Ibaraki, Okukuji (2)

Hello again!

I’m back with the 2nd part of the report…

So let’s go to Okukuji (Ibarakai prefecture) and see

how Tamaki san helps out with the Soba making process ^^

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-17-57]

Hikuchi san’s wife brings him an apron

but it’s a ladies apron XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-13]

tiny and cute!!

Tamaki san says that he doesn’t mind at all…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-21]

actually he likes ladies stuff XD hehehehe

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-28]

Hikuchi san’s wife helps him put it on.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-44]

And that’s when he realises how tiny it really is XD

then he laughs and says that it feels like

he’s wearing baby cloths!!!


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-20-01]

OK! Let’s make some soba!!

Hikuchi san’s wife starts teaching him how to do it.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-18-55]

First he has to spread and flatten the dough on the table.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-20-10]

Being careful not to put so much power

and do it as gently as he can!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-24-27]

So it’s his turn XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-24-34]

Keeping the round shape is important.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-24-39]

As expected,

he can do it perfectly!

He asks Hikuchi san’s wife if he’s doing alright,

and she says that he is too good at this

that makes her wonder if it’s really his first time doing it!


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-26-33]

Now he has to roll the dough around the rolling pin,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-27-59]

roll the pin on the table 5 times,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-28-15]

and then spread it on the table again!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-29-29]

What we need now is a shape of a square.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-33-27]

This has to be repeated many times,

until the dough becomes thin ^^

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-30-15]

Tamaki san is concentrating,

and is doing it very gently!

Hikuchi san’s wife is amazed and praises

him, saying that he’s very gentle!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-37-41]

Then Tamaki san says that

this is the kind of task in which

the person’s real character would come out!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-41-25]


saying that he really is a gentle person?!


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-41-19]

Hikuchi san’s wife says that no one

can make such a perfect square shape

when they do this for the first time!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-40-35]

Everyone make a deformed shape dough in the end!


It’s ready!

Now she teaches him how to cut it!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-34]

He practices standing beside her…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-25]

and then she hands him the special knife

being used for cutting soba noodles.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-44]

First he makes sure

if he’s keeping it correctly in his hand.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-45-52]

Then he starts cutting!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-48-06]

When making soba, you have to cut it straight,

and you need to cut it really thin!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-48-10]

So they use a wooden board to keep the knife staright

and also, help you figure out how thin you should cut.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-48-25]

As you can see… he’s cutting them too thick!!

She warns him… “That might be a little bit thick!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-48-17]

He says that it’s hard for him to see how thin he’s cutting

(Guess someone needs his glasses on!!) <- Evil me!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-50-56]

Then he tries to cut thinner but she warns him again:


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-50-43]

hahahahaha! It’s not easy to do this after all!

“Cutting them equally is so hard!!”

Tamaki san says.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-54-44]

He keeps doing it until Hikuchi san’s wife says:

“Now they’ve become thin! It’s OK!”


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-55-25]

Doing it all by himslef,

Tamaki san is almost finished XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-56-11]

Hikuchi san comes closer and takes a look!

Then his wife points at the soba noodles with her hand

and says:

“Look how beautiful the noodles turned out!”

Tamakis san laughs and says:


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[12-56-36]


They both say yes and the wife says that

the beginners cannot

make the soba so beautifully for the first time!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-00-43]

Tamaki san’s happy but he says that

he used too much power,

his hand is stiff!! XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-00-51]


A blow kiss for your hand! XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-15-15]

The cooking part is done by Hikuchi san’s wife!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-16-36]

Tamaki san and the Hikuchi family

sit down around the fire space

and wait for the soba.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-18-06]

Here comes the soba!

She says that the soba looks very delicious,

then takes it t where Tamaki san

is sitting and shows it to him,

asking how he likes it!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-18-10]

Tamaki san looks closely and says:

“It’s true…”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-18-43]

then adds immediately:

“There’s a thick one laying on the top!!”


