Ibaraki, Okukuji (1)

Hello my friends!

I’m trying to write as much as I can before life gets busy again!!

ლ(ಠ_ಠ ლ)今でしょ!

So let’s start another journey with Tamaki Hiroshi in Japan…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-07-29]

The place he will be visiting today is Okukuji, in Hitachioota

located in the northernmost part of Ibaraki prefecture.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-20-12]

Tokugawa Mitsukuni, who is also known as “Mito Komon” and is a

very famous political face in the Edo era in Japan,

decided to move to this area and spend the last 10 years

of his life in the beautiful greenery of this area.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-20-25]

Another attraction around here

is the large “Ryuujin” suspension bridge.

It looks like it’s a way to the sky on a cloudy day like this!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-26-56]




Let’s seen where Tamaki san is going to take us today!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-28-49]

He starts his jurney from the center of the town,

“Kujira ga oka” shopping district.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-28-59]

All the shops around here look really old as Tamaki san mentions.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-29-11]

Seems like all of them have been doing business here

for many years!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-29-21]

He keeps walking and reads the signs of the shops…

but he stops in front of one of them…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-33-15]

He’s wondering if it’s a candy shop!

Then he reads what’s written on a paper on the door:

“Yakiimo (Baked sweet potato) has started!)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-36-01]

He decides to enter the shop!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-36-59]

After the normal greetings,

he asks the lady in the shop

if this is originally a candy shop.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-37-17]

She tells him that it is, and they also sell

baked sweet potatoes when it’s the season.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-41-37]

Then Tamaki san says that only 70 yens for one is too cheap.

But the lady says that their main targets are the kids,

that’s why they set the price as low as possible.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-41-43]

Tamaki san says that it’s the best since

it’s getting colder each day

and the baked potatoes will make you warm…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-44-07]

Then somehow the lady suddenly says:
“It’s Tamaki san… right?”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-46-11]


And Tamaki san laughs and makes a bow while introducing himself.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-46-16]

The eyes of the shop lady sparkles in a very cute way XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-46-26]

Then she tells him that the potatoes

are ready to be eaten right now,

and Tamaki san of course asks if he can get one!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-47-40]

The lady brings him a hot baked potato and hands it to him.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-48-08]

He cuts the potato into two pieces,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-48-17]

but without the newspaper rapping it’s impossible

to keep the potato in his hand..

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-48-30]

too HOT!!!


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-48-36]

He puts one half on top of the other one

and takes a bite after blowing on it for a few seconds.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-54-45]

“Been a while since I’ve eaten this.”

he says after eating.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-58-34]

Theses are harvested in Ibaraki the lady says,

and when Tamaki san asks her if these are thinner than

the usual size…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[11-58-44]

she says that they pick the small ones

so that it costs less for the students who want to buy them.

Also, it takes less time to bake them if they are smaller.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-15-02]

Taking another bite,

“How many years has it been since I last ate one!”

Tamaki san says.

He thanks the shop lady and leaves the candy shop

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-15-18]

with the sweet potato in his hand.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-16-01]

But while he is eating his sweet potato outside the shop,

an old lady who was crossing here by chance

finds the filming crew and gets close…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-16-06]

I guess she wanted to get close and talk to him,

but she was afraid he might be one of those scary

famous people you cannot approach…

But somehow Tamaki san is the one who

greets her with a smile, and asks her

where she is heading to… the Bank perhaps?!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-17-56]


No… she’s heading to the post office she says!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-16]

“You look lovely!” she tells him XD

And Tamaki san laughs while denying it.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-32]

But she then asks:

“Sorry… By the way,

what was your name?”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-19-46]


I wonder if she’s teasing him… well maybe not!

“Tamaki Hiroshi.”

he replies without any hesitation.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-22-27]

“aaa… I have been thinking 

that guy is not around anymore!”

She says!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-22-48]

on TV she means I guess ^_^;)

Then she laughs out loud and Tamaki san

doesn’t mind the joke and laughs with her.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-25-47]

Then she pats on his shoulder and says:

“Don’t worry…

I’m sure you will get more jobs from now on!!”


He already has his hands full…

That’s why he’s here!!!…

↑ Is what I want to tell her so bad XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-29-21]

But Tamaki san laughs again and says:

“I will do my best! But I’m in that difficult halfway age..”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-29-46]

The way he follows her jokes without getting mad or

uncomfortable is lovely!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-41-17]

Then she shakes his hand and wish him good luck,

but before separating from him..

asks him if he liked the taste of the imo (potato)…

And Tamaki san says that it was delicious and sweet.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-41-42]

Then she points into herself and says

“I’m imo neechan too!”

