Autumn and Udon Making in the Hills of Shikoku

I have been meaning to write this post for such a long time now! Back when this event actually happened, there were amazing things happening daily, and this one just happened to fall through the cracks and went into the archives of “I’ll write this one later.” So now, almost exactly a year ago today I’ll write about when a group of international students from Kagawa University were invited out to a camp tucked far away in the hills of Shikoku by the Lions Club to see the autumn colors and to make udon! It was a great opportunity to get away from everything and go enjoy the serenity of nature, walking through the reds, yellows, and oranges of the autumn trees.

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It was after a bit of walking that we came upon what seemed to be an abandoned little village with a hotel, schoolhouse, some huts, a run-down tennis court, and various other oddities.

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I thought the American flag was a nice touch!

Luckily it was okay for us to explore a little!

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I’ve always found it strange, that there are so many abandoned places in Japan. I don’t even search for them and find plenty, but there are people out there that are actively searching for and exploring them because of how plentiful they are. But anyways, after we had all finished looking inside the schoolhouse, we headed back to camp to make some udon!

The first step after making the dough is to roll it out to maybe three-eighths of an inch:

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Then, you can use the semi-manual slicer to cut the udon into the strips:

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The higher you raise the blade, the larger the lateral distance between the slices becomes. After that, you can see the results and it finally begins to look like udon noodles:

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They were definitely prepared to feed a great number of hungry people!

While the soup was still cooking, they led us into the main room of the facility and immediately we felt as though they were really trying to honor us.

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We all found a seat and there were some people that spoke, and then a few of the students who came up to introduce themselves. After a little bit, the soup was ready to eat!

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Compared to the udon that you would typically get in Takamatsu, this udon had a fantastic array of different ingredients in it and was absolutely delicious. Everybody had seconds and some people even had thirds!

After the amazing lunch, one of the club members performed for us on one of Japan’s traditional instruments.

IMG_0856 IMG_0853Afterwards he let some of us give it a try, including myself! There is a picture of me playing it somewhere out there, but I can’t seem to find out who has it. But it was a lot of fun listening to everyone attempt to play it.

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This experience was a fantastic one. Remembering it now though mostly just brings up the memories of the people with whom I shared this experience with, rather than the experience itself.

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I really do just miss my friends, and hope that I can see them all again someday soon.

 

Happy holidays!

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4 thoughts on “Autumn and Udon Making in the Hills of Shikoku

  1. From one who doesn’t remember as well as I’d like to, it’s great that you can write so vividly about this experience a year later.

    • Carolyn: I wouldn’t be able to remember these experiences very well if I hadn’t documented them with pictures. That’s how I can continue to write about my time in Japan even though I am back here in the states. I have a trove of unwritten stories write now about Japan with nothing to show for them right now but their pictures. 🙂

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