Thursday, 28 January 2016

Final reflections of Japan

I've been home for just over 24 hours so thought I would share some final images from Japan. I was taken out for dinner on the first night to experience Japanese Okonomiyaki and what a fun night it was. I stupidly left my camera in the hotel so thank goodness once again for the mobile phone camera (And sadly I have come home to my good Nikon camera receiving a smashed screen - it has travelled the world without a hitch but someone obviously threw my small case from a great height and it shattered)……..
We chose our own combinations and I selected one that included welsh onion just for you Kay!! Not sure if they came from Wales or not!!……..
We were handed a bowl of ingredients that included a base of finely shredded cabbage with a rice flour sauce. After a little combining it was time to cook on the hot plate in the centre of the table. A timer is set and then a glass lid placed on top while watching it cook. It is a combination of pancake, omelette and fritatta and so, so good…….

 I then topped mine with the welsh onion, some amazing sauces and with some trepidation some dried tuna…….amazing to watch that 'move' in the heat as it is so light……and it was delicious! The final treat was a light and fluffy fairy floss like cube that melted in the mouth…not as sweet as we have which was refreshing…….
 This is what the okonominyaki was supposed to look like when done by the professionals! Thanks so much Jacki and Jo….it was wonderful!…...
As we wandered back to the hotel I continued to be awe struck by the fake food displays outside each eatery…….it all looks so very real……..
 I dined on my own a couple of nights as I was too tired to go out, so some comfort food in a burger place nearby. A small and slightly sweet chicken burger - much smaller than we are used to but quite enough and very tasty…….(a reminder of how we overeat!)
 Back at the hotel one had to walk past this each day……..and yes I did give in….just once!

I didn't realise until I came home and downloaded my phone photos that I had taken this when I first arrived at the quilt show - another reminder of the spectacle of it all……..
 My flights home seemed long with the mandatory two hours required before each flight - a 5 hour flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong and then a wait of another 5 hours before just over 8 hours overnight home. I was sure it would be less taxing than the flights to the UK but the time zone change is much kinder to the body. As I reached my final boarding gate my pass would not scan…."a problem" she said with a smile and then handed me a new one. Yes…..I'd been upgraded to Business class without asking!!! Despite that one still gets very tired. By the time they serve you dinner and then wake you for breakfast you have only had about 4 hours between to get some sleep. But what an amazing experience for me and I am so, so grateful for all of it…….
  Travel can be taxing on the body and this trip was no exception even though it was short. The ankles swell and after peeling off all the warm layers I discovered my blotchy ageing spots on my arms had all dried out and been bleeding… lots of moisturiser, a good night's sleep and all is well! While I was away and since being home I've received several messages about the news of a new unpublished Beatrix Potter tale. It even made our newspaper yesterday……...
There are several links to the story including a video HERE. As I continue to drool over the incredible Beatrix potter quilts of Yoko Saito and her students I still feel somewhat disheartened over my attempts for the new book. But Larry put it into perspective by saying my work is probably "more suited to the masses and more achievable"………so I  think that might be right! You can read more about Yoko's exhibition and a report on this website - Okan Arts and I do like Patricia Belyea's response to one of the comments…….
"The Japanese have a training system for quilting that is intense and rigorous. This is not the work of dilettantes!
That makes me feel much better - more soon when my camera is fixed x


  1. It would have been fun to make your own okonomiyaki, especially a more traditional style one, I've made it myself at home but without the dried tuna, if you liked it Michele, I'll have to give the dried tuna a try.

  2. you must have had such an experience being in Japan - the food you show - the sweets! I would not have been able to keep passing by without trying one. I have seen some of Yoko Saito's work and know I would never be able to do it like that - years of experience for sure - and really you have a totally different style so I would encourage you to do your book - I was going to send you a link to the article but I see from your post others beat me to it - nice being bumped to business on a long flight!

  3. Loved travelling with you Michele, thanks for the time you put into your blog.

  4. glad you got home safely, what wonderful experiences you packed into a few short days.. I love Japanese food , the okonomiyaki would have been such fun. Not sure i would cope well with the crowds

  5. Aren't husbands the best to help us put things into perspective? I'm glad you'll stick with your book, I'm looking forward to it.

  6. Oh we so love okonomiyaki. Way better than Sushi! Sweets in hotels are gorgeous! Nothing nice like that in Ireland! You are making me home sick!!
    What Patricia said is spot on. They have some different system or society there.
    Your works are always beautiful :)

  7. I have been wanting to tell you to do the Peter Rabbit book ever since I saw your first post, am glad you are rethinking it. Good for Larry. Yours will be special in so many ways and we want it!
    What a trip you had, I enjoyed every picture so much.

  8. Enjoyed your posts so much, it must have been wonderful. The quilts are amazing and your husband has it so totally in perspective but I cannot believe that you only had one cake, I would have had to have one each day. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I know I would have picked the penguin shaped dessert if I'd been there.


Thankyou for dropping by and sharing in my journey. And thanks especially for your lovely comments….I may not always respond (especially if there is no email address) but please know you are appreciated x