15 May 2008

Class Field Trip

We went on the promised field trip today with our Indoc class. It was very fun, and I was extremely happy to get a chance at eating some octopus balls.

Now, I know what your thinking, and no, they arent Japan's version of the rocky mountain oyster. They are ball shaped only. The best description of Tako Yaki I can think of is a chunk of octopus, some cheese, and pancake batter, cooked into a sphere about two inches in diameter. It is then seasoned, covered with either japanese barbeque sauce or japanese mustard, and then sprinkled with green onions or bonita flakes, which are thin shavings of meat from the bonita fish. You eat them while they are steaming hot, and they are quite good. Tough task with chopsticks, as they can be slippery, but they flex when you squeeze them, so they arent impossible to handle. Those of you who are rabid Anthony Bourdain fans saw him eat these on the Osaka Episode. An excellent episode to watch if you are curious about japan.

We got to see Kashimai Pier, which is where the ferry to Kujuku-shima is. Kujuku-shima means "99 Islands". There are actuallyl 208 islands, but the fishermen got tired of counting at 99 and stuck with that name, somewhere around 600 years ago. The islands are extremely beautiful and can be seen at http://www.sasebo99.com which is also the main Sasebo tourism website with links to many other attractions in this area.

We then went to Huis Ten Bosch, which is promounced all together, and sounds something like "hostenbosh" when said properly. It is a replica Dutch village near the large housing area south of Sasebo. There are links from the above website to check it out. For those of you back home in Washington, its much like Leavenworth, although its a large park like attraction, with admission. No rides though. Hundreds of years ago, when Japan was closed off to world trade, the only contact they had was with the Dutch, who left many cultural impressions on this area.

We also saw the Sasebo Train station, which is how I'll be getting to work hopefully, as there is a rail line near our apartment in Nonaka-Cho. Cho means neighborhood.

By the way, we set the appointment to sign the lease and move into our new apartment today, and we are very excited. Our first day there will be a week from today.

I managed to coordinate our move-in date with our shipment so our stuff will get delivered very quickly and we'll spend the first night sleeping on a real bed, our bed. Very excited.

Gotta get off here though, need to study for my driving test, I get my Japanese Driver's Licence tomorrow, so there will be one more Baka Gaijin on the road. (That means "stupid foreigner".)

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