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This blog is written by author Sachiko who is not a native speaker of English, so it may be hard to read. It is translated from the summary of Japanese page; http://akitaodatelifejp.hatenablog.com/

Making a sweet “Goma-Mochi”

I kneaded each black and white “Goma”, means sesame, into dough of “Mochi”, means rice cake, then rolled them and cut it. It is a local sweet of Odate and the surrounding area.

Onsen “Shohoen” (Kowakubi spa village, Daisen city)

This hot spring is through the rice fields in the rural landscape. It is a member of Japan Association of Secluded Hot Spring Inns, and opened to day use too. The building is a registered tangible cultural property. Onsen ryokan inn “Shoho…

Akita butterbur-printed “Tenugui”, Japanese hand towel

Akita butterbur is giant enough to stand in for umbrella. I always buy Tenugui of local design when travelling around Japan. akitaodatelifeen.hatenablog.com

“Magewappa”, cedar lunch box made in Odate

Odate Magewappa is a traditional lunch box made of Akita cedar. I am always very surprised that I feel the rice is tastier with it. The good one is expensive but worth more than the price.

Tempting alpine leek

My master of mountain vegetables and driving gave me. It smells like garlic, and lets me want a glass of beer.

Multipurpose sauce "Ajidorakunosato"(made by Tohoku Shoyu, Daisen city)

This mixture of dashi like soy sauce is very popular in Akita. It is useful for cooking.

Traditional seasoning “Shottsuru”

Shottsuru is a fish sauce made of sailfin sandfish “Hatahata” and salt etc, made in Akita. It is very salty but tasty, so I use one little bit for cooking. The information is as of April 17th 2017.

Convenience store with vast parking lots

In Akita, or maybe rural areas in all Japan, we see the convenience stores having parking lots many cars also large trucks can park in. I was surprised at first, because urban shops often have no parking space.

“Tully’s Coffee Odate”

There are several chain family or fast food restaurants in Odate. Last autumn, the long-awaited coffee chain store opened. Unlike urban shops it is a spacious shop just like Akita’s positive feature. “Tully’s Coffee Odate” 【Address】5-2-4…

Growing fatsia sprouts

I received the good news that it is easy to grow the tasty Japanese mountain vegetable fatsia sprouts at home. My colleague was so kind as to give me the harvesting kit he made. I am looking forward them to get big.

Cap farmers often wear

I think that In Japan we see the baseball cap written of somehow no meaning English message, especially farmers wears. I do not know why the farmers wear it, but I was given it from my senior of agriculture and driving. I really like it.

Surprising universal welsh onion

The green onion I planted and harvested last summer is growing in spite of the heavy snow in last winter.

Frogs of stone statue telling spring has come

It has resumed dedicating water to a couple of frogs on both side of the gate of my work place because recent warm temperature does not freeze it. In Japanese frog is called “Kaeru”, and getting back home is called “Kaeru” too, that is, it…

Forgetting radish I pickled

I have forgotten that I pickled Japanese white radish for months. It is necessary to record schedule visually.

Preparing kitchen garden

The snow on the field had melted so I started to work on my kitchen garden. I removed weeds and wait for the soil to dry. I regret that last season I did not to record how to do the farm work my landlord who is a farmer taught me, so I hav…

Dedicating sacred rope “Shimenawa” to Idegawa zelkova tree (Wakaki Shrine ceremony, Odate city)

I visited the event of making Shinto festoon “Shimenawa” at Idegawa area in Odate last month. Today the rope was dedicated for the sacred tree“Idegawa-no-Keyaki”. For a year the rope is listed, then the residents will make the new one on A…

“Fuki-miso”, cut butterbur scapes together with soybean paste

Japanese butterbur scape is the prefecture flower of Akita. They grow on fields and mountains, riversides, country roads, or often in main roads side. I cooked Fuki-miso paste that is good as a nibble for sake or a topping on rice.

Showing up footpath between rice fields

The snow had melted because of the heat in daytime, and the road appeared for the first time in months. Many Japanese butterbur scapes may be on the skirts of mountain, but I am afraid of wildlife coming out of winter sleep so I can not go…

“Omori Wine” made from grapes of Akita(Mercian Corporation)

This wine is made from the grapes of Omori district, Yokote city. Akita is a major production area of Japanese rice wine sake, its cool climate is suitable to grow Riesling grapes for wine too. The information is as of April 5th 2017.

Positional relation of Akita Prefecture

Bullet train, JR East Shinkansen runs within about 100 minutes from the metropolitan Tokyo to Sendai that is the biggest city in Tohoku area where has Akita. It takes about 120 minutes by Shinkansen from Sendai to Akita. There is the image…

Wasao's pull back car

Akita dog “Wasao” that is popular for its funny face is riding on the toy mini truck. He lives in Ajigasawa, Aomori next to Akita.

Beautiful mistress of “Edo-Kouta” from Akita

Ms. Kasuga Toyo Shibaho who is my teacher of “Edo-Kouta” in Tokyo, traditional short song of Japan, is from Akita. We say that women from Akita are beautiful. In fact, she is the most typical.

“Donbuku”, short winter coat

It is called “Hanten” around Tokyo, but people in Odate call it “Donbuku”. It is like a Kimono coat filled with cotton, warm and comfortable. In April the cold days will continue here so this is useful.

