Yawata mountain

  
 

When I was watching people’s blog pictures, I decided to post this photo.

This is a view from Yawata mountain in Shiga prefecture.

I wasn’t expecting to see a view like this at the top of the ropeway, so I was happy.

Shiga has the biggest lake in Japan, called Biwako.

At the foot of the ropeway is Himure village.

In that village are Taneya and Club Harie: a Japanese sweets shop and a western style sweets shop.

Club Harie’s baumkuchen is famous and very delicious.

There is also a nice cafe in a red brick building where you can eat those cakes.

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Sweetened vinegar ginger 

  

I wonder how ginger is used for cooking in other countries. 

I made sweetened vinegar ginger using organic new ginger from Shimanto in Kochi prefecture.

Shimanto is number 1 for ginger production in Japan.

You can find this next to sushi at sushi restaurants, where it is called “Gari”.

Vinegar and something sweet like sugar are boiled together, and also sliced thin ginger is boiled in water for about 3 minutes, then all are put together into a jar.

It turns a pretty pink color.

That is nice to see. 

Fermented restaurant 

  

Recently it seems that fermented food is getting more popular. 

There is a unique restaurant which specializes in fermented food in Arashiyama Kyoto.

It’s name is “Hakkou Shokudou Kamoshika”.

Hakkou means fermented, and Shokudou means restaurant.

Fermented foods include miso, soy sauce, natto, sake, cheese, and yogurt…

These contain healthful microorganisms.

This is a lunch set of 8 kinds fermented foods. 

Also, the patisserie kamoshika just opened nearby. 

Their ‘Monastery Garette’ with nuts & dried raisin & caramel cream is so delicious.

Yakitori 

  

Yesterday I went to the Yakitori festa in Kurume, Fukuoka. 

Kurume has 8 Yakitori restaurants for every 10000 residents, it is #1 in Japan.

Yakitori started from food carts. 

When I think of yakitori, it means chicken to me. 

But in Kurume, yakitori is made with pork, beef, seafood, and vegetables etc including chicken.

There are many variations.

 They put those into bamboo sticks and grill them over coals.

Yakitori is yummy.

This festa held every year.

But you can eat Yakitori all over Japan.

Imari pottery 

  

Imari pottery and Arita pottery were usually made by three craftsmen.

First is the potter, second is the painter who draws in blue ink, and third is the colorist. 

In Ookawayamauchi, pottery producers are gathered.

It has a good atmosphere and you can walk around and windowshop.

This is a funny decoration on a bridge near the harbor. 

Actually most Imari pottery is sophisticated plates and cups like that.

There are places you can try painting on pottery.

The other day I tried it, it was fun.

Straw wrapping

  

The other day I went to Imari in Saga prefecture. 

In Saga, Imari pottery and Arita pottery are famous.

Both are made by porcelain.

People wonder how they are different.

Long ago, the pottery made in Arita was brought to the port in Imari. 

Then they were packed in straw, like in this photo, and were sent overseas.

Those old pottery pieces were called Koimari.

Since pottery producers were united according area about 400 years ago, they were divided into Imari pottery and Arita pottery.

I was really impressed by the artistic protective straw wrapping at the museum. 

Kaiten sushi

  

After I came back to Fukuoka, I went to the Kaiten sushi (conveyorbelt sushi) restaurant.

 Sushi here is fresh and very good.

There are sushi types here that I never heard of before when I used to live in Kyoto.

 For example: Yazu, Hirasu, Isaki…

For Kansai people, even Aji (Horse Mackerel) and Sanma (Pacific Saury) are unusual sushi toppings.  

Maguro (Tuna), Hamachi (Yellowtail), and Tai (Snapper)… are around everywhere.

This shop is “Fujimaru.”

I also know Kaiten Sushi restaurant which is a little expensive but very good in Fukuoka city.

I will introduce it sometime.

By the way, the topping of the dish in front is the skin of a Blowfish.