Friday, June 23, 2017

Japanese style restaurant [Marumatsu] in Namioka / 和風レストラン 「まるまつ」浪岡店

As we did a little shopping at Big, the food discount store, we also decided to have lunch near here as well and once again, found ourselves eating at a Marumatsu restaurant.

浪岡にあるフードディスカウントストアの「ビッグ」に買い物に行ったら、近くでランチも食べた。今日は浪岡店の「まるまつ」に行きました。




Today, we weren't really in the mood for something traditionally Japanese. Just something quick and cheap. And the volume is a plus here as well. This was my order. The hamburger steak. But as you can see, it does come with miso soup and rice, so that's pretty Japanese.

今日、別に和食食べたい訳ではなく。なんか、ボリュームがあって、安いものを求めた。ここなら、値段も高くないし、量も多いし、味も悪くない。これは僕が注文したハンバーグ定食。ま、味噌汁とライスが付いてるから和食と言えるじゃない?




My wife ordered the gratin set which included a salad, a small bowl of soba, and chawan mushi (an egg custard dish).

妻が注文したのはグラタン定食。これはサラダ、蕎麦と茶碗蒸し付きでした。



Bon Appetit!

いただきます!




Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 ASPAM Winter Festival / 2017年 アスパム冬まつり

On the weekend of the 4th and 5th of February, the Aomori Tourist Information Center (ASPAM) was having an annual winter festival and would be featuring some regional winter dishes.

今年の2月の4・5日、青森県物産館アスパムで冬まつりが開催されました。冬のごちそうが大集合。あったか鍋と丼のフェスタも一つの魅力。


ASPAM / アスパム




It's a snow plowing vehicle. I wanted to climb aboard but it seemed like it was mainly for kids. As someone who's never lived in snow country, I thought it would be interesting.

北の国で良く見る除雪車。僕も乗りたかったけど、子供たちが多くて、列に並ぶ勇気はなかった。初めて雪国に住むことになった私が興味津々。乗ってなかったのはちょっと残念。


Aoi Umi Park / 青い海公園


Mutsu Bay / 陸奥湾


This looked kind of fun too but my wife was being Little Miss Party Pooper. Nope, didn't get go on the ice slide either.

この雪から出来た滑り台も楽しそうだったが、妻が興味なく、これも断念。乗れば楽しいのにな。


We went inside ASPAM where they were giving out free samples of this miso soup. A nice change from the cold weather outside.

アスパムに入ったら、無料でしじみ汁を配ってた。あ~、体が温まる。


Hm, different kinds of fish on a stick. Which ones shall I try?

なんだ?海の幸の串焼き。なにを食べてみるか?


Well, as I am now living in Aomori, I think I should have the hata-hata (sandfish) and maybe one other type.

青森県民になったので、やっぱりハタハタを食べないっと。あとはサケかな。




Those are some really big octopus legs!

タコの足がデッカイ!


Here was an even more interesting event. Picking up a huge octopus!

ここで更に面白そうなイベント。生のタコを持ち上げる体験!


Since I didn't get to ride on the snowplow are go tubing down the ice slide, I at least got to ride on a horse. It was a first for me. Here I am just waiting my turn.

除雪車も乗れず、滑り台を滑ず、一つくらいのイベントに参加したいなっと、乗馬初体験。今馬を待ってる最中。




Okay, so the horse was being led. Still, it's my first horse ride!

ま、人は馬を散歩してる感じですが、それでも、俺の初乗馬だ!











And that was pretty much it for the winter festival. We didn't try any one pot dishes or bowls and headed back home. Next week, we will be checking out the bigger snow festival in Hirosaki.

それで終了。あったか鍋や丼も食べなかった。このあとは普通に家に帰りました。来週は弘前の雪祭り行く予定なので、そっちのほうが楽しみだ。

Friday, June 16, 2017

Road Trip to Hakkoda Shrine / 八甲田神社への旅

It was still the middle of winter but since we bought our new car, my wife decided on a spur of the moment road trip. We were heading to Tashirodaira, the site of one of the world's worst mountaineering accident occurred. Over 100 soldiers of the Imperial Japanese army died during a winter training mission. On our way up the road, we found the road still closed for the winter so dejectedly headed back home. But then, we saw that we were near the Hakkoda Shrine so we made a stop there.

