Something we have never seen before

John Thomas
Royal Automobil Club of Victoria

On Friday October 6th, Myrna, John and Alan boarded the Shinkasen in Tokyo bound for Fukushima. We disembarked at Koriyama station and caught a local train to Motomiya. Our friends Kiyoko and Hisashi Fukuda were there to meet us. It was really great to see them both again after they had visited us in Melbourne for the State Rally at Lardner Park. The camp site was around 7 km from the station, called Forest Park Adatara, a hot springs area.

On arrival we were welcomed by all at a get together and a getting to know you party Japan, greeted visitors from Korea, Taiwan, Finland and ourselves Australia. Our caravan awaited us. An Air Stream Classic Caravan around 30 feet long, U.S made tri axle Silver Aluminum, just brilliant. This was fully serviced daily and our friends Kiyoko and Hisashi made sure we had food and essentials for which we were most grateful.

Adatara Park had large camp sites, water and electricity supplied to each site. Outstanding, something we have never seen before. The park had a great indoor entertainment area with a very impressive covered outdoor area, forest area with walking trails and a stream, camp sites for tents, on site vans, caravan sites and huts scattered through the area. Severalcovered areas for cooking with sinks, laundry etc.

On Saturday 7th, music accompanied us leading the parade of flags into the huge covered area. we all took lots of photos and met and talked a lot. The Japanese drummers were a real delight to listen to along with other entertainers. In the evening we were invited to a dinner by the Korea Camping Federation held to promote the rally in Korea in 2002. We went to several parties, we ate and talked a lot. It's amazing how you can communicate with one another even if you can not speak the language. We were lucky to have Alan, our son who is working in Tokyo, to help us with the language. Late into bed very content and happy.

On the third day, a bus tour was organized for the visitors. A drive passing through quaint little villages in Adatara Mountains. The wild life in the area included bears, raccoons, foxes, flying squirrels. A small Mt Fuji, Mt Azuma and Bandai Treasure Mountains. A group of Korean and Japanese along with Alan and John climbed Mt Azuma to the rim that travels 2 km around the top looking into a crater like a tea cup. They said it was quite a good view. The Asahi Brewery was the next port of call, a barbecue cooked at the table with pots of beer consumed by us all. On to a flower park a real pretty place. Off back to camp with some electing to sleep not us as we had lots to see. Another evening party held by the Taiwanese another great night.

The last day dawned and we sadly had to say farewell at the closing ceremony. Plaques were presented to the visitors. Auld Lang Zion was sung, the flag of the FICC was lowered. We journeyed back to Nagoya with Kiyoko and Hisashi, and had a relaxing visit with them. On back to Tokyo enriched by wonderful memories.

We know we will get to see you all again in the future hopefully in Korea in the year 2002.

Myrna, John and Alan saying thank you everyone.

January 2001(Asia-Pacific News No.6)

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

Japanese Site