DAY THREE and FOUR: Gourds, Gourmet, and Grocery Shopping

One of my favorite parts about Japan, so far, are the butterflies. They are big, and lovely, and everywhere. I love butterflies 🙂

The last two days have been pretty tame. It was really hard to think up an alliteration for the title 😛

We made a traditional Japanese dish, called Goya Champuru. Here’s the link where we found the recipe.

We were all a bit apprehensive, because the website repeatedly said the bitter gourd, the main part in the dish, was VERY bitter. The dish, however, turned out great! We ate it over rice, and look forward to eating it again.


Dinner, that night, we had in a nearby city, just one train stop away. We met Uncle Yoshio, Uncle Shea, Shea’s friend, Alex, and Nozomi at the train station. Shea and Alex are visiting Japan, and overlapped their trip with ours. They are only spending a short time in Isehara, and then will be moving on to do some touristy activities. Yoshio took us to an all-you-can-eat Italian restaurant in a nice hotel. We had a great time visiting with each other. Us kids also enjoyed being able to finally drink Fanta melon soda once again! Fanta melon soda is not, and apparently will never be sold in the U.S., and this makes us very sad 😉.

We went to the grocery store again, because Elias and Dad needed to buy supplies for their trip up Mt. Fuji. While in the grocery store, I noticed an interesting display. Some kind of root vegetables were being kept warm on a bed of hot rocks. Fancy!


For dinner on the fourth day, we ate at the Taiwanese tavern just below us. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Mom and Dad are very happy that there is a place so close by, that is good for a last minute dinner. While eating, the owner of the apartment building came in with his family, and we got to know him a little bit. He speaks very good English.


Hey, does anyone have any ideas what the use of this tiny sink is?


That’s all for now. Tomorrow the older boys will be gone, climbing Mt. Fuji, and us younglings will have to fend for ourselves. Thankfully we have a great mother to take care of us. I will post tomorrow and let you know how it goes 😊


7 thoughts on “DAY THREE and FOUR: Gourds, Gourmet, and Grocery Shopping

  1. Hannah, I have always loved that fact that you are all so involved the cooking for the family. It seems that you are never afraid to cook or eat something new and unusual … bravo to all of you!! Strange vegetable … bitter gourd. And now I desperately want to try a Fanta Melon Soda! How unfair to not sell them in America. I love melons, so I would have to love melon soda!

  2. Thank you Linda!
    Yes, I love that my parents make us cook, because it makes me feel more prepared and ready for my life on my own. I also love that they make us try new things, because there are so many dishes out there that picky eaters miss out on. The Fanta melon soda is truly delicious, but recently we just tried a different brand of melon soda, that is even better! Nozomi says that the Japanese drink their melon soda with a scoop of ice cream in it, like a root beer float, except that the Japanese (and some other cultures) haven’t developed a taste for it, and tend not to like it. They have theirs with melon soda instead.

  3. I love the Fanta melon soda too!! Yummy! I was recently in Atlanta, Ga and visited Coca Cola World. They have a World of Taste area there and in their Asia market, they had Fanta Melon soda! It was very good but sweet. My vote for the little sink is for the gnomes that visit Japan, they need a sink to wash their hands after cleaning all the gardens all night!

    1. Wait what?! So they do bring Fanta Melon to the United States! We will need to investigate. It is one of our family favorites. However, we have a new top, that is a different brand of melon soda. It was like a melon cream soda. AMAZING!

      Gnomes? I will have to keep my eyes open tonight!

  4. Ashley thinks the mini sink is for washing your veggies before you buy them so you’re not paying for the dirt.
    Katelynn thinks it’s for short people to wash their hands after they sneeze.
    We’re very curious now!
    Reading your blog posts are the girls’ “reward” for getting their school work done. Thanks for such a fun incentive!

    1. Wow! Great ideas! I am so glad that the girls are enjoying the blog enough to make it an incentive! That is awesome! It makes me so happy 🙂

  5. When we were on Okinawa we had Goya ice cream, a local favorite and definitely an acquired taste.

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