Japan 13.- OSAKA

Finally i arrived to Osaka. To meet my pen-friend again and stay at her home and see her family. It was such a magical thing – i was pretty emotional and very greatful about that.

So Kiyoe was waiting me in the big Osaka Train Station (HUGE!!!) with her little monkeys, the two boys. We took the local train – more like an overground – for 120yen to go home, was about 15minutes ride. Was out from the center enough but like a ‘neighbourhood’ feeling with lots of schools, parks and a small market.

Their flat is in a fairly new building – what i really liked about it how mixed up the old traditional style with the very modern technology. Everything new, the rooms all have this ‘hidden’ sliding doors – i havent been in the main bedroom but my guest room had no window but sliding doors from 2 sides and a supertraditional looking tatami mat in the middle. Nothing else apart from a small Buddha statue with candles.

Kitchen modern, dining corner and living room with balcony. My favourite part was the bathroom. They had the same cleaning ceremony at home as it would be an onsen. The whole bathroom was a big shower cabin with a plastic chair in the middle in front of the mirror so u can sit down and wash/shower yourself. And after u clean properly u can jump in the massive bath for your personal onsen feeling. They had a massive bathtub – and AND AND the best part when it was talking. So it was automatized to fill up itself and keep the temperature of the water in a certain level. Crazy. Loved it. After the tub i loved the toilet more – but i think i was talking about the greatness of toilet ceremony in Japan.

Seats are heated, flashing is happening with used water, u can listen sound of sea, can wash yourself with personalized temperatured water from different angles and different preassure. Just beautiful. As my other Alma friend from Paris use to say – i never felt cleaner than there. We all should learn this part of the culture.

So first night we decided that every night Kyoe will show me some traditional japanese food what we are going to prepair together. I was very excited about it. First night she showed me how to make perfect Chicken Karaage. However she had some small issues with the english language but honestly – i didnt feel we had any problem with communication. Plus she had a great application on her phone so helped us out ususally. Even her little older boy was talking with me thru that translator. Sweetheart.

So we made a simple miso soup as ususal – with bonito flakes and kombu then season it with yellow miso paste (never reach the boiling stage) serve with big cubes of soft tofu. Rice as always – part of every single meal on a japanese table – make it with a rice cooker of course (with a ’20times washing out the starch’ secret proccess lol). Also part of every meal: tsukemono – pickles. Plus the chicken karaage with salad. Kiyoe bought the chicken thighs the day before so she could marinate it with soy, garlic and ginger in a bag. When the time had come she drained the meat and poped into a bag with a mixture of flour, potato starch and salt.

Shake shake shake well so all the chicken will nicely covered and ready to fly… sorry to fry. Couple of minutes in a 170 degrees oil – moving around to get colored evenly, not burn but cook thru. Pick them out and leave to rest in a kitchen towel. Meanwhile Kiyoe mixed up some steamed leaves – was very similar to spinach and dressed it with sesame seeds and dashi soy sauce. Delicious. Also serves some of the tiny sweet dried fish i mentioned before – chirimen – i love to eat the plain rice with it. Was a simple but delicious dinner. Very happy first family night.

footnote: i did eat meat during my journey. would have missed out on the opportunity of trying new things. no regrets.

Open up your mouth…!

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