Get Away in the Mountains of Shizuoka
Get Away in the Mountains of Shizuoka
20.10.2009

Living in what most people would consider the ‘boonies’, it can get to you after awhile, not having anything new or interesting to do.   After all, in Tokyo one could never get bored. Between the restaurants, bars, museums, shows, parks and exhibits, there is always something to do, somewhere to go and someone to meet. It is the place to be.   So what about us folk who live in the midst of temples, mountains and green tea fields? Not to fret. Believe it or not, there is a lot to do and see here.   This morning my husband and I headed out to one of our favourite spots, called Acti Mori. It’s in the small town called Mori, just beside Kakegawa City, here in Shizuoka.   Located between the mountains and along a beautiful river, the scenery on the drive up is relaxing enough. Once you arrive, you can really ‘feel’ you’re in Japan. Acti Mori offers a sense of relaxation, a lesson in culture and great Japanese sweets!   When you walk into the Activity Centre and see all the beautiful crafts on display, you immediately want to do everything. Unfortunately, due to their time schedules, you may not be able to do it all, but you could definitely spend an entire day enjoying a couple of arts and crafts they offer.   You can choose between dying the fabric on what they call Noren, which are the hanging room dividers, or dying a t-shirt or even choosing beautiful colours and patterns to dye on gorgeous handkerchief fabrics, making your creation your own unique design.   If fabric dying isn’t for you, perhaps you’d prefer some time in the pottery area, making Japanese style dishes, cups or bowls. I saw the cutest chopstick holders, running about 315 yen a piece. My next project will be making a set of six to bring home with me when I leave Japan.   They also offer Roof-Tile Ceramic making. You can imprint a specific design in the clay, like a face or special symbol.    I chose the Yoshikawa Japanese Paper-making craft for today. They have a variety of items you can choose to make like paper fans, paper calendars, postcards or even lampshades, which was my choice of the day.   It is great fun seeing the transformation as you learn the ancient traditional technique of making paper from water. Choosing natural elements like dried flowers or leaves to create your design brings out your creative juices and the end product is something you’ll feel very proud of!   Apart from the fun traditional crafts, Acti Mori also offers a herb garden you can walk through, tennis courts to play a match, an 18-hole putting course, kayaking in the Yoshikawa river, bike rentals for cycling, and a cozy restaurant offering delicious dishes to try. Not to mention all the events they host.     One day is definitely not enough to do everything. Not to worry, my friends. Acti Mori also has cottages you can rent along the river and just a few minutes walk to the Activity Centre.   Do you want something different to do? Something fun? Interesting? Why not bring your friends and enjoy a nice autumn weekend at the cottages of Acti Mori?    Come up for the day. This goldmine of activity is a little hidden from the eye on the way to Kawasemi Lake, but it is definitely worth the trip.   Nature, sport, crafts, culture and tradition all in one; it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful mountainside of Shizuoka.   ACTI MORI INFORMATION: Activity Centre Tel: (0538) 85-2315 Cottage Acti Tel: (0538) 85-9800 Open: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed: Wednesdays Entrance and Parking are free.      
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