This time I’m going to write about Tamaki san’s trip to
Please stay with him until the end!
It’s a Journey full of unique encounters XD
So… let’s start!!
No train station or no convenient stores around here…
all you can see is farms and tiny cute houses…
lots if greenery and…
Tamaki Hiorshi!! XD
As he walks on the road heading to an area called “henbori”,
he says that the area is full of greenery…
You can’t even find many electric wires around here!
Then he finds something…
There are people working on their field!
He greets them and asks what they were doing.
And one of them says that they are working on their
konnyaku potato field.
As Tamaki san tries to get closer to see what’s going on up there,
the man asks with an uncertain voice:
“It’s Tamaki san… right?”
Tamaki san says yes,
stops, bows and introduces himself!
And the man says:
“I Thought I saw you somewhere!!”
The man shows him one of the plants and
says that this one is 3 years old!
Then as he keeps explaining,
they start to pull out one of the
Konnyaku potatoes from the ground.
They show him the actual thing and
tell him that they use these potatoes to produce
Konnyaku in their factory nearby (井上食品)
Inoue san, who is also the president of the company,
invites him to their factory and try their products.
And of course Tamaki san accepts the kind offer ^^
On their way to the factory,
they talk about the potatoes.
Inoue san says that there are wild boars
and monkeys living around this area…
they never get close to the konnyaku potatoes we plant here!
Tamaki san is confused and asks him the reason.
Inoue san explains that the potatoes make your mouth
go numb if you eat them raw!
They know that by nature and never even try eating them!
Tamaki san says that konnyaku really is
a unique kind of food after all…
Inoue san says that the low Calorie it has,
makes it a good option for a healthy diet!
But also says that he can’t comment about that
since he has some extra weight himself XD
But Tamaki san says that
eating the delicious things you want to eat
is the most joyful thing you can do!
And I agree on that Ψ(*ﾟ￢ﾟ*)Ψ
As they arrive at the factory,
A lady shows up in the entrance.
Tamaki san says hello and she bows… XD
Then Inoue san says:
“Tamaki san has come here… so…”
But before he finishes what he wants to say,
the lady says “Aaaa… Good morning!!”
and almost runs away screaming someone else’s name!
hehehehehe… They both laugh at her reaction!
They enter the company and watch the
production procedure from a room with huge windows.
The room is made for this purpose.
Tamaki san is amazed by how fast one of the people
working in the factory is cutting the konnyaku!
He points to where he’s looking so that the camera can get it as well,
but the the cutting is too fast the camera can’t catch it!!
and they all laugh!
Inoue san then takes Tamaki san out into the yard
and asks him to try some of their products.
Tamaki san tries one and says that you can tell
they are delicious just by looking at them!
Also says that it’s a familiar taste for the Japanese,
being it in oden or simmered dishes,
they always use konnyaku no matter what!
Time to say goodbye to Inoue san and
his konnyaku making factory…
Tamaki san thanks everyone and they
tell him that they are always waiting him
to come and make a visit again ^^
Continuing his journey,
Tamaki san keeps walking in the
streets of the town.
Then he finds a man,
doing something in his backyard.
Tamaki san greets him
and after getting the permission to have a chat,
asks him what he is doing…
He explains that he’s picking up some leaves of indigo,
and is planning to use them as materials for dyeing!
Tamaki san was originally interested in dyeing cloths,
so he becomes excited and asks him
if they can watch him work…
And he agrees!
Tamaki san follows him to their workshop…
Shigeta san and his wife seem to be working here together.
When they enter the yard,
Shigeta san’s wife is surprised of course!
But after they explain the situation,
she welcomes him with a beautiful smile.
Then after Tamaki san asks him about
his work and what they dye here…
Shigeta san says that today,
he’s going to dye a scarf,
which is a private order.
Shigeta san thiks a little bit and suddenly says:
“Want to try dyeing?”
Tamaki san says:
But isn’t it a precious scarf for that customer?”
But Shigeta san assures him that it’s OK,
they’re gonna dye something else just for him this time XD
Let’s do it then!!
Shigeta san’s wife brings him an apron,
the one she uses herself!
“This is the apron okusan uses all the time?”
Tamaki san says while keeping
the apron in front of him…
And all the staff laugh out loud!
He puts it on but it’s too short for him of course XD
Doesn’t cover his legs…
So he says:
“Should I take off the pants then…?!”
Σ(ﾟдﾟlll) ya… yamete!!!
Anyway they start working together XD
They use a mixer,
to mix the indigo leaves they grew in their garden!
Then filter the liquid by pouring it into a fabric bag
and squeezing it hard.
Since Shigeta san’s hands are full with something else,
Tamaki san offers to do this part.
Squeeze and squeeze…
The color is ready now!
So he starts dyeing the scarf…
Putting it inside the bucket and
applying the color slowly,
Then bringing it out and doing the same thing
over and over…
It’s obvious he’s having fun…
He always enjoys making things with his own hands ^^
When the dyeing process is done,
he hangs the scarf outside,
and waits for the color to dry.
After 30 minutes…
The color has changed completely!!!!
A very beautiful Sky Blue!!
But it’s not over yet…
Now some creativity is needed to make this scarf unique!
The one and only design XD
Tamaki san doesn’t know what he’s about to do next,
So Shigeta san explains to him that they are going to use
the same kind of indigo leaves again to do some printing!
But this time they use the leaves as they are!
Tamaki san is still confused but
Shigeta san and his wife do the preparation
and ask him to sit down.