Everyone laughs and Hikuchi san’s wife says that

she put it there on purpose!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-18-28]


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-21-29]

“But it looks delicious!”

Tamaki san says ^^

They also have something else

being cooked on the fire…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-24-39]

“This is just so luxurious!”

Tamaki san says after seeing what’s inside!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-24-47]

 miso kenchin jiru(味噌けんちん汁)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-25-11]

Making it with Soy sauce is common,

but here they add miso,

and lots of fresh vegetables in the soup.

Tamaki san can’t wait to eat it…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-29-05]

but after saying itadakimasu,

he realizes that he has no idea how to

ea the soba with miso kenchin!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-29-14]

Then asks them how to do it,

and they tell him that he should

put the soba in the soup,

and then eat it.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-31-16]

That’s why the whole set is called

“tsukekenchin soba”


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-35-58]

Tamaki san takes the soba and put in his bowl,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-37-24]

then he finds the thick one…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-37-42]

he picked it without realizing!!


After taking a bite,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-39-11]

Tamaki san says that the thin ones are tastier after all XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-42-40]

Then also adds, that it tastes even more delicious

when you know you were involved

in the process of making it.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-39-27]

seems like they eat this meal even during the summer!

He’s really enjoying it…

saying that he wants to eat it everyday!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-44-09]


Tamaki san talks to their son,

sitting in front of him,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-47-08]

about this taste and how he’s been

experiencing it since his childhood.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-50-05]

Then asks the young lady sitting beside him,

if she can already make this taste!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-50-12]

And she says “NO!”

hehehehehe! Not yet (^ω^”)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-53-24]

While everyone’s busy eating,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-53-31]

the baby (Hikuchi san’s grandchild)

wakes up in his mother’s arms and looks at the

stranger sitting next to his mother

with a curious expression!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-55-38]

Tamaki san notices his look and turns his head this way…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-56-22]

and says after a few seconds of staring at each other:

“He’s probably thinking: “Who’s that guy?” !”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-58-09]


Hikuchi san is going to take Tamaki san

and his team to a special place.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-58-29]

Tamaki san thanks the wife for

everything and leaves their house.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[13-58-33]

They get inside Hikuchi san’s car

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[14-00-04]

and start riding on the road.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[14-00-39]

There’s a shrine called

Nishikanasa jinja (西金砂神社)

The place is located on a hill in the middle of the nature.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[14-01-11]

A famous place

being loved by the residents.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-17-24]

There are 100 steps waiting for them!! O__O

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-16-55]

While climbing up the stairs one by one,

they talk about how obvious it is that the place

was built many many years ago…

A historical place!

Even the stones of this stairway are being moved

by the movements of the roots buried inside the ground.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-27-29]

Right when they thought they’re done with the steps….

here comes another stairway!!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-27-40]


Tamaki san laughs out loud!

“It’s too steep!” Tamaki san says while laughing!

“It’s almost as sharp as a ski jumping hill!” he adds XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-30-50]

They start climbing up again….

Somehow it even gets sharper as they go up XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-36-07]

Finally done with the stairs…

They arrive at the shrine’s main building!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-37-17]

They take a few minutes to pay homage to the shrine,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-38-39]

and the walk to the highest spot they can reach!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-39-28]

The view expanding in front of them is amazing!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-40-22]

Tamaki san says that a view like this

is a never changing landscape.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-40-33]

Hikuchi san agrees and says that it hasn’t changed

at all since the old days.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-45-02]

“It’s like going back to the childhood days…

in a good way!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-46-32]

The place is wide and boundless!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[15-54-51]

Covered by 770 different types of trees and plants!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-00-04]

“This shrine is a place where the residents have been

visiting for years, coming all this way up

and looking at the  very same landscape

ever since their childhood days…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-01-21]

So being able to feel this and how it has been loved

by them all these years…

somehow makes me happy deep inside!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-01-31]

It is decided…

Chosen by Tamaki Hiroshi,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-03-32]

kokoro no hikyo #9


Continuing his journey,

Tamaki san and his team enter a town called

kuji-gun daigo machi.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-15-22]

