A Look Around Kameoka 2012 亀岡探訪ツアー2012年

Hi everyone, this is Margaret from Kameoka.

On October 13th and 14th, the Lifelong Learning Foundation, Kameoka held the annual “Look Around Kameoka Tour,” a one night homestay program for study abroad students in Kyoto Prefecture. This year 15 students from 4 different countries came and experienced Kameoka, many for the first time. This tour is a great opportunity for students in Kyoto to get out of the city and experience life in rural Japan.



We met at Kameoka Station and then traveled by bus to the Yume Cosmos Garden in Yoshikawa-cho. Every year this garden is painted with colorful cosmos flowers, and people come from all over Japan just to see them. The garden overflows with more than 8,000,000 flowers of 20 different varieties, all with unique shapes and colors. Each year the city holds a scarecrow contest and different groups create their own scarecrow that visitors can vote on. There is even a special marketplace where different stalls sell homegrown vegetables and famous foods from the Tamba region.


After the garden, we visited the Galleria Kameoka, where we learned how to make makizushi (sushi rolls). There is a restaurant called Shikisai in Kameoka, where a different chef each day uses locally grown vegetables to create healthy lunches. Three of the Shikisai chefs taught us how to make sushi.


First we helped to cool the rice with fans after they added the concoction of sugar, salt, and vinegar to make it sushi rice.


Then we learned how to put the ingredients together to make a sushi roll. They showed us how to properly place the sheet of nori on the maki sudare so it would roll with the grain. Next we spread the right amount of rice onto the sheet of nori and then laid the egg, shiitake mushroom, carrot, and komatsuna on top before rolling it up. It was harder than it looked, but in the end all of the students had made a delicious looking sushi roll. Then the chefs taught us to make temakizushi, which is something you can make by rolling up the ingredients into a cone shape with just your hands.


The most exciting thing for me was watching the students interact with each other. They all come from different countries and different schools, but they are all here studying Japanese so they have that common language that brings them together. It’s quite interesting to stand in a group where the members are from China, Korea, Thailand, and America, but we are all communicating in Japanese because that is our only common language.


After eating, the students met their host families. They spent the night in Kameoka and spent all day on the 14th with their host families. Then, at 5 pm they were dropped off at the train station to return home.



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