まだ冬の真ん中。新しい車も購入して、休日にどっか出かけようとしたら、妻が田代平を目指した。目的は八甲田雪中行軍遭難事件の場所。有名な話で映画にもなってます。でもやっぱり山道はまだ閉鎖されて、仕方なく家に帰るを決心。でも帰りの途中に八甲田神社を発見、お参りに行きました。


Hakkoda Shrine in the Winter / 冬の八甲田神社


Hondo / 本堂


The hand purification basin was wrapped up for the winter.

手水舎も冬の期間使用されてない。









The shrine office / 社務所




The Hakkoda Shrine seal is not only colorful but also has the image of Mount Hakkoda on it.

八甲田神社の御朱印は素敵な色と八甲田山まで描いてる。


So our spontaneous road trip wasn't a total bust. But after this, we just went straight home.

途中で八甲田神社があったから良かった。お参りしたあとは家に帰っただけ。

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Road Trip to Yogoshiyama Forest Park / 夜越山森林公園 (サボテン園・洋蘭園)

About a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I decided to explore the Yogoshiyama Hot Spring Resort area. We weren't planning on going to any hot springs but to check out some of the walking trails,

二週間前、僕と妻は夜越山温泉郷に行ってきました。目的は温泉ではなく、その周辺での散歩コースを探索つもり。


We started to walk up this trail. The top of the mountain is 860 meters (2,281 feet). The sign says the walk should take about 20 minutes to reach the top.

遊歩道の入口に来て、散歩開始。頂上まで860m、徒歩20分で歩けると書いてある。


As we started to walk up the hill, my wife became a little worried and checked her cell phone and sure enough, someone had posted that there were bear sightings in this area. Well, that made my wife lose all interest in walking to the top. This is Aomori Prefecture and the bears have been waking up from their sleep and there has already been about four reports of people being mauled or killed by bears in this year so we didn't want to take any chances.

歩き始めると妻が自分の携帯をいじってた。調べたのは、夜越山で熊の出没はなかったかどうか。やっぱりこの場所でも熊が目撃された情報があったので、頂上までの散歩を却下した。自分はちょっと残念な気分だったけど、今年は青森県で4人も熊に襲われたニュースもあり、自然はなめちゃいけないとわかった上で、もっと安全な場所に移動した。








So we went to the Yogoshiyama Forest Park. Inside this park features many cacti and orchids.

そして夜越山森林公園に来ました。森林公園の中にサボテン園と洋蘭園もあります。


First we went to check out the different types of cacti on display.

最初見に行ったのはサボテン園。










Most of the cacti here are indigenous to North America and could be found growing in Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California.

これはのサボテンは北アメリカ特産のものでメキシコ、テキサス、アリゾナ、カリフォルニアに自生刺毛の美しいものが多い。














The sign says for the sphere type cactus, you can estimate its age from the diameter by calculating 1cm (2.54 in) as 1 year.

So if the diameter of the cacuts is 50cm (19 in), the age of the cactus would be about 50yrs old. Also the growth of the cacti in the north are much slower than the cacti in the south.






Cactus Flower / サボテンに咲いてる花




I'm not sure what kind of fruit tree my wife is standing underneath.

妻がどういう果物の木に立ってるいるかわかりません。


If you look to the left, you can see the bananas on this plant.

左側に良く見るとバナナが見えるはず。





And now we're off to see the orchids.

これから洋蘭を見に行きます。































We popped by the ski area but found the lift was closed so we couldn't go to the top.

スキー場のところに来ましたがリフトはやってないため、山の頂上は行けなかった。



We decided to have lunch at the Michinoku restaurant that has the hundreds of flavors of shakes on their menu.

ランチも青森方面に戻って、あのみちのくのシェイクの店に止まった。


My wife ordered the ramen which she said tasted better than the one she had at the Yusa Asamushi rest area.

妻が注文したのは普通のラーメン。でもゆさあさむし道の駅より旨いと言ってた。


After the disappointing curry I had at the Indian place at Sun Road, I decided to order the keema curry here. It was better than the Indian place but I still want to go to another Indian restaurant for some real Indian curry.

サンロードのインドカレー依頼、インドカレー食べたなかったので、ここでキーマカレーを注文。サンロードの店より旨かったが、やっぱり本場インドのカレーが食べたいな。


Of course I had to try another shake flavor. Today, I ordered the cinnamon shake while my wife had the pumpkin shake. I thought they were both delicious but my wife isn't particular to the taste of cinnamon. And so ended our adventure.

もちろん私たちはシェイクを飲みましたよ。今回僕が選んだ味はシナモン。妻はかぼちゃをチョイス。僕は両方が美味しいと思ったが、やっぱり妻にとって、シナモンは苦手だ。そして今日の冒険が終了しました。