“Lived in a house, a very big house in the country…”

Ok, so we don`t live in a very big house, that is for sure, but we do live in the country! We are certainly in more rural Japan than most folks venture to.

When we were initially told about Yamaguchi as our new home and google brought us back only vague hits of mountains and this youtube clip, we didn’t fully know how to feel. We had never heard of the prefecture and it was clear we were in for some rural living! Moving from central Manchester, a city of 6 million, was a little daunting. We have loved city living and the convenience it brings.

On arrival, the lush mountains started to turn our heads. I was not expecting so much bamboo! The mountains are dense, big, everywhere, and full of bamboo. Initially, I was all ‘where is the pub though’? However, after a few weeks, the fresh air, rice paddies on the door step, and mountain views left, right and centre, are starting to grow on me! As for the convenience, they know how to do that in Japan. Family Marts and Lawsons (the equivalents of small Tesco and Spar) are frequent on the main roads and you can do everything from buy food and essentials, to pay for plane tickets and household bills.

Still, I have never been the ‘out door’ type and neither has Dan. Yet, since arriving I have been to Hikari beach twice and we have both indulged in daily rice paddy / coastal walks. I also spent three days at an English camp in the heart of the prefecture where I had no data signal…and did not have a total breakdown. This is a BIG DEAL for us!

A few days ago we took one of our evening strolls with typhoon winds gusting around us whilst we admired a giant brown bird from a safe distance and it hit me (not a piece of debris from the winds but an idea): I could even take this liking nature malarkey to the next level; I could become a bird watcher…

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