The main reason I went back to Japan this time was that my family had a Buddhism memorial service called ‘Hohji (法事)’. A Monk visited our home and gave us a prayer service. It lasted about 30 minutes to an hour. It was not that long but you had to be seating on a ‘Tatami (たたみ)’ mat and that was the toughest part of it. We of course sat on a cushion ‘Zabuton (座布団)’ but since I’ve been living in the UK for a while now and not used to seating on my leg … My legs became numb. The monk told us to sit in any position we felt comfortable and followed by telling us that he knew somebody who had broken her/his bone because s/he had tried to stand up and stumbled due to numbed legs. It was a hilarious story that we thought a little too extreme. Anyway we finished our prayers, thanked and said good-bye to the monk. None of us broke our bones luckily.
Before the service we had a special lunch for the day.
The 21st of September was ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’ this year in Japan. It was one of the National Holidays for showing our respect and care for elderly people.
Bento on ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’
We ordered some Bento from a well known restaurant for my mother on ‘Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)’. The Bento was particularly planned for elderly people with the idea of 1. Easy to eat 2. with good source of various nutrients and 3. of course it had to be good quality food. We made a clear soup called ‘O-suimono‘ to go with it.
The ingredients and decoration was made in an Autumn theme. The amount of food was just enough ‘Hara Hachibunme (腹八分目）’ (‘Hara’=stomach, ‘Hachibunme’=80%) for us. It means moderate eating up to 80 percent in stomach is the key for a healthy life.
Definitely summer has gone away from England. Each time we have some rain the air is getting colder and wetter. Autumn is here now and then … ‘Winter is coming’ … Huh? Are you from Winterfell?
( ↑ Don’t mention the thing not everybody understands! 😦 )
However, the Saturday two weeks ago had great weather. As it could have been the last nice day to go out, we did not want to miss the chance. We packed our ‘Bento’ Lunch box and left home for a walk.
This time our destination was ‘Cray Riverway’. There was a little walk from the station to the path. We had to ask the direction twice including the landlord of this little pub. I liked the interior of the pub. Very authentic.
Shortly after leaving the pub we found the entrance to the Riverway which was a small river that went through dense woodland.
‘Ebi-Senbei’ – Prawn Crackers are famous savoury/sweets from Nagoya
If you are Foodie and when you are in Japan one of the places you must go is ‘Depa-Chika’. It is the shortened name for the Basement (Chika) of the Department Store and it is basically a Food Court. Lots of small food shops gathered on one or two floor in the Basement of a Department Store that sell all sorts of food, savoury or sweet, and drink.
A very noticeable thing in the Depa-Chika is that their products are displayed so beautifully, particularly in the Sweets shop section.
Wagashi – Japanese sweets on display
Prawn Crackers with pretty patterns