Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Visit to Matsumae International Foundation

On Friday, I visited MIF at their traditional tea-house style office in a beautiful traditional garden, that the gardener was busily pruning and taming. Mr. Nakajima-san showed me round his blooming lilies, the fine large black butterfly that comes to frequent the nectar of the sweet-smelling tiger-lilies, white and pink. Despite some repellant, I was attacked by a vicious toxic Japanese mosquito that subsequently made my hand swell up unbelievably for such a small insect. I collected the curious tea-cup I had painted on our study tour which had now been fired and glazed again. Afterwards, with Kimura-san we went to a delicious fish restaurant, Uoshin in Shimokitazawa, where the owner is a fish merchant and hence the sashimi was of the freshest great quality and all aspects of the steamed vegetable, tempura anago (sea eel, not unagi), sashimi, beer and good arm sake, salad, uni (sea urchin innards), fried snapper (sea bream), and tuna sashimi, were outstanding. We really had a lot of fun and Australian (Weiss) mango bars from the 'imported food' shop walking back o the station.

MIF garden; Uoshin dinner; hands - left = result of Japanese mosquito, right = normal unswollen. The sashimi dish reminded of that notorious Australia expression, "Don't come the raw prawn with me" for these were definitely prawns, not scampi!