The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Fish festival in Ushitsu

Last weekend, our town had a fish festival, kinda like the Kaki Matsuri (Oyster Festival) in Anamizu, but on a smaller scale. Like the Kaki Matsuri, there were some grills on burning coals set up for customers to cook their purchases. There were stalls selling fresh seafood, and stalls selling typical matsuri street foods. There was even a jumping castle! The marine course teachers and students from my school set up and tended a stall with live fish swimming in a tank in front, will slaughter your purchase in front of you.

Some photos of the stalls, my school's stall and a couple of my girls from school:

We junked a lot on on mochi (Japanese wagashi (sweets) made from glutinous rice flour), namely mamedaifuku and hot dango with goma (sesame) sauce. One of our favourite Japanese sweets to buy from a foodstall is taikoyaki, also referred to as imagawayaki and oobanyaki depending on where in Japan you are. This is a type of hot pancake/waffle with various fillings inside, including the ubiquitous anko (sweet adzuki bean paste), custard, chocolate-flavoured custard and matcha (green tea flavoured paste). Our favourite is the custard and matcha flavour (the Japanese are really good at making custards!). I found a couple of websites with photos of this cake. (I recall taking this photo of a stall making these yummies whilst on our Nara trip)

By the time we actually settled to looking for lunch, I was full from the sweet treats! We bought a platter of fresh seafood for 1000 yen (~AU$10) and settled at a grill to cook our food. One of the guys selling the platters assured us of the freshness and claimed that the prawns were still alive (haha, he was even prodding one of the prawns to prompt it to move). We also purchased a steaming bowl of seafood broth, which tasted wonderfully rich with flavours from the prawns and crab.

Our tray of seafood (whole squid on a stick, scallop, huge prawns and some pork kebabs); seafood on the grill; and the scallop opening up prettily when it was cooked:

The yummy seafood broth:

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