Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Bit Fruity

Yesterday I went to another of the local Parky Parks. I don't know what to call them. They are destinations, like the zoo, or amusement park. And they require an entrance fee. There is the Garden Park, the Flower Park and the Fruit Park. I'm sure such exciting places to come will be the Tree Park and the Vegetable Park...but they don't appear to be in the works yet. Well yesterday I went to the Fruit Park, sometimes also called the Fruits Park. Entrance was 700 yen, and parking another 200 yen. I had heard mixed reviews on the place, but the weather was just so lovely, I figured even if I just sat somewhere and people watched I'd have a nice time. The park was broken into two halves. The first half wasn't terribly large. It had some green houses showing tropical fruits. Pineapples are weird things to see on the plant. They look fake. There were some shops, and a fishing pond, and a few paths through the persimmon trees and a HUGE playground. But I killed a good 45 minutes looking around and getting toasty. Then I headed for the second half. You walk over the over pass across the road and then you take an escalator up the hill. It is very strange to take an escalator up a mountain. It was at least a 4 or 5 story escalator, and very steep. But when you get to the top of said mountain you arrive at the real fruit growing areas, where you can pick your own fruit. The have a bit of everything, citrus, apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, etc. But I happened to pick a week where just about nothing is being harvested. Just missed the grapes, and just a little too early for persimmons and apples. So I just walked around. It was a very large area, and since most of it was out of season, I had most of the back areas to myself. And I walked and walked. It was nice, and the weather made it really lovely. They did have one place where you could pick your own under ripe mandarin oranges (mikan), for a reasonable price. I grabbed a basket and listened to the tale end of the guy lecturing everyone on the rules. He asked me if I understood, and I said "No". He pointed to the white stick protruding from some of the trees and said "White, Okay", he pointed to the more ripened fruit and said "Yellow, Okay" and then he cut the stem as close to the orange as possible and said "Okay". It took him 10 minutes to tell the Japanese folks that, I got it all in under a minute. So I plodded around looking for the best fruit possible. I ate one later, they are still quite sour, but still refreshing. Then I decided it was time to take the escalator down the mountain and head home with my spoils and my warm sun-buzz. I enjoyed myself, but I still think these Parky Parks are kinda strange.


At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sorts of posts are the ones I look forward to most--a slice of your day, a travelogue to a tiny out-of-the-way place on the other side of the world. I don't know you and am sure we will never meet, but I want to thank you. Reading your blog for the past year or so has been an enjoyable thing for me. I feel like I have a friend in Japan, and I too would miss you if you call it quits. If you tire of the process or feel it a responsibility, I am sure your readers would understand--just don't stop because you think no one is listening.


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