April 4, 2014

At Tomomi's Day 1 ~ Sakurai, Asuka & some cooking

I had a real good first night at my friend's Tomomi's house.

my room ~ my bed

my room ~ low table and kind of altar
Tomomi woke me up shortly past 9 am, her mother had already breakfast ready O.o
She served us Japanese breakfast because I said to Tomomi I would like to try. I was truly overwhelmed by everything!!! (so I haven't taken many photos yet^^;)

After breakfast Tomomi took me around by her car. Sakurai is a nice little city (okay it has around 60.000 citizens) in the middle of Nara prefecture. But first we stopped by an electic devices shop because I had forgot my adapter >.< By this chance I could also buy new batteries for my camera. Unfortunately I forgot to change money at the airport, so I had no Yen with me *drop* But Tomomi was so kind and bought these things for me 8>.<8

Afterwards she took me to a Wagashi shop *_* (wagashi are japanese sweets)
It was a paradise!!! I would love to taste everything XD
I ended up taking a strawberry cake, a Matcha Buttercake, two Matcha madleines, an Azuki Cake, two different kinds of Matcha mochi and two dorayaki filled with strawberry and cream with me^.^´But then came the big surprise: Tomomi said she'd like to give me all of these as a present O.o I tried to refuse but what should I do... I was so happy T^T
But also the staff members were really nice. While we were waiting for the sweets to get packed up by the staff, we should sit down and got a little cup of tea and an anko mochi^.^ Tomomi also asked the stuff for me if I can take some pictures. Usually it isn't allowed but they made an exeption for me \^-^/ (certainly because I bought so much and they don't have many foreign costumers^^;)
I was so lucky!!!

inside the shop
Afterwards we drove to Asuka, a neighbour town of Sakurai. There was a park with nice viewing spots for flowers and over the area. Nara prefecture is full of hills and flowers, like Tomomi said she really lives on a countryside. But this is a Japan I see for the first time, so I was really happy^^

view down the park
Then we returned home again because her mother has called and she wanted to go with us to a special supermarket and go shopping for dinner. I was also invited to help with the cooking^.^

But at home we were able to enjoy a cup of tea together and try some of the wagashi we bought (some must be eaten this day anyway).

my wagashi package X3

matcha tea and rice cakes
This was also the time when I gave Tomomi and her family my presents from Germany^.^
They were all very happy, I was so glad. I bought many chocolate, some things from the christmas markets, German noodles and pottery. Her grandmother especially liked the pottery figures I brought^^ (she collect those things)
Everybody was happy X3

Tomomi sourounded by presents XD

nice place for the snow ball

They even put the presents in front of the family altar to get them blessed. On this occasion they also showed me the altar of the hinamatsuri (girl's festival).

hinamatsuri altar

gifts in front of the family altar
Finally altogether we went shopping for dinner. We drove quite far to get to the supermarket but Tomomi told me her mother liked especially that one because it was big and very cheap.

Back at home we made dinner together. We prepared teriyaki salmon, sashimi, salad and Chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg souflée). We had to cut chicken, shiratake & shrimps, marinate the fish and stir the egg mixture for the Chawanmushi. The fish grilled and the egg mixture (incredients: shrimp, shiratake, chicken and sugar peas) was steamed. The sashimi was placed orderly on little tables. For the salad Tomomis mother also made a real good sesame dressing *_*
It was really interesting to see how so many dishes were made well parallel. Everything just took around one hour to be ready.

well-laid table for Tomomi and me

Unfortunately I didn't take a good picture of the Chawanmushi. But I must say that it didn't tasted so good, so nothing I will cook at home^^;

It was really nice and such a Japanese meal makes you sated for sure!

After this quite relaxing first day I'm looking forward to tomorrow when Tomomi and I want to go to Miyajima and Hiroshima^.^
But I hope the weather forecast will be wrong because it says that it will only rain tomorrow >.<
Wish me luck!

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