My Birthday In Japan, Part 2: The Nihon Homestead

After what had turned out to be an amazing trip to Teshima island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, Chiharu-san, Usui-san, and I returned back home. But not before stopping at a bakery for, I don’t know what…

We get back to find things relatively quiet. I am told that dinner will be around 8:00, so I go upstairs to relax for a while. I was quite tired after the day’s exploits.

Around 8:00, I open up the shouji to my room and a wonderful smell wafts over me. I go downstairs to find Takao-san working in the kitchen. He is busy cooking up four large pieces of duck! He had already cooked two steaks! I realize there is still a little bit of time before dinner, so I go sit in the living room until everything is ready.

Once the table was ready, it looked a little something like this…

 

The dinner consisted of very rare steak and duck, some sautéed onions and mushrooms, a bean salad, and a baguette paired with two very fine olive oils. Once people were seated, Takao-san popped open a bottle of champagne and pours the glasses. After a few “cheers” and “kampais” had been exclaimed, we drank and began eating what was to be an exquisite meal. Soon the champagne was finished and Takao left and returned carrying a bottle of red wine. Earlier in the week, Takao-san had pointed out a very nice, very expensive bottle of wine. He came into the kitchen carrying it and for some reason, I was not very surprised. The Oki family has been more generous during my stay with them than I would have ever imagined. The wine was the best I have ever tasted in my life. It paired perfectly with the meal. As we slowly drained the bottle, it matured, ever sweeter, until finally the last drop was consumed. Oishikatta desu! It was delicious!

 

As usual, Ayano-san and Ryunosuke-kun finished more quickly than everyone else and disappeared to only they know where. Takao-san, Usui-san, Chiharu-san, and I were left at the table, but the only ones still eating were myself and Takao, as usual. We enjoy taking it slow, drinking, eating, conversing, and enjoying, as long as we can. It has always been the highlight of my night, staying up and spending time with Takao. Next, Takao brought out another bottle of red wine. It was a very fine, and enjoyable wine as well, but not comparable to the first in terms of quality, taste, and overall pleasure of drinking. Still talking and eating and drinking, soon, nothing was left to eat or drink except for the cake, which it turns out they picked up at the bakery earlier! Go figure! 🙂

After the candles were all lit, everyone was summoned back to the table, and they began to sing Happy Birthday to me, with Takao singing the harmony! Once they were finished, I blew out the candles and almost missed one, but succeeded in the end with one breath.

Takao then proceeded to cut the cake.

 

It was delicious!

Then they gave me two small gifts. One from Chiharu, and one from Usui. They had bought them at the mall the previous day.

Bottle from Chiharu, carabiniere from Usui

They will be very helpful on my bike rides to and from campus once school starts! Thus, my 22nd birthday ended. It was a great birthday!

 

 

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