We were collected by our hosts for the week, Aida Chemicals who make Art Clay. Dice was to be our liaison, translator and brilliant “tour guide” for the week. Once at the factory we were given a tour around. Aida Chemicals have been recycling metals for many more years than they have been making silver, gold and now copper clays.
After the tour we headed off the Historic Park just near the factory. This beautiful park has old Japanese buildings and wonderful areas of gardens. The plum blossom was in full bloom and the cherry blossom was just about to start. The Japanese call this Sakura and it is a very celebrated time of year with blossom appearing in drinks, sweets and every type of merchandise you can think of. We had some lunch in the park cafe and our first taste of noodles which we were to have in many different ways during the week. The park also has a very good museum but having been sidetracked by the beauty of the gardens and with limited time I did not go round it.
Finally it was back to the hotel for a quick turnaround and then out for eating. Five of us went off to a tiny Tempura Restaurant that Dice had suggested and sampled Tempura prawns and of course some Sake.