Friday, April 30, 2010

Golden week part 1

Yesterday was the first holiday of "Golden week" and so we decided to explore the area around Itoshima a little bit further. After having Ramen at "Ansen Ramenshop", which was one of my faves so far, we went for more bamboosprout-picking.
The weather was lovely and you see that the ricefields are ready. This bird is called "sagi" (鷺). You can see them very often here. They eat frogs at the riceflields... we even have a couple of those living close to our apartement.
After picking enough bamboosprouts, we drove up to the mountains to see shiraito waterfall...
...which is really impressive.
At another mountain, we hiked a little, but we needed to go back, because it was already late.
But before going home, we could not resist picking more Warabi, which grew in masses just beside the road.
Oh, and we also found another lonely morel. I bet, when we go there in the right season, we can pick at least 10 of them in that spot... maybe even more.
Today, the kids had school again, but then we will have holidays til the 5st of May and I can't wait to do more hiking.

As for my art... I also FINALLY have unpacked most of my stuff and today I started another painting. Hopefully, I can finish it in the next few days.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Now the Rhododendron is blossoming over here. So I could not resist taking a photo with my camera. The color is a little bit different from the one in Hakodate area... I hope we can visit a Rhododendronpark here in Golden week. We had a lot of Rhododendron in Hakodate. The most famous spots there were Onuma-park and Esan Tsutsuji koen.
If you come to Hakodate sometime at the beginning of June, I recommend you to take the chance and visit both parks. Here are some pics I took in 2005 of the Rhododendron (Tsutsuji) Blossom.
And this is at Onuma-koen

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kaya-san and Bamboosprout hunting

Today we went to Ito-Fuji near Fukuoka... It is a famous mountain, where people in ancient times cut stones and brought them to Nikko.
To our surprise we found a lot of Takenoko (bamboo-sprouts) there...

But before we picked it, we decided to climb up first...

Accidentally, we took the hardest trail up and it was very steep, but also like a big adventure. Not a trail other hikers would chose, so we could enjoy pure nature there.

 On our way up, we found some russulae and...

some earth-star mushroom. I use to call those Tako-mushroom (Tako means "Octopus" in Japanese).
Unfortunatelly no morel, but who knows, we might find one accidentally in "Golden week" maybe.


Then, going fruther, we were rewarded by a beautiful view.

on our way back, we went for the Bamboo-sprouts.

Here is the result of our hunt...

We prepared some of the smaller sprouts, by cooking them and eating them with mayonaise...

and with the bigger ones, we made chinese food. I was so surprised. The fond of the cooked takenoko was so strong and tasty, that I only had to take some soysauce and mentsuyu.
I will cook soup and tenpura with the rest tomorrow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Futamigaura and Keya no oto

Yesterday we went to Futamigaura. A very nice spot near Fukuoka.
I'm always amazed by the beautiful beaches in Japan.
Later, we drove to Oto no keya, a big rock on a peninsula with a cave in it.
We took a boat and entered the cave... unfortunatelly, the pics I took did not work out so well.
Here you see the big rock from the front.
Keya is a nice little village, with a mediteranian touch. I want to spend one weekend there someday and do fishing... the water was so clear and had an emerald-color.
When we drove home, we suddenly found a shop, where we could buy ham and saussages. We decided to stop and have a look...
To our surprise they had a lot of saussages like "Bierschinken", "Jagtwurst" and "Gelbwurst". The owner, a Japanese Wurstmeister won international awards with his products and we tasted the Jagtwurst. It was so delicious and we bought some. *yummy*
Here is his homepage:
I will definetelly visit there again !!!

Honestly, when I read some stories and experiences from Germans living in Japan, 80% of them are kind of keen to wirte about rather "bizarre" things or making fun out of the customs here. It always annoys me... I mean, we also have our own "bizarre" things and customs in Germany, but are we able to laugh about ourselves as well?!? Most can't, I'm afraid...
Sometimes, after reading such a thing I would always love to "grab the bull by the horns" and write about a weird experience or custom in Germany to show, we are no different.
Then I always wonder, why don't those Germans in Japan, who are writing about "weird things and customs" won't write about some things they like or positive experiences here. Is it so "cool" only to write about how "superiour" they feel...?!? Then I must admit, they miss so many nice things here, because they seem to be so full of themselves. 
Not all of them are that way, of course, but the rudest seem to be the loudest, so I feel I should continue writing about all the nice and lovely experiences I had here so far.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Today, the kids had a day off from school and we decided to drive to the mountians here. Look what we found... Warabi is already coming !!! It's a special fern, which is picked and eaten by the people, but before you do so, you have to remove the poison from it, with a special alcalic treatment...
So we picked some Warabi and continued driving.
On the top of the mountian, there was a temple and climbing further upwards...
...we had a great view !!!
In the evening, we went to our "private beach"... just past the pine-grove where we live in and enjoyed the sunset there. Can't believe this is just 200m from our appartement.
Can't wait to come here for fishing or enjoy a nice evening with a good bottle of wine, when he days are getting hotter ^___^

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our first trip to nature here...

Today, we finally had some time to drive out of the town to the mountains... not far from our home, just 30 minutes by car, we ended up in this beautiful spot. A hiking trail through a huge bamboo forest...
...and those beautiful lillies and other flowers like Violets grow there, too. Actually, when I see Violets, I know that morels could be close, so we searched and searched, but had no luck. We even were not sure if the season is right here...
we continued our drive through the beautiful countryside... also keeping an eye on places where morels could possibly grow, but nothing...
Then, really just 5m away from our appartement, Yumi suddenly screamed... there WAS really a morel there... so the truth is sometimes closer, than we expect ;)
From the sight of it, it seems the season for morchella conica is almost over, so we were a little bit too late looking in the mountains, but hopefully we will find morchella esculenta soon.
Oh, and here is, what I cooked on Friday. Mentaiko sourcream-pasta with Ikura topping.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A new life begins... here we are in Fukuoka... our appartement is much smaller than the house we had before, but I like it. It's cozy and I already feel very much at home here. Like Hakodate, Fukuoka has a lot of delicious foods to offer. Redshine, when you read this... you MUST try Hakata Ramen someday !!! ^o^
Here you see a breakfast menue in a Family Restaurant. It's together with "all you can drink" (juices, coffee or tea) and costs less than 4 Euro. It's open 24 hours a day, so we can get up early, eat there and disappear to the mountains on the weekends.
When we arrived, my parents in law came to help us... they are so great and I'm so happy and proud that I have the best parents in law in the whole world ^_^
On my birthday, we went to an izakaya at Tenjin, where we had some delicious foods. I especially loved the fried squid with asparagus and chilli...
... AND the Sake !!! Actually, I prefer beer or wine, but the sake here in Fukuoka tastes soooo good, I can become addicted to it.
A look at Tenjin.
And here you see the Itoh-campus, where Tsuyoshi will work. I was overwhelmed by the size of the campus !!! WOW !!! The biggest and most modern one I ever saw. Here you see just a very tiny part of it.