日本 8.12.13 イレーン

Monday we had lost our brains. Somehow we had managed to lose our room key and we got a late start. We missed the Yokosuka train by a few minutes and were late getting into Higashi-Zushi to meet Taku and Maki. In their little car we drove to Kamakura – a neighboring town they had taken us to in 2009. Kamakura has a lot of important temples and a lovely shopping street with old traditional wares. Also it is near the beach so it attracts a lot of Japanese tourists and also a lot of wealthy second home owners.

We started with a temple that they had not yet visited known for its bamboo forest. The temple was small and the gardens were beautiful. But the bamboo grove was astonishing. They had cut a stone path through the forest so that you were surrounded by bamboo. Some of the trunks were 6-7″ in diameter and the leaves were far overhead. It was stunning, peaceful and monumental.

Maki had found an antique shop in Kamakura that was of interest to me and we were hoping to get soba from one of the famous soba makers for lunch.

That Monday Oban week vacation really got the better of us… Nearly everything we wanted to do in Kamakura was closed. But we did have a totally awesome dessert drink -that we spent the week trying to replicate at home – Hokkaido vanilla cream soft serve in iced coffee as we strolled along shopping. By 1:00 we were all ready to turn in for the day. The heat was outrageous and the baby really couldn’t take it (much less us). We decided we would all go back to Taku and Maki’s place to chill out and cook dinner. That necessitated a trip to one of my favorite Japanese sites – the supermarket.

Supermarkets in foreign countries are fascinating… both for the familiar items use and display as well as the unusual items we can’t get at home. In Japan, the fish options and meat cuts are totally different than in American groceries. We took care of beverages and T&M shopped for dinner.

Their new apartment in Higashi-Zushi is really cute. They have the traditional separate toilet and bath but their bath is bigger than before with room for a washer/dryer. They have a small living room with a kitchenette and two “bedrooms” – the second acts as an office and playroom for Tsumugi.

They made shabu shabu for dinner. Raw meat and veggies cooked in a kombu broth at the table. It was great fun and totally delicious. We hung out until after the baby went to bed and then headed back to Yokosuka for the night.

Photos: bamboo grove, shabu shabu, supermarket catch

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