( ̄▽ ̄;) tasty as well?

Perhaps it’s what she means?

I have no idea! щ(゚д゚щ)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-43-56]


She thanks them all and then

leaves them in piece again XD

OK, heading to another shop…

The signs says Kikuya!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-44-05]

Let’s get inside!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-00]

Tamaki san greets the shop lady and

after taking a look around,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-10]

asks her with a curious expression on his face:

“What do you sell here?”

The lady tells him that their main business

is making miso and koji!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-29]

The customers bring them the beans or rice

they have produced by themselves,

and they use it to make the miso.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-48-41]

But they also sell the handmade artwork

produced by the artists living in the town.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-57-58]

One of the most famous products is from the

“sesson uchiwa” brand

making uchiwa (Japanese style paper fan)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-59-38]

The old lady who makes them is now 93 years old.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-59-46]

She used to take care of the business

with her husband who used to paint

on each one of the fans one by one and by hand.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-03-39]

But since he passed away 30 years ago,

the old lady has been doing all the job by herself,

and uses the prints of his husband’s paintings

for creating the paper fans she makes these days.

The paper she uses to make them is also an Ibaraki product,

called the nishinouchi paper(西ノ内和紙)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-07-53]

Then the shop lady says that

the uchiwa obaasan lives not so far from here,

so if he wants…

she can give him a map to help him find her faster!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-08-00]


Seems like her husband made this map,

which is a little bit unusual…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-08-08]

because there is no pictures!

All written in words XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-10-18]


Tamaki san thanks her and leaves the shop!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-10-41]

Trying to find the Sessou Uchiwa workshop ^^

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-10-44]

It says:

Make the power pole by “kiikuya” your starting point,

and start walking toward the East

one step, two steps, three steps…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-12-36]

hahahahaha! Very interesting!!

But as soon as he gets out,

Tamaki san already looks troubled!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-22-30]

“Damn it!” 

he says!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-22-15]

hahahaha… what’s wrong?!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-22-23]

Already lost?

When he looks back and is hoping for a clue,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-22-33]

the shop lady comes out and he tells her that

he has no idea which way goes to the east!

He points to his left side

where he’s standing facing to the lady

and asks: “This way?!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-23-10]

She points to the same direction and says yes XD

“According to the position of the sun

it should be this way I thought!”

Tamaki san says and then thanks the lady again

and starts walking!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-28-28]

Then after taking a few steps

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-30-57]

he looks back

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-31-14]

and says:
“It says turn into right after taking the 62nd step!…

But I forgot how many steps I have taken by now…”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-33-07]

He laughs and then says:

“10 I guess?”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-33-12]

Finally he reaches the place where he should turn right.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-34-14]

He enters the narrow road

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-34-20]

and starts counting again XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-38-23]

the workshop should be somewhere around here.

The map says:


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-39-41]

“It’s here!!”

Tamaki san says

looking at the tiny courtyard on his left!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-40-02]

He found it…

so let’s get in!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-41-43]

He says Good morning out loud and introduces

himself behind the closed door…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-41-52]

The an old lady slides the door and opens it!

Tamaki san greets her and explains why they are here.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-43-12]

The lady looks happy!

She thanks them and welcomes them in!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-44-13]

Tamaki san and the filming crew get inside.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-01-37]

Akutsu Fusako san, 93 years old!

She sits down on the place she always uses for work,

 and Tamaki san sits down not so far away from her.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-04-19]

Atsuko san starts working.

She uses a sharp knife and

cuts the upper side of the bamboo

into very thin lines!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-20-51]

“My eyesight is getting worse everyday…

I used to do this much faster when I was young.

It’s the most difficult part of the job!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-20-59]

And Tamaki san agrees with her.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-24-46]


at what age did you start doing this?”

he asks her.


She replies.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-23-29]

“Being taught by otousama…

(her husband he means).”

Tamaki san says.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-29-46]

Atsuko san says that they used to work like this

everyday together with her husband.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-29-52]

Then Tamaki san asks her if they used to

chat with her husband

while doing the work.

And she says that they didn’t really do it very often.

Then Tamaki san hismelf says that

the job needs concentration!

