Bumper crop? Fukagawa City.

By Alan

Is this what Japanese people have in mind and expect ?
Taking part in TPP would bring something to this scenery.
I love the taste of Japanese rice and recognize the difference from other rice produced in other countries.
 The central government of Japan drive over the edge by taking part in the negotiation?
I do not want this scenery to disappear.
Thanks to the  grace of God, every part of Japan is filled with plenty of water and green. Considering the manner and behavior of the people, it can be said that the country is a kind of Shangrila at the east end of the world. 
 This photo was taken from the lookout at the altitude of 800m on the hillside of Irumukeppu Skyline.
After annoyed by the heavy snow in last winter, the greens are in full flourish this summer.
Basically Japanese people are grateful to the grace given by 8 million Gods in this country. It may be a kind of animism.
Trekkers jot down their names and contacts on the list placed in the box and pray for the safe trekking in front of the little shrine.
 Trekkers go up this road and go around the peaks of Mt.Irumukeppu.
The parking area is very calm and waiting for the visitors in silence.Would you go hiking this weekend?
This is one of the best places to trek around. It takes 30 minutes from the Route 12 by car. Please be careful to drive on the narrow road of this skyline.
have a nice weekend!


What I was moved in OPa, Hot plate French Restaurant in Bibai City!

 by Kazu
 This is the appetizer accompanied with all the lunch set in common. Cold cucumber soup like vichyssoise is in the glass. I thought it was a little bit flavoured with garlic. Strained corn paste was on the spoon and so impressive. Melting in the mouth, it left a comfortable stimulus on my tongue.
The green veggie is like honewort. It stimulated the appetite with its slight bitter taste.Other veggie hors d'oeuvre also brought supreme happiness to my heart.    
This is YONEZAWA beef from Yamagata Prefecture. The fat in the meat is made with balanced feeding and frequent brushing by the livestock breeder. Making the most of the connection with those breeders in Yonezawa City, the chef Mr.Endo purchases those super quality meat from his hometown.   
For lunch,
Beef stroganoff set : 1,500 Japanese Yen
Beef Stew set : 2,000 Japanese Yen
Beef Steak set : 3,000 Japanese Yen
are waiting for the guests these days.
For dinner,
French course menu : 8,000 Japanese Yen ~
Reservation is required by 3 days before the use.
 Frankly speaking, the quality beef of this level can not be provided in the restaurant in Sapporo City and other area of Hokkaido.
The reasonable price is realized by the effort  exerted by the owner and Mr.Endo without maitre d'. The chef does all by himself except for gardening and farming. 
Mr.Endo takes ample time preparing for lunch and dinner to satisfy the guests to his restaurant. Please do not swamp to his restaurant with many friends. Seven to eight guests are 3 the limit to treat to his supreme arts of cuisine at once.  
 The process is like a fantastic show but he does not use tricky action that can be seen in the Japanese steak restaurants run by Mr.Aoki in the United States.
The left is the steak with Pikanto sauce made from fond de veau. And the right above is the steak flavoured with truffe salt and the right below is soy-sauce and garlic flavoured. Each of them was excellent and made me happy but my favorite was truffe and salt flavoured.
 Is it too much for females ? I do not think so because of the impressive delicious melting beef. Absolutely it should be tried right now! And run 5km to stay fit!
This the dish for my wife. This beef stew had struck me as the number one beef stew  I had ever. Normally we do not use such kind of supreme quality beef for stew. It seemed that Mr.Endo took so long time to cook this stew.

 The best condition for this meat!
Excellent job!
Of course, a cup of espresso accompanied with the lunch.
 The hors d'oeuvre or relish is called "amuse" in French? All the veggies used for the cuisine are from the veggie fields around the restaurant. The seafood produced around the island can be enjoyed at dinner.Would you have the time of happiness served by Mr.Endo? Please place a phone call for reservation to 0126-63-3235. If you feel difficulty in speaking Japanese, send email to
ikeda.kazuaki@pref.hokkaido.lg.jp or


