The Birthday Weekend in Ibaraki

I started last month with a weekend with my sisters in Ibaraki.
When you have a sister living in Chiba, another in Ibaraki, and you in Tokyo…it’s going to take at least a weekend to spend quality time together. Especially when it involves a special birthday!
My baby sister turned twenty in June. TWENTY!!!
Hard to believe that she’s officially an adult now (twenty is the official age of adulthood in Japan). I’m still trying to get my mind around how in the world she grew up so fast. At the same time, I’m so incredibly proud of the strong and caring person that she has become. 
She’s busy with exams and classes in her second year of nursing school, but we dragged her away for a sleepover weekend and, most importantly, a birthday cake with candles!
You may know our family is big on candles. We believe that a cake is just a regular cake unless it has candles. Then and only then is it a birthday cake. We also tend to lean towards as many candles as your age (should be interesting what happens as we get older…).
We had no plans but to be lazy , which is sometimes the best kind of weekend when you’re together. Most of the photos are my view from the car, to and from the bus station and Y’s apartment, but you get the idea.
Yay for sister weekends and birthdays! x

How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Ibaraki?

4 thoughts on “The Birthday Weekend in Ibaraki”

  1. Just think, your sister will be dressed to the nines next January 11 for Coming of Age Day (God willing). Will she choose hakama or kimono, I wonder. I hope the trains she uses aren’t crowded that day.

    I guess you are a little like a mother when it comes to your (no-longer-a) baby sister. You will always have in your mind the times when she was just a toddler taking her first steps. To me she has always been a grown up.

    Apart from an overnight in Tokyo my first experience in Japan was having a homestay in Ibaraki. A lot of rice fields to the left and I could walk to the beach to the right. Your lovely photographs sure brought back some of those memories. Like walking in the countryside and having a couple people 150 meters away stopping and gaping open-mouthed as if I was a space alien that had just crashed its UFO and was wandering around lost. Trips to beaches at Ōtake Kaigan 大竹海岸 like here, and Ōarai 大洗 (Ōwarai 大笑い). And a trip to Tsukuba Expo ’85

    I like the way you imaginatively bisected some of the photographs above. Especially the now-triangular ocean scene.

    [Also, I think, there is just something special about the greenery of Chiba.]

    Are those mulberries? The leaves of the mulberry plant are the only thing silk worms will eat. Not many people know this but if you lean really close to silk worms when they are eating you can hear them softly singing “Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush….” : )

    I can tell that you went wading in the sea because your toe nails have been colored by the ocean.

    Oh, let me say this too: Happy Birthday なおみ!


  2. Girls usually wear kimono to Coming of Age ceremonies, the boys wear hakama. Girls wear hakama usually only for college graduations 🙂

    Your memories of Ibaraki sound exactly the same as mine from this weekend. I had no idea there was an expo in Tsukuba though. Some day we're all going to climb Mt Tsukuba…but for now I've only been to the Costco that opened in Tsukuba a few years back. Ha.

    And yes, they are mulberries! 😀


  3. Oh, yeah. My mistake. Often furisode kimono at that. It’s obvious I am no longer turning into an old coot with a fuzzy memory. I’m already there ;–)


  4. No no, with so many ceremonies here in Japan, I'm surprised you even remembered they differ! It's only the girls that have a difference and for the boys it's all hakama for every ceremony, so you probably just remembered that 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: