Kamikawa and Fukagawa Town!

by Kazu

How do you enjoy riding bicycle that I delivered last night Mr. Evans? Bicycle riding in Iwamizawa City is very comfortable, isn't it ? Most of its area is flat in Iwamizawa City. Please ride it safely!
 Going Route 39 from Sounkyo area to Asahikawa City, these flower balls can be seen on your left and in front of  the petro station run by Hokuren, Hokkaido Agricultural Cooperation.  It is not the so-called Michi-no-Eki, the roadside station, but many kinds of veggies and food sourced locally are sold in this area.
After making rounds in Asahikawa City, Michi-no-Eki "Riceland Fukagawa" can be seen on your right hand side and is filled with tourists. The souvenir shops and veggie march'e are like other roadside stations but this restaurant named "Ekitei" should be strongly recommended  on the guide books issued by some authorities, I think!
 It is on the second floor of the building in roadside station, Riceland Fukagawa. At around noon and five to 6 o'clock, you may have to wait in line to have lunch or dinner in this restaurant.
One of the most delicious rice crops in Japan is produced in Fukagawa City and adjourning cities and towns. So the protagonist in this restaurant is "rice" and the point is how can we extract the very best of the rice and potential of rice crops.
Cooked in the Japanese traditional pot of small size, the rice is served on the wooden frame. The iron pot makes the crispy aromatic rice chips in it.
This is called "Kama-meshi" in Japanese and the juicy and tasteful pork topped on the rice.  Those topping is boiled with broth  in the iron pot . A poached egg, pickled cucumber and miso soup accompany with the Kama-meshi.
 On August 5(Sun.), all the citizens of Fukagawa City and visitors from adjoining cities enjoyed the fireworks for an hour.
Before summer has gone, these fireworks are "the must" for Japanese people.
The fireworks festival costs over five million yen and in some cities in Sorachi sub-prefectural area ask the citizens for donation.
The fireworks shows are in full flourish in summer in each part of Japan. In Sapporo, the local newspaper companies or broadcasting companies pledge to fund the festival but in many small towns, local chambers and commerce collect money and arrange the festival.

 Some citizens living near the river could see the fireworks from their gardens.
Everybody enjoyed this summer enough? It is still hot everyday but this summer is passing by and began to showing its back.
 Every festival and fireworks show held in summer is to praying for bumper crops in autumnal harvest.
After the heavy snow in winter, it is said that the fertile soil brings the bumper crops. Heavy snow in winter destroyed many greenhouses in Sorachi sub-prefectural area last winter, so the start of the process to raise the veggies and crops delayed this year but I cross my fingers and toes for wonderful recovery and bumper crops.
YOTAKA ANDON(lantern) festival is held on August 24(Fri.), 25(Sat.) and 26(Sun.).  I guarantee that the festival is one of the most interesting festival in Hokkaido and much more interesting than traveling abroad. Details are at this http://www.town.numata.hokkaido.jp/yotaka  albeit only in Japanese. Please visit Numata Town and enjoy this fantabulous lantern festival this weekend!

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