We start our improvements to the SoraHouse with what’s really important: weird fun.

In our greatest bargain-hunting victory ever, we recently bought an entire house in the Japanese countryside, plus the beautiful forest property it sits on, for just one million yen (roughly US$1,000). At that price, it’s obviously a fixer-upper, and so our first trips to the SoraHouse should definitely be spent getting the place into a more inhabitable condition.

But if you’ve been following our exploits for any length of time, you already know that it’s sort of company policy that what we should be doing and what we actually are doing only occasionally, and even then often accidentally, overlap. That’s why one of the first things we bought for our country home wasn’t new glass for its cracked windows or replacement tatami for the worn-out sections of reed mat flooring, but a whole bunch of bubble blowing machines from Daiso.

▼ 44 of them to be exact, 21 green frog and 23 red non-frog

At 330 yen (US$2.89) each, their collective cost of 14,520 was equal to about 1.5 percent that of the entire house, but our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma insisted this was a necessary expenditure so that he could achieve a state of bubbly nirvana by meditating in the center of the ensuing ring of bubbles.

That soap bubble experience proved so emotionally cleansing that Masanuki wanted to share that feeling with the entire world. However, since the SoraHouse doesn’t have enough space to invite everyone on planet Earth over, he decided to do the next best thing and set up the array of bubble machines on our roof, then send their soapy spheres soaring skyward.

OK, let’s get this bubble party started!


Our hearts will filled with childlike joy as Masanuki’s vision began to take form. There’s always a sort of whimsy associated with Japanese countryside scenery, and the otherworldly atmosphere felt like an idyllic childhood memory of going to visit rural relatives, or a scene from an anime reminding us to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

It was enough to inspire us to put the scene to music, and we think the result wouldn’t look, or sound, entirely out of place as the ending theme to a weekly J-drama about the shining hope of youthful dreams.

However, as we wiped away our manly tears, we couldn’t help but notice something…

Not all of our bubbles were taking flight.

Thinking about it logically (something we’re admittedly not prone to doing), we realized this made sense. Daiso’s bubble machines are, first and foremost, children’s toys, and they’re designed to be played with in the cozy confines of a family’s yard, balcony, or maybe neighborhood park. As such, the machines’ fans aren’t high-spec enough to send the bubbles zooming over and beyond the mountains that surround the SoraHouse, and so after being formed a lot of the bubbles hovered briefly, then sank gently to the surface of our eaves.

But since they’re soap bubbles, we guess this sort of counts as cleaning the roof, right? Also, this scale of bubble madness is still something our allowances wouldn’t let us do when we were kids, and our apartment landlords won’t allow us to do as adults.

And at the end of the day, isn’t getting to enjoy yourself however you want the best reason there is to own a house?

Photos ©SoraNews24
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