Business Jaunt to the northern islands 1 !

by Chis.

This is my first business jaunt in this year. Almost once a year, I visit Rishiri Island and Rebun Island located on the west of Wakkanai City, of course, on the Sea of Japan. This memorial sign shows the lyric of a certain song called "Shigure Ondo"  which means "scattered shower dancing song " on my way in Kutsugata Area.
The lyrics means "Donto Donto surfing on the wave ???" and it is near" Donto Community Center". "Donto" does not mean "don't" .
I think fishermen love songs for their pleasure all over the world.
This is the lighthouse on the cape. I am wondering if anybody had to keep the light and maintain the facility near the lighthouse many years ago.
It was not so cold but the scenery made me feel lonely and cold albeit my colleagues were around me and they enjoyed their trip to the island.
Remembering the voyage from Wakkanai to Rishiri Fuji Town on Rishiri Island, the sea was very calm and I could manage to stay comfortable in the ferry.
Mt. Rishiri Fuji could be seen from the cabin of the ferry and it was like the island floating in the sky, "Raputa" in animation film.
I prayed for the safe trip and the success of my business  with my fingers and toes crossed.

North 43 degree Steak House in Bisse, Sapporo City !

by Kazu

It seems that I will not be able to have a dinner with my wife for her birthday, I took her to this restaurant N43 Steak House on the third floor of Bisse, Hokuyo Ohdori Center, Nishi 3 Chome, Ohdori, Chuo-ku, Sapporo City.
URL:  http://www.43steakhouse.jp
Dry aged beef is the big draw of this steak house.  
 On "Wikipedia", "Dry-aged beef is beef that has been hung or placed on a rack to dry for several weeks. After the animal is slaughtered and cleaned, either the entire or half will be hung. Primal (large distinct sections) or sub primal cuts strip loins, rib eyes and sirloin are placed in a refrigerator unit, also known as a "hot box". This process involves considerable expense, as the beef must be stored near freezing temperatures. Subprimal cuts can be dry aged on racks either in specially climate-controlled coolers or within a moisture-permeable drybag. Moreover, only the higher grades of meat can be dry aged, as the process requires meat with a large, evenly distributed fat content. Because of this, dry-aged beef is seldom available outside of steak restaurants and upscale butcher shops or groceries. The key effect of dry aging is the concentration and saturation of the natural flavour, as well as the tenderisation of the meat texture."
Dry aged beef may not so familiar with Japanese people but I think it started to grb the heart of Japanese people.
In this great holidays, the restaurant is offering its lunch buffet for 2,900 Japanese yen for a person.
 A pot of clam chowder and consomme were the starter.Both of them worked enough to stimulate our appetite and stomach.
Healthy and beautiful salad can be arranged by our selves on the dishes.
 Pickled veggies, cabbage and cucumber salad, a pot of gratin, shrimp cocktail were so nice to have before having thick beef steak.
Smoked-salmon, octopus carpaccio were placed next to the dessert.

 Grilled chicken, tasteful ham, Asian hot salad with petit tomatoes, boiled prawns flavored with Mayonnaise can be savored before and after having beef steak. But I do not think it is possible for females to try all kinds of dishes before the main dish.
A sizzling dish of the dry aged thick beef was brought to our table and mashed potatoes with  spinach boiled with creme was served. We were ready to fight!
 The steak was flavored with salt, pepper and fermented butter. The staff of the restaurant offered us medium-rare but I recommend medium in this restaurant albeit even the medium-rare has the crispy surface. We were remembering the same kind of beef steak we have in Honolulu. I may prefer the one in Oahu to this.
Chocolate cakes, milk pudding and creme brulee were the dessert. Each of them was so nice for the lunch buffet of 2,900 Japanese yen. As I forgot to use a coupon for 10% discount at the cashier, we have to visit this steakhouse again in the near future.
It is so cloudy and windy today that it might be the best to spend our time inside the building.
It must have be so tough to spend time without my wife on such lovely day;)
I am so happy with so nice better half after she came back from long business jaunt to small islands Rishiri and Rebun.

I will post the photos of those island taken on her way to and back from the islands.

Beside, the flower arrangement on the left was displayed at the entrance of the steakhouse.
Mmmmm, me gusta!

The waiting bar near the entrance seemed not to be used for a while.
As I failed to take the photo of whole dish of the beefsteak, I post the photo on the menu with bright color.

Which do you prefer, Japanese Yakiniku or such thick beefsteak ?


