June 21, 2015

Trip to Dazaifu (Japan) with classmates Part 2

This is the follow up of my other blog post Trip to Dazaifu for homestay event Part 1.
The dad of the Japanese girl of my university picked us up from the traditional area of Dazaifu. It was really great to get picked up because during my exchange in Japan I always had to use public transport. Also, being in a car gives a different view of Japan compared to a train, the surroundings were much different. Once I and my classmates arrived at the house, we were welcomed by her mom. Also, we saw a display with many dolls in a room next to the hall and the dad told us it is for Hinamatsuri, also known as doll festival. It is to celebrate their daughter’s good health and future happiness. Their doll set was handed down from generation to generation, and usually for each newborn girl the family adds new dolls.
It was already evening and the student’s mother had luckily prepared food for us! We ate tempura, vegetables and rice. Also, we learned how to make Takoyaki, which are snacks in the form of small balls with small pieces of octopus. We had to put the ingredients in each round form of the plate and roll it with a little stick until it forms into a ball. It is actually quite difficult to make a ball because it can easily break when rolling it too fast. Patience is the key to make a Takoyaki ball! I have to say they were delicious, but the octopus pieces were a bit tough.
 
Video of me making Takoyaki and the dad of the Japanese girl helping with his superb Takoyaki skills!

The mom of the Japanese girl did her best cooking food and I have to say it was one of the most delicious foods I have tasted in Japan. We also gave the decorated cake which we bought on the way to Dazaifu. Together we ate the cake and talked about how life is in Japan.
Also, a funny thing happened, when the other student came from the toilet she told us how the toilet lid opened automatically when she approached it. We as foreign students that never saw an automatic toilet were interested in seeing that of course. The Japanese girl showed us what kind of features the toilets has such as heating of the seat, bottom cleaner (small spraying jet),  and adjusting the height of the toilet. The Japanese family was laughing that we find the automatic toilet interesting because it is totally normal for them.
After having fun times, we had to unfortunately go home. I really felt like they cared for us like a real family in a Japanese way, which was the purpose for the 1 day homestay event. Together with the other two foreign exchange students I went home by train.

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