Otaru This & That

"Surimi", In-Japanese Food

When I was watching TV this morning, I saw "Surimi" was being covered as a topic.

"Surimi", known to us as "Kanikama" is a kind of minced fish cake that looks and tastes like crab meat.

It originates from Japan, but they say it is now popular in Europe, and the TV was showing the supermarket's shelf selling Surimi in France to indicate how popular it is.

The TV also was showing a large-scale Surimi factory in Lithuania.

Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu is a beautiful caldera lake located near New Chitose Airport.

Heating Device of Old Days

In Hokkaido, it is getting pretty cold in the early morning and night these days. It is the season that heating is necessary.

Nowadays it is an easy job for us to warm up rooms. All we have to do is to switch on a heater.

However, until about 40 years ago, there was no self-kindled kerosene heater for domestic use, and kindling coal-fired stove every morning was quite a labor for someone in a family.

I found some coal-fired stoves of old days at a hardware shop in Otaru. I wonder if they are displayed for sale as a practical item, or just as a nostalgic reminder.

Mt. Yotei of This Week and Last Week

I went to the Lake Toya area for my business two weeks in a row.

It was warm and sunny, and there was no snow
in Mt.Yotei on Saturday last week.

However, on Tuesday this week, there was a snowfall in Hokkaido, and Mt.Yotei was covered with snow like in the image.

Mt.Yotei is always beautiful regardless of having snow or not.

Mt.Yotei from Nakayama Pass on the 23rd of October

Snow-clad Mt.Yotei from the point between Rusutsu Village and Makkari Village on the 29th of October

The First Snow of the Season

It snowed in some areas of Hokkaido this morning.

In Otaru, there was a little snowfall, and Mt. Kenashi is covered with snow.

It was quite warm, and autumn color of leaves was still very beautiful last weekend, but winter certainly draws near.

Autumn color of the leaves in Asari Dam

A Crisp Autumn Day

It was windy and a little cold, but a pleasant autumn day yesterday.

I went out for a walk after a long interval.
I didn't go for a walk in the city during summer because of its extreme hot weather this year.

The city looked so colorful in the sunshine of autumn.

A view near JR Minami Otaru Station

Japanese Mountain Ash

The berries have become brilliant red.

Soon, the color of the leaves turn into red, too.

Colorful walls of the old warehouses along Otaru Canal

The color of Mt.Kenashi is changing little by little.

Wagashi in Autumn

Wagashi is Japanese-style confection made by skilled confectioners.

Each confectioner makes Wagashi of the season on his own design, which means that you can enjoy Wagashi of different design for the same motif.

In autumn, chrysanthemum and maple leaf are often chosen as the theme.

It might be fun for you to see Wagashi of elaborate design if you have chance.

The following Wagashi is all from Tsukushi Makita, a long-established confectionary in Hanazono, Otaru.

Persimmon, a fruit of autumn


Balloon Flower

Ever-Changing Colors

The leaves are turning red or yellow in Otaru day by day.

When the foliage is green, A grove looks just a cluster of trees.

It is interesting that the shape of each tree emerges clearly as the color of the foliage changes.

The trees contrast each other with their own different colors.

A view of autumn colors in Otaru Park

It is not at their best yet.

Sakamanju of Tanaka Sake Brewery

Tanaka Sake Brewery is a long-established brewery of sake or rice wine in Otaru, and has been producing nice sake for over 100 years.

Other than a variety of sake, they sell sweets called sakamanju that is made making use of sake lees, the spin-off of sake brewing.

The difference between ordinary manju or a steamed bread and sakamanju is the flavor of sake.


October is the season for harvesting rice.

Since rice is the staple food of Japan,
eating newly harvested rice is always the
delight for the Japanese.

In olden times, it was not possible to
cultivate rice in Hokkaido because of its
cold climates.

However, forerunners' painstaking
efforts made it possible, and the quality of
Hokkaido's rice has become to be comparable
to the rice from other areas known for their
quality rice production.

Among Hokkaido's rice, the latest brand
'Yumepirika' has outstanding stickiness
that the Japanese expect for rice.

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