Wine Fest and Halloween

I’ve been quite slow on my blog updates.

Shiojiri Wine Festival! It was definitely a good time. Upon arrival We were handed bags. They contained a small wine glass, a map, and a stamp card. Right at the start there were several large kegs. Both the red and the white wine were good. Then we got on a bus that took us to a winery. When we got there, there were sausages, pork chops, and gelato. Went upstairs and sampled all their wines. They were really good. I never thought I would like wine. We visited two other wineries that day and then went back to the city. I feel like I should give the wine a second chance.

After the Wine Fest, I went with people to dinner met lots of cool people. It was the first time I actually went out with people closer to my own age to just have fun. No work formalities, no worries, and they all spoke English. It was great.

Halloween in Shiojiri was interesting. I’ve never been to a City Halloween festival before. I’m quite certain the general tradition in Toronto is to just go trick-or-treating at night. Adults likely have other parties, but that’s about it. Here there was a festival. And no festival is complete without food stalls and stamp card. I have noticed that at most festivals and events, there are stamp cards kind of like a scavenger hunt. So if you fill up your card with stamps, you get a little extra prize. It was fun to run around collecting stamps and candy with my co-worker’s kids. They were also in a parade. Most people dressed up as witches. That seems to be a common costume. There were a few other interesting costumes as well though.

After Halloween celebrations it was off to dinner. My co-worker made plans to attend this class at the community center. They teach you how to cook and you get to eat it afterwards obviously. It’s for families so that the children and husbands are also involved. It was really interseting to me even though I didn’t cook anything. But the meal was roast beef, roast chicken, traditional Japanese Christmas and New Years meal and there were some dessert cakes as well. It was cool to see them prepare the fish cakes. They had instructions on how to make elaborate shapes and designs. They gave me a gift at the end and thanked me for being there, but I think I got more out of it. I got dressed in an apron and bandana to hold my hair back. I felt like a Japanese Housewife. It was nice to see families cooking and learning together. I now know how to make roast beef too! Can’t make roast chicken, but that was good too. If only I had an oven.

Anyways I think that’s the end of this chapter. Japanese festivals and events are fun and interesting. They also always involve food. Yum.

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