Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter in Japan

In Japan, Easter is not celebrated. But on the other hand, a lot of rites, like rabbits and egg seaching were old traditions from older nature religions to rejoyce Spring and fertility. Like every year, we celebrate our Easter exactly that way ^^
A lovely walk in the nature, enjoying the blossom of different flowers and healing herbs...
On the picture above you see for example Esoengozaku... it's root is good against pain-relief, but we don't pick it down here. It's very rare in the south and you need to climb about at least 800m high to see it. It' such a lovely humble flower with a vibrant blue. The yellow and the purple one grow mostly here, but they are poisenous.

And here you see a carpet of Anemonae... Nirinsou in Japanese... also very rare here in the south.

Tsutsuji/Rhododnendron is awesome over here as well...

And here you see gentian. It grows everywhere in Spring and Autumn in the mountains near Fukuoka.

This is Shakunage... don't know the english name...

...we walked about 10km that day, but not only to see the flowers. To celebrate Easter properly, you always need to search, right ?!? Not eggs in our case, but...



Udo (aralia cordata)


AND MORELS ^________^ 

And so we had our Easter-dinner, straigt from Mother nature...


Sunday, April 24, 2011


Let me introduce our fave dish down here in the south called "Kushi". We had lots of seafood and sushi while we lived up in the north. Our appetite changed down here somehow, maybe because of the different climate.
In Kyushu, people love to eat "Kushi" a lot. Kushi comes from "Kushikatsu" and it means "meat on a stick". But it's not only meat, it can be all kinds of meat, vegetables and seefood, which is either fried or grilled. There are a lot of great Kushi-bars in our area... you can order different kinds of Kushi, which are grilled fresh infront of your eyes on coal.
We often go to a kushi-bar at the weekend, eat, have a beer and relax...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bamboo sprouts ^^

On Sunday, we drove to our favorite Bamboo-sprout spot. You can see, looking at the kids how HUGE the bamboo here is.

That's how bamboo-sprouts look like. You need to dig them out with a shovel and you have to be careful, because they break easily.

Later we took a detour to Raizan, where we always wanted to go and discovered a lovely, ancient shrine there. The trees are old and over 1000 years old.

A really beautiful place...

On our way back, we found some more morels ^^ and Taranome.

here is the "result" of our "hunting-tour"

I prepared olive-oil/garlic/peperoni pasta with the bamboo-sprouts, Taranome and morels. Looking forward to the next weekend ^_^

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thank you Esther

Just got this 10 sentences from my wonderful friend Esther from Malaysia and I wanted to share them here, because these are things I love in Japan and these are virtues, which make me want to stay forever here. All people, who love this stupid book "Darum nerven Japaner" and actually believe the $%&@ in there, should read and respect this 10 things instead, if they REALLY want to know how Japan is.

************ LESSON TO LEARN FROM JAPAN ***********


Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Painted this 2 weeks ago in my art group. Done with acrylics, pen and airbrush on paper. Size is about 8x10 inches. Original is available...
I will probably paint this in a bigger size for an upcoming exhibition.

Monday, April 11, 2011

relaxing day

On Sunday we felt a little bit tired from our hikes, so we just bought some school stuff for Yumi and Yuki and did Hanami. Odo-park (小戸公園) is always crowded during Hanami time, so we decided to go to Iki-shrine instead. It's close to our home... maybe only 1km or so.

Here, the atmosphere was peaceful and quiet and we took a long walk in the pine-grove there.

When we came home, it was time to prepare dinner. Here you see Shiitake filled with minced meat and garlic-cheese (a recipe from my wonderful penpal Diana ^^).

And here you see morels on the fried minced meat. I also filled some and fried them.

and the full course on my plate ^^ Hope we can find more morels and fresh bamboo-sprouts next weekend.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cherry blossom in Fukuoka

Please let me share some photos of the beautiful cherry blossom in Fukuoka.
Just again I got some e-mails and letters from friends and other people asking me if I will come to Germany again after the earthquake and tsunami. I really feel touched, because they worry so much about us, but I also feel angry and sad, that most the German media only spreads terror and fear... giving a very wrong impression of the situation here. 
The tsunami was terrible, the area where it hit will take a long time to be fixed, but 90% of Japan is not affected and people are leading their normal lifes. We grief, we are sad, but we are not paralized by fear and terror and we know that it's not the end of our country.
I will never leave Japan... even if there will be a similar catastrophe in my area. The peace I have here, the wonderful people, the shrines, the food, the nature and all of my friends and family are my soul and my heart. Without it my life would be empty. Maybe some people won't understand it, but Japan is my home and my life and the only place, where my heart is at peace.
Some people, who read this will think I'm naive and "just saying this, because I have no idea", but you can be sure, after all of my life-experience my decision to stay here forever is a very simple one (yet, I don't expect them to understand it).

Here are some photos of Aburayama, where we hiked today again.

Cherry-blossom is full finally and there were other flowes like violets, narcissus and dandelion...

We hiked about 5km and felt perfectly refreshed and tonight we will go out and have some delicious "Kushi".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Muu-chan, morels and cherry-blossom

First of all, let me apologize for not updating so long... I was busy with Spring-cleaning and we also got an adorable new family memeber. Our grey-parrot, named Muu-chan.

He is 5 months old and still needs me to feed him twice per day. He is such a sweet, calm and clever bird. He instantly allowed me to have him on my arm and 2 days later he let me pet him for the very first time. Actually, now he wants me to pet him non-stop ^^

Oh and that weekend, we also went to do some hanami, watch the magnolia, cherry blossoms. 

The bloom is still not full, but it feels great to enjoy the first Spring days.

One thing, which keeps us eager to hike and walk is not only the cherry-blossom, but also our annual morrel hunt. We spotted the very first ones this weekend and after checking some good spots, we had about 50 of them !!!

If you find one... there are mostly 5-6 arround... sometimes even more.

Here we tried something new... morels with bamboo-sprouts, olive oil and spring vegetabels *yummy* 

Oh and for everybody, whom I owe a letter or an e-mail, I'm working on it... so many things happened in March and the kids have Spring-break til tomorrow. I was very busy and exhausted, but I will try to answer everybody in April.