Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi (Mee a Bee)

Over the past couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many inspiring handmade designers from all edges of the globe. Our newest feature called “Photo Journal” captures a day in the life of these designers and their families, enjoying their beautiful city, spending time with loved ones, and generally having a ton of fun! Our first guest photo journalist is Jacqui Miyabayashi from Mee a Bee in Japan.

Kishiwada Castle  - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

I’m Jacqui, a New Zealander living in Japan. I came to Japan about fifteen years ago on my way to Europe. I loved it so much I never left. Our family of four live in a small city about an hour south of Osaka. The children attend local school and kindergarten are are both bilingual and learning about their two cultures. After several years as a stay-at-home mum I began sewing for my own small bag business, Mee a Bee. I am very fortunate to be able to work from home with flexible hours to fit in with the demands of the family.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Yesterday, being close to the end of the year, my two kids finished school and kindergarten early. My aunt is visiting for Christmas so we decided to go for a picnic at a local castle. Get out in the fresh winter air! It was a beautiful day. Just twenty minutes drive from my place we arrived at Kishiwada Castle.

This castle was originally built in 1640 and was the home of a feudal lord and his family for a couple of hundred years. It was burnt to the ground after being struck by lightning in 1827. The present castle is a concrete replica of the castle (built in 1954) and now houses a small museum. The original zen garden remains.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

My two boys are Noah (10) and Tyler (5). They were excited about the possibility of seeing a real samurai and maybe a ninja or two. We made ninja bread men (using cookie cutters from Fred) as part of our picnic lunch.

It’s free to enter the grounds and while you cannot walk in the zen garden area it was still fun running around the moat and up and down the huge concrete stairs. For $3 you can enter the museum and climb up to the top look-out posts. The whole day was definitely fodder for many creative stories and the wild dreams that boys of their ages have.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada is a small city about 45 minutes from downtown Osaka. It’s touted as the most accessible castle town in the world due to its proximity to Kansai International Airport and the fact that the castle co-exists with present day residents of the city. It’s really quite amazing to round the corner at a busy traffic intersection and see a castle rising out of the ground.

There’s a high school right next door and we could see the children practising sports and going about their lessons like normal! If you ever get a chance to visit Osaka then Kishiwada is a great place to visit. It’s very family-friendly as it’s almost all flat and most of the tourist spots can be reached on foot.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle  - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Thanks so much to Jacqui, Noah, Tyler and their Aunt for sharing their fun trip to Kishiwada Castle! It looks like you had a superb time.

Would you like to be a {KID} independent photo journalist? I’d love to hear from you, please email me for details.


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