He’s heading to a workshop called

Daigo suzuri.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-22-28]

Suzuri (Ink stone in English)

is used for creating the liquid type of ink,

made by the sumi (ink sticks)

which are common in some

Asian countries like China and Japan

for traditional painting or calligraphy process.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-27-10]

He finds the building and says hello…

then goes inside and a finds a man

who is actually working on a stone…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-28-16]

Tamaki san greets him and asks him

if this is Suzuri he’s working on…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-28-24]

And he says yes…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-30-01]

(Satou Taizan, 67 years old)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-51-09]

Daigo suzuri keeps a 500 years history

in it’s background!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-31-39]

Even some types being covered

with daigo urushi,

which is one of the famous products around this area.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-51-20]

Satou san explains for him that there are

minerals in the gemstones

they use to make the suzuri.

These minerals serve as the sharp blades which

produce the liquid ink when you rub the sumi

on the surface of the suzuri.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-51-13]

Tamaki san says:

“It should be something you cannot see with your eyes

when looking at it, right?”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[16-51-30]

But he is wrong!

Satou san tells him that you can see them.

The minerals are the sparkling spots visible on the surface.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-03-15]

Tamaki san holds a suzuri in his hand

and touches the surface.

It’s soft and smooth!

As soft as the skin of a baby as Satou san says.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-03-21]

No need to rub the sumi hardly with too much power,

just rubbing it gently will produce the ink you need.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-04-52]

Now how about making a suzuri for yourself?

Tamaki san is going to take the challenge.


Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-09-22]

The stones taken from the mountains around here

are perfect for this job!

But they also have a weak point…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-10-09]

Satou san breaks the stone into a smaller piece

to make a suzuri.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-13-52]

But there are cracks in the stones

which is why he keeps breaking it

smaller and smaller until he can make sure

the piece he has in his hand, won’t break easily!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-14-12]

The stone is ready…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-14-22]

Now they sit down at Satou san’s desk and

he teaches Tamaki san how to carve the stone.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-14-31]

He has to keep the knife in his hand

while laying the end of it on his body

and make a triangle as you can see in the photo.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-19-53]

While doing it, he says that it’s hard to use the

equal amount of power for carving all the surface…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-19-56]

But Satou san tells him that it will be fine

if he keeps the shape of the triangle correctly,

and moves the knife with his body and not his hand.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-24-57]

This way he can keep the balance easily.

Tamaki san is really enjoying it,

he is already into it!! XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-24-49]

“It needs a lot of power!”

he says!

Pointing to his shoulder where the end of

the knife is laying on, he adds:

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-25-56]

“It’s likely to get a bruise around this area!”

“You will!” Satou san assures him!! (^_^;

Also on the palm of the hand he says… but it’s fine

since Tamaki san is wearing gloves right now!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-33-09]

Tamaki san keeps carving

and Satou san keeps his eyes on him.

Then he asks:

“Were you good at craft making

when you were at school?”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-35-20]

Tamaki san says that he liked it very much

but somehow he could never continue

what he started!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-35-22]

He wasn’t patient enough he says.

When drawing a painting, he would have drawn the

rough sketch but when it came to adding colors,

somehow he would have given up on it!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-35-34]

Satou san says that he is good at this!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-35-39]

Then Tamaki san remembers something else

and says:

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-39-38]

“Also, I used to cut my hand very often

with the carving knife!”

Satou san says that the more you cut your hand,

the better you will get at doing it!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-49-35]

Next is the process of making the suzuri

soft and smooth.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-49-50]

Tamaki san starts polishing the suzuri

with the polishing paper in his hand.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-50-40]

He is soooo into this XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-50-47]

Satou san asks him if his hand is not cold,

and Tamaki san says that he’s fine.

“Surprisingly, you forget all about the cold when you

become completely absorbed in doing the job!”

Tamaki san says.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-54-38]

checking the texture

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-58-14]

and making sure the polish is done perfectly,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-58-19]

the making process of

the daigo suzuri is already done!

