Mt. Fuji finally got a small white cap

Friday, October 30th, 2009

It’s getting cooler and Mt. Fuji started showing its autumn face. As it gets colder, Mt. Fuji gets more beautiful.

I’m really looking forward to going on a tour in Fujinomiya.

Please read the entry on Sep.15th.

We still have only a few seats left for the tour so if you are interested in it, please contact us soon.

Or we can arrange another tour on a different date. Also we are flexible with our plans. If you don’t have enough time or not interested in some of the places we plan to visit we can make some changes and reduce some of the cost. So please feel free to make your suggestion.


Monday, October 19th, 2009

Guess what it is. This brown thing. This is called gobou, burdock. Japanese people eat it very often. But not as often as they used to though.

It’s originally from China. Long ago Chinese started to use it as medicine. It helps to detoxify or lower the temperature.

 This is a popular dish called ” kinpira gobou”. First you cut up burdock and carrot. Then saute it with sesame oil and hot peper. After that add rice wine, sugar and soy source. Keep cooking until it gets tender enough. Finally sprinkle sesame seeds over it if you like.

This food is said to prevent diabetes, hyperlipemia and cancer of the long intestine. I heard that during the Second World War, Japanese served burdock to American hostages. The Americans thought they were being abused and after the war they sued the head of the prison for forcing them to eat burdock. I guess for Americans they felt like they had been served cardboard.


Sunday, October 18th, 2009

I went to see a kodan performance in Fujinomiya, the city at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Kodan is a traditional Japanese art of story telling. Kodan performers tell historical stories and fiction. Some are funny, others are sad or scary.

They use a stick to make sounds and a fan as a prop. A single performer plays the roles of two or more people and decribes the situation vividly.

Since the performer keeps talking alone, he or she needs time to breath. When they want to breath, they hit the stick on the desk. This sound creates a moment to pause,too. In Japanese art, pauses and silence are very important. We have an expression ” Ma ga warui.” ” Ma ” means pause. “ga” means ” is “. ” warui” means bad. So it means Timing is bad.

The performance took place in a nice old house in beautiful countryside. The owner of the house who used to be a kindergarten director organized this meeting. She is a keen and good kodan performer,too.

A very famous professional kodan performer Ms. Yoko Kanda and her students came to perform there from Tokyo. We all enjoyed listening to them. Ms. Yoko Kanda’s opera kodan ” Carmen ” was very entertaining.

I thought if school teachers could teach subjects like this no one would fall asleep.

Mt. Fuji Winter DayTour

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

We are going to have the tour on December 13th.

Please see the entry of Sep.15 for details.

We are really happy to know that many people showed an interest and several people have already decided to join the tour. If you are interested in it , please contact us. We have this tour from December to February.

We are really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Veggie Dim Sum

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

 I took a vegetarian guest to a restaurant in Mishima (Shizuoka).

We tried  their vege Dim Sum course.

All the dishes are free from  animal protein, chemical seasoning and food additives. We ate them accompanied with good woolong tea.

We had several dishes. Here are some of the photos of them.



These look like meat dumplings but they are made from Tofu and vegetables.

The brown ones are made from bamboo shoots. The texture of bamboo shoots is often kind of tough but these were tender and creamy. Veggei spring rolls were hot and crunchy and inside I found finely cut up bamboo shoots and mashrooms. They also tasted very good. I like this black rice dish. We had a few more dishes. Even though, they were all made from vegetables, it was really filling.

My guest has traveled to many places but he said he hasn’t tried this kind of food. We were quite  satisfied with this big lunch. And the price was very reasonable. ( 2,940 yen for each ).