Final Days at the Oki’s

Saturday, September 29

Saturday morning was a busy morning for everyone. Ayano-san had a school “open house” kind of thing to attend to and Ryunosuke-kun had soccer. So that left Takao, Chiharu, Usui, and myself. Saturday happens to be a special day for purchasing fish in Takamatsu because all the local fishermen offer their wares for sale at a fish market. It is where the public can get access to the best and freshest fish in Kagawa before everything is sold to supermarkets. That was our morning activity. What Takao purchases for dinner that night scared me…

Here they are cleaning and preparing the fish for sale.

I’ll show what we had for dinner later. Next, after the fish market, we decided to go to Ritsurin Park! It is famous for its beauty and its amazing compilation of trees planted by emperors, future emperors, kings, and future kings, etc. Some special stones were brought as gifts all the way from the Asian mainland that now reside in this famous park. The construction of Ritsurin Koen was commissioned by the ruling Feudal Lord at the time in 1625, as his personal garden, and was completed over 100 years later after many additions and alterations in 1745. Now the park is owned by the Kagawa Prefecture and open to the public. This morning they happend to be featuring a Sake tasting, called Kikizake, so of course we went, by bike!

As we enter the park…

The park is also famous for its pine trees…

 

And for their bonsai trees…

This particular bonsai tree was for sale at around $1,000,000… 🙂

We soon began to walk around…

And then we take a boat ride around on the lake that lies in the middle of the park…

Those are Koi fish in the background. You’ll see later, but there are a LOT of them in this park… big ones!

We slowly make our way to the middle of the lake, with the soothing sounds of the tour guides voices brushing past our ears, until we come across…

This is an island in the middle of the lake where the Feudal Lord would like to fish and meditate. It had begun to rain.

Around the island we saw this severely expensive bridge…

The Koi fish I mentioned earlier.

And the tea house. I think I want my house styled this way in the future…

And then, what the park has declared the MOST BEAUTIFUL view in the park. You can see the tea house on the left in the distance where we were about to go and get some tea, and then you can also see the bridge.

Inside the teahouse…

It is traditional to have a sweet before drinking tea, as you see on the left. It was sweet bean paste covered with a sticky kind of cooked pounded rice I think. It was very smooth and delicious!

Our trek through the park had come to an end. Hungry as we were, guess what we went to go eat for lunch!

Afterwards, we went for a road trip out of Takamatsu to the east, past my new home in Yashima. Our first stop was the showroom for furniture made and designed by George Nakashima. His history and his work are all quite breathtaking. As a young man, after finishing his graduate work in architecture at MIT, he traveled the world, living in places ranging from America in Washington state, to a small village in India, to Japan, to Europe. Finally he settled down after meeting his wife, in a town called New Hope in Pennsylvania. George Nakashima has passed, but his studio, house, and workshop still reside as the did before in New Hope. There are two showrooms in the world, one in New Hope, and the other here in Kagawa Prefecture. I was not allowed to take pictures in the showroom, but it just so happens that a particular piece of artwork found in Ritsurin Koen (marked at around $1,000,000) was made by George Nakashima. There is a counterpart to this piece in New Hope.

The piece in New Hope is almost exactly the same as this. Another slab from the same tree cut apart from this one.

The table was worked masterfully. The chairs were also of George Nakashima design, and were super ergonomic! After rubbing the table with my hand and touching various parts of the table, I ask Takao what the sign sitting on the table said. It just so happens it means, “Do Not Touch… Please.” Whoops…

But the showroom was fabulous! If you wish to see some of his work and learn more about him, either go there, for those of you who can or, take a look at this link or, google him.

http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/

Ahhh, but I did sneak a quick picture of Ryu and Ayano in the shop! Hehehe!

They were banging their heads together…?

We were off once again, further west up to the top of a hill overlooking the Seto Naikai and the island famous for making the best olive oil in the world, Shodo Shima. On the top of this hill is a closed down hotel, a hardly used, beautiful amphitheater, a winery, a camp site, and a beautiful view.

Ok, I have to leave soon, so I’m going to wrap this up with quick look at what was for dinner that night, then I’ll go over my Sunday in the next post or two!

I actually ended up enjoying the octopus after I got over the texture. The sashimi was great! I didn’t really enjoy the raw shellfish however. It was quite tough!

That night with Takao…

+sake 🙂 OK desu!

There you can also see the $30 bottle of Shodoshima olive oil and their tin sake containers. Sake tastes way better out of them for some reason!

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Editor’s notes for the future…

Sometime – A supplemental post with pictures for “The Next Stage Of My Journey”

At that same time – A video from the top of the hill at the Jinjya!

Maybe before or maybe after those things – A post about my Sunday, where you’ll see me grinding sesame seeds!

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5 thoughts on “Final Days at the Oki’s

  1. Dan how did you get so lucky that your generous family in Japan are also foodies??
    I too would like a tea house style house! You appear very much at home there (and twice as tall as your hosts), ha ha
    Garden pictures are unreal. Can’t wait to see all your new friends from the international house…

  2. Pingback: Fall Illuminations of Ritsurin Park | Dan In Japan

  3. 女優になる人はこしかけだからアイドルを売れるまでやらない
    とっくにやめてると思ってた。最近のタレントって自分の容姿や演技や
    単品だとビックリするほど華が無くなるんだよな・・・

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