| fieldwork || observations || week 3 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| observations || week 3 ||

:: Ryouri no jugyou #02  料理の授業 #02 ::
240911 | 福岡

Determined to leave Japan knowing how to cook some of the delicious local dishes so that the knowledge of food preparation and serving can be somehow incorporated in the design of [Table for 100’s] I attended another cooking lesson by Keiko Morimitsu.

This time it was held at the Panasonic Show Room as a way of showing potential customers how well Panasonic kitchens work.

I was incredibly privileged, as I turned out to be the only student on that time slot, so Keiko had the opportunity to tell me a bit more about different food and Japanese dining culture.

This week we prepared two different types of gohan 飯 (rice) recipes and some kuni no pankēki 国のパンケーキ (millet pancakes)  to be eaten as side dishes on a main meal.


i* 小さなおにぎりや小さなパンケーキ

:: British Fair ::
240911 | 福岡

I had been told that Mitsukoshi Department Store was holding a British Fair, so I decided to venture through another of the innumerous shopping centres one can find in Fukuoka and have a look at how the Japanese view the British and how do the British sell their country abroad.

So I went up to the 8th Floor and guided by a familiar smell of home baking I found a large room decorated with Union Jacks and crammed with Japanese ladies admiring the variety of beautiful tins of English Breakfast and Earl Grey, delighted by the freshly baked scones, cupcakes, Cornish pasties and shortbread, the whiskeys and the cat patterned tea cloths… all certainly very British and exotic in town.

The smell of all these familiar food brought me home for a moment, but as I looked around and saw a Japanese girl dressed with a Harrods outfit I was quickly brought back to this different reality.

I walked around that incredibly tacky looking room that had little to do with cosy English cottages, but certainly caused an impression in all the Japanese ladies that wondered around with bags inside bags inside other bags where they would finally find a couple of delicious scones.


i* Harrods in Fukuoka.

Mesmerized with the wordy description of a British man on how to get the best out of one’s whisky, a group of Japanese men and women twisted and turned their whisky glasses around and absorbed the intense taste of this unusual drink.

i* Whisky tasting.

:: Sakana o kansou 魚を乾燥 ::
230911 | 福岡

Japanese have been smoking and drying fish since the Jomon Period Jomon Jidai (13,000 BC – 450 BC). Dried and smoked fish are essencial on the Japanese diet.

i* Drying fish.

::  Josei wa mata biiru o nomu 女性はまたビールを飲む ::
230911 | 福岡

i* ‘Ladies also drink beer.’ poster by Sapporo Beer at the entrance of a restaurant in Haruyoshi.

:: Kodokuna Yatai 孤独な屋台 ::
230911 | 福岡

When walking around Fukuoka during the day, one keeps encountering this shy ubiquitous creatures parked in all sorts of empty plots, looking as if they had been left there, on the same spot for years. It’s only at night time that one can see how they can powerful and energetically transform the city’s environment.

i* Lonely Yatai.

:: Kyaku-machi de 客待ちで ::
230911 | 福岡

As I was walking around Haruyoshi after having read an article about its charming new eating and drinking spots, I came across this Oden restaurant. Surprisingly enough, it was totally empty. It’s rare to find an empty restaurant around as people seem to eat at any time of the day, but this beautiful old looking restaurant was indeed still waiting for customers to arrive and start filling up those solid timber seats around those marvellous tables. Tempting as it was to go in, oden was certainly slightly too heavy a meal for such time of the day when the heat was at its peak.

Hot pots oden おでん have been around since the Jomon Period Jomon Jidai (13,000 BC – 450 BC) and are famous for creating the right environment for people to get to know each other as they are all sharing a meal from the same pot.


i* Waiting for customers.

:: L.A. Diner ::
230911 | 福岡

Walking across Kawabata Arcade feels like going into a time-travel journey as one is surrounded by very tacky and old-looking stores with products of dubious quality.

Along my journey across the Arcade I stopped in L.A. Not surprisingly this ‘diner’, with its modern uncharacteristic tables and chairs, looked as old fashioned as all other stores in Kawabata. It’s dinginess certainly had some charm and made me think of Bran Van 3000’s song ‘Drinking in LA’ making me wonder what were people eating and drinking inside such place… and how its incredible shoddy look could be somehow so attractive.


i* Drinking in L.A.

::  Ten’i kuukan | Kato-tekina jikan || 転移空間 | 過渡的な時間::
230911 | 福岡

transition space | transitional time
It’s not so usual to find outdoors seating (and seats around tables for eating purposes) around Fukuoka, nor around other Japanese cities I have been to.

Between Kawabata Arcade and one of the arms of Naka River I encountered this transition space where people seemed to be eating transitional food, i.e. small dishes such as those icy sorbets that appear to be so popular here. It wasn’t covered, though it felt like a protected space where people could calmly enjoy their meals during their transitional time.


i* アイスクリーム.

::  Okunai de no dainingu 屋内でのダイニング ::
230911 | 福岡

Eating in Japan can be reasonably affordable, but not when one refers to western style dining / coffee… It feels as if it were a treat to go into a shopping centre or a café, seat around a full height table, meet with friends and enjoy a coffee, a milkshake and a creamy cake.

At イニミニマニモ (eeny meeny miny mo) I came across several different scenarios where behind an exhibit of Tepura Tepura’s illustrated pieces different people were enjoying a western style meal.

i* Indoors dining.

i** Indoors dining : friends get together to enjoy coffee and cake. 

i*** Indoors dining : simultaneously flicking through books, two strangers enjoy a western style meal. 

:: Yatai o chuusha 屋台を駐車 ::
230911 | 福岡

As I was walking home, around 5p.m., I saw a small, toy-looking van signalling to go up the pavement whilst waiting on the traffic lane for the pedestrians to pass. At first I couldn’t quite understand why the driver wanted to go up onto the pavement, but as I looked carefully I saw it had a trailer… a Yatai that was about to be parked onto Watanabe Dori, the Yatai I had photographed some nights before. Though some Yatai remain parked during the day, looking almost invisible for the busy passer-by, others are taken home and brought back every single day changing the look of the street, creating an atmosphere of their own.

i* A ‘resident’ Yatai.  

i** A ‘nomadic’ Yatai. 

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