Windpants

I wear it over the pants not to get dirty when washing my truck or doing farmwork. It is a water repellent finishing, lightweight, and difficult to get sweaty.

“Iburigakko” local good cook woman made

It is smoked radish pickles known as Akita’s specialty. It is loved around Japan. In Akita people teach each other how to cook delicious foods.

Cooking potatoes I grew

I grew many potatoes in my field last autumn. They can be stored at cold and dark area long time. I made “imomochi”, like rice cake made with potato.

Air conditioner

It was useful at the new highly airtight and highly heat insulating apartment house that I lived at first in Odate, but now it is not active at my old drafty house. In Akita the cold weather models that have antifreezing outdoor unit are s…

Sake “Takashimizu Haruno-Junmai” (made by Akita Shurui Seizo, Akita city)

I see that a lot of sake made in Akita on sale at the local supermarkets. “Takashimizu” is the popular brand also in Tokyo.

Onsen “Wagokoronoyado Himenoyu” (Kazuno city)

This hot spring is at Yuze spa village where is surrounded by beautiful mountains and Yoneshiro river, and good to access for Hachimantai sightseeing spot. It is an inn and opened to day use too. (In the bath taking picture is not permitte…

Butterbur scape telling coming of spring

Lately snow has been melting at the site of my house and around. Jpananese butterbur scape “fukinoto” that is a symbol of starting of spring has just appeared from under the snow today.

“Kotatsu”, heating table

Japanese traditional Kotatsu is a table with a heater and blanket.

Wintering dried persimmon

It has been made as a preserved food in Japan especially at snowy areas like Akita. Dried persimmon is very sweet, so I like eating it with a cup of sugar-free coffee.

Driving heavy truck uphill on 3rd gear

When I drive the concrete mixer truck on 2nd gear, it could not go up the steep slope of snowy road. My senior taught me to change the gear to 3rd and then it could climb the hill. I learned in some cases low gears can not move the truck u…

“Matobi”, firelight for ancestor(in Kitaakita-gun Kamikoani-mura, Kitaakita-shi)

Yesterday was Vernal Equinox Holiday. The mountain villages in this area has had an event that people kindle firelight to mourn for their ancestor at night. Several days before and after the holiday, we hold a Buddhist mass for the decease…

Radiation type electric heater

It runs by electricity and warms up close by its front quickly. When in Tokyo I used them at the urban small living room, I never thought that they would work at the storeroom and bath dressing room in snowy Akita.

Traditional dyeing “Shikon-zome” & “Akane-zome” exhibition(in Hanawa, Kazuno city)

“Shikon-zome” is dyed with Lithospermum erythrorhizon, “Akane-zome” with Rubia akane, they are vegetable dyeing. They have been inherited in this area for long time because Kazuno has a lot of the materials naturally. Event: Traditional Dy…

Apple-patterned packing tape

The neighbor Aomori prefecture is famous for producing apples. While driving to Aomori I got this cute item at the farmer's store.

“Pirunai Ham & Sausage of Hinaijidori” (made by Akitarokujikai, Odate city)

Hinai-jidori is one of three major homebred chicken in Japan, and grown in Odate. Its ham and sausage are a little bit expensive but delicious.

“Yutanpo”, heating equipment for bed

It is filled with hot water to warm bedding comforter. I put it under the quilt in winter night.

Shared “Daifuku”, rice cake with bean paste

My colleague gave me the sweet. In Akita people often share something good voluntarily.

Convection type oil stove

It works with kerosene and dry batteries and warms up surrounding and upper much, in addition, can bake something or be put a pot on the top.

Eating pickled Jerusalem artichokes

I have eaten the Jerusalem artichokes I pickled two weeks ago. It tastes very good, so I go to grow it in my kitchen garden this year. akitaodatelifeen.hatenablog.com

Leaving the kerosene cans at home

Although I was going to buy kerosene, I had forgotten to bring the empty cans from home! I found it when arriving at the shopping area where is 30min far from my home by car.

Reflective oil stove

It works with kerosene and dry batteries, warms up front and upper much.

“Monpe”, Japanese work pants

It is loose-fitting and elastic waist pants for working. It is comfortable, and this is warm type, so I wear it as a loungewear in winter.

Drainage of water hose

Concrete mixer trucks have water hose outside to wash their body. In winter after using the water hose I have to drain water in order not to freeze, however short time is untill next using.

Three kerosene cans

I use about 200l kerosene to keep my home warm for a month. Akita is a northern cold area, much more at my large old house.

Sacred rope “Shimenawa” for zelkova tree living over a thousand years (made in Idegawa, Odate city)

The zelkova tree “Idegawa-no-Keyaki” stands at Idegawa area in Odate. The tree has been living over millennium. It has 5 trunks from one root, and its perimeter of the stump is about 28 meter. People here cherish it, think the god is in, m…

Sake “Junmai Daiginjo Chokaisan” (made by Tenju Shuzo, Yurihonjo city)

It is a Japanese rice wine made by the pure underground water of beautiful Mt. Chokai in Akita. This brand is said to be good with a wine grass as well as sake cup.

Kerosene fan heater

It starts burning quickly, so I turn it on at first when getting home.