Hot Plate French "OPa" and Gallery NH in Bibai

A private guest house turned to the gallery and wonderful French restaurant on the outskirts of Bibai City.
The name is OPa and Gallery NH.
On the Route 12 from Sapporo to Asahikawa, this sign can be seen on your left in Chashinai area after passing the downtown of Bibai City.
I have been interested in what the sign showed.
This time my friend living in Bibai City introduced me the restaurant and gallery.
 A farm restaurant ?
It looked so compact that I was wondering how many guests the facility could accommodate.
But speaking of the design and location, to be brief, Me gusta!
It has veggie fields that produces the material to make the culinary delights, and beautiful garden around the building. 
It was so hot on that day that we chose the inside but in autumn this space can be used as a waiting bar albeit the reservation is required to have lunch or dinner in this restaurant.   
The design of the building is very simple. It may be hard to take off the heavy snow that annoys Sorachi area . It opened last June so the chef has not experienced heavy snow and hectic work to take off the heavy snow. 
 As the sign shows the red rose on it, very beautiful roses are raised in front of the entrance.
Special wine and Japanese sake are set on the table and waiting for the dance with meat!
A swing, a table and chairs are at the backyard  of the restaurant as well as corn fields.
Small wedding party can be arranged  on the decks in the premise. It looks so comfortable!
 Before showing what I was moved, shall we have a look on Gallery NH.
A huge sculpture of owl was on the timber of the gallery.
Mr.Yukinori ENDO, the chef of this restaurant is the protege of Mr.Meisuke Hanayagi, the famous Japanese traditional dancer. So many photos of Mr.Hanayagi are on the wall.
Beautiful cut glasses are on the table and cabinet in the gallery.
The guests can have a rest after enjoying the chef's special in the restaurant. 
 I am not good at memorize the name of the people but these beautiful photos and portraits were so interesting even for me.
On top of that, I was so intrigued with this candle stand with clock. It can make great atmosphere in the night. 
I am not used to this kind of cultural activities but the photos and their objects were so beautiful and like an illusion. 
it seems that Mr.Endo, the chef is teaching Japanese traditional dance with his elegance and grace in Bibai City  
I am not sure why he left his hometown Yonezawa City and came to Bibai City but anyway we really appreciate his coming to Hokkaido. He has many friends in his hometown and his connection brings us the supreme beef produced in Yonezawa City at a reasonable price.  
 Mr.Endo handles all the process to receive the guests including cooking chores, so reservation should be required and he can receive seven to eight guest at most in each dinner or lunch. 
The gallery is so calm separated from the dining area and the garden looked so nice from the window that I did not notice the appetizer was served for me in the restaurant.  

 I think this sculpture is from China but I do not have enough sense to appreciate such kind of arts, or common sense, for that matter. 
Then I will post what I was moved, tomorrow!
Mr.Endo does all by himself except for gardening and raising the veggies.
The kitchen looked so great and functional!  


Tsurunuma Wine festival in Urausu Town !

by Kazu

On August 26(Sun.), the annual wine festival was held in Tsurunuma, Urausu Town.
It was not so hot on that day, compared to last year and many people in Urausu and other cities swamped to the vineyard. 
 It is expected that the grapes will be fine and produce good wine next year. Does it look good?
Horse riding course was set in the vineyard on that day and the horses were the descendant of original Japanese horses called "Dosanko" that were used all over Japan before the occidental horses like Arabs and thoroughbreds. I saw the same kind of small horses in Iceland.
 The vineyard in Tsurunuma area is so beautiful and good place to walk around albeit the bed of the plant was so soft.
The turf in the vineyard was filled with the stands and visitors drinking wine or grape juice in the morning. Celtic country music was played in this area.
Of course, kids can not drink alcoholic drink but some kids were romping around in high tension.
 "Wurst Yoshida" in Sintotsukawa Town is one of the most famous and popular ham and sausage maker in Sorachi sub-prefectural area. It provided German sandwitch with roasted pork, sausage or corned beef. Many people were waiting in the long line in front of the stand.
It took 5 to 10 minutes to have the sandwitch after ordering the menu but the taste of the bread and meat was so nice that the visitors could wait patiently in the line.

Only my wife and I were cold sober. Everybody started to drink in the morning and enjoyed the food sourced locally and talk with colleagues.  My supervisor experienced hangover in the evening on the day.
 Flower fields makes the border of vineyard and turf.
Every staff member of the stands were working  very hard until 15:00 and wrapped up their tents. How much did they sell the  foods and what is the bottom line as a result?
Many tour buses came from Sapporo City and other part of Hokkaido and dropped off so many people. Everybody looked so happy and satisfied with the taste of food in Sorachi. What would be the quality of wine this year? We pray for the good wine and propose a toast!