Lunch By the Lake

I promise, there will be cherry picking.  At least, that’s what I’ve been told.  In the meantime, there’s pictures of a lake.  And food.  And no one gets wet. Sigh.

This is a picture of a lake in Japan.  There is some confusion over which lake.  I blame the cameraman.

Lake Kawaguchi is one of the Five Lakes of Mount Fuji, a series of lakes converted into beautiful tourist attractions near Mount Fuji.   There was supposed to be a tour of the lake in addition to a meal here, but much like herding cats, approximately 80 foreign exchange students can be notoriously hard to wrangle.  Fortunately, their meal reservations were still good, although honestly, my transportation specialist could stand to miss a second breakfast or two.

I didn’t even get to smell this one, only pictures. 

The meal was delicious (or so I’m told.  Not that I’d have anything to compare it to.  It’s not like I’m bitter or anything.  I’m plush.)  Starting from the lower left, we had the omnipresent bowl of rice, fried fish in breading with spaghetti noodles and shredded cabbage, a tray of tiny fishies, spaghetti-cut daikon radish, something that appeared to be a form of water vegetation, although whether fresh or sea based was unclear, along with unidentified green jellied substance that was very tasty.  Hiding underneath the daikon was a dab of wasabi to snare the unaware.  Finally at the lower right, we had a sampling of different vegetables although they remain unidentified at the time of this writing.  In short, my transportation specialist puts many things in his mouth he hasn’t investigated thoroughly.  So far this has not led to serious gastrointestinal problems, but it’s only a matter of time.

This meal also offered my transportation specialist to catch up with other American exchange students from the Aoyama main campus, including one from his home university, Wichita State University.  It was good to connect with the other students and compare the different facilities available at each campus, as well as things taken for granted at home that aren’t common or even available in Japan, like paper towels in the bathrooms.

This is a couple of lovely tanuki enjoying a spot of sake.
This tanuki is a outgoing chap savoring the fruits of an inter-species camaraderie.

After the meal the students were allowed a little liberty to explore the area before heading to the main event of cherry picking.  There was a number of boutique shops scattered along the main thoroughfare, striving mightily to separate tourists from their coin.  My transportation specialist visited a cheesecake shop there, where they had many varieties, including chocolate and matcha, which is green tea powder that is used to flavor many types of baked goods in Japan.  My transportation specialist picked up some cookies to share with his fellows at the share house but didn’t think to bring me anything.

Shortly they were back on the bus to the cherry orchard for the main event.  Tune in next week for details.

Until then, Hippo Hippo.



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