Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Karatsu (and Yama 1)

Karatsu was very unique. It had a beautiful bayside city, modern and busy, but in the morning, we visited a different area. We first toured the rural part of Karatsu. This really was my first time seeing a fully rural community here in Japan. This area was barely modernized. Many narrow streets with traditional stores and homes, many rice paddies, and even tanadas which are the rice paddies staircased up the side of a mountain! It was very worthwhile sightseeing. My host father drove us up a mountain (In Japanese, yama is mountain, hence the title) to get a good view of the surrounding bay and city. It was very scary, the roads are extremely narrow and there isn't too much other than a piece of aluminum to stop a car from going over the edge, haha! I have no idea what would happen if one car was going up while one was coming down... at least it didn't happen to us. Atop the mountain, the scenery was beautiful. There were statue shrines and even tables to relax at when spending time up there. While we were up there, there was a grandmother with her grandkids catching dragonflies with nets. We looked over the horizons and got an amazing view of the rural landscapes, the blue ocean, and small mountain islands in the distance. It was a great site, and the perfect thing to do on the day of the sea, to just stop and take a moment to view the ocean! The pictures are of a statue atop the mountain, me with the landscape background (the wind mills in the background were common in this area for energy... they probably work very well because it was windy!), and the tanada rice paddies.

1 comment:

Maria said...

Hey, Chris! It's Louise's Mom, again. So, glad your able to enjoy your stay there & was able to see & experience different things.

The rice paddies in this picture reminded me of the Philippines. The rice paddies are called rice terraces. The villagers made it that way to adapt to with their environment since the area is missing flat plains so they design it like stairs. Did you know that this design of rice paddies enables the villagers to make good use of their irrigation system? I'm hoping that Louise & her sisters would be able to see the rice terraces in the Philippines when we go home to visit.

Well, can't wait to hear the rest of your saga. Keep it up and take good care of yourself and always be safe.

Just me,
Maria