Day 56 稲原-白浜

 Today was Sai’s last day here and everybody woke up today to say goodbye!   

And then we gathered to have all have breakfast together and it was nice gathering in this big room of ours. And then everybody started learning some Thai. That was when Ottosan decided to tell us that he was going to bring us out! Yay picture heavy post coming up.  

So this says: Penny, Stefanie and Caroline respectively.   

So happy that Otosan decided to give us a break on a non-rainy day and brought us to Shirahama – which means White Beach in Japanese. It is one of the top three oldest and biggest beach in Onsen. It was about two hours away I think.

But first, we stopped to get some refreshments along the way!! This is the first harvest of watermelons aka suica. 

    

I then realised the transport card I got from Tokyo Suica IC card i got in Tokyo is actually a watermelon card!! Hahaha so cute. So i decided to google this to find out if all the 10 different IC cards are based on fruits to find that their names are really kinda random and Suica is just a pun for watermelon. It actually means Super Urban Intelligent CArd and references ease of moving through gantries as compared to the older payment methods as the ideophone Sui Sui means to move slowly. And the the penguin is also to highlight this smooth transaction. 

My friend actually collected these. 

  
Ok yep, so Suicas.

  

Hahahah keiko says my eyes are always so small.  切れ長の目  

Next up, Ume House! To get educated on the many processes of processing umes. And yup, that’s the mascot. 

  

So some takeaways from this educational trip: 

  • Wakayama is one of the biggest producers of Umes and comparable to the total produce of Umes in China.
  •  June-July is the harvesting period. The first harvest 収穫 shyuekaku usually starts in June. It might vary from year toyear depending on the weather. This farm started harvesting one or two days before I got in, so that is approximately 2nd June. 
  • Then for the next two weeks, we start preserving the umes by adding salt 塩つけ  and then drying them. Otherwise, the plums are made into umeboshis – the pink stuff. And because it was early in the morning and everything was in Japanese…. that’s all I remembered. I should have taken some pictures of the boards. 

But anyway, for more information you can visit this Japanese website and get a rough idea about the timeline of ume farms through pictures. 
  

There was also this 3D movie at the end of the exhibit and it was rather amusing because it was so random – humanised umes performing. I couldn’t understand the lyrics so I am not sure if it was related. But the 3D effects were quite good, visually intruding   

This is highly irrelevant but I found this in the toilet. In addition to the technologically advanced toilet bowls, there are also changing boards for people to step on when they take off their shoes. Convenient if you need to change your pants. But not sure what is this doing in the museum, maybe I just never noticed it.  

Souvenir shop. Sampling umes are just difficult. The taste is too pungent to eat it on its own. I still think it is best to eat it with rice and pickles – ume onigiri!  

Umematcha! Tasted rather interesting. Matcha with a tinge of ume and a dash of salt. 

    

And why not try ume icecream!! Which was surprisingly good. I really like it. 

By the way, this is one of the few times I got a cup for my ice cream and I now know why it is not a good idea – dustbins are so scarce in Japan. I never mentioned this but I started to keep trash in my pockets and bags when I am out. I sometimes continue to carry them for up to 3 days because i either forget or there is really a lack of opportunity.     

Then it was sushi time at Sujiro スジロー! This kaitensushi 回転寿司 place is just so good and value for money, love it. Gonna feature the stuff that I have never seen. Kaiten refers to the conveyor belt. 

Teriyaki chicken sushi. 

  

Achi (horse mackerel)   
My table buddies  

Tempura Kabuchya!! Kabuchya is the Japanese pumpkin and it is damn yummy I love it. Feat Keiko hahahah she is so nice. I left my phone in the car and she was like, okay let’s go get it now if not you won’t be able to eat in peace. Oh ya so we went in two cars because Japan have strict laws about the number of people per vehicle and we can’t all fit Otosan’s car. One of us won’t be able to go if she didn’t drive! Thank you Keiko!!! 

  

Strawberry parfait!!!   

 Ta da all the sushi we had! 

  

Wooohoo and it was tourist time!!! She is so cute right, she is not even posing for the photo.

  

11 of us plus the photographer, Kween!  This spot is called Sandanbeki 三段壁 cliff to get a good view of the Pacific Ocean. 50 metres high

 

Random foot bath that wasn’t very hot.      

   

Then, Senjojiki 千畳敷!! Very pretty sedimentary rocks created by the erosion of waves. The name Senjojiki comes from the idea that these layers are actually stacks of huge tatami mats 

And this is Kween! Love how pretty these sedimentary rocks look.             

Them checking out the random shrimps and crabs crawling around!!! And they just look like bugs from far.   

Carol!!     

            

            

Next sight seeing spot. Engetsu isle which references the little hole in the middle of the rock. En means Yen 円 and getsu refers to the moon.  And together, it means full moon. The island’s official name is Takashima.People usually try their best to take a shot of the sunset when the sun shines through the hole. But i guess it is difficult to see that on a cloudy day like this. 

  
  

Thank you Keiko san for driving us around!! And lovin’ the palm trees along the way back.       

Here is everybody gathered to write Ottosan a father’s day card. Completely forgot about this until i saw whatsapp. Meh, we could have been better children, kinda.    

Here is dinner: koya tofu, nasuyaki, saba and rice. Love it.   

And this nasu goes super well with sweet miso amaimiso – which is water miso and sugar.   

And we were just talking about yakimochi on the way back!!! 吃驚ね  

So cute, when they read the card. i was like, this is like a Japanese exam because most of us attempted to write in Japanese.   

DIY Mochi time!!! I was pretty surprised with how easy and manageable it is to make mochi. So excited to go back and make mochi ice cream amd everything woohooo!! But anyway, 100g flour, 20g sugar, 150g water and QSP potato starch with 6 minutes of microwave and stir it and then microwave for 2 minutes to get a good texture. 

So going to buy microwave and toaster when i get back.    

We just wrapped a small cube of meiji and it is done!! Usually it is done with anko. But chocolate is an easy subsitute.       

Found this really funny. Stefany found a bug on Kiwa-san and it was a huge one. Not too sure how long it ha sbeen there omg and I have no idea how it can just land there without anyone noticing its grand entrance, perhaps it has been there forever and i thought it was part of the shirt design hahahaha.

 

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