Weather Watch - Heavy rain
Metservice has issued a heavy rain watch for Waikato and Waitomo. The watch is valid from 5am to 10pm Saturday (20 April). More info here

Hi from Tatsuno, Japan

18 Jun 2013, 12:09 PM

We are having a great time with our host families here in Tatsuno, enjoying warm very humid weather (30 degree C).

We met the welcoming committee on Friday evening, and then travelled on to Tatsuno arriving late that night. On Saturday 15th June, we met our host families, and enjoyed a BBQ lunch in a park just outside the town with the Sister city committee, (which numbers about 60). This was a great afternoon where we were invited to join in traditional Japanese dance, and then Guy, John and I performed the 1st of many Haka's. A haka is now expected wherever we go, and we are getting quite good at that now!

On Saturday night we attended the opening of the "Firefly Festival" which is a week long event, celebrating the emergence of the fire fly with its bright light.Tatsuno Japan Visit group shot

Sunday, 16th June was a sightseeing day, and then that evening night we attended an official welcome from Tatsuno Town Council, which was a very memorable and moving occasion.

They presented Waitomo District with a magnificent quilted tapestry, and Waitomo in turn presented them with framed greenstone displays made by Andrea.

This official welcome was attended by over 70 local Tatsuno supporters, and as a group we were overwhelmed by the spirit of friendship this Sister City relationship has developed over the 18 years of its existence. Tatsuno's Sister City Committee is hoping to organise a reciprocal visit to Waitomo District next year.Tatsuno Japan Visit group village

Today, Monday 17th June, we will be visiting 3 schools, and a large company in Tatsuno, before spending our final evening with our host families, before returning to Tokyo tomorrow.

Hope all well at home, I hear it is very wet!