July 14, 2017

A Golden Opportunity

This day trip to Tokyo was one of my last before moving. I had just given myself a DSLR for my birthday and needed to be inspired to learn it. My travel companion was remarkably patient as I fiddled with my new toy its first day out of the box. The gorgeous "Ginko Avenue," is located in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park and now hosts an annual Gingko Festival.

Ginko trees, or "ginan" as they're called in Japan, are hands-down my favorite tree. Lots of people get hung up on sakura, but ginan are equally gorgeous and an enormous part of Japanese culture.

First of all, the female trees yield the horrifically smelly ginko fruit with a delicious pit. The ginan, or ginko biloba nut, is packed with minerals and is especially tasty grilled over charcoal and accompanied with an icy cold beer.

Second, the trees turn a spectacular golden color (if you missed the pics, this is a good time to scroll up,) in the fall. A bright golden ginan tree is one of mother nature's limited edition crayons that is magificent, and brief.

Third, the shape of the ginan leaves are also the shape of the hairstyle, oicho worn by some sumo wrestlers. If you know me, you know I love sumo. 

So case closed. The ginan tree rocks. 

If you want to learn more, check out how I cooked it.



Welcome to Wherever You Are

Holy cow, where to start?

It's been a weird trip, these last two years. We left one of the most densely populated areas of Japan, Kanagawa Prefecture, and moved way, way down South to a much smaller, exceptionally slower Iwakuni.

I chose this picture taken in the mountains near our home. This remote train station overlooking a valley of flowers visualizes exactly how I see this place. I thought it fitting for my comeback post.

The last two years in a nutshell? I landed an amazing job and started exploring the hell out of this region. I visited Taiwan and South Korea. I learned traditional Japanese pottery. This chicken picked up a frog for the first time. I have met some wonderful friends that I will have for life.

But all the while, I secretly longed to get the hell out of here as soon as possible. Then all of the sudden, at the ripe age of 38, I found out I had a bun in the oven.

Holy crap. Time to shift gears and reprioritize everything. Although I had hoped that time would fly by, my new perspective is that I want time to crawl. Every day is monumental. I'm alive. I have a child. I live in Japan. I need to make it all count--every single minute.

So, I put my 18 year career on the backburner, and embraced a new job that is the hardest thing I've ever attempted: motherhood. Although "M" keeps me on my toes, I miss the creative outlet that my career has always been for me.

So let's bring on the return of the blog! I've got two years of food, quirky Japanese stuff, and adventures to share with you. Crack open a chuhai and let's dig in.