Press Scrum in the night !

 by Kazu

After new top brasses assumed office in our Sub-prefectural Office of Hokkaido Government, I have to throw a party inviting the local press.
Ezo-ya in Iwamizawa City was chosen as the venue of the party this time. We choose the party course for four thousand yen per two hours, usually.
 This bistro is now providing the guests with the new type of "Shabu-Shabu" pot in which sliced quality pork should be boiled comparatively slightly with broth. "Mochi Buta" on the sign of the bistro on the right means the soft and tasteful pork with elasticity.
I had to work so hard in the party like a maitre-d' as the host, I could not take photos of the cuisine this time. The inside of the bistro was like the photo on the left. I am very sorry for failing to convey the information on the cuisine in this bistro.  
It was too hot in the party room to stay for a while, I escaped again and again, getting order of drinks from my guests and colleagues. It is the way to the restroom in the bistro. What on earth did I do ? I like to throw a party for my friends but the night was too tough and stressful for me.  
After checking the belongings left in the bistro after wrapping up the party, I had to join the after. "Japanese Bistro Ogawa" was chosen as the venue, as my former superior used to. But this time, one of my colleagues did bad thing to the mom and showed arrogant behavior in the bistro, I was asked by the mom of the bistro not to take the guy to her bistro again. I am so sorry, mom!      
 These are my superiors and some of the staff of the branch press offices in Iwamizawa City. "The guy" is not in this photo but he came back to the bistro again after this after. Yes, like a nightmare.
The small exhibition of china and pottery will be held in the Japanese inn named  "Mikazuki" which means "Crescent " in Japanese. Very nice china and porcelain are displayed in   Japanese traditional building.
I decided not to go the after because I experienced stressful situations and slight injury in the after and sometimes felt some aches with my muscles.
I want to drink with my wife using such tasteful porcelain, away from thousands of craps in this world. No more binge drinking !
But, to be honest, I had been caught by one of my colleagues in the party thrown for directors and abducted to another colleague's flat in Iwamizawa City.
I am keeping to steer clear of alcohol this weekend.
Please take care and stay fit through this great holidays !


The Coastline of Otobe Town, Hiyama sub-prefectural area!

by Kazu

It is not the artificial coastline. Yes, this is the natural cliff that seems to consist of many pillars of rocks. The name of the cape is "Shibi no Misaki" which means "Cape Tuna". The many stone pillars seemed to be like the scales  of tuna fish. This kind of layer and the rocks are very precious in geology.
This is the name plate of this cape. Of course, it is artificial but the shape is like the coastline.
Otobe Town has an artificial tide pool for swimming along its ragged coast. Many citizens and anglers from other area enjoy fishing on the piers that make the tide pool.
The setting sun showed such solemn countenance.  
The harmony of the nature and the art gives us the piece of mind. I will visit again this area on May 11(Sat.) or 12(Sat.). I think it is warmer in this area than in Sorachi sub-prefectural area.  
I want to see again the setting sun with my wife but in oriental Fengshui or Ying Yang, males should not see setting sun and should see the rising sun for getting good fortune. On the other hand, females should see the setting sun for fertility. Do you know that?
Have a great weekend!


Crocuses in Iwamizawa Park!

by Kazu

Spring has come !
Crocuses are blooming in Iwamizawa Park.
Though it is still a little bit too cold for wearing a T-shirt, the flowers take off their coat and inspire us.
I can see the flowers yellow and white on the ground but can't find purples. Does the ground have a tendency ?
To be honest, hangover and losing memory of last night are annoying me now. I have to show the perfect recovery by the end of office hour.    


"Bariki-ya" in Sapporo again !

 by Kazu

I made a rendezvous with a certain admirable top brass of central government of Japan. He is so nice to talk to and spend time with.
Besides, after dinner with him in Japanese bistro "Aburiya" (URL : http://www.aburiya.com/  but only in Japanese),
I dropped by again Hakata Ramen Noodle Soup Restaurant "Barikiya" near JR Sapporo Station.
I failed to post the photo of the restaurant from the outside before, it may be the first time to post it on this blog.

"Barikote Zenbu Nokke Men" which means fatty ramen noodle soup with all kinds toppings in Bariki-ya. I love Sumire Remen restaurant established in Sapporo City the most but this ramen restaurant is near my condo. and also addictive.
On the counter, the topping of sprout boiled and flavored with hot chili, pickled spicy TAKANA veggie and chopped and pickled pink radish are provided for free of charge. Those toppings are so nice to eat with pints of beer while the chef cooking your noodle soup. Those toppings are in the pots.      
After binge drinking, the smell of the black seaweed paper "Nori" stimulated my appetite and this ramen noodle soup pour the power and the delight to me as well as extra weight of 2 kg. It will take two days to take off the extra pounds and get fit again. Would you try that?


