After informed of my grandmother's hospitalized, I quickly took trains to go to Toyama, where she was.
Summer in Toyama is fun, although it became more and more humidity summers these past years. I rather like winters in Toyama, filled with snow, I could feel I finally came back.
It was the weekend of a festival in the center of Toyama city. Crowded people and fireworks, I'm terrible with noisy place, however, I liked it :)
On the way back to my grandmother's home, I found this train nearby. Wow, decorated with full of cartoons.
Spending nights in a traditional room, and then....
The same restaurants, with the same people, and my grandmother was fine ;)
Her house was built about 40 years ago, that time they still had many traditional houses here and there. Hers is one of them. opening a small door....
It has a tiny garden by her own room. When I was young, anytime I was there, regardless of seasons I visited, I liked spending times in her room. I could see the beautiful space once I opened her room. She is a good poet as well, she made some poems about me, I still remember.
We don't have such kind of purely traditional rooms anymore. Living in a small apartment in Tokyo, I really want to move there!
'I wish you could be my home, keep my house after I died.' She said to me in the hospital.
'I'll always come back, like this time.' I smiled.
Pufferfish are a kind of fish which have poison. When we eat it without any careful, you might get poison and could be dead. In Japan, we can eat it particular restaurants and stuff :) Since I went to a restaurant for pufferfish and asked many things from them, I would like to introduce a bit.
This is it, there was a big aquarium in front of the restaurants, filled with them. Let's eat it, shall we? :D
They served a lot of kinds of meals made of pufferfish, some are unique ways for it.
This jelly things are called "Ni-kogori". It made of soup from pufferfish and so forth, then makes it solid. What is the orange thing near side? you might think. It's grated radish and and chili pepper for seasoning :)
Wow, looks like a variety of styles isn't it?! Balled shape colored light brown is fried one. Sure, it contains pufferfish as well as other ingredients ;)
During eating, I asked something about pufferfish.
'Firstly', they said to me, 'There are two licenses to cook it'. A license for cooking, plus the special license for only cooking pufferfish. I've already heard about it somewhere for a long time ago, so I asked the detail.
'We need the license for cooking pufferfish, but the license is not one, there are many, depending on regions and prefectures you cook.'
'Huh?!' I amazed with some confusion.
'It means, even if you have the license for cooking pufferfish here in Tokyo, that doesn't mean you can cook it other places like Osaka.'
'Because we have many kinds of pufferfish in Japan. Some can eat when we only get rid of particular parts with poison, such as entrails. But some types can't even tell where we can eat. Those types can't be eaten at all for us.'
Even now, people dies from eating it, cooked by themselves (It's illegal to cook it without the special license by the way) or chefs for it. Eating pufferfish cooked by special chefs doesn't promise you can taste it safely. I personally like pufferfish because of its bland tasting, but hardly eat it.
I always eat something new for me. Back in 2005, when I was in Cambodia, I had eaten a big spider filled with hair on its surface. Eating its leg one by one, then finally finished with taking the body. Also, I found a brain of sheep in Syria a year later. It came with salad, seemingly it was a main course. Raw or boiled a bit, I didn't know, however, what I did know was the fact that it really looks like the brain we imagine. Frown lines on it, I could see right and left part. It terrifies me at that time. Truth be told, I didn't want to eat it. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do!!' I just thought and started to eat.
I know many Japanese foods are disgusting yet yummy. Not eating something by looking at it is a way. But try to eat it with ignoring its shape and prejudice can be interesting, at least sometimes, I think :)