Satou san carves the name of the workshop,

and his own name on the back of the suzuri.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-58-39]

Then asks Tamaki san to carve his name as well.

Right beside Satou san’s name!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-58-51]

And he does…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[17-58-55]

It’s perfect!

A high quality suzuri made by the hands

of our traveler… TAMAKI HIROSHI ♥

ヽ(・∀・)ノ <- (want this suzuri soooo bad!!)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-06-42]

Satou san tells him that he did a great job,

and looking at the back of the suzuri he also says that

he carved his name perfectly…

even bigger than Satou san’s name (^_^;

eeehehehe…(; ̄ェ ̄)

But Tamaki san laughs, apologizes,

and says that the first line he carved became longer

than what he was expecting…

and he had no other choice

but to write it in this size…

sorrrrrry!!! XD XD

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-07-15]

Handing over the suzuri in its box,

Satou san also recommends him

to visit another place around this area…

a waterfall!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-07-25]

Tamaki san asks him

if they can walk there and he says yes…

but then he asks Satou san:

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-08-48]

“Isn’t it going to be dark? Will that be alright?”

Satou san says with no hesitation:

“It will be dark!!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-12-16]


They both laugh but Tamaki san says

that it will be a waste if he cannot see the waterfall

after coming all the way here!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-12-29]

So let’s use the chance and visit the place…

Fukuroda waterfall!

Tamaki san enters a tunnel like way which

leads to the waterfall…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-20-11]

But somehow the freezing breeze is so sharp

that he cannot keep his eyes open

while walking (>_<)

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-21-52]

He reaches the place where

he can see the waterfall

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-24-07]

and wow…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-24-28]

the scale is huge!!

During a limited period of time in the year,

they have a beautiful light up here at night…

Lucky that Tamaki san visited the place

in one of those special nights!

During the day, the waterfall looks like this:

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-28-24]

But on a light up special night, it looks like this!!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-28-38]

Tamaki san says that it looks like ait was made

by the hands of human beings…

even though it’s not.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-29-51]

He also says that he’s amazed of

how delicate and subtle the

flow of the water is,

despite the hugeness of the waterfall.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-31-57]

“For me, Ibaraki (Prefecture) is quite an unknown place…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-35-30]

being able to discover so many new things here…

and the existence of such a rich nature like this…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-39-54]

Guess you can say,

it’s a place where you can taste the feeling

of being away from people for a while,

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-39-04]

and enjoying the quiet atmosphere.

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-42-08]

I think It was a kind of interaction

which a strong existence of local loyalty 

and the love for the hometown could be felt!”

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-42-19]

Another great ending to another trip…

with Tamaki san’s pure feelings

turned into words one more time…

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-50-17]

The photo he chose for the postal card this time,

was taken at the paper fan workshop…

Do you remember the old lady from the 1st part?

here it is!

Hikyo 9 Ibaraki[18-51-06]

Beautiful, isn’t it? ♥

Nice choice Tamaki san!


Thanks again for being with me until the end…

sorry if I made you bored with unnecessary details!

Hope you could enjoy it as much as I did!

See you soon ( ´・ω・`)ノ~バイバイ


is being aired on BS Asahi,

Every Thursday at 23:00

Please visit the official pages here:

Official Homepage: http://www.bs-asahi.co.jp/tamaki-hiroshi/
FB Official: https://www.facebook.com/tamaki.hikyo?ref=profile

6 thoughts on “Ibaraki, Okukuji (2)

      • Cause.. he always work hard to earn money (for living you know..) but he is still able to do some domestic work like cooking.. And he is quite funny.. Hahahaha…


      • Agree with you! I also think he can be a perfect partner for life. Despite some characteristics he has which girls may not be able to deal with easily, I guess the many good points he has, can make it easy for his partner to forget about the weak points XD


  1. Finally..I’m here..reading this report..hehehe.. Otsukaresamadeshita Afsaneh chan. Looking forward for more..more..report… 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s