Let me admit that despite of living in Japan for more than two years, I have not fully adopted to the local food habits. To me, there are always few things to choose from a number of Japanese food items. But the problem, this time, was actually with the vegetarian guest from India. After having extensive discussion on what could be a possible proper supper for the new guest, the decision was to go for "vegetable Tempura" (Tempura is a popular element of Japanese cuisine, and consists of battering fish and/or vegetables and deep frying them. It is different from many other deep fried foods by being much lighter and tending to carry less oil). At about 10 o'clock, we were around the dinning table for a typical "Japanese dinner". Itadakimasu...(A typical Japanese expression to show good manners before starting to eat) And, I don't need to write how difficult was it for the guest to have a dinner without "Curry", probably, for the first time. Gochisosama deshita...(A typical Japanese expression said after the meal in appreciation).
After the dinner, we sat around the TV but kept talking about many things including the "Tempura" that how is it similar to a popular food from Indian or Nepalese cuisine. Finally, it was around 11:30, when we said good night to each other.
I am living in Japan, alone for last few months; but the loneliness becomes more prominent and painful once I visit my host "family", particularly during a home-stay. I could not sleep almost whole night. My memory had a flash back to the time when I was actually with my family; however, something was missing for sure...
June 8, 2008: I "woke up" early in the morning. The schedule was to visit a beautiful nearby city called Iwakuni. I took shower and got ready for the trip well ahead of the schedule. My okaasan asked me if I had a comfortable and convenient sleep. "Of course!" was my response. We had a "nice" breakfast (bread, butter/jam, milk/juice along with various fruits) and "our" guest seemed reasonably happy with what she found in the breakfast.
At around 10:30, we started the trip to Iwakuni. It was a good 1 hour journey from my host family's house. It was my second visit to the place. However, the excitement and enthusiasm was not at all less than what I felt during my first trip. Iwakuni is known for its traditional castle town. But its major attraction is the 193 meter long uniquely structured wooden arch bridge called Kintai bridge. The technique used to construct the unsupported 35 meter arches from relatively short timbers is awesome. I took some pictures of the the bridge which has been constructed over Nishiki river. Please take a look: