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Santetsu karaoke and weekend tour 2016

Our trip on the chartered Santetsu Karaoke train is becoming a regular event for December and this year, 11 people gathered to Sanriku for this event to enjoy the year end festive fun moments with the locals.

Santetsu Chartered Karaoke Train

Some of you may know but the chartered train is run by Sanriku Tetsudo between Ofunado and Kamaishi for a round trip of two hours. 11 members from Tokyo and 17 local members gathered for this occasion. This is a party that we rarely experience in the Komos English reading group@Sanriku, an event for cultural exchange. We were lucky to have great weather with blue sky, the cobalt blue ocean of Sanriku as always. We had so much fun with laughter, singing and talking. This year there was a special cart selling limited goods from Sanriku Tetsudo (train) board our train and we were able to buy some rare souvenirs. 

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We are very happy and grateful to be able to greet at this occasion of the year end. Before dinner we visited Mr. O in Rikuzentakata, we had oyster hot pot along with some dishes that we all prepared together, had a nice relaxing time at his place. That night we stayed in a newly built hotel in Ofunado. We felt the changing city under our windows as we watched the night pass by.

Ofunado, love letter for tomorrow

The following morning we took a trip to see the monument, Love letter for tomorrow, it was very moving to see it under the morning sunshine. We were able to meet Mr. and Mrs. Shida, the organizer of this monument. We were nit able ti meet Mr. Mido Harada, the creating artist of the monument but we felt the effort and passion in the monument, that he and the volunteers had put to make this happen.

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This day there was an event called Choinozoki Kesennnuma “ちょいのぞき気仙沼” (meaning a sneak peak of Kesennnuma), it is a new event so we decided to visit it. We split in two groups, 7 members took part in the Yuzu (Japanese lime) Jam and Kaisendon experience tour (“離島満喫!ゆずと大島海鮮丼クルーズの旅“), and 1 member took part in visiting the oyster farms in Karakuwa and oyster course cuisine.

Tour of Kesennuma Oshima

Between Kesennuma and Oshima, we chartered a small boat named Hakutaka. A member from Oshima Kisen is our guide. When we arrive, we experience jam making and ice cream making from Yuzu (Japanese Limes). The ingredients are a local specialty from the island and we could sense that something delicious was on its way.

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Once we finish making jam and ice cream, it is time for the Kaisen don (seafood lunch) that we have waiting for! It is a local specialty from a restaurant called Hamaya, The special dish featured fresh fish such as abalone, swordfish, and turnips which all are sourced locally. For dessert, we had the Yuzu ice cream that we had made on the first half of the activity. The tour has a limited time but the organizers had arranged everything perfectly and passionately so we could enjoy our excursion.

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Tour of  Karakuwa peninsula

The tour in Karakuwa was conducted by Tsunakan of Moriya Fishery who run an oyster farm in the area. We all took a boat to the oyster raft, and they showed us how the oysters develop. The beautiful sea of Karakuwa and the unique ria shoreline was nice to watch, and the stories we hear about the unique setting of Karakuwa which is perfect for oyster farming was interesting to hear. We felt the effort they put in to provide consumers with delicious oysters and how lucky we were to be able to taste them.

dsc_0485dsc_0502When we got back to shore, we were taught how to open the oysters, you can learn from professionals and try it out yourself. Even if you are clumsy like I am, they are very patient to teach you, after this we travelled back for lunch.

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Lunch was a special course of oysters prepared by the chef. The base was Japanese cooking but it was unique with elements from other cuisine, which was really interesting to experience. Many of the participants were asking for the recipe, thats how good it was.

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The two tours from Oshima and Karakuwa joined at ace port, and we travelled slowly to Ichinoseki. It was a warm day and the travel time was quicker than usual, so some of us decided to stop at Seikinoichi Brewary, to enjoy some tea, ice cream and some craft beer before our trip back home.

Komos English reading group@ Sanriku is looking forward for our next tour in December 16th to 18th.

(Hiroko)

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