Without going into too much unpleasant detail I also want to share an interesting result of my time in Japan. Some of you will know I have Crohn's (an inflammatory bowel disease). While I was in Fujino I had no urgent trips to the bathroom and no bowel pain. I can only attribute this to the Japanese diet as I certainly wasn't taking things easy or otherwise taking care of myself.
The diet we enjoyed was basic, healthy food. Whether we were eating at home or out in a range of lovely restaurants we ate a large percentage of vegetables to carbohydrate and protein, very little that was processed, refined or containing sugars and fats. As my DD said..."we all know this!!" Yes, we had a marvellous pizza made by Tohai (seen barbequing river fish below) one evening and we ate rather more mochi than is good for our hips and thighs but basically we ate a healthy Japanese diet and I felt very good on it. The fabulous Ogata-san, who came to make us udon noodles, regularly climbs the mountain to collect vegetables for her meals, she is 94.
Everyday Harumi and Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art
and will be incorporating such delights as seared tuna with mango and avocado salsa into my diet, I will also be drinking a lot more green tea (the proper leaves, not the dust in a bag from the supermarket. Bryan's landlord gave us all a bag of his tea and during the tour we were drinking green tea from Bryan's own tea fields, how wonderful is that?)
I will not attempt to identify all the foods in the photos below, suffice to say I tried everything (even the leaf that set my throat into spasm) and enjoyed most of it.