Sunday, October 23, 2005

The mighty Kinugawa river...

Today was a fantabulous day, from begining to end. First thing this morning, made my way to our meeting spot to catch my ride out to the shores of the Kinugawa river for the big BBQ event of the year, attended mainly by our Frontiers (discussion level) students.

After arriving and figuring out where we were going to be making the grub, everyone set out to their tasks. I was quite pleased when I saw bundles of firewood being unloaded and realized we would be cooking off an open fire! Being an avid outdoorsman and not having cooked over an open campfire in 171 days (yes I counted), this gave me a nice shot of camping-ishness to tide me over through the Winter.


Here be the kitchen staff, at work over the section of rocks designated as the kitchen... notice the cutting board...


Of course, no BBQ is complete without outdoor furniture... this was to be someone's chair... they made me hold it a while until everybody whipped out their cameras and took pictures... lol


And the magic begins...


Add a touch of miso...


And voila! A wonderful Japanese soup\stew with many kinds of veggies, some tofu, pork and other stuff I'm not sure of.


The group forming a chow line... incidentaly this was my first use of chopsticks at a BBQ...


Something which did strike me as quite sad throughout the day was the destruction of the river system by damming... we were standing on rocks which used to be 30 feet under water... the Mighty Kinugawa is now but a trickle...


The group.


Great day 'twas... I'd like to extend a very public thank you to Arai-san for the prep\organization for this event, greatly done sir! Also a great big thanks goes out to Happy Motoki, without whom Yoshi and I would have somehow had to figure out which bus would take us out to the river... and of course thanks to everyone in attendance for a great day and a first introduction to Japanese style BBQ!

In other news, there has been a series of shakes and rattles in the area this week as you can see in the graphic below. The big square was a 6.5 quake on wednesday night, the one nearest Tokyo (5.5) was last Sunday and the one between Tokyo and Sendai was last night, also a 5.5, felt it at the party. Hopefully things settle down a bit now...


It has come to my attention that at least one person has recognized me on the streets of Utsunomiya (or more precisely, at Tully's) based on this lovely old blog of mine. Please don't be shy, pull up a chair, let's have a chat! I love how this blog thing has connected me with all sorts of people. I am now getting emails on a weekly basis from someone who stumbled accross sushiandmaplesyrup and either taught here in Utsunomiya, or travelled here or something and is thanking me for the trip down memoory lane... it's great!

Dinner tonight was faaaaaantaaaastic! Penne with a tomato\roasted garlic\pepper sauce along with some lovely wine... and of course as usual, the company makes the evening. THANKS!


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