Thursday, December 29, 2011
27 December 2011- We went to Kiyamizudera- a Buddhist temple. It's usual to find these wooden plaques at Japanese shrines and temples- wishes and hopes and prayers, placed where they can be heard.
24 December 2011- Japan does fairy light installations on a massive scale around Christmas- here trees along a stretch of riverbank for over 500 metres were decorated in lights, that went from yellow, to red and green to blue. Amazing. and packed with people
23 December 2011- We went to an open air farmhouse museum in a park in Osaka. As we came to the final house we spotted this group of people, with tables set up as an outdoor kitchen. We looked at the house, and I went inside (taking off hiking boots is not fun, so Greg didn't.) While I was inside, one of the old ladies decided to tell Greg what they were doing. By the time I came outside, he had a bowl of vegetable miso soup, and another was on the way to me. They were making mochi- a traditional year end/new year food in japan. It is made by pounding cooked gelatinous rice into a gelatinous mass, adding flavouring (such as ginger) and shaping into cakes/balls that fit into the palm. While I have been given mochi before (it is like christmas fruit cake in that respect, given to all the neighbours), I have never made it. Mochi rice is different from normal rice. They were cooking it in a very oldfashioned bamboo steamer over a wood fire, then put in the big stone bowl and pounded with wooden mallets. It is hard work.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
21 December 2011- Dessert at our team Christmas function. Very nice. Probably the last photo I will publish this year (unless I work out how to do so from my phone) as I am off to Japan with Greg tomorrow morning. Looking forward to some cold weather.