Monday, January 28, 2008

Okonomiyaki Lesson

Ami-sense and her mother Ikeda-san came over to give lessons in making Okonomiyaki. Ed and Kristi, friends and other students of Ami-sense enjoyed the lesson with us. Okonomiyaki is the most famous food from Hiroshima. Locally, the ingredients are layered rather than mixed together. The layers are typically batter, cabbage, pork, noodles (soba, udon), topped with a fried egg and Okonomiyaki sauce.

Ikeda-san showing Kristi

The all important flip. I think Nathan made everyone a little nervous (but he had great confidence).

The fried egg.

Ed enjoying a serving.

Post dinner wrestling with Ed.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Skiing with Hamadas

Today we went skiing/snowboarding with Asahi and Hide Hamada. When we left Hiroshima we were worried there would not be enough snow. We were amazed how much snow the hill already had. We went back to the place we had gone last year. Hamada-san managed to get us a family package deal. For about $110 the whole family had full day lift tickets. Thanks!!!

Nathan and Hide

Nathan and Corey enjoying the view

Nathan, Hailey and Asahi catching snow flakes

Nathan trying out his new snowboard

The local town

Check out the tiered frozen rice patties

Snow banks just like home :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Years Hike

After a night of heavy eating on New Years Eve, we thought it would be a good idea to start the New Year out with a hike. We hiked the hills around the Ushita section of Hiroshima. This is the hills we see out our living room/kitchen window. It is a beautiful 3 hr hike.

The Futabayam Peace Pagoda. Our apartment is on the other side of this hill.

Nathan cooling down after the climb. It was about 27 deg F (-5 deg C). Needles to say the coat went back on pretty quickly.

Miyajima is the island on the right side of the picture

There is still some snow on the north face

These houses only have a small sidewalk to them (no driveway/road). It looks like it would be a 100 meter hike, up hill, to get anything home. I have a hard time imagining that.

Yamato Museum Kure

For a day trip we went to the town of Kure. It is the next town north/east up the coast. Kure is much smaller than Hiroshima. It is know for its ship building, especially during WWII. Kure has a nice little man made beach we had pictures of back in July. Today we visited the Yamato Museum, Kure City Naval History & Science Museum.

First we stopped for lunch. We found this small place near the train station.

The food was good.

The pictures of the model of the Yamato Battle ship does not do it justice. It is 1/10th scale and much larger than it looks here.

This “manned torpedo” kind of gives me the willies.

The port as it is today.

Morning Bike Ride

The realization that our time in Japan is limited is starting to sink in. I decided to take a camera on my morning bike ride. I find it a challenge to climb the hills near our apartment. One of the closest hills has the Futabayama Peace Pagoda at the top. It takes me about 25 minutes to climb it by bike (and a 5 min to go home). Today I took my time returning home and took pictures of the sites along the way. After a year and a half of living here it is very easy to take for granted the sites we see every day. I hope these pictures can preserve the memories.

My toy. (I think the old Cannondale has been getting jealous).

Our home….. Hiroshima.

The Cemetery is located just below the shrine.

Just one of the roads that lead up the hill.

A new house being constructed.

The Toshogu Shrine. I think if you wanted some real exercise you could play “Rocky”. Since tomorrow is New Years Eve the shrines are all getting decorated. I think New Years is the busiest day of the year.

The Tsuruhana Shrine

The Myojoin Temple.