Ontayaki Pottery Village

We are lucky to be in Kyushu, as it homes some of the most famous pottery styles and techniques in all of Japan. One of these is Onta-yaki, a small town rich in decades of pottery history. On a cool, cloudy weekend day, we took a 2 hour drive to Onta. As we drive, we…

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Cooking Rice in a Nabe and Local Seafood

Seafood is a surprisingly affordable product in grocery stores, and there’s a great variety available to us here. Not all attempts of cooking has been what I’d call a success, but it’s a fun experience nonetheless. One way we’ve learned to cook with seafood is with a hot pot, or nabe (なべ) as it is…

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Fukamido Cafe

On a Saturday morning, we head to a cafe called Fukamido, after being invited to their opening the previous night at an English conversation meet-up. Our ears perk up when they mention coffee, and we don’t want to miss the opportunity to try out good cafes. It’s pouring out, a perfect day for a coffee indoors.…

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Apartment Tour (Part Two)

Our apartment is in quiet neighbourhood with a view of the mountains and rice fields. The loudest thing we hear during the day are the kindergarteners adjacent to the apartment, and the ring of the school bell. However, we are also a convenient 5 minute walk away from one of the main streets of Oita, populated…

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Apartment Tour (Part One)

One of the pros of living in the countryside in Japan is the abundance of reasonably priced apartments. We found our apartment online on a Japanese website while in Vancouver, and were able to find several decent options. Eventually settling on one with a view of the rice fields, we put in our request with…

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Grape Picking in Ajimu

Oita is lush with various fruits, and one in particular are grapes. A 30 minute drive from Usa takes us to Ajimu, an area famous for grape growing and award-winning wineries. Within this district is 歩くように (Able to Walk), a grape growing house, that we (myself and other English teachers) decide to visit one rainy…

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Futago-ji Buddhist Temple (and an Epic Hike)

There are many small pleasures in life, and one particular luxury for me is owning my own car. No rental cars or expensive car shares – just spontaneous road trips at the drop of a hat. One quiet Sunday morning, that’s exactly what we did. After a brief conversation with a barista about local activities…

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Haruru Cafe

It’s another balmy, summer day in Oita, and another Saturday to go exploring for a cafe. Just off of Highway 10 is Haruru(はるる), a cafe that we’ve been eyeballing on Google maps. From photos, it has a “classic” Japanese-style cafe interior, with an emphasis of wood paneling and coffee bar. Entering Haruru feels like entering…

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