Monday, August 1, 2016

How To Eat 100 Bowls Of Soba At Azumaya Soba Shop

Originally published in Go!Go!!TOHOKU!!!

Do you like Soba? I love Soba! From the tantalising texture, as it slips into my mouth, to the refreshing relish I feel from the helpings of cold soup it's served with - but how much is your love for Soba really? Can you eat 500 bowls of soba and still profess your love for it? If you think you can, you should go to eat at Azumaya Soba Shop at Morioka, Iwate Prefecture!

Here you can eat as much as you can - LITERALLY

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I rode a train that was stranded for years in a Children's Park: SL Ginga

Originally published in Go!Go!!TOHOKU!!!

I heard that it is quite rare for even Japanese to ride the steam train, ‘Ginga’ (Milky Way), and I wondered why. Only after I took the ride from Shinhanamaki Station to Tono Station did I find out what it means to travel in this vintage looking train. 

Photo Courtesy: Piangrawee Santivongskul

After the big Tohoku earthquake of 2011, SL Ginga has been running since April 2013 from Shinhanamaki to Kamaishi Station at Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The train was stranded at a children’s park in Iwate for years before it was sent to Saitama to get repaired.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

With Free Trips Come Great Responsibility

Hello, dear readers! Namaste! Konnichiwa!

How have you been? I am doing great! Our Intensive Japanese Language course for MEXT students has also ended. I have one speech to deliver tomorrow and then I will be FREEEEEE  going to my lab to start research. Since the last couple of weeks, I have been studying, cramming Kanjis early morning (our guard ojichan gave me some grapes to eat when I was studying in the Kitchen. Isn't that just so sweet of him?) and travelling!

Here we have a lot of trips where we can go for free. Since I came here, I have applied for 3 trips, all of which I have been lucky enough to be selected. 

The first trip that I went to was at Fukushima Prefecture where we visited Tsurugajo Castle at Aizu-Wakamatsu City and the street market at Koriyama City. This was organised by t-news for global. More about that here.

The second one is organised by Sendai TV is known as Go Go Tohoku

Photo Courtesy: GoGo Tohoku Facebook Page

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fukushima, Yukata and Free Trips

Who does not like Yukata? I love Yukata. They are feminine, classy, makes you feel beautiful and are colourful compared to the otherwise placid colours worn here in Japan. So, when there was a free trip that included free rental of Yukata trips, I was more than thrilled to join. 

It was organised by t-news for global (a unique name, I suppose) and they took us to Fukushima Prefecture. I wrote a detailed description about it when I was inside the bus but somehow it got lost amongst the other unnamed documents in my Google Drive. Anyway, the place where we were going was several kilometres away from the dreadful nuclear power plant disaster. In fact, I tried plotting the places I visited on Google Map to show you guys (and my family) how far away I was from the place where the nuclear disaster happened. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Trip to Iwate Prefecture Part II: Amongst the Woods and Temples

Originally published in The Sentinel
By Anandeeta Gurung and Timothy Jim

A Journey Continued

Last time, we swept up Santetsu; today, we pick up our journey wandering Geibiki, before heading up the mountain-side to explore Chūson-ji Temple. 

The group alighted at the turning point for a short walk through the gorge. The cliffs on either side that lead you through are impressive, and end with the location’s namesake - a limestone formation known as ‘Geibi’ or ‘lions nose’.
Wandering through the gorge

The towering cliffs for Geibeki. Many thanks to Leandro Ishioka for this photograph.
While walking along the riverbank near Geibi, we came across an opening in the rocky cliff face opposite. Visitors can attempt to throw ‘undama’ or ‘luck stones’ and have their wishes fulfilled, if they manage to hit the target hole. You can purchase five stones for ¥100; there is a kanji character inscribed on each stone representing luck, love, health, career and study. Very few of us however, managed to land the stones inside - let’s hope that’s not a bad omen! One of our coursemates, Sirjan, accomplished the said task and received a certificate for it - unfortunately, perhaps out of his excitement, he doesn’t remember which stone it was! Don’t you think it will be fun to wait and see which fortune comes knocking at his door?