Ｉarrived by train to be greeted by Kentaro, who took my bag and guided me to his home. My first impression of the village was of and peace. It is a tiny village, nestled below the mountains, alongside a gently flowing river. I was delighted to see sakura trees in bloom, and many ready to burst into bloom. I was so very happy. This is my first experience wwooffing and I had no idea what to expect> Kentaro soon made me feel at ease, with his thoughtful, friendly nature> I He introduced me to his wife and young student Hozuki. Makiko had cooked the most amazing lunch, with produce from their garden and their own grown organic brown rice. I was surprised that she had cooked one of my favourite foods to cook, Tortilla De Patata, with potatoes they grow themselves. It was the best I have tasted.
Even though there was a language barrier, I soon had a sense I was in the company of two very special people, so very happy and at one with nature.
After lunch Kentaro showed me where I was to sleep. Imagine my delight when I realized I was to sleep in his studio, surrounded by his extraordinary sculptures. I felt so very fortunate they had accepted me to work with them.
After lunch we set to work. I was so happy to be out in nature, surrounded by mountains and the sound of rushing water below, and I was very happy to do my best with each task that Kentaro set for me.
Makiko cooked the most delicious feast which would be found in any 5 star restaurant. Once again I felt honoured to be in the company of these warm welcoming people. Makiko is a first class chef, and Kentaro a talented, wise, thoughtful artist, organic farmer and philosopher. Makiko has the most delightful sense of humour, and truly cares about people.
I enjoyed every aspect of the physical work, from pruning kiwifruit vines, to chopping wood, to lugging wood to the fire and so many more physical chores. It was hard work, and I have never been happier.
Kentaro does not expect more of you than you can handle, and I appreciated the fact he does not micro manage and trusts you have the ability to finish the chores he sets you,
He such a hard working man with so much energy and never stops working.
At the end of the day, we had a bath, in what must be the most beautiful onsen I have ever been in. How wonderful it was to slide into that warm water, and gaze out over a pond, framed by a sakura in full bloom.
Dinner was waiting for use, another feast for both the eyes a
nd the soul.
It was raining, but not cold. We trudged through mud and stacked up logs for the bath fire.
We also helped prepare his home for the oncoming spring weather.
I was prepared for another day of chopping wood, in the rain and whatever else Kentaro asked of me, when he told us to get dressed as we were going sightseeing.
What an absolute joy, the be on the road exploring the beautiful countryside and so many sakura in bloom.
Kentaro and Makiko are so incredibly generous as well, in so many ways. They are salt of the earth people, and I will never forget this experience.
gozaimus Kentaro and Makiko, for accepting me into your home, making me feel so
welcome, and allowing me to learn about your culture, and more importantly