menu Home


J1Japan | January 9, 2020

This is the second part of the Time Traveler`s Journey – Ibaraki Prefecture


Upon rising, one looked upon the tendrils of dense clouds lingering silently within the valley, only the chorus of the broad shouldered stream below providing a voice to the panorama.  The view from the room of this ryokan was a bonding experience with nature and only enticed a yearning to revel in the outdoor onsen.  Situated mere steps from the water that had just ventured down the falls upstream and facing a portrait of autumn foliage, the communal bath oozed tranquility.  Soft voices of enjoyment danced along the rising plumes of steam emanating from the sizeable hot spring where strangers immersed themselves in its hospitality.

The breakfast hosted a gluttonous buffet of Japanese staples and was politely peppered with token Western fare to appease our bickering stomachs.  A delirious chorus of speech filled the air, but one could escape the clutter of conversation by accessing their free Wi-Fi over a life-saving cup of coffee.

Tsukuba Ikoi Farm – Tatami and Country Dining – Tsukuba

Tatami mats made their debut during the Nara period (710-794) providing solace for the derrieres of nobility.  The evolution from seat cushions and bedding enjoyed by the aristocrats evolved into fully covered rooms during the Kamakura period (1185–1333) where the first shogun emerged as did the samurai (warrior caste).  Originally made using rice straw as its core with a covering of woven soft rush straw, it was a highly skilled endeavor and would have made commoners blush at its price tag.  Modernization and industrial measures have alleviated the time consuming profession, but only an adept hand can affect an outcome worthy of note.

We were treated to a firsthand demonstration of the trade by the proprietor, a gentleman kindly marked by the hand of time and oozing a humorous wisdom to his livelihood.  Custom machines made short order of the stitching process, but only a critical appreciation of fine detailing resulted in a product tantamount to its labor.  His workshop, littered with remnants of his `children` as he liked to call them, was overshadowed by the mountainous piles of the grassy base material resting outside in silence.

We had just returned from taro harvesting, perhaps a struggle for those not acclimated to farming, but an enriching trial to understand the chore of food cultivation.  The matriarch of the house, a stout bundle of vigor with a smile that could tame angry politicians, corralled us into a barnlike enclave where a hodgepodge of tables and chairs sat waiting.   Two heavily guarded jars of pickled ginger and plums (umeboshi) sat solemnly and we knew immediately once we tasted them, why the secret recipe could not fall into the wrong hands.  Just outside, a steel pot of epic stature brimming with root vegetables excavated that morning, fluffy mushrooms and infused with poignant notes of homemade miso bubbled contently.  An assortment of garnishes was lined up like dutiful soldiers in preparation of their rice ball (onigiri) assault and we were subtly drilled in its execution.   A frenzy of hands and mouths engaged in activity as steaming rice was assembled haphazardly and those with limited willpower gulped down spoonfuls of the fiery soup.  Only dulled murmurs of approval and gasps of singed tongues filled the crisp air.

Although bereft of white tablecloths, a confusing wine list and prickly waiters, you would be hard pressed to secure a reservation that could soothe your stomach`s wanton demands and embellish your day with an outdoor country gala.  The genuine smiles of our benefactors seasoned the exploit with the zest and spice of a family affair.

Fukuda Green Farm – Persimmon Picking – Kasumigaura

Fukuda Green Farm`s myriad of fruit trees casted a haunting visage to the terrain as most of its inhabitants had already succumbed to winter`s homecoming.  Porcupine like chestnut shells were scattered on the moss ridden floor bearing their hollow bodies to the elements.  Beneath a canopy of fiber netting protection, pear trees spread their tentacle like arms as if searching for their relinquished brood.  Only the affable bellows of the proprietor soothed our perspective as he doled out nibbles of roasted chestnuts and dried Persimmon – our intended prey for this day.  Encouraged by his demeanor and energized by the tasty morsels, we marched ahead to our destination.

The sprawling expanse of leafless Persimmon trees, branches burdened with their sweet offspring, lay motionless as a hushed mist enveloped the gentle slope.  Despite the damp, the glow of the ripening fruit with vibrant hues of an autumn sunset resembled a cluster of stars in a far off nebula.  Sadly, their brethren, passed their prime, littered the darkened soil, wading into the arms of the Earth.   Echoes of joyous voices from onlookers cackled in unison as their eyes chattered to their brains of the unfolding beauty before them.  Like children experiencing their first Easter egg hunt, they scattered amid the orchard carefully examining the bountiful offering for their prize.  A sharp twist of the wrist released the smooth orb from its lofty perch and into the exuberant hands of amateur pickers.

