Sunday, October 14, 2012

Soup and Iwate's hidden gem.

When family is in town, it's a good chance to go somewhere and see something, and that has been my day. But last night we went out to a restaurant and had a very nice dinner indeed! Below is a picture of my soup - Hattozen, something of an Iwate favourite, simmering away. It is one of those places where your cook your own dinner.
Hattozen, bubbling away on the table.
In the soup is all manner of vegetables from cabbage to mushrooms, and a little meat as well. We threw in bits of dough, like the sort that makes noodles, and that boils along too. It was a meal enjoyed by all.

Today was an absolutely wonderful day weather-wise. The sun was shining and it was around twenty degrees. There are two famous gorges in these parts, and readers may recall I posted previously on 'Genbi Gorge'. Today we headed to the other gorge, down the picturesque route 19, Geibi Gorge. Yes the name IS very similar and causes quite a bit of confusion from time to time!

one of the boats

Geibi Gorge is a bigger tourist attraction. Ask you can see in the photos we all piled into a boat that took us on a tour of the gorge. It's about a 90-minute tour, and at one end of the ride we got out and walked five minutes to this special shot where I received a congratulatory card for managing to land a rock in a hole.

The ride was lovely and the gorge was, well, ummm, gorgeous. Sorry! We were in the shade most of the ride and although it wasn't very comfortable, it was enjoyable. Possibly the best thing to see around Ichnoseki, where I am living these days. All the way the water was never very deep (so I imagine it freezes in Winter) and when we looked into we could see so many fish of various sizes.

Fish at Geibi Gorge
Some of the girls on the boat got very surprised when the fish came along. Ducks were happy to come up to the boat too and one big fish kept it's mouth above the water and kept motioning to be fed! The fish must see a lot of tourists because there were many boats on the river today. The website said they left hourly but it seemed like there was a departure every fifteen minutes or so.
One rock looked a lot like a face, and our boat-master general, the man in charge of punting us along the river, talked the whole journey not doubt informing everyone on the boat who spoke Japanese of the most fascinating of facts. That was, by the way, everyone but me! On the way back he sang to us. It was some interesting and unique warbling indeed, not sure I could call it singing! And he kept singing for like 15 minutes without stopping. Somewhere between Austrian yodelling and Chine opera!

It seems there is a long proud tradition of being a boat punter. That is your job is punting the boat up and down the river. Right? For starters they not only pilot the boats but build them too! Wowsers? Yes indeed! Very impressed was I! Above is a photo of their photo viewed as you wait for the boat. In typical Japanese fashion most make sure they looked very serious for the photo. Proudly brought to you by.... these scary guys!

And thus was a great day retold to views of the blogsphere.

Work on the book is going very well, now I just need someone to buy it!
Actually I have sold a massive 3 chapters so far in October which equals a whole dollar in sales! Anyways Chapter 16 is now up - Togo and Benin. Please, if your interested - you will find it with the others on Amazon!

and again, my author page!

thanks everyone! Til next time!

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