Moving to Ise meant that I would face a commute everyday. Generally I wasn’t too concerned by it, but everyone around me keeps telling me how horrible it is, so to counter those feelings I have decided to embrace aspects of my new life here. (Of course, being able to see my better half more than once a week is compensation enough.)
Early this morning I awoke for a trip Okageyokocho, an old street that runs in front of the inner shrine of the main shrines of the Shinto faith. At the restaurant, Sushi Kyuu (寿司久), they serve a meal of porridge for 800 yen from 5am until they sell out around 9am on the first day of each month.
While most of my readers may not be excited about porridge, I would venture to say one spoonful would convert you. Perhaps I would even be bold enough to say one look could win you over. The restaurant is an old roadside inn for pilgrims that is X hundred years old. (Someday I’ll look into the proper value of X here.) Anyone who love traditional buildings should find the surroundings amazing. Further, anyone appreciating a subdued and peaceful feeling will be impressed by the atmosphere.
This months meal included various pickles to add to the porridge, which contained ayu (鮎), a small river fish with a sweet flavor, traditionally caught using trained cormorants. There was also sweet scrambled egg, potato, eggplant, a (chicken?) meatball, and a few other tasty bits.
For my first 12 months, I expect to experience each of the specials even though it will mean waking with the birds. After that I will probably enjoy it a few times a year.
I saw at least two people I knew, even though I’m several kilometers from my former home. One person who spotted me was my bike repairwoman. She spotted my bike and immediately knew who was riding it. She has put special pedals and handlebars on it in addition to many other services, so she is familiar with it. Today she was hard to recognize because she was pushing around a cart with two cute little dogs while wearing a kimono.