Rosemary's visit to Minoh, July 2016

Minoh Visit report from Rosemary, Management Committee Chair.  She has returned from two weeks in Japan in July. She spent a few days in Minoh.

“Visits included a 6am trip with my homestay host to Banpaku Kinen Koen, the former Expo 70 site near Minoh, for their lotus festival. I was one of the lucky 300 to drink sake through the stem of a lotus leaf. You sit down and they place the stem in your mouth and pour a little sake into the leaf. After you have drunk it, they shorten the stem so it’s clean for the next person. I was surprised to learn that in Japan you can’t drink any alcohol and drive.

Drinking Sake from a Lotus leaf

“It was wonderful to see crowds at the former expo site which was of special interest to me when I was a child. My parents took me to see the short film This is New Zealand made by the National Film Unit for the New Zealand pavilion at expo. It was digitised in 2007 and in 2014 DVDs made available. I've just bought one and was delighted to see the full film again. You can see the intro at


“Kawashima-San, from the Hutt Club in Minoh, and I visited the Assumption Catholic Girls School in Minoh. We read The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour kamishibai in English and Nihongo to a group of six-year-olds and gave the school their own copy. Former student Miho Maeda joined us for the visit. We gave the school material from Sacred Heart College which welcomes fee-paying international students.

“My visit included a service at Koinonia Christ Church (where I was invited to speak and brought greetings from Hope Centre in Lower Hutt), a welcome party by the Hutt Club, a visit to the Asahi Brewery, and meetings with MAFGA, Mayor Kurata and the group translating Lower Hutt - The Garden City into Nihongo.

“I spent a day in Sakai with my 2009 trip homestay host. She is teaching calligraphy to children and I enjoyed watching their class.

“Most of the remainder of my visit was with Minoh House calligraphy tutor Akiko Crowther, fellow student Karyn and her husband Jeremy. We did some sightseeing in Tottori and Kyoto, including the famous Gion Festival, and some calligraphy-related visits.
“The trip was fantastic. I coped well with the heat - up to 34 degrees but dry heat. Thank goodness for air cons. Thanks to Akiko and my hosts in Minoh for all they did to make the visit so enjoyable.
Doomo arigatou gozaimasu.