as a member of AFWJ, i get to attend quite a few events with other foreign wives of japanese men. i find our kyushu group to be a really friendly one, and i was really happy to (finally) be able to attend a mini-convention. each year there is a national convention, but usually they are held on honshu, rather far for many of us here in kyushu. so, we hold our own mini-convention to give ourselves a chance to get together and have some fun!
this year we went to hita, a city in oita-ken. i was supposed to catch a train a meet up with kuri and rachel, but yoshi had softball practice and didn't get home in time for me to catch the train. i drove myself, but with the interchange, it didn't take me very long to get there at all!
i was rather early, so i had lunch by myself at a place (and of course i've forgotten the name) that is related somehow to orange julius! they don't sell orange julius there, but i had a fabulous hamburger and salad! then i went to the hotel (lobby pictured above) and was the first one there. since i wasn't the coordinator, i just sat and read a book until other AFWJ members arrived.
first on our schedule (for some of us) was a tour of the sapporo beer factory. first they have us watch a film, and i nearly fell asleep! then we went through the factory a bit (but since it was saturday, it was a bit boring) and then on to the beer tasting! we got two glasses of beer and some snacks to nibble on. that was fun!
back to the hotel to check in, and then some of us went on a walk (there is a historical neighborhood in hita, not too far from the hotel, but as it was raining....) and i snapped a few pictures.
taking a cue from unfamiliar japan, here is a picture of a manhole cover. i guess they have cormorant fishing in hita.
our group (except for me, obviously!) walking in the rain.
many of the roads here were very narrow, so they had these signs on the road reminding pedestrians to stop before stepping into a busy street! many were painted on the road, but i liked this lovely stone sign.
a prettier, smaller manhole cover.
well, that's about all i can share! i had a great time at the mini-con, i hope i can go next year!