The boisterous proprietor, blade in hand, roared kind invitations as he proffered up sliced jewels of the crop to the adulation of his new found family.  Squeals of pleasure resounded among the gathered as each savored the treat with abandon and relished the simple act of consuming succulent fruit in Mother Nature`s kitchen.

We rallied back to the bus, the night drawing near.  An aura of satisfaction settled on each of us and we knew fortune shined as we walked away from the dreamy pasture with a bursting bag of treasure.


The two day escape into a world beyond our inner circle cajoled our boxed in perspectives.  We were enlightened by the experiences predating our own existence.  It offered a meaningful glance at the historical fabric that shape the tapestry of our own lives and gained a reverence to their origins.  Ibaraki is a sprawling geography of landmarks bearing the marks of mankind`s achievements and is worthy of discovery.  We departed from this simple excursion with our hearts emboldened and our adolescent spirits awakened.  Thank you Ibaraki!

Written by: Kyu Chah

Written by J1Japan


This post currently has 59 comments.

    • J1Japan

      April 10, 2020 at 3:40 am

      Thank you for your kind words. We are so happy that we can provide anything helpful for you. Keep listening!

  1. Madalynn

    May 21, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    I have fun with, result in I discovered just what
    I was taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  2. Brown

    May 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing.

  3. Carter

    May 22, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand so much about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something.
    I believe that you just can do with some percent to pressure the
    message home a bit, however other than that, that is fantastic blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  4. Leonardo

    May 23, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new
    scheme in our community. Your website provided us with helpful
    info to work on. You’ve performed a formidable activity and our whole group shall be thankful to you.

  5. Hallie

    May 28, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Hi there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I
    will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.

    I am sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  6. johan

    May 28, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Hey there I am so excited I found your blog, I really found you by error,
    while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like
    to say thank you for a incredible post and a
    all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up
    the superb b.

    • J1Japan

      May 30, 2020 at 1:07 am

      Thank you everyone for your kind words and thoughtful comments. We will do our best to keep fun stuff up and running! Cheers.

  7. Brianna

    June 2, 2020 at 2:16 am

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this web site, because i wish for enjoyment,
    as this this site conations really fastidious funny data too.

  8. Leonardo

    June 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Simply wish to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post
    is simply great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep
    up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry
    on the gratifying work.


    June 28, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what
    youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only
    having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?


    June 29, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was
    just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is
    very much appreciated.


    June 29, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  12. Freddy

    June 29, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your
    affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours


    June 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Hi! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead
    and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to
    mention keep up the good job!


    June 29, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal website
    now 😉

  15. Richie

    June 30, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before
    but after looking at a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I
    stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking
    back frequently!

  16. Kurt

    July 1, 2020 at 10:14 am

    I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the
    excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these

  17. Syreeta

    July 2, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Greetings I am so grateful I found your blog page, I really found you by accident,
    while I was looking on Aol for something else, Regardless I am here now
    and would just like to say many thanks for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more,
    Please do keep up the great b.

  18. Darwin

    July 2, 2020 at 2:34 am

    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple,
    yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and
    appearance. I must say you have done a awesome job
    with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Firefox.
    Excellent Blog!

  19. Nathaniel

    July 2, 2020 at 4:42 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this web site needs
    much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!

  20. Luigi

    July 2, 2020 at 10:16 am

    You are so interesting! I don’t believe I’ve read through anything like that before.

    So nice to discover somebody with a few unique thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  21. Eartha

    July 3, 2020 at 6:13 am

    Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely
    different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of

  22. Porter

    July 4, 2020 at 2:58 am

    Good site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours
    these days. I truly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  23. Bertie

    July 4, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely
    long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say excellent blog!

  24. Janine

    July 4, 2020 at 10:42 am

    That is really fascinating, You’re an excessively
    professional blogger. I have joined your feed and look ahead to in quest of extra of
    your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your
    website in my social networks

  25. Arleen

    July 5, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog.

    You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your
    blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send
    me an e-mail if interested. Regards!

  26. Victoria

    July 7, 2020 at 1:22 am

    First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear
    your mind prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.

    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to
    be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?

    Thank you!

  27. Eve

    July 7, 2020 at 6:15 am

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.

    I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good
    read. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Sharyn

    July 7, 2020 at 6:15 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this amazing site
    needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!

  29. Minna

    July 8, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Howdy very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will bookmark
    your blog and take the feeds additionally?
    I am happy to seek out a lot of helpful information right here in the publish,
    we want work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for
    sharing. . . . . .

Leave a Reply

  • cover play_circle_filled

    01. The Shuzz M15.2
    Joey Slick

  • cover play_circle_filled

    New 1 Radio – Natasha Watts
    Joey Slick

play_arrow skip_previous skip_next volume_down