Archive for July, 2008

I just got home from seeing the Chinese acrobats at the concert hall. My friend Hiroko san invited me and we decided to ride our bikes. When I met her at Nagano, a department store, she suggestd we take a taxi. Even though the sky looked black, it was not raining and I said we should just ride our bikes. We had not gotten very far, when the skies opened up and we got caught in ahuge downpour! We had to pedal like mad back to the covered shopping arcade! We parked our bikes and waited abit for the rain to abate before we jumped into the taxi but it never did. We got soaking wet just climbing into the taxi. I have never been in this big a downpour here before. The road was like a river within a short time. When we got to the concert hall, the line was very long to get in and people were soaked waiting in line. Hiroko san and I got wet running to the building, even though we had an umbrella.
The acrobats and the contortionists were awesome. I have always wanted to see them and now I have. The concert hall was so crowded and everyone was soaking wet!! They had so many exciting acts, I was so mesmerised. This is one of the top acrobt artists group from China and only here this one performance. The one act that impressed me the most was a girl resting on a platform and on her knees she balanced 8 chairs, one on top of the other, with another girl on top of the 8th chair! The ribbon suspended from the ceiling with 4 acrobats doing  their thing was awesome too and of course the contortionists and acrobats were simply mesmerising. Then there were 8 girls, each of them holding 10 sticks on top of which were spinning plates and they were doing cartwheels etc without dropping the paltes. How did they train for this?! It was one exciting act after another.
After the show, we walked a long way to a cute restaurant. It was still raining and Hiroko san walked so fast for a petit lady. I had a hard time keeping up with her and i ended up with  a blister on t he sole of my feet! SHe had heels on as well!
This restaurant has two set meals – one for 2800 yen and the other 4500. We had the smaller set meal. Started off with egg taufu and pickled fern  in ginger sauce – yum! Then we had kabocha (a small pumpkin) with fish paste in sesame sauce. Then we had fried river fish, very salty, and we dip it in vinegar sauce. Hmm that got me licking my lips…I even ate the head and the tail. Sashimi maguro, sliced octopus and two ebi (shrimp) came beautifully decorated on a bed of grated daikon. Two large shrimps tempura style coated with sliced almonds arrived and we ate this by dipping them in salt and powdered green tea.Then came miso soup, rice with assorted pickles! For dessert, a small scoop of green tea ice cream. It was just marvellous! We washed all these down with two cups of hot green tea.
Perfect evening!

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