A Beautiful Day in Okuizumo with Multilingual Friends

(We felt the nature of Okuizumo)

Hello! I’m Tomoko, a Tomodachi Guide in the San’in area.
“Tomodachi” means friend.

I love to show people from other countries around the area where I live, just like we were already good friends.

Today I’d like to share with you an experience I had guiding 3 people from Turkey, Indonesia and Hungary around this area in November of 2020.

Ooe-no-sato residence

At first, we visited “Ooe-no-Sato”. There we could experience making Soba.
We made our lunches with the local family there, and it made us feel like we were part of their family.
November in Okuizumo is the best season for sightseeing because of the colorful autumn leaves. Also, you can have fresh Soba at this time of year, because the newest crop has just been harvested.
Some people come to Okuizumo just to eat Soba.

In this area, Soba is served in a style called Warigo.
The noodles are put in small bowls, and then we add green onions, fried bonito flakes, seaweed etc.. as toppings. Also, there was a spicy topping called ”Yuzukosho”.
It is handmade by Mrs. Wakuri. She picked “Yuzu”(citron) in her garden.
My guest from Turkey really liked this seasoning. She looked happy when putting a big spoonful of it on her Soba.

The old house is very comfortable, and it’s so great to sit on the engawa (porch) just to gaze at the outside view together. It was so quiet and peaceful.

Itohara Memorial 

The Itohara Family has had the one of the biggest houses in this area since more than 400 years ago.
They manufactured iron using the tatara method until the Taisho Era (early 20th century).
This memorial museum explains the history of tatara and also the glory of the Itohara Family.
In their beautiful Japanese garden, we could feel the deep Japanese traditional culture and spirit of the Okuizumo people.

We enjoyed the garden, and also the color gradations of the autumn leaves. My guest from Hungary has a nice selfie that we took together!

Oni-no-Shitaburui Gorge

Most often “Oni” means “demon” in Japanese, but here we are taking about a shark. In the past, people in this area referred to sharks not as “same” (pronounced “sah-may”, the Japanese word for shark), but as “wani” (pronounced “wah-nee”, the Japanese word for crocodile). Over the years, the name of this place changed from “wani” to “oni”, but this gorge’s original name meant a road of the shark’s tongue.

Do you see the rock that looks like a shark’s eyes? It’s called “tears of a demon”

We could feel the natural atmosphere. Also, we had Japanese tea to relax.
They look like forest princesses, don’t they?

Obara Dam

What a wild sky!

As it got darker, the stars came out one by one. We felt a bit sorrowful that the trip was almost over.

My guest from Turkey said that there’s Turkish saying, “You can tell if you can be a real friend or not by going on a trip.” I guess we could build such a good relationship through this trip.

Thank you to everyone for this day. They said, “Goodbye Shimane. Hope to see you again!”

We really hope to see them again too.

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