Shigeta san’s wife explains to him that he should put the leaf
on the scarf and hit it with the hammer.
This way he can print the color directly and even use
the shape of the leaves to make his own design!
Finally he gets what they mean and his eyes sparkles!!
This is fun XD
First he uses all his power
but then he tries different things.
Then he makes this shape while laughing:
Shigeta san asks: “Isn’t that by any chance…”
And Tamaki san replies: “Right… it’s Tamaki’s T!”
They both laugh!
“Have to leave a trace of myself on it…”
Tamaki san says while laughing!!
And he starts hitting the leaves again ^^
It really is fun… isn’t it?! XD
The one and only…
in the whole world XD
The T design scarf ヽ(*^^*)ノ
He puts it on…
He really loves the blue color ♥
“It’s nice! Being able to make something like this
using what you can find in the nature.”
What a great experience!
Of course he gets to take the scarf home with himself,
as a souvenir from Hinohara village.
He leaves the lovely couple and as he starts walking again,
Tamaki san unfolds the scarf
and keep it in front of the camera,
still amazed by the beautiful blue color
the leaves could produce!
Then he shares with us some secrets from the past,
saying that he used to try dyeing cloths using
the washing machine so many times!!!
But it never went as he planned (^_^;
Being able to make this here,
using the gifts form the nature,
makes him really happy he says!
Walking again in the silent streets of the village,
Tamaki san talks about a few years ago (2009),
the time when he went
backpacking across Europe all by himslef!
Everyday he visited a new town,
with many new things to see.
First arriving at a new town,
had to find a place to stay the night,
And then taking his camera,
and moving around the town all day long…
Almost 8 hours of walking every day.
And once again he says what he always says:
“Because there are lots of things you don’t know anything about,
unless you walk around and find about them,
walking on your own feet!”
As he walks and walks…
he gets to meet an old lady,
sitting outside her house.
He greets her and asks her if they can have a chat…
Then asks her if this area
has changed a lot compared to older days.
She says that it has changed a lot.
The roads were narrow and there was no bridge.
A real mountain road XD
Then Tamaki san asks her if she likes this village,
but she says that she doesn’t like or hate it!
She’s spending a lot of time on farming and
producing fruits and vegetables.
Then Tamaki san asks again:
“It’s fun, isn’t it?”
And obaachan says:
I’m too old!”
Then he asks her what she was doing right now…
and she shows him the vegetables she has harvested,
and the faous kind of Potato around here,
Oine was the name of a lady
who used to live in Yamanashi but got married
and moved to this area many many years go.
Seems like she brought this type of Potato here from her own hometown.
And that’s the reason they are called “Oine tsuru imo” おいねつる芋 ^^
Tamaki san asks if the best way to eat them
is to use them in simmered dishes,
but obaachaan says that there’s a better way!!
Cooking them and then eating with miso ♥
Then invites Tamaki san to try some
with the miso she has at home.
Good for him!!
Meeting all the kind people on his way!!
And getting to enjoy all the delicious stuff >__<
She makes some and brings it for him.
The miso was made 3 years ago!!
Must be super delicious (๑>ᴗ<)و
Tamaki san picks up a potato with chopsticks
and puts it in his plate,
probably wondering if he should peel it or not…
but obaachan saves him and
says that the skin is not edible.
So he starts peeling the potato but it’s too hot XD
he keeps doing it, but
obaachan offers to do it for him!
She picks up another one and starts peeling XD
And in no time,
she is done!!
Then she shows it to him and says:
“Look! This one looks more delicious!”
“A! You’re right!” Tamaki san says XD
He leaves the one he was peeling
and takes the ready one!
filled with obachaan’s love!! XD
Then he picks up his chopsticks to put some miso on the potato,
but obaasan tells him to just apply the miso directly!
So he does after asking one more time if it’s OK to do that XD
He really is a man of good manners ♥
The potato is very delicious as expected!!
Must be great,
being able to eat the fresh vegetables
growing in the mountains every day.
Let’s say goodbye to obaachan and
move to the next destination…
Running down the slope (almost giving me a heart attack!!)
Tamaki san gets closer to the river
and where the waterfall is!
The place is well-known only by the residents around here,
but they still have some visitors
from the center of Tokyo sometimes.
There are some people doing misogi here.
The meditation practice under the cold and
wild flow of the waterfall!
Tamaki san gets closer and talks to a man
who seems to be like an adviser for people
who would like to do misogi here.
Tamaki san says “It must be freezing cold!!”
And the man says it is!! And asks him to to touch his
arm to see how cold it is XD
And with one touch he realizes how cold the water is XD
Then he goes to a couple of young men,
and starts talking to them.
He’s amazed by how big their bodies
and the muscles are XD
seems like they are Rugby players!!
(Well Tamaki san’s body is just a little bit smaller if you ask me,
with no extra fat of course XD )
He asks them why they chose this place,
and the young man says that it’s because the place is
close to Tokyo and it’s surrounded by the nature!
Then he asks them if they want to
keep doing this from now on?
And they say that they would like to do it
as a change of pace
and a refreshment once in a while.
It must be cold…
so Tamaki san stops here and
thanks them for the talk.
Heading to the wooden bridge,
right in front of the waterfall,
Tamaki san becomes quiet again…
Spending some time with his camera XD
The journey continues
and becomes even more interesting…
But let me leave that for the 2nd part of the report!
Thank you all and see you soon!
End of part 1