yes, where were we? That's right, we returned home after the lotus farm and just chilled for a bit, as we had planned to go out for the day I hadn't got anything organised for lunch so daddy got to choose where he wanted to go. We went to a lovely Italian place which is a bit off the beaten track. Their food has to be good otherwise they wouldn't get any customers! They had changed the menu since our last visit and they now do a kids plate... not sure why they added the pack of biscuits, it really didn't need it. but it was good stuff anyway.
Then we decided to go to the nature reserve which is close by to the restaurant. We had a bit of a wander around, spotting dragonflies and bull frogs. When we first arrived Ebi-kun went and put his name down for some craft activity so we had to be back at the centre by 3pm.
They have a great new theatre which has an interactive quiz they also have a library so I was on the hunt for a good book about Birds Of Japan, we found one which has a code strip on each page then you use a gadget and it reads the code and plays the bird song, very cool, the book is only ¥2000 but the gadget.... ¥9000! If you happen to know of a good field guide for Japanese bird identification, please let me know.
They have all kinds of curiosities of nature in the centre, stuffed animals, a butterfly collection, old wasps nests and the such plus a bird watching platform and this rather pretty pink snake, it is an albino apparently.
At 3pm we were ushered into a room and then given a lesson about bamboo and then we got to make bamboo chopsticks. I thought it would be one of those things where the kids get to make something and the parents stand around looking bored but no, we all got to make them.
First the boys split the bamboo using a lethal looking knife and a mallet. Then we used a knife to whittle the strips into shape and finally we finished them off by sanding them. The bamboo was fresh and still wet so it will take a week for them to dry out and then we need to cure them with oil.
It was pretty neat and free to boot. So we started the day expecting to be wowed by the latest technology at the science museum we actually need up making traditional bamboo chopsticks, it certainly was a day that wasn't (what we had expected!)