Walking around Naka – 中を歩く

Okayama, November – 岡山、 11月

I found endless joy from Naka Village’s winding roads, mountain paths and quiet forests. Anywhere I went, there were narrow, clear watered streams following the road. The nature at Naka differed completely from Finnish; it was more exciting!

津村市・中村の曲がりくねった道、山道、そして静かな森を見つけた時は、これ以上ない喜びを感じました。 どこに行っても、道に沿って細くて透き通った小川がありました。 中村の自然はフィンランドでみる自然とまったく異なるものでした。もっとわくわくするものだったのです。

The roads were deserted, and instead of cars or people I saw kingfishers glistening in the sun, small fishes in the stream, and even escaping baby wild boar. In the forest my path passed the villager’s shiitake mushroom logs, bamboo groves and small waterfalls. The air felt damp and everywhere was bottle green moss and fallen leaves.

道には誰もおらず、車や人の代わりにカワセミが太陽に輝き、小魚が小川を泳ぎ、野生の子どものイノシシが逃げるのを見ました。 森の中では、シイタケの丸太、竹林、小さな滝を通り過ぎました。 空気の中に湿気を感じ、いたるところに緑の苔や落ち葉が広がっていました。

The mountainous roads were quite exhausting to walk; no matter which way I walked there were hills, and slippery moss-covered asphalt. Sometimes a sudden shower from the sunny sky surprised me: it’s called kitsune no yomeiri, the fox’s wedding.


Arts And Crafts Village

3090 Misaki-cho, Kume-gun, Okayama, 709-3407 Japan


〒709-3407 岡山県久米郡美咲町中3090

Tokyo German Village – 東京ドイツ村

Chiba, December千葉 12月

My husband and I visited the Kikuchi Family and Chiba once again in the winter. Kumi and Hiroto took us to see a magnificent illumination in the middle of the countryside; Tokyo German Village, which is actually in Sodegaura City, Chiba Prefecture.


This winter illumination is one of the three best illumination of the Kanto area, they have three million LED lights on the landscape, all over the fields and buildings. The theme park is open throughout the year; visitors can enjoy the illumination during winter, and the seasonal flower fields, golf course and picnics in summer. There is also German food and beverages.


Tokyo German Village

419, Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba, 299-0204 Japan


〒299-0204 千葉県袖ケ浦市永吉419

Escaping winter to Gran Canaria 2 – グラン・カナリア島へ逃避する冬 2

Spain, Januaryスペイン 1月

We took a water taxi from Arguineguín to Puerto del Mogan; once again we were lucky, and the boat was completely empty. The ride took a little over an hour, and we could admire the rocky island from the sea. When we arrived at the town, we wandered through its narrow alleys until it was time to eat lunch. From Puerto del Mogan to Playa del Cura we traveled by bus. It was a wild experience; the driver sped full speed on the narrow serpentine road which squirmed at the hillside.


Keen to explore the island’s unfamiliar flora and fauna, we headed for the Botanical Garden of Maspalomas. The garden was free, and we had a nice picnic there amid colourful butterflies, flowers, cactuses and birds. Short distance from there was Maspalomas beach and the sand dunes, so we visited them as well. The dunes are protected Nature Reserve Space.


The boat trip to Puerto del Mogan
Parque Botánico De Maspalomas
Playa de Maspalomas beach

Parque Botánico De Maspalomas

Av. Touroperador Neckermann, 2, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain

Playa de Maspalomas Sand Dunes

35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain

Escaping winter to Gran Canaria 1 – グラン・カナリア島へ逃避する冬 1

Spain, Januaryスペイン 1月

The Canarian Islands have the perfect winter time weather for Scandinavians; the temperature during daytime is around 20 degrees. The islands are very popular among Finnish, Norwegian and German retired citizens. We too like the quiet life, nature, fresh fruits and seafood. 


We rented a flat with a kitchen and a big balcony from peaceful Playa del Cura. Every day we walked nearby marketplace, where we bought a lot of delicious organic fruits: oranges, pomegranates, grapes, avocados, papayas, coconuts and melons. Lunches and dinners we ate at local restaurants, which menus were full of seafood; our favourite dish was fishplate with Dover sole, swordfish, salmon and squid with salad and Canarian potatoes.


At the evenings we watched the sunset and enjoyed our balcony. Playa del Cura resembled amphitheater: the surrounding hills were filled with buildings, and in the opposite was the sea. Our flat was high on the hill, and we had a beautiful view. We also had a new friend, when Eurasian collared dove visited our balcony to eat some breadcrumbs.


Playa del Cura
The marketplace
The food was excellent and cheap

Tropical flowers of Okinawa – 沖縄の熱帯の花

Okinawa, November11月 沖縄

The flight from Narita to Naha takes only three hours, and it feels like arriving in a totally different country; the turquoise sea glistening in the sun, beaches with smooth, white sand and palm trees swaying in the warm breeze. Our visit was during the low season, so the beaches were empty and not so many activities going on.


For a nature lover, this place has a lot to offer; beautiful landscapes and sunsets, tropical flowers, mountains and rainforests. We visited Southeast Botanical Gardens, the green paradise of Okinawa Island. The botanical garden’s 100 acres of exotic subtropical climate’s vegetation, fruit trees, orchids and flower beds encircled several ponds.


Because of the low season, our visit was very enjoyable; the weather was not too hot, and the garden was half-empty. For us Scandinavians, just below 20 degrees is the perfect temperature, so Okinawa in wintertime was a nice experience!


Beautiful beaches of Okinawa
Southeast Botanical Gardens
Around Okinawa Island

Southeast Botanical Gardens

2146, Chibana, Okinawa, 904-2143, Japan


〒904-2143 沖縄県沖縄市字知花2146