Date & Time: Friday, April 13, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Spots: Mt. Masugata and Nihon Minka-en (Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum)
Visitor: A Filipino girl
Attendant: 1 KSGG member
As I was waiting at the south exit of Mukogaoka-Yuen Station, a young trendy girl in a pink dress showed up. As she wanted to have a Japanese style breakfast set, I took her to Matsuya*1. We had a regular morning breakfast set. I taught her how to eat a bowl of steamed rice topped with a raw egg, since she said she did not like natto*2.
First, we climbed up Mt. Masugata. But she got exhausted half way up and said, “Do we have to climb up more?” with a frown. I encouraged her, saying “Almost there!” At last, we reached the top. We had a commanding view of Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree and Landmark Tower from the viewpoint.
In Nihon Minka-en, she was interested in the Japanese folk house from Shirakawa-go*3 and Shi-shi-odoshi*4, but not so much in Koinobori*5 nor Gogatsu Ningyo*6. She loved having her photos taken, posed here and there, and asked me to take pictures of her. She was reluctant to go up the steep steps to the Kabuki stage from Funakoshi. But, I coaxed her into going up.
In the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, we had ourselves taken a ceremonial picture with Tower of Mother in the background. We ate Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki*7 for lunch. She had already experienced almost all kinds of Japanese food, as she had visited Japan more than ten times. We said good-bye at the station, hoping to meet again someday.
*1 A Japanese fast food restaurant which serves mainly beef bowls for reasonable price.
*2 Fermented soy-bean
*3 A small traditional village and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is famous for an old Japanese building style known as gassho-zukuri.
*4 A Traditional Japanese device made to frighten away animals which pose a threat to agriculture.
*5 A carp-shaped streamer