December 13, 2009

Niigata day 2: Crackers and Geisha

My joyful assignment to travel and blog around Niigata continues...

I can already tell that this trip is going to make me get fat if I'm not careful. There is so much food we've tried. Luckily today's first stop was to a senbei (rice cracker) place, and such things probably don't have too many calories.

From Niigata Trip

The place we went to was called Senbei Kingdom [map]. It makes sense that it would be here, considering that Niigata has such famous rice. We got to see the senbei being baked by two guys that constantly turn them over a kiln, producing 3000 a day each. The pic above is from the area where you can make senbei yourself.


From Niigata Trip

We then went to the Furusato Mura Museum [map], which is part souvenir market and part museum. The dude above is twisting straw into rope--rope which they used back in the day to make containers to carry all the good rice.

Rice? Better put some vinegar in it and make sushi!


From Niigata Trip

This feast was set before us in a tucked-away place called Miya-Zushi (宮鮨 [map]). We also ate some shrimp-miso here. Wow, three hyphens in this caption, and I'm not too confident that any of them are grammatically correct.



From Niigata Trip

In recent months on Fridays and Saturdays at our hotel, up on the 31st floor, they hold a little show of the geigi (this region's word for geishas). The one on the left had the whole flirtatious mystique thing down. Naturally some video is coming. The city has a webpage about the geigi here (ja).


From Niigata Trip

The Niigata City Art Museum is holding a show with the theme of water and earth, as behooves a port town. I actually dug these sediment paintings. There is a big bamboo hut that lies on the city river that was made for this show too.


From Niigata Trip

We ended up at a local bar, run by a Canadian, called Northern Lights [link]. The baked apples were really good. They are kind of like apple pies without crusts. Tis the seasonal food, methinks!

Well, it's time for sleep. I must leave the Nikko hotel [map] tomorrow to travel to Sado island. Maybe I'll run into Jenkins (a guy that once defected to North Korea)!