Odawara's town center 『Maronie』Japanese culture experience!!

This day started with a Japanese cooking lesson!
We made Chirashi zushi・tempura・tonkatsu・anmitsu and more!

Mariano and Chris deep-frying shrimp


We might have overdone it・・・。We got so much fried shrimp!(whew)


Next, we have rice with vinegar mixed with other ingredients, meanwhile Chris is hard at work trying to cool it down!

Simply too much。Anyhow we had over 20 people cooking!

Delegates and veteran cooks alike worked together。。。

What a harmonious atmosphere!

Gabe beautifully dished out the final products。

To much astonishment, Gabe was able to finely slice up the cabbage

On top of that, Gabe is a chef at a fine restaurant in Chula Vista near La Jolla beach

Everyone was absolutely enthralled

Here are the various things we made↓↓↓↓

This eggplant with miso sauce was totally delicious!

The fried tofu was so good
Gabe made it

With everyone's help, we managed to start eating at exactly 12 noon

Great conversations surrounded by delicious treats

A blissful moment indeed, enjoying the fruits of our labor!!


This is Song-chan's Korean talk straight from the heart!


Afterwards a dessert。



Chef Gabe took an interest in Japanese sweets。

After lunch, Japanese Culture Experience Part2



『Nikumarekko yonihabakaru・・・。』a proverb similar to "Bad weeds grow quickly."

Next~、『The Japanese Calligraphy』

Some conflicting emotions put into characters by (Nishi)Miku


Good luck with Job Hunting!!

With that, our fun time's suddenly over。

Together with the 2007 Odawara delegation!!


Lastly、the uniform of the Young OIFA(YOIFA)☆


Seems like today, the Chula Vista delegation had quite a trip

I'll truly miss them
But, OIFA tried real hard to give them a once in a lifetime experience!
Also, we hope that the Odawara delegation, through this experience, will grow as representatives and as individuals.

All for now

(。>0<。)After the hot BBQ、we took went to the Odawara『Lantern Festival』。

After sweating like a horse all day, it's nice to put on a fresh yukata, right?


Japanese-style truly suits you, Song-chan!

Yurie・Sayaka Summer wear☆


The Matsuis keeping it cool。。。


This year's delegation with the Odawara City Mayor Ken'ichi Kato


Chula Vista, Odawara delegates!!


Everyone together☆


On the main stage, you can see the Odawara "chochin odori"。
Oh! It's 、Eiji Iida (center) from the Cultural Exchange Division!☆

Here he is with the delegates from 2008!!

And so, we all did whatever wanted to, Yo-Yo fishing, Odawara O-den 、takoyaki eating。

This year's main organizer from the Cultural Exchange Division, Mr. Fukawa

Enjoy this time together (pictured with his wife)!!
Thanks for everything


As you would expect from such an event-filled day, everyone's exhausted

Nevertheless, we're glad the Chula Vista delegates got the chance to experience and enjoy a Japanese Summer Festival。

Tomorrow we say goodbye to these delegates(。>0<。)

We already miss you but, let's fully enjoy Japan til the very end!!

As planned, OIFA had a BBQ at ikoi-no-mori. Afterwards, we went to the Odawara 「Chochin Matsuri」(lantern festival)

About 60 people took part in the events of the dayヽ(*'0'*)ツ

Thanks to the people at the City Hall Cultural Exchange Division for their help in preparations


Preparations moving along steadily、it's time to BBQ

Thanks for bringing the family!!


These two are former Tokimeki International School participants Thanks for your support☆Come back next time too, please!!


We have here Korean exchange students at Tokai University !


Our delegates enjoying themselves「Say cheese」



Chula Vista delegates look delighted to enjoy a Japanese BBQ

OIFA's Beraud family. Nice shot


Robert, what's with this pose? ha笑ha (Translator's note: I don't know what I was doing with this pose...seppuku?)



