March 2, 2008

Sunday on Rokko Island, Upcoming Sumo, and Girl's Day

After yesterday's adventures, we were primed for a nice easy day at home. The weather was great today, sunny, breezy and in the low 50's, so we decided to spend a lot of time outside. We threw the frisbees and football into our bikes, and biked (Mike ran - since we only have three bikes) down the greenway trail to the bay side of Rokko Island. You can bike or run the greenway all the way there, and at the tip there is a great outdoor area where we stopped and played frisbee, biked, ran, watched people fish, and watched the boats go by. Although it certainly has an industrial-ness to it, it also has palm trees and the sound and smell of the water, and was quite an idyllic place.

This afternoon, as has been our Sunday tradition, we took the kids to the Family Swim at our gym/pool. They love it. We love it. They even love the hot tubs, which is a good test for future trips to Japan's onsen, which we will surely someday visit. We brought the camera today, since Lauren in the pool in her little swimming cap is pure joy, and Jacob is becoming a little fish. (Although we snapped some photos, it was very muggy in there and so they are a bit cloudy.)

This evening, we enjoyed quite the gourmet meal at home (if we do say so ourselves!). While Mike and Jacob played soccer and baseball in the park, Lauren and Ilena made the miso soup. Then, after Mike and Jacob returned, Mike pan seared two beautiful pieces of Tuna that we had bought earlier for under 600 Yen (less than US $6), and under the tutelege of Ilena, executed a nice reduction of garlic, butter, ponzu sauce, red wine, and orange juice. Ilena took care of the rice and stir fried Chinese cabbage. It was a team effort. And a really delicious meal. So good in fact, that Jacob declared Mike the best Tuna cooker in the world.

In other news, there is a big Sumo Tournament coming to our area of Japan in mid-March. Japanese people that we have spoken to have told us that going to see Sumo is something that one should do while in Japan. So, we decided that we had better check it out, and we'll be buying our tickets later this week. It is sure to be an interesting experience. We have much to learn!

Tomorrow is Hina Matsuri, a Japanese holiday called Doll's Day or Girls Day. The holiday apparently has its roots in a Chinese purification ritual in which evils were transferred to doll surrogates, which were then cast into the river. (How convenient!). Now, with the exquisitely made costly modern versions of the dolls, no one would dream of chucking them in a river. These dolls are displayed only on this one day of the year. Here is a typical doll display that you see around Japan this time of year:

So...the kids are off from school tomorrow.


jackaw said...

I just caught up on the blog. (Interesting: I didn´t remember the exact name of the blog, so googled it and voila!)

First off, on movies: Juno was marvelous on several counts: she was a phenom and the script jumped off the screen at you. A well deserved Oscar for that, imho. No Country ( if you haven´t read the book -- do so now!) was an excellent movie. It so far out ranked Blood and the Clooney effort as to be on a plateau over all.

Secondly, we are in Mexico as I write, but the power of the blog knows no geographical boundaries. It continues to be a joy sharing your life in Japan.

Much love guys --


Mike said...

Yes. Well. The blog has sort of taken on a life of its own. It's addictive and fun. And it's so nice to feel connected to family and friends back home! Thanks for being such a faithful reader (and commenter!). All our love!


Lisa said...

This blog is like crack..i love it!

jmgesq said...

Well I for one can´t wait till your home if for no other reason than I get to learn how to make all of that wonderful food. Tuna tho has become quite an issue around here. There is a lot of comment in the papers about the fact that mercury levels are higher than published and may not be good for children. I´m not sure if the tuna is different that you are getting but I suspect not so you might consider limiting quantities. Google the NY Times articles on the subject so that you can see what I mean.

My other thought on dolls day - it beats hurling chickens around your head and then killing them off that´s for sure. And a LOT more picturesque!

Keep on writing. I love it and I keep on turning other people onto the site. Not everyone likes to comment so don´t be discourages. Jack and I are such big yakkers that we put our two cents in almost everywhere...but you know that!