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Our Christmas

Hi! It’s Asuka from Yokoya Farm. The Christmas is almost around the corner. Today, I’ll introduce how we enjoy the Christmas. As you may know, the Christmas is not the original culture in Japan but it’s already part of our culture nowadays. I guess it’s been a big event here for 30 years as long as I know. We can see beautiful illumination, decorations around a city and Christmas goods. We also have a private Christmas party with our family on the weekend in December every year and my family members gather that time. In Japan, people usually spend a time with their families or partners on the day of…

Yohasira Shrine in the downtown

Hi, It’s Asuka. It’s getting cooler gradually and it means we can get delicious apples too! So today, I’ll introduce about Yohashira shrine at Nawatestreet in Matsumoto. Yohasira shrine is located at the middle of this street. A lot of people come to visit here to pray everyday but there are also wedding ceremonies and Shichi-go-san (7,5,3 years old celebration) held here. Shichi-go-san is an annual festival in Japan to celebrate the grown of children.   People usually hold wedding ceremonies at ceremony halls or hotels nowadays in Japan but some people do at shrines. In the case of that, it’ called Shinzen-shiki (Shinto wedding) and people dressed with Japanese…

Finally baby swallows left a nest

Hello, I’m Asuka from Yokoyafarm. Baby swallows lived in our house finally left the nest! I found a parent bird making a nest a month ago and she started to keep eggs warm and then baby birds were born 2 weeks ago. Baby birds grew up well and all 4 birds left to a new world. It seems that swallows born in Japan usually spend a time in Japan from spring to autumn and then move to Taiwan or Philippine or Australia in winter time. It gets too cold to find insects that is fed on them in winter in Japan so they move to warmer place that time. Some…

Tanabata (July 7)

Hello, I’m Asuka from Yokoya Farm. Yester day is Tanabata (Festival of the Weaver) in Japan. (July 7) My daugter writed her wishes on colorful paper strips and hang them on bamboo leaves. Tanabata is an event related to the stars. It is based on the legend that only once a year, Hikoboshi (Cow herder) and Orihime (Weaving Princess), two lovers, would be allowed to meet each other at the shores of the heavenly river. The moment would take place on the night of July 7th in the lunisolar calendar.   Not many households hung out Tanzaku on bamboo branches any more. Even now, however, every nursery school, kindergarden, and…

Japanese cuisines are sweet!!??

Hi, I’m Asuka from Yokoya farm. I’ve heard foreign tourists feel Japanese dishes are sweet. I certainly also feel they are sweet and salty. For example, sukiyaki, yakiniku, nimono(simmered food), oyakodon(chicken and egg bowl), gyu-don(beef bowl). Those tastes come from common seasonings in Japan. I’ll introduce some seasonings used for Japanese dishes below. Soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin(sweet cooking sake), sugar. All families in Japan have those seasonings for sure.     I use them every day of course! I’ll introduce them with some of my cooking today. Here is our dinner at one night.  I made kiriboshi daikon (dried strips of radish), simmered pumpkin and pork wrapped vegetable.  …

Young girls and Hina-matsuri (Doll’s festival)

Hi, I’m Asuka from Shinshu Yokoya farm. I displayed Hina dolls in Zashiki room with my daughter Yui yesterday. In Japan, there is a habit among families with young girls to display Hina dolls in this season. March 3rd is the day of Doll’s festival and we pray for their health and happiness with eating sushi and cakes. Lots of families start to display Hina dolls in the middle of February. We clean up dolls soon after celebrating on March 3rd because it’s said that daughters wouldn’t be able to get married if we clean them up late Around this area, we celebrate with an old calendar so the dolls…

Let me introduce about miso soup.

Let me introduce about miso soup that is essential for Japanese meal table today. Hi,I’m Asuka When you go to a supermarket in Japan, you might be surprised by lots of variation of miso. Here, Nagano prefecture where I live is large production of miso and there are some big miso companies. It’s very easy to make miso soup! Boiling water in a pod, adding dashi and some ingredients in it Putting miso in and getting it melted at the end, and it’s done! (You should put miso at the end because its flavor gets weak when you stew it.) It’s a good idea to get dashi from niboshi or…

I pickled plums

I pickled plums. Since I harvested the garden plums (called‐ koume), I made plum pickles. Plum is a food that has been popular as preserved food in Japan from ancient times. Plums harvested in June can be eaten throughout the year as Umeboshi, plum pickles, plum juice and plum wine. This time, I tried to pickled sugar-base plum which my grandmother made every year. I harvested plums and soak it in water. mix salt and soak in water again After draining the water well, I put it in a bottle with candy, vinegar and shiso(Japanese basil). It will be eaten in about a week. Too much deliciousness, I can’t stop…