Pigs on Parade

Japan's flag
Asia » Japan » Akita
December 10th 2009
Published: December 10th 2009
Edit Blog Post

This past weekend was an adventure and a half.

I visited the bf for my 25th birthday in Akita, which is a 40 minute train ride, 30 minute bus ride, 1.5 plane ride, 40 minute bus ride, and 1.5 train ride away. So basically it takes me 6-8 hours to get from my door to his which is a long ass time but it's definitely worth it. 😊

The night I got there we decided to go to a favourite spot of mine - Futen. It's this awesome izakaya (only sits maybe 10 people tops) and the owner is fantastic. Ordered up some delicious yakitori (chicken on a stick), some Okinawan style grilled onigiri, and then had some mimigaa (pron. mee mee gaa) just to try something new and exciting. For those who aren't in the know, mimigaa is pig's ear. For the record, it was surprisingly delicious (as long as you don't think of the movie Babe and the cute piggy's ears flopping around as he walks).

Friday night I went out on the town with the boy and the crew. I was super surprised to get presents from a few of them. Pat's special ed students

Looks sort of tasty right? Especially with that nice juicy strawberry!
made a wreath for me of dried flowers and Renaud and Chika got me a hot water bottle to keep my bed warm. Considering how cold it gets at night these days (about 10 degrees celcius in my bedroom) it was EXACTLY what I needed!

For dinner we went to a place called the Meat Market (or something like that). Now at home this would be a bar filled with scantly clad sluts looking for a quick hook up, but for us it was quite literally a restaurant that served plate after plate of meat. I was in heaven :D So with my birthday Ginger-hai in hand, I delved into the culinary masterpiece that was my dinner. What was on the menu?

Well, it started out with some strips of beef cooked on the grill, and veggies - delicious! Then came the chicken, which was also awesome, and pork, too. The longer we stayed the more interesting the food got.

About halfway through the night I ordered a plate of kimchi (Korean spicy pickled veggies) and the rest of the table ordered pork wrapped tomatoes on a stick, and various pig parts. Feeling drunk and adventurous I tried some pig intestine, which was great up until it sort of dissolved in my mouth. Texture is everything to me and that was borderline vomit worthy. The saving grace of the night was the pig's tongue, which tasted OMG delicious. I'm going to have to try eating more animal tongues if they all taste that good! The place was definitely a heart attack on a plate, but it tasted absolutely delicious and was the best dinner a meat-loving birthday girl could ask for :D

We ended the night at the Beer Bar as per ususal and had a good time hanging out with Teguchi-san and his son's brother. I tried 'Santa Beer' and 'Fucking Beer'. The first was a perversion of the beer name - 'Samta' or something like that, and the second was so called because it was 24% alcohol (and delicious!). For the most part though I stuck to my fruit beers and got thoroughly wasted. Was also presented with the birthday SARS mask of honour and got to wear it. It was fun times all round.

Saturday things got even better! The boy took me to an ryokan near Yuzawa, which is a famous
Fish Eggs...Fish Eggs...Fish Eggs...

Not so awesome
onsen area. It was soooo nice! I've wanted to go to one since I got here and he made the dream come true.

The view outside our window was gorgeous and there were several waterfalls in the vicinity that we later took a walk to see. The place we stayed at was actually pretty close that steam river I posted pictures of from my last trip up north. The ryokan was pretty amazing. It had two onsens onsen - both indoor and outdoor (called a rotenburo). The outdoor onsen was super cool! Once you get over the OMG I'm walking around naked outside! bit you realize that you're in the mountains, there isn't another soul around for miles, and enjoy yourself.

The dinner we had when we arrived at the ryokan was just unreal on so many levels. It started out amazing with some beef and veggies to grill and sashimi. There were a bunch of pickled vegetables and assorted goodies like seafood salad to nibble on too. It sort of went downhill from there though.

The owner brought out some fish and soup which looked awesome at first, and some crab legs. I can't eat crab
Fish Eggs in SoupFish Eggs in SoupFish Eggs in Soup

Wally: "Have you looked in your soup yet?" Me: "NOOOO!"
so those went to Wally, who devoured them, and I dove into my fish. The fish itself was tasty, if a little boney, but it took me a little bit to realize that it was full, and I mean FULL, of roe (fish eggs). Now normally I love roe. I eat it with sushi all the time and I think it's delicious. This, however, was not. The eggs were all packed together in what looked like a slime covered sack. The slime was just unbelievably gross. It was like a scene out of Alien. And to make matters worse, there was a HUGE chunk of egg sack in the soup. 😞

To be fair I did actually try it but I just couldn't handle the slime. The other parts of the fish were delicious though and I ate as much of it as I could.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. Next up is my trip back to Canada for Christmas, and then New Years in Kyoto with the bf.

Updates to come soon!


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15



It rained all night and day so the water was rushing pretty fast. I can't even imagine what the spring runoff looks like.

One of about 4 in the area I think.
Onsen Boiled EggsOnsen Boiled Eggs
Onsen Boiled Eggs

Naturally hot water in basins where you can boil eggs! They come out black and taste delicious :D

10th December 2009

looks like
Looks like you had a wonderful time. We are encountering our 2nd day of wintery conditions. Snow, sleet, icey roads etc so I came into work at 6am for the 2nd day in a row... Looking forward to seeing you at Christmas, my Mom said she got a post card from you and she was just thrilled to read it to me. You made her day, thanks for sending it. see you in 9 days Love Mom xo

Tot: 0.07s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 14; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0122s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb