Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Food!! Glorious Food!! June


As always it was a month of interesting, new and wonderful food!

My first beer garden visit for the summer

Cooking lesson - chicken with shredded vegetables, tomato and vegetable soup, vinegar cucumber and seaweed, fried burdock

BBQ when we went camping

First time to try a smore! Graham cracker, marshmellow and chocolate! Yum!

And my first time to try pumpkin pie! Amazing!

Richard's birthday cake that I made

Yakinikku (grilled meat) on our table at a party I went to with my teachers

80's cake that I made for Rachel and Richard's birthday

Fresh, cold, salty cucumbers at the yukata festival

Mexican food!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Yukata Matsuri!

22nd and 23rd June

The Yukata Matsuri is the summer kimono festival. This festival happens once a year for two days and everyone wears their beautiful summer kimonos and the main street is lined with all sorts of games and wonderful food stalls. We were lucky to have Yumiko our cooking teacher to come over and help dress us in our Yukatas. The first night we went down early and took many photos in front of the castle before enjoying all sorts of foods and drinks but it turned into a very rainy night! The next night we went later just for drinks at the local bar and I dressed us all in our yukatas - I am able to tie obi's which I think is quite special!

Yumiko and I

Cuteness at the festival

All of us and the castle

Taube and me

Rachel's students doing taiko

Me 'holding' the castle!

The stalls lining the street

Richard and Rachel's Radtastic 80's Party!

20th June

We had another great party this month for Rachel and Richard's birthdays! It was an 80's dress up party so I went as Madonna and Kyosuke went as Michael Jackson. It was a wonderful night full of great music, lots of dancing and then we went to a Latin club in town!

The cake I made

Birthday girl and boy!

Blowing out the candles

The birthday girl loves Footloose! And she knows how to dance!

Miami Vice - Junsuke and Julian!

Michael and Madonna - Kyosuke and I!

80's fashion at Tropicana (Latin club) with UV lights was so much fun!

Somendaki Camping!

13th - 14th June

We went to the Somendaki campsite for one night and two days of camping and only about 20 minutes by train from where we live. It was perfect weather and there were about 20 of us so it was like a big party in the bush! Camping grounds in Japan are amazing and are really well equipped - you can hire tents, blankets, mats, cooking utensils and even buy prepared fire wood. The tents were interesting however as they were like something out of the 1940's army style, pretty much a triangle with no zips but they did the job! For the weekend we just relaxed ate, ate some more and then ate some more! Julian organised the trip and was soon appointed head chef and did a great job! I am looking forward to going camping again this summer.

The campsite and our tents!

Mmmm BBQ food Japanese style

Julian our amazing organiser and chef!

Nearly everyone who came camping

Tea Ceremony at Primary School!

11th June

Every week I visit one of four different Primary schools and I really enjoy it as the kids are really excited to see me and they know that English lessons are fun! One of the schools I went to this month had a special day where the teachers and students could go to a tea ceremony in the break time. I was taken to a special tatami mat room in the school where there were 3 older ladies and Mrs Tanaka. Mrs Tanaka was wearing a kimono and gave me a sweet first (so the tea is not so bitter) and then made the tea. It was such a beautiful tatami room and I think it is wonderful that schools here can have something like this and no one ruins it!

The sweet - with sweet beans inside which I actually like now!

The matcha (bitter, thicker green tea)

Me in the beautiful tatami room

Mrs Tanaka

First beer garden for summer!

5th June

We went to our first beer garden of the summer tonight and were very lucky as it had rained all day but it stopped by 6pm so we could enjoy 3 hours of all you can drink beer and chu-hai and all you can eat finger food! I love this beer garden as it has an amazing view of the castle and I am looking forward to going a few more times this summer!

The yum food and great beer at the beer garden!

The amazing view of the castle

All of us plus some new Japanese friends at the beer garden - you can just see the castle in the background