Assabu Town in Hiyama sub-prefectural area !

by Kazu

What a splendid season for camping has begun!
It is still a little bit cold but the camping sites  with cottages or cabins are so comfortable to stay even in April. Of course, the hot spring spa is the "must" in every camping site for my wife and me.
Assabu Town in the southern part of Hokkaido Island also has so nice camping site called "The Forest of Recreation".  
 The forest is near the roadside station "Assabu Green Plaza 227". About six minute walk will take you to the place from the station in Midori Area.

 Uzura River is flowing near the hot spring spa in Uzura Area. Sometimes bears may be trotting across the river, so bring the bell to avoid bear attacks.  The green leaves and branches cover the river and make the tunnel. The camping site with parking lots for automobiles are near here.
This ware house seems to be still used for the cultivating machines and harvesting ones.The thatched roof should be repaired once in  several years. It may be difficult to find such thatched roof even in the main island of Japan and others. The pastoral scenery still can be seen in this area. This warehouse is about 20 minutes away from the roadside station "Green Plaza 227".
This water mill is still moving but not in work for making flour or something like that. As Assabu Town is one of the oldest area in Hokkaido, it has many old buildings and facilities in its area.  This water mill is located on the backyard of "Uzura Hotspring Spa".
It is not the photo taken in spring. harvested peas are being dried on the field. They are called "Nio Zumi" in Japanese and they are the seasonal scene of autumn. Shall we visit the rural in weekends ?


Photo Competition in Akabira City !

 by Kazu

"The orchid Festival in Akabira City" was held on April 20(Sat.) and 21(Sun.) but the result was posted only on the newspapers. I will post the awarded orchids after I get the photos of them.

Before that, I post the result of the photo competition in Akabira City.
The first prize for kids were given to "Fading Character of Fire" taken at the fire festival in the city as  shown on the top.
The second prize for kids were given to "What a beautiful mountain !"  and the third were to "Huge!".

The first prize for adults were given to "The Dawn" shown on the right. The second were to "Opening show in the fire festival", the third to "The Midnight Feast".

The prize for "Four Seasons" is also attractive. What you can see in the photo taken in autumn is the shaft tower of the coalmine in Akabira City. The two wheel were for rolling up the wires of the lift to carry the coalmine workers. The coalmine was closed many years ago but the shaft stands still. These facilities not in use will decay and be forgotten ?
Former landmark in the city and the mind of the citizens is to be or not to be for the future of the city ? The citizens should decide that by themselves.


Mt. Shokanbetsu-dake ?

by Kazu

On my way back from my business jaunt to Ashibetsu City, I could see the shade of God on the mountain on the north. I think it is Mt. Shokanbetsu-dake wearing clouds around its hillside. It is hallowed with the sunshine and mysterious clouds.
I was haggard with long drive and endless disputes in municipalities but I got the second wing from the shade and light.
Yes, as if it was the mountain of 8,000 meters high, the clouds covered the mountain and create the illusion of peak in the sky.

Everybody settled in the new circumstances ?
I had to hit the ground running when I was assigned to Sorachi sub-prefectural area. I will have to conduct a rocket start this fiscal year and show a special performance to the people in my area.

Everybody, please take care of yourself and shake the world with me !


Open-pit Coal Mine in Utashinai City !

by Kazu
It is called open-pit mining, open-cut mining or opencast mining.
I've never seen the real open-pit coal mine before but there is one in Utashinai City, Sorachi sub-prefectural area where had been the center of energy-producing in Japan. Yes, Sorachi meant the world before.
It can be seen from the top and the hillside of Mt. Kamoi(dake) where many professional skier   visit in winter.
Now that nuclear power generating system has been halted in Hokkaido, the thermal power station are at work around the clock and trucks carry the coal from this coalmine to the power stations so frequently. The coalmine industry nosedived many years ago but this open-pit coal mine is in full flourish albeit the owner company can not invest to the machines and human resources because it is not foreseeable how long the flourish will continue.  


The flowers began to bloom even in Asahikawa City !

by Gen, Kamikawa Sub-prefectural Office of Hokkaido Government

Even in Otokoyama Brewery Park, Asahikawa City, pretty flowers such as Dogtooth Violets,  Far East Amur adonis started to bloom.

My colleague said that it is possible to extract the starch from the root of this plant Dogtooth Violet but nowadays the starch  is made from mainly potatoes in Hokkaido.
 In my infancy, my family used to dig out this plant Far East Amur adonis in the mountains around the hollow we lived. I did not know that it was poisonous. I have never eaten it so far and I am so relieved with no mistake of eating it.
A Dogtooth Violet is blooming with some kind of flower. As it is the season of departure, parting, start, rebirth and reincarnation, the small beauties  seems to be bosom buddies.
Or, one of them was born out of wedlock.
It may be snowing on the hillside of Daisetsuzan Mountainous Area but it will develop the kinds of color and show as the scenery like an illusion with vigorous lives again. The season of sightseeing also started !

Have a nice weekend!