Sunday 27th January
I didn’t think it would be possible to top the amazing day I had yesterday – I was wrong. After a breakfast of yoghurt with pineapple and traditional Japanese breakfast cakes, we had a lazy Sunday morning – I caught up on some blogging, whilst my Japanese parents did some work on their laptops. Towards the end of the morning, we were discussing what I’d like to do that afternoon, yet we got distracted (as usual), talking and laughing about various things, one of them being the difference between Japanese and British food and snacks. I explained that in the UK, a light snack would mainly consist of fruit, crisps or chocolate, and they seemed really surprised and I asked why. My Japanese mother produced a bag of small packets in a variety of colours and explained that they were her favourite snacks – I was a little taken aback to see that most bags contained some form of processed fish! Nonetheless, I went along with it and was surprised to find I really liked each of the ones I tried (my favourite was processed squid…)
It was then time for lunch, and we had something which resembled an omelette filled with rice, meat and vegetables, which was delicious. As always, they had put a lot of effort into presenting everyone’s food – my name was written in tomato sauce on the top! We had this meal with a mug of home-made miso soup. Before long, it was time to leave, and we drove for about an hour into the mountains by Kyoto-on-sea, to a little town in Kyotango City.
Here we found a tiny little workshop, tucked away at the road side, where an elderly man ran pottery classes for the locals. My Japanese mother and I had a turn ourselves, and it was surprisingly difficult – we made two pots each in about three hours. We then painted the pots using the man’s design guide, which he had made himself. This was a book consisting of about fifty to sixty traditional Japanese pictures and designs, each of which had been exquisitely painted by himself for people to use as a guide. We gave the man our details, and he told my family that the pots would be heated and glazed, ready for collection in about a month’s time.
On the way home, we stopped at a Japanese convenience store, where most items were only 100 yen. I bought lots of souvenirs for my family, friends and flatmates from back home, whilst my family stocked up on some food and ingredients.
We then went to a classic sushi-go-round bar, where sushi dishes are placed on a conveyor belt that moves through the restaurant. If you see a dish you like, you take it and eat it, and if there isn’t anything you’d like to eat you can order using one of the computers. I absolutely loved every dish I tried, and my home-stay family were very enthusiastic about this, ordering even more exotic things such as deep fried pumpkin and octopus, both of which were delicious. We also had unlimited green tea, which I told my family my mum would have been a big fan of. When we wanted to pay, a waiter came to the table with a measuring ruler to work out how many dishes we had eaten!
We arrived home early evening, and my Japanese mother offered to run me a bath, which was very thoughtful. I had an early night, as I knew we would be up early in the morning for our first day of activities with the other ambassadors. Yet another amazing day!