Ceramic Sculpture Artist

Sally Walk

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Kuwa's road trip

Posted by walksally@gmail.com on January 31, 2012 at 5:05 PM

I know I keep repeating myself, but yet again I really have been very busy.

Monday was spent working in the studio and I am nearly finished thankfully. Mae, one of the trainees had been away for a few days for a friend's wedding and he bought back some new foods to try. It's quite interesting that each prefecture seems to have its own unique foods that are only available there. You just can't buy it anywhere else in Japan. So I tried a slice of lotus with all the little holes filled with mustard. Oh my gosh, I think I nearly exploded, it was the hottest thing I have ever eaten. I think my nostrils are still recovering. I moved away from the table after that, just so I was not offered anymore. It is considered quite rude to refuse an offer of food. Later I was offered and yes did try something that many of you guys will not be happy with. I can hardly say it, but I tasted a small piece of horse. It seemed that it was quite a normal meat to the trainees. It tasted a bit like beef actually.  Anyway I have always tasted something strange on every trip I have been on and I think that horse was easier to eat than all the bugs I ate in China. Later that evening I was glad to hear that we were ordering McDonalds for dinner in the studio. It tasted just the same, except for a Japanese style hamburger that had much more interesting flavours of teriyaki and ginger. Yum, they should bring that one to Australia.

Tuesday was a rest day and Kuwa and Ai had organised a shopping trip. Actually we didn't do much shopping but we saw some amazing things. Kuwa took us to Shizuoka, in the next prefecture. She was born in this area and her mother still lives here, she is 87. We went and visited her. I expected a frail old lady, but no she looks young and lived on the 6th floor of an apartment building. She was quite amazing. She made us some green tea, which the area is famous for and then informed us we couldn't stay too long as she has to catch a bus to a friend's house for lunch. Did I say she was 87....amazing. Anyway check out the view from her apartment.

Yep it's Mt Fuji. She said we were lucky to see it as it is often covered in clouds. If fact we saw it so many, many times that day as it stands above the landscape, it seems to be everywhere you look.

After this Kuwa took us to see a shrine, which required a cable car ride to get too. Fun! This shrine was the first tomb of a famous shogun and was an amazing place of wonderful colour and a great many stairs.

 

But that was not the end of the day. Lunch was at the one of the hundreds of strawberry farms that line the coast. And we were going to pick our own, which is not strange to us. But when I was handed a small container with a small amount of condensed milk I was confused. Anyway we were placed in our own little hot house and were given half an hour to eat as many strawberries as we could manage. Now that's a bit different. Let me tell you, they were the most delicious, sweetest and tender strawberries I have ever eaten.

We all made ourselves feel quite ill, but it was wonderful. I shall remember the taste of those strawberries forever I think.

But wait there is more. From here we went to a historic site called Toro, which was discovered in 1943. The site has been redeveloped back to its original state. The area includes a number of dwellings, some rice storehouses, a ceremonial hall and rice fields from a farming village from 1900 years ago. And yep I learnt how to make fire like they did in the Yayoi period.

     

From here we found some shops and some dinner at a restaurant that served Aussie beef, served on sizzling plates. The image below is showing a paper placemat that is used to protect you from the hot fat (funny). It was quite nice to have meat and 3 veg after so much Japanese food....and with a knife and fork.

A two hour drive home and the day was at an end. What a great experience. It's back to the studio tomorrow.

Categories: Japan 2012

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