Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sepia Saturday 344: October 2016: From Here to There - Number 1

The current theme for Sepia Saturday is From Here to There. This post from two years ago incorporates my journey on the Shinkansen bullet train (fast, fast, fast) and a trek of 100 km. using the transportation I was born with - my feet (slow, slow, slow.) We hiked the Nakasendo way from Kyoto to Tokyo. The less interesting parts of the hike we skipped by taking various trains. This train was by far the fastest and most interesting. 

On the Shinkansen bullet train riding to Tokyo, I looked at the catalog in the seat pocket and saw this interesting item for sale.

It looks like a party favor/noise maker, but apparently has some kind of medical application? The man is sweating profusely while blowing on it and the woman seems to be holding her diaphragm. I can't find an American equivalent on line and wonder what it's for? Our Vietnamese friend Diep talks about having "bad air" in the body. Could this be a way to get rid of it? About $37.00.

In Japan, at the Daikokya Inn, we were served a lovely understated but perfect dessert - a small slice of grapefruit gel. Not firm, but barely jelled, served at room temperature. The gel was full of grapefruit vesicles (technical term for the little pieces inside) which added a great deal to the texture. 
Still immersed in all thing Japanese, we recently watched "Jiro Dreams Of Sushi", a documentary about the famous sushi maker, Jiro Ono, who presides over a Michelin 3 star sushi bar, Sukiyabshi, in Tokyo. At 85, he still works everyday and strives to improve his sushi. 
The seats are highly prized and with only 12 stools you have to reserve months in advance. Jiro is, to say the least, a perfectionist. Watching this film inspired me to work on a recipe for that Japanese grapefruit jel to see if I can match it. The take-away from the film is to focus on one thing and do it as well as you can. 

Speaking of doing your best, here's a painting by our little cousin Rowan, age almost-3, entitled, "Shark jumping over boat in Ocean".

And still speaking of doing your best, we hiked in Japan with Zuzu at 4' 11" and Dave at 6' 6". Guess which one was in the front of the pack all the time?

The intrepid Zuzu is currently hiking in the Atlas mountains in Morocco. Leading the pack as always. 


  1. A fascinating account of your travel in Japan, especially that "medical instrument"!! As a collector of blue and white china, I do like the plate you used for your grapefruit jelly.

  2. The grapefruit gel sounds very interesting. Did you manage to duplicate what you had in Japan? Sushi, however, is not my cup of tea! :)

  3. That bullet train looks like a snake.

  4. Great to see more about travels in Japan. Hope you are successful at grapefruit sounds delicious.

  5. A wide-ranging post with Japan as the starting point. The bullet train must be an exciting experience, and Japan is somewhere I haven't travelled to yet. In NZ recently I was almost convinced to buy a handmade wooden sushi maker at a craft market, as it sounded very easy to use, but my husband dissuaded me, saying I would rarely get around to using it, if ever. He's probably right, as usual!