DAY ONE. After an 18 hour trip across the Atlantic from San Francisco we finally settled at Chizu’s home in Okayama. We spent the day with Mrs. Hashimoto, aka Oba-chan, where Annika tried in vain for her to warm to carrots.  Mr. Hashimoto, aka Oji-chan. Visited photo show for the Lions club with Oji-chan’s photo. Annika had portrait painted at art exhibition.

DAY TWO. A walk along the water in search of spiders. Found a rusty playground Chizu play at as a child. Purchased fruits and vegetables in the parking lot down the street from home. Vending machines with Oba-chan!

HALLOWEEN PARTY. A time to celebrate Halloween with friends at Mu (Chizu’s brother) his wife Chika’s home. With Kishi and Hata families.

DAY THREE – OSAKA. Traveling from Okayama to Osaka with Chika, Shiryu and Miuka. Meeting Kaori, Koji, Tomoyoshi and baby Hitomi. Visiting Osaka Castle Park playground and Osaka Castle.

DAY 4 – KYOTO. Eating green tea treats and visiting Byodoin temple with Isshiki family and Mr. Morita-san.

Later that day in Kyoto…hanging with Yuki, visiting Kiyomizu.

DAY 5 – SAKURABASHI SUNSET near Chizu’s house.

DAY 6 – Meeting Ruri in Kurashiki and Okayama. Dinner at greatest hidden Okayama restaurant with Mu and Chika.

DAY 7 – Spending day at Kokeizan Mountain with Yossen, Fumi and Misao. Yusan’s delicious udon and donburi! Onsen hot Springs entertainment.

Chizu’s Haircut! Ramen! Beer with Takako and Misako!

Annika’s tree creation at the Asahi river. Sushi with Oba-chan, Chika, Shiryu and Miuka. Ikuyo and Aino at home. Neighborhood walk with Annika at night.