Host family day in Kumamoto

Charlotte making soba noodles with her host family
Charlotte making soba noodles with her host family
Charlotte with her host family at the soba restaurant
Charlotte with her host family at the soba restaurant

Even though we couldn’t complete the original plan of going on a boat ride to see dolphins because of the predicted storm, I had so much fun! Instead of going to the coast we went up into the mountains. Coming from the Netherlands, where there are no mountains at all, it was amazing to see all the sights. We never saw the predicted storm but the mountains shrouded in clouds were very beautiful.

After stopping a few times to see the view we arrived at our first destination: a soba restaurant where you can make and then eat your own soba. After mixing the dough you roll it out into a big square, then fold it a few times and cut it to make the long soba noodles. They may not have been the prettiest, but they were the best I’ve ever tasted!

On the way back to Kumamoto we stopped at the Shirakawa fountainhead, a spring where you can see the fresh water bubble up. This water becomes the big Shirakawa river that flows through Kumamoto city. The small shrine there is very old and placed in a very quiet piece of forest, it was a very peaceful place.

During all these car rides we were watching the movie finding Dory. I’m still not used to the fact that so many Japanese cars have a television screen installed in the dashboard. This television doesn’t only play DVD’s but can show live TV as well.

When we arrived back home I taught my two host sisters the ninja game, which they proceeded to play for the rest of the afternoon and evening. In between they also found time to teach me a counting game where you have to name the right amount of raised fingers and two card games as well.

After having made our own lunch of soba noodles we also made our own dinner, takoyaki! You have to turn these small balls of dough filled with octopus and anything else you want around very quickly in one movement so they become nice and round. My host sisters (11 and 7 years old) were very good at it. I was not.

Because this was the last day in Kumamoto and with this host family I felt a bit sad to have to leave so soon after meeting them. I’m looking forward to meeting a new host family in Omuta, but leaving my Kumamoto host family will be very difficult because my stay there was so amazing!

Charlotte Lamping (The Netherlands)

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