Te Kuiti Report

On the 13th April 2024, both Kinuko and I, departed Napier around 9:00am. The weather was fine, until we were 15 to 20 minutes out of Taupo when it started to rain. From then on, the rain was sporadic.

We stopped for a rest at the Taupo Mitre 10, to stretch our legs and a toilet break. Around 1:30pm, we arrived at Te Kuiti. The journey was slightly extended, due to the road works. Our first point of call was locating Motel Te Kuiti. It was really easy, being on the main road. The room was clean and had towels and soap provided.

Our next call was lunch, Bisco Café. We both ordered a pie, shared a broccoli and ham salad, coffee and hot chocolate. After lunch we checked out the art studio over the road. It had a variety of knick-knacks and garden ornaments. From there we explored the township. Conveniently, the Tatsuno Japanese Gardens were at the south end of the township, less than 5 minutes’ drive from the motel. We took several photo’s and waited out the rain under the shelter in the gardens. The gardens were opened on Tuesday the 2nd February 1999 by the Mayor of Tatsuno, Mr. Katsuhiko Yagasaki. After a while, with the rain still being sporadic, we returned to the motel and played a few rounds of Mah Jong.

Around 5:00pm we did a bit of shopping, for breakfast the next day, and scanned the town for eateries. We decided on Chinese Takeaway and returned to the motel to eat it. After a bit of TV, we turned in around 10:00pm. Kinuko had the Queen bed, and I took the single.

The next day started around 6:00am. Making sure we did not forget anything and for the reception to open at 8:00am. From then it was the return trip home. The sun was shining, and during the ride, Kinuko was admiring the view.

We made a rest stop at the Taupo’s Mitre 10 café. Kinuko had a cheche and coffee, and I just had a hot chocolate. From there it was straight home to Napier.

Overall, the trip was a nice distraction. However, it was a long journey for an overnight stay. The photo’s we took may inspire the Hawkes Bay’s councils to erect gardens of their own to promote their sister city connections. 

If the Japan Society of HB was to do future activities, like this one past, it is in my opinion that we keep it as local as possible, due to committee members personal obligations, time of year, and the number of members willing to participate.

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