8.21.2006

Long overdue update

If you read findingminime you will know that this last week was Obon in Japan. It is not a national holiday because it is a religious festival but most people take time off work to return to their hometowns and pay respects to their ancestors.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to the town of Osaka (not the city, the little tiny town in the Hida River Valley) to stay with the family of one of Kelly's students for a couple of days.

Chiemi told us that Osaka is about 125 km from Ogaki and to plan to arrive there at about 5 pm, then join them for supper at 6. We left our house at 3, stopped to buy goodies for the trip and omiyage for our hosts. We forgot to remember that driving in Japan is different from driving back home. Back home, you can count on a trip of 125 km taking a little over an hour at highway speeds. Here, 'highway speeds' are often about 50 km/h, especially through the mountains. So our planned trip of a little over an hour took 3 hours through traffic and very bendy roads. The landscape on the way there reminded me of driving through the Fraser Canyon, except bendier.

Once we arrived, we were treated to a Japanese dinner of epic deliciousness...

Here are the soba noodles with nori (dried seaweed), served on a sushi press...











Japanese fish-sticks. These River Fish were caught that day, gutted, lightly salted, 'stuck', and roasted over a burner. They were very tasty. Even Kelly liked them.






Next to show up at the table were these ebiエビ (shrimp) dipped in tempura and then fried. The green leaves are also dipped into tempura and fried. I can't remember what kind of leaves they are, but they have the word 'beef' in their name. The little round things are Lotus root, again with tempura.



We were also fed chicken, Aussie beef, unagi うなぎ (eel) and, of course, rice. The eel was a first for Kelly and I. We will not be cooking eel on our own, but we ate what we were served. The meat was palatable but the skin was very oily.

After dinner, it was off to the matsuri 祭りor festival.






Selah with Chiemi and Chiemi's childhood friend Shiho.








I will post more about the festival and the rest of our stay later. Cheers.
cm

2 comments:

Laurel-Anne said...

You said that you were guests of the family of Kelly's student - was this the home of the extended faqmily, or is the student living away from home?

How does Osaka compare to Sunomata?

From the tiny bit I've read about it, Obon sounds a little like Day of the Dead in Mexico/Central America.

Vertigo said...

Chiemi lives on her own here in town. She moved away from home in gr 10 so she could go to Kelly's school. We have her over to our place quite regularly.

Obon does have some similarities to Day of the Dead.