It’s not a kind of work you can do

while having a chat with someone else.


Atsuko san says that she’s now teaching

everything to her oldest son. So that he can

take care of the workshop after her.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-32-29]

Then she keeps the bamboo still in one of her hands,

and starts bending the divided pieces and make the cuts

go deeper. (Hard to explain… hope the snapshots can help!)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-35-30]

Tamaki san is amazed…

“It should require a lot of power to do that!”

he says…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-35-56]

“It does!” Atsuko san replies!!

Then she gives him a dried piece of bamboo and

tells him to twist the divided parts like she does…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-37-12]

But Tamaki san gives it a try

and says that he cannot

even twist them!! Too hard!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-39-50]

And atsuko says that it should be hard!

It’ Bamboo after all!!

ahahahaha!! XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-39-28]

Atsuko san is a super woman!

Tamaki san is quiet impressed and maybe shocked! ^^

Having to polish and then dry the bamboo many times,

from the day she starts the process of making a fan,

it will take about 1 year to see the completed work!


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-43-30]

Tamaki san uses the chance and starts taking photos

of Atsuko san while she is working.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-45-33]

She starts tying the dried bamboo lines to each other.

It must be a very time consuming process.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-48-46]

After finishing the job,

she says that all there is left to do

is to paste the paper on the bamboo.

Tamaki san takes the fan from her and

shows it to us in his own hand.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-49-01]

“It’s amazing!” he says ^^

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-58-22]

“It’s just like when a Peacock is spreading its feathers!”

He adds XD

Looking at some of Atsuko san’s products and

trying them one by one,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-00-20]

Tamaki san says that the ability of these fans

to produce the fresh wind is amazing.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-00-26]

They produce a very refreshing and cold breeze.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-00-34]

Atsuko san says that her house was built

many many years ago and

she doesn’t really use Air conditioning inside.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-00-46]

So even during the hot summer days,

she always uses the uchiwa to cool herself!!

Then when Tamaki san says that the fans

are produced in really good quality,

Atsuko san guarantees that they work for 10 or even 20 years.

But also adds that this is actually

not very good for the business XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-06-37]


And they both laugh out loud together.

Tamaki san has a journey to continue,

so he says goodbye to Atsuko san

and leaves her workshop.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-10-06]

But with a bag in his hands XD

He bought some of her fans of course!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-11-58]

He says that you can find them easily

in a supermarket as well.

But when you meet the person who’s making them,

it gives you a sense of security,

knowing how it was made and who has made it,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-15-00]

It makes you wanna buy it and have it for yourself!


now let’s make a stop at Komoun sama’s garden

and take a look around!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-18-16]

At the gate,

Tamaki san says that the place is tiny but cute!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-22-33]

Komoun sama was 63 when he changed his residence

and moved here from Mito.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-25-09]

While walking in the garden,

Tamaki san encounters an old man with a long beard,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-26-02]

and a special costume which leaves you no choice but

to say that he is representing Komoun sama here!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-28-58]

Tamaki san greets him and asks to have a chat with him.

Then after complimenting his beard XD

Tamaki san asks him

if he visits the place very often…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-31-22]

and the old man (Ishigawa san)

says that he is actually a guide!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-32-18]

Then Tamaki san uses the chance and asks him

why did Tokugawa Mitsukuni (Komoun sama)

move to this house from Mito?

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-33-57]

Ishigawa san explains that the nature,

and the variety of trees like ume, sakura and the

Eden he was able to have in this nature…

probably this would be what made him fall for the place.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-39-19]

Walking in the garden and watching the autumn

leave colors on the trees and the shape of the hill…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-39-29]

Tamaki san says that this should almost be

the same scenery as it used to be in the old days.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-41-26]

Then he explains to us about his interest

in living in the nature like this.

He says that one day,

some time in the future,

he wants to leave Tokyo and

experience living in the countryside.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-44-32]

“You can keep your own pace…

When you get old,

you have a lot of time to spend with yourself.”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-46-27]

He says that he understands this very well…

The decision Komoun sama made when he got old.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-47-28]

Getting back on the road again,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-47-54]

passing the few storehouses on his way,

Tamaki san encounters a man!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-48-19]

After greeting him,

he asks what the man was doing!