Because of the 35 degree blistering heat that day。。。

Everyone returned to their childhood during the・・・・・・↓

Water gun fight! To everyone's delight (;^_^A


I also returned the favor to Chiba's behind(ha笑ha


SummerBBQ tradition Watermelon splitting

Chris' try


Ooh~、so close


As for the Herculean Mariano。。。


He might have totally destroyed it if he hit it just right(whew


Finally、the leader of the Odawara delegation, Miku

She's turned just a little sideways, but。。。。



Amazing display of skill and expertly timed as the last of the delegates

Afterwards、Chula Vista delegates introduce their city to everyone


A little side note。
Chula Vista is very warm. Because the climate is similar to Odawara's(but a lot drier and sunnier. It feels great)、
citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are found in abundance。
Also、Mexico is very close by、so going back and forth is very simple。
By the way, San Diego is just a 20 minute drive so it's a very convenient place


All in attendance eagerly listened to their tale~

At this point、we are stuffed! Afterwards we went back to Odawara City for their summer festival
『Chochin Matsuri』(Lantern Festival)。

To be continued~

This time it's the Odawara City tour report♪

This time we went to the Odawara Environmental Business Center。
All of Odawara's garbage is collected and sorted here. The inside is enormous!

Pardon the intrusion, everyone!( ´∀`)ノ

A big crane smashes the garbage into easily burnable pieces, later ashes.


This is the central control room。


It's a 24hour operation!

After that, we saw the PET Bottle sorting facility。

PET bottles travel along the conveyor belt。
Several workers look out for caps on the bottles and other miscellaneous garbage。


Lots of bottles have caps left on them it seems。
Let's remove those caps on our bottles from now on!!
They say there's no need to remove the label, though^^

This pipe above?sucks up garbage。
Seeing it live、it's surprisingly interesting.w

Most shocking to all of us was to hear that there were other types of garbage hidden inside the PET bottle bags。
Besides things like dead batteries, knives and even wigs have been found to our surprise、

but the MOST surprising discovery was a pet's dead body。
PET bottle→ pet body・・・? They joked at the connection, but isn't it a bit sad><

This man is giving us the aluminum and steel can garbage explanation。
Amongst these cans, gas cans have been mixed up now and then。


Small explosions often occur he said,
but just recently the roof got blown off!

Not so funny, eh^^; (translator's note: Maybe it's an inside joke...)

Next we went to the Matsunaga Memorial Hall。

Matsunaga Yasuzaemon was an old industrialist who moved to Odawara and built a house (called the "roukyosou") from old zelkova trees. We paid a visitー(゚Д゚)

Incidentally, this "roukyosou" is registered as a Japanese cultural heritage site。
Kanagawa Prefecture has 148 cultural heritage sitesーーー。

Odawara has 14 of the sites^^
Odawara's famous "Daruma" restaurant is one of them!

The last place we went was the Odawara Castle♪


Unfortunately it was cloudy weather、we had a fun time despite it。ha笑ha


That's all for now♪

Really wanting to eat Odawara-don Hiroaki signing off。 lol
The day after their arrival, we had a welcoming ceremony!

Under the leadership of the Odawara delegation,
the decorations are under way.
Wait a moment, please~~~!!


Food was gathered left and right.(the 100yen donuts from Mister Donut were delicious! haha)


With everyone's help, we got the party started on time♪

「The welcoming ceremony's starting♪」

The food is set neatly before our very eyes♪♪

Odawara delegation、Chula Vista delegation introduction、
host family introduction、description of Chula Vista and more・・・^^

And then, Kanpaaaai!
Food! Food!♪


By the way, kanpai in English is Cheers!
One theory is that when you clink the glasses together,
it's proof that there's no poison hidden in the cup nor liquid.
We aren't enemies!♪
...kind of meaning to it, I hear.(^^)

Quite charming history, isn't it?^^

After our pleasant chat, we played an uproarious game and then suddenly came to the conclusion of the ceremony.♪

It seems as though the Odawara delegation isn't used to this kind of party management just yet.

We went overtime, some nervous speeches, minor incidents happened here and there,
but in hindsight, it'll be smoother from here on out!(^^)ノ

Chula Vista delegation, today was an awesome day though, right?^^


2007 delegate Hiroaki.
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