One more lovely discover in Japan. Did you know that Japanese have a complete different approach to sweet.
Most of the desserts are based on asuki paste, an, red bean paste. or are sweetened with sweet potato. it is a very interesting and new taste, of course very different from our European buds but once you have gone past this, it is actually delicious
Last week, as I was preparing to travel, my friend Akiko prepared 2 cakes for me that I could carry on the train
a steamed plum cake (yes steamed) and a chocolate and cinnamon – sweet potato cake, very very good, I have the recipes and will bake them, really such a nice discovery
nothing like Japan in terms of roadworks, they mostly happen at night or during week ends to minimize disruptions
they are VERY well signaled, and you will always find a battery of older gents to show you the way through the construction site and plenty of lights at night, you cannot really miss it!!
same thing happens if a road is closed for demonstrations, special visits, hanami etc. an army of policemen will be here standing every 5 meters, ensuring all goes well
Japanese people have a fascination to strawberries. the season is in May,june but there is an unofficial season from December to February as it is very trendy to have them for the end of the year celebrations and Valentine’s day
restaurants launch strawberry festival, strawberry high tea menu, all sorts
Nara remains so far my favourite spot to visit, it has a special atmosphere, it feels like a small village although it is a real city with 365.000 people. It used to be the capital of Japan
What is special about it is you can walk around easily, it has a truly Japan way of life flavour, not overloaded with tourists (yet) like Kyoto can be, all sites can be visited in one day walking
It is the city for deers, they wander all around, but watch out, they remain wild animals and can bite if you are too sticky!
3000 lanterns display in the park a peaceful spirit, I spent a day again in January, it was so special as many families were coming to pray. again, I loved it
Kikuchi rice is the rice from Kumamoto, I quite like it. So far, the entry level for rice for someone like me, ignorant, is koshi-hikari. I tasted it in Niigata and since I can read Hiragana, I am able to buy it, it cooks quick, it is firm and the rice grains are rich.
Now, I suspect it is not really natural and these rices are results of genetic, hybrid, tests of all kinds. I got told that in the history, Japan had to feed his people and after WW II, they decided to find ways to guarantee productivity so that food would simply be there available, hence Koshi-Hikari.
This year, I heard too that there is a new brand available as Japanese were getting bored and a company thought there was demand for new product, taste, etc. I have not tried it yet but maybe one of you knows more and can elaborate or comment on this?
When Okinawa became Japanese in full again, in 1974, it was the economic boom, airlines were growing fast, so as mentioned in a previous post, ANA and JAL picked up great locations and built up hotels on the island, launching the boom of domestic tourism to the islands.
I stayed at the ANA InterContinental on Manza Beach, wonderful location, 31 ha of activities, gardens, swimming pools, a private beach, boats, sailing, it is a unique resort.