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Beris and Jan’s Japanese Blog

As many of you know we were in Japan visiting our daughter, Gemma, her husband and our two grandsons when the earthquake and tsunami occurred.

Gemma lives north of Sapporo on the northernmost island of Japan called Hokkaido and her house is about 500 miles from the disaster areas. However, we still felt the shock waves, a most strange and scary feeling. That evening we watched the live news broadcasts and we were horrified to see what was happening.

For days the only programmes on the TV were news of the disaster and as the days went by it became more and more apparent about the scale of this disaster and the death toll as well as the unfolding story of the nuclear power station at Fukushima. I know that you too have seen the horrifying pictures and we thank you all for your concern about our safety, and all your emails.

Before we left Japan we decided that we would like to help in some small way to support the work being done by the many charities for the children who have been orphaned.

We purchased a selection of Japanese gifts and the Band agreed wholeheartedly to raise money by holding a raffle/or giving donations. All monies raised will be sent to www.smilekidsjapan.org on behalf of Norfolk Wherry Brass Band.

Update on 5th May 2011

Sake tasting

Sake is the perfect brew to accompany Japanese food. It is made from special rice whose individual grains are milled to remove the outer layers.
We visited several Sake factories in Hokkaido and Beris (not being the driver) had to be the chief taster. What a shame! In one factory he had the unfortunate (?!) task of sampling 20 different varieties. Like everything else one can buy, the best and smoothest, including the daiginjo, was the most expensive. Some of the cheaper ones were very rough in comparison.

Sake is usually served chilled or at room temperature but in one expensive restaurant it was served hot from a teapot! The heating improved the flavour of this particular sake.

By the way, there is ZERO alcohol tolerance for drivers in Japan.


Here’s a selection of photos Japan, we’ll add more over time!

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We plan to update this blog every couple of weeks, so keep checking back for updates!