MY ONE-OF-A-KIND JAPAN EXPERIENCE 2016Wednesday, August 24, 2016
It's my first time in Sushiland (I mean, japan) and i've always wondered why everyone who has been to Japan would always long to return. Matt's parents have gone to Japan about 5 times in a year!
Finally finally, I got my chance to go and seized the opportunity when ABC Cooking School came.
Why do I say that this Japan Trip was a one-of-a-kind experience? Well, because we did nothing touristy at all. NOTHING. And for that, I am super thankful because we were all so well taken care of by the team, got shown a part of Japan that tourists don't usually get to see/experience.
On top of that, it's my first time in Japan, so it was SUCH A TREAT.
First stop after touching down at Narita Airport - The Tomisato-shi farmer's market.
TOMISATO-SHI FARMER'S MARKET
Watermelons were in season that time and we were treated to a few huge, sweet and extremely juicy watermelons on the spot. Just look at our faces after a long plane ride, ahh satisfaction
In japan, they take their farming business very very seriously. Each watermelon has a sticker with a QR code that is linked to the individual farmers that grew them, this would ensure accountability of the melons and buyers can know more about the place it was grown in, more information about the farmers and the place of origin.
Maybe that's why every bloom, fruit and vegetable in Japan is so perfect looking?
We then got to try our hands at FUTOMAKI SUSHI! This activity was even more meaningful because we had our classes at their local townhalls with local residents and wives teaching us the art of making Japan's famous "fat rolled sushi"
WITH THE LOCAL RESIDENTS
It was super fun to see the different designs made by the teachers!
They made designs from crabs, to different kinds of flowers, to pandas etc.
One with my fellow chefs Gladys and Victoria and our teacher :)
Lunch is served! The best miso soup ever freshly homemade, super yum!
UYJYO TOOTHPICK MAKING
When I saw this on the itinerary, I was like "huh? we're gonna make toothpicks? Aren't they all like machine-made these days?"
I was so wrong. Although most of the toothpicks we use (and dispose so easily after one use) are machine-engineered, there is still a trade of Uyjyo Toothpick Making that exists in Japan where these japanese shifu carve, slice and polish toothpicks one by one by hand.
See the green piece of stem on my "table"? We had to make them as thin as a toothpick!
Tough tough work!
Hopped next door to a museum and this happened.
How do you fancy a warrior-mong? ><
My bestfriend said I would get my country in trouble if a person like me goes on the battlefields hahaha
PITSTOP AT A SUPERMART
RYUGUJO SPA HOTEL, MIKAZUKI
Japanese Style Room
Our humble abode for the first night. We got to stay at a spa hotel, where a ton of locals flock to for their onsen baths during the weekends and holidays.
If you're in Japan and bored of the city life, you can go BLUEBERRIES picking! It's a superrrrr amazing experience because Singapore imports all of our blueberries so it was my first time picking blueberries and having them at its freshest.
So many first times on this trip, so touched *cries* haha. Apparently the more white dust on the blueberries, the fresher it is?? Super happy mine were all covered in white dust lol.
After a 30mins picking in the farm, we proceeded to the little cafe and had even more blueberries.
Blueberries cupcake, blueberry ice cream, blueberry smooth etc. I almost turned into one myself!
But in case you don't know, blueberries are super expensive in Singapore and they are one of the power fruits that is jam-packed with lots of health benefits like lowering cholesterol, strengthening bones etc.
Off to a traditional bamboo forest for more jaw-dropping experiences, Somen noodles!
This was probably the highlight of the trip for me because not only was it fun, its something even locals themselves only get to experience when a special occasion arise.
NAGASHI SOMEN (FLOWING NOODLES) EXPERIENCE
Basically, somen noodles and other things like tomatoes etc get flowed down a long bamboo pole in running water and you have to catch them with your chopsticks and dip them into a special dipping sauce, tsuyu. Catch the action in my Japan VLOG coming to you on my youtube channel very soon and you will get what I mean!
Our last stop for the day was the Agusta ranch for some ice cream! Where else can we get ice cream any fresher than at a ranch!
ICE CREAM AT AUGUSTA RANCH
My pistachio with milk ice cream was really really smooth, rich and good. Perfect for the super hot weather omg
Then the highlight, we tried our hands on 2 famous Japanese dishes that day at the ABC Cooking Midtown Studio Japan. ABC Cooking Studio is the world's leading Japanese Cooking Studio and they specialize in conducting Japanese cooking and baking classes in 7 different countries, including Singapore!
Was very honored to participate in the class where we learnt how to make Teriyaki Chicken and Inverse Maki at the Midtown studio in Japan itself.
JAPANESE CUISINE COOKING CLASS AT ABC COOKING STUDIO
The teacher first demonstrated how it was done and we were all ears, then time to get our hands dirty :>
Our masterpiece carefully plated , finally!
ABC Cooking Studio Singapore offers a range of classes - cooking, kids, cake, wagashi and bread. For those interested in the courses, check out their site or head down to their studio at 391A Orchard Road Takashimaya, #03-12 to see for yourself.
I would recommend signing up for some cooking/baking courses for a change ! It's a super fun activity to do with your friends and family, and everything is so guided with professional coaches, so you will always be in good hands.
Check back later for the Japan VLOG soon!
Thank you ABC Cooking Studio SG and Japan Tourism Board for organizing this amazing trip for us, I hope I did it justice with my posts and I'm hoping that these activities will be made available to other tourists soon because they are simply so fun and rich in culture, will be back to japan again for sure!