students, It was fun meeting them and talking about our interests and hobbies. The rest of the visit we played activities in the library and classrooms before leaving.
I had a lot of fun at the uni meeting all those people, It was interesting seeing a English class in Japan. Once I got home, Miyuki had dinner ready for my final night with them. Isao and I shared a beer and a bottle of sake while we all chatted throughout the night. We even watched a Japanese tv show that teaches English, and the fun part was the theme for the show that day was the Gold Coast, Australia. So, I helped Isao with his English before bath and bed. I enjoyed my time with the Kuya family very much, they were warm and welcoming and spoiled me everyday. Isao reminded me of my grandfather and even looked like him, Miyuki was so caring and an amazing cook she really took care of me during my stay and I am grateful to have met them.
Saying goodbye the next day was tough as I’m not very fond of goodbyes, I still managed to get their address before leaving so I plan to send them a postcard when I’m back in Australia. Next stop is Hiroshima and Tokyo.