When I was in Australia I spent 6 months with 9 Japanese students. One thing that struck me about them was the huge respect they have for others and especially their elders.I decided then that at some point in my life I would have to visit Japan and discover as much as I can about this country and its people. I hope that if I do manage to visit that some of these students will be able to show me the real Japan. However even if they do there are a few places of interest and things to do that I have on my list.
When I was a young child I saw a poster of Mount Fuji in Japan and I was instantly captivated by it. Some people might say it is just a mountain with snow on top but to me there was something very magical about it. If I ever manage to visit Japan I will definitely have to visit Mount Fuji. Japan is full of hiking trails for all levels so I am pretty sure there will be one to suit me near Mount Fuji.
Kyoto is a city that I want to visit. It is famous for its Cherry Blossoms but also for its Temples and Shrines. Not far from here is the rural city of Koka which is the homeland of the original Ninja warriors. This is well worth a visit for anyone who has even the slightest interest in martial arts.
I’m not a fan of snow but I a must for anyone interested in Wildlife is a visit to the onsen (hot springs) on Mount Arashiyama on the outskirts of Kyoto. Here you can see Japanese Macaque bathing in the hot springs during the snows of winter. Another magical winter wildlife experience is to see the endangered Red Crowned Cranes gathering on the lakes at dawn.
Tokyo is a huge city but despite its size it has many green spaces well worth a visit. You can view the city by helicopter ride or from one of the many viewing points around the city such as the Tokyo Skytree. Another way of seeing a different side to the city is to take a water bus. One experience I cannot miss is Sumo wrestling in Ryogku. Of course in a city of this size there are many places to find great food to suit any taste.
When I was in Australia I was spoiled for choice when it came to international cuisine and Japanese food was easy for me to get. Here in Ireland not so much especially where I live. As a result I chose Chicken Teriyaki. Normally I like to try to make as much as possible from scratch but in this case the Teriyaki came out of a bottle. While it was nice it was not as good as the Japanese food I used to get in Australia and no doubt very different to the food I would get in Japan.
Chicken fillets sliced (pieces boned but with skin still on are better)
1 jar/bottle of Teriyaki Sauce
Sesame seeds for garnish
Spring onions sliced for garnish
Rice (I used brown)
Place the sliced raw chicken in the Teriyaki overnight or a minimum of 4 hours. Cook the chicken until cooked through (time depends on thickness) and sauce is thick and sticky. Serve on a bed of rice, garnish with the sesame seeds and spring onions and enjoy.
Join me next time for Austrian night.