"What are you doing this summer?" is the question that usually dominates this time of year, but I've not heard it much. Maybe because the dominant questions have revolved around our eldest son's plans after graduation.
We're not leaving the country, but we do have some summer plans.
On the way to explaining, I bring my new "toy". The prefecture of Japan puzzle. Here it is complete.
This next one shows the prefectures that we have at least driven through, perhaps stopped briefly in on our way through. You'll see that we've been through almost every prefecture east of, and including, the orange area (roughly called the Kansai region). A lot of the yellow and orange was "added" last year in our sixteen-day camping trip.
The next map is of places that at least one of us has spent at least one night. Most of them we've been all together, though.
Here's a closer view. There's one that's not shown: we've actually spent three separate nights on a ferry between Sendai and Hokkaido in the ocean off the "green" area.
So, we've got more work to do to cover all Japan. I don't think it is a formalised goal of ours, but certainly our camping endeavours have been a strategy to see more of this beautiful land.
This summer, in July, we're going to Niigata (most northerly yellow) for a couple of nights with friends who live on the Japan sea coast, then three nights camping further north in one of those "dark green" prefectures that are currently missing from our map. Then we will spend a week or so in a cabin owned by OMF near the beach on the Pacific Ocean. David and I would happily do another long camping tour, but it's been vetoed by one of our boys. So this is our compromise. It seems we'll have to wait until he leaves home in order to do another big camping trip.
I'm looking forward to seeing another small part of this island nation, and, of course, getting away for a while. Seven weeks till holidays!