November 14th, 2009

drinking bird

Japan: random thoughts and views

I though I would insert a few things before Igo on to Yakushima.

I really enjoy Japanese food. Sometimes it is in a more formal setting, an exquisite presentation, like in the better ryokans.

Typical ryokan dinner

To the left you can see a bit of a wooden lid. This covers a pot for shabu-shabu, which sits on an individual burner. Other dishes, not yet served, will appear: other fish, miso soup and rice, etc.

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I also enjoy the ordinary restaurant food, which occasionally reserves surprises. I was reading a menu, since I can always read the kana and sometimes the kanji, and I deciphered: po-to-fu and realized they meant pot-au-feu (pot on the fire) a classic French stew. Another time I came upon hayasu raisu. Now that dish was practically the star of Ryusei no Kizuna. Of course I had to try it, and it was delicious! Pastries in Japan deserve particular mention . From humble an-pan buns to fancy cakes, they are as good as anywhere in the world, and that is a compliment from a French person!

One other favorite thing about Japan are the gardens, and the charming spots even in small unassuming towns.

Little bridge, Yufuin

Quaint sake shop, Yufuin

Thatch-roofed farmhouse, Yufuin

Hidden lantern, Yufuin

Misty fall foliage near a waterfall

To be continued...