AAAAAAND OFF WE GO! On the third day of JASC, we visited
Otafuku and Miyajima.
Otafuku is the company that makes okonomiyaki sauce. Arriving at the shop, we split up into 4
groups (we had 71 people in total).
For my group, we began by watching an introductory video on
the origin of the okonomiyaki sauce.
Following the video we toured the museum introduced us to the history of
okonomiyaki sauce. What I found most
interesting was that the okonomiyaki sauce was developed for okonomiyaki in the
recent century. I have always thought
that okonomiyaki was a traditional Japanese food, but surprisingly, the
delicacy was only recently developed post-World War 2. Accordingly, the okonomiyaki sauce was
developed for okonomiyaki. At first, Worcester
was used, but it turned out to be too “runny.”
Following the advice and requests of okonomiyaki shops, a sauce was
created to compliment okonomiyaki. That
sauce was the okonomiyaki sauce of Otafuku.
Throughout the tour, Isshu (Eco-hazard coordinator)
At the end of the tour, we were each given a fresh bottle of
okonomiyaki sauce. Since the bottle just
came off the production line, it was HOT!
As you can see in the picture above. We were thoroughly surprised at how
hot it was! It was too hot to hold.
Following the tour, we were invited into a kitchen to cook
and eat our own okonimiyakis!
After the Otafuku museum, we took a short ferry ride from
Hiroshima to Miyajima.
Miyajima is famous for its Itsukushima shrine and deer. After dropping our luggage off at our hotel,
we split up into random groups of 10 to explore the island. Our first stop was
the famous tori gate that floats on the ocean during high tide (it doesn’t
actually float, but you get what mean).
On the way, we ran into many deer. Unlike the deer in Nara, we were not allowed
to feed them. The “wild” deer were much
less aggressive than those in Nara; perhaps, because they don’t see us as a
source of food. O.o
It took 300 yen to enter the Itsukushima shrine. For many American delegates, it was their
first time visiting a Japanese shrine.
Before entering, you must wash your hands and mouth with the shrine
water (as shown below).
It’s very popular to get fortune told by omikuji (fortune
paper). Unlike the fortune cookies that
we get in the states, there are bad fortunes within those slips! If you get a good fortune, you take the
blessing slip with you, but if you get a bad fortune, then you tie those slips
in the shrine to ward off the evil. (Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of
the tied bad fortune slips!)
Following the shrine, we toured the streets of Miyajima,
eating local treats such as momiji manju. We eventually ended up at a
restaurant for dinner. Shops close
really early on Miyajima so we had dinner at 5PM!
After dinner, we regrouped back at our hotel for RoundTable
discussion. At 7PM, I ran out to get
this picture of the sunset at the tori gate.
That night we slept early (lights out at 11PM) because the
following day was extremely packed (waking up at 4AM to go back to Hiroshima
for the Peace Memorial Ceremony).