He was checking the Buckwheat!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-48-37]

A promotional product in this area,

“Hitachi Aki soba”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-00-14]

Tamaki san says that he has never had them before.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-48-41]

Then the man (Hikuchi san)

says that his wife is making them today…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-02-00]

they don’t have a restaurant or a shop and they just

make it for the family members to enjoy it together.

And Tamaki san is invited to join them today ^^

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-02-06]

Hikuchi san’s house is really huge!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-06-32]

There’s an old building from 150 years ago

in which his parents used to live in,

and another one which was built 30 years ago and

he lives in it with his family right now.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-06-43]

While walking in the yard…

Tamaki san suddenly notices something!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-06-47]

“They are connected!!”

he says while pointing at yard.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-08-17]

The two buildings,

are connected to each other through a tunnel like space!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-08-23]

Hikuchi san says that they made this to make it easier

moving in between the two buildings XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-08-40]

Tamaki san is really amazed!

So Hikuchi san decides to show him

how it looks like inside the corridor.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-08-49]

They get in and start walking in there…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-09-50]

When Hikuchi san opens the back door

to the other (New) building,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-10-03]

he says that it may be a little bit difficult

to enter from here!!

Tamaki san is surprised…

what does that mean? XD

Then after taking a look inside,

he realizes that Hikuchi san was right!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-11-22]

So he decides to take off his backpack

and hold it in his hand!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-12-27]


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-12-44]

Somehow he makes it inside!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-12-56]


The problem is the huge cupboard they have received from

a friend as a gift and had no other place to fit it in!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-14-45]

To enter the house from this back door,

you have no other choice but to walk like this ^^

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-16-20]

Well as Tamaki san says,

it’s not the front door so almost never used for

guests or anyone but the family members XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-17-55]

 let’s pass one more time and go back!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-17-59]


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-18-02]

I love the way he laughs purely at this!

Going to the kitchen and meeting with Hikuchi san’s wife!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-18-23]

She’s about to start making the soba!

But she takes a look at Tamaki san says:
“Do you want to try making it together with me?!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-21-53]


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-21-57]

Tamaki san is of course surprised

but he says he loves to!

He’s just a little bit worried if he can do it or not

but Hikuchi san assures him that it’s not that hard!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-42-34]

It is said in this town that the girls who cannot

make this soba,

will not be able to get married XD


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-43-29]

Tamaki san takes the challenge of making Soba for the first time?

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-44-05]

Will he do it properly or maybe he will fail?!?!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-44-20]


Let’s leave that to the 2nd part of the report.

Will see you soon!

End of part 1

7 thoughts on “Ibaraki, Okukuji (1)

  1. OH! hisashiburi! ^^ Wow… thank you so much for the nomination. But you know I’m really not a blogger and I only write about one show XD But thank you so much ☆ It made me happy!
    Yaki imo is great but the imo neechan was a little bit… hmmm I’ll keep quiet about that 😀


    • Haha, everyone wants a piece of Tamaki XD No worries about the nomination, but have you considered maybe writing about the variety shows that Tamaki is in? Not all of them, of course, but those that are fun and shorter in terms of time. Subs for those are hard to come by, so even if you just write about one variety show, I’m sure Tamaki fans will be forever grateful. But anyway, just a suggestion and no obligations at all 🙂


  2. hahahaha!! Everyone even the imo neechan!!
    Thank you for the great idea. I used to do it on my FB page before, even translating his interviews… but now I don’t have the time. One part of each reports takes more than 6-7 hours!! And I can only do it on weekends >__< No time for anything else right now (ノ_・,)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nanyanen ano imo neechan?! hahaha XD I was thinking that while I was reading your report (^_^;) Also, the candy shop lady with her sparkling eyes hehe but she was cute. The other one was….a bit overwhelming maybe? LOL to say it kindly!
    As for your nomination, omedetou! I look back with gladness to those times when you could do what you said you did, but life goes on and I’m even happier now as you’re busy hehe hope you get what I mean! So, even just for this (which already is a huge effort!!) hontou ni arigatouuuuu~

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the comment and sorry for the late reply!! Imo neechan was a nice person as well… hmm well she was trying to make him laugh and she did! It is true that he almost disappeared from TV after the busy time he had a few years ago. He was in many Commercials and had a Drama being aired almost all the time XD Hope the imo neechan could watch zannen na otto!! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, I was kidding obviously XD nothing against the imo neechan! ^_^
      She was just using her one-time chance with him to say whatever she thought hehehe Hopefully she could watch it, such a cute drama 😛


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