Desiree-Rose's Journals

Desiree-Rose's HomeTravelling in the Far EastToba, Japan


Travelling in the Far East

Toba, Japan |

An overcast day, but moderate temp. of 24°C. At 8 o’clock we boarded an express train ( of only 4 coaches) and travelled through paddy fields and towns, then through a mountainous area with lit tunnels and many terraced rice fields in all stages of growth – seedlings in water, then bright green bigger plants, then dark green, then golden and ripe (i.e. the seeds i.e. the rice – which is dried upside-down).

We arrived in Toba, on the Eastern seaboard, at 11.30 and were taken to Toba International Hotel. There we enjoyed a delicious lunch, in a restaurant overlooking the choppy sea (strong winds). There were many islands, and launches ploughing their way through the waves. In preparation for our trip to Mikimoto pearl island, I took Dramamine (for sea sickness). Guess what !?! we went to the island straight after lunch - - on a covered land-to-sea bridge!!!

We visited a very interesting museum (current S.A. term : “interpretive centre”). The first hall contained pictures, writings and objects showing how pearls are made – natural, cultured and synthetic – and the story of Kokichi Michimoto, who devoted his life to producing cultured pearls. The next hall was in sections where girls (a) seeded the oysters with mother-of -pearl from the Mississippi river (b) sorted the pearls as to quality – rejects were ground into calcium (c) made holes in the pearls (d) sorted them into sizes (e) put them onto strings. In the third hall we learned about the amahs (the women who dive for the oysters) and in the next one we saw an interesting film on the cultured pearl process. Then came the exhibition hall - - - a palace, crowns, pagodas, etc etc all made with pearls, diamonds and other beautiful jewels. After that we watched the amahs diving and holding their breath for an inordinate amount of time.
Then we returned to the hotel for snacks and partying with Dorothy,

Locations Visited: Toba

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