Posted on 2011/09/23 03:49:27 (September 2011).
[Wednesday 21st September 2011]
Spent the day in Hiroshima. Lolled around Chie's parent's flat for the morning, enjoyed Chie's Mum's excellent miso soup for breakfast, and then had some "wafu" (Japanese style) spaghetti for lunch.
In the afternoon we headed out to visit Chie's grandparents (on her Mum's side). Her Grandfather is in hospital at the moment, so we started off by visiting him. It's in a suburb of Hiroshima where the houses are interspersed with rice fields, and surprisingly despite all the time I've spent in Japan I've never really seen rice fields up close at this point in the lifecycle of the plant. Some of the fields were just about ready to harvest, and some had already been cut and stacked up to dry. The hospital was within walking distance from Chie's grandparents home, so we were able to take a stroll through the rice fields to get there, which was nice.
Spent a while with Chie's Grandmother, oddly enough watching sumo on the TV. It occurred to me what a strange "sport" this is - the referee is actually a kind of shinto priest, and the ratio of preparation and ritual to the actual action (which is often over in just a few seconds) is very high. Not to mention the fact that the "athletes" are all dangerously obese.
We took Chie's Grandmother out for an early dinner, at Sushi-Tei, the family's favourite sushi place in Hiroshima. It's kind of a tradition that we go there every time we visit Chie's parents. I had the usual (surprisingly large) assortment of quite-by-accident vegetarian compatible sushi, including tamago-yaki (Japanese omelet, served here with rice inside), umibudou (literally "sea grapes" - a kind of seaweed) and hawasabi (leaves from the wasabi plant - probably my favourite.
On the way back we went by way of Soleil, the giant shopping centre complex in Hiroshima. I always find this place particularly banal and will-to-live sapping. Even more so as the former Kirin beer museum (with attached bar which was often a reprieve for me whilst Chie was shopping) seems to have closed down. Oh well.
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