What have I done today?
Well, first, I got a mini lay in, collection wasn’t until 10am.

I scanned the buffet for breakfast, and assembled a neat little fusion tray. Can I just point out I’m not aching for western food, I am just intrigued at how it tastes when made here! The pizza slices at dinner have a certain je ne sais, that I just can’t resist.

Today would be all meetings. Those meetings are a little longer than those in the UK, as decisions are made by committee. I am intrigued by the Japanese need to be in a group, and quite admire it. In the UK, we are pig awful at working as a team!

But, on the flip side, the Japanese are more confident in a group situation. During the week, students would confidently stand up at dinner and give speeches; no shyness, no hesitation. In the UK, you would probably only find one or two people who would be happy to do that!

Classes are over. Now it’s business.
We spoke about plants and seeds they could grow first, so I gave my recommendations. They are so keen for my opinion on everything, I find it quite humbling, but also a trifle overwhelming! It’s very hard to explain why we sell 4 parsnips, which actually all look the same…

Once that meeting was over, I was shuffled into the X3 and shoehorned into a glasshouse for another meeting, with the growers, to talk vegetables. It’s impossible to prep for any meeting, as I never know what’s going to be happening next!

We spoke veg all through the afternoon, I nearly fell asleep at one point. Jetlag screws me over at 2pm sharp, every day. It was quite an intense meeting though, as I explained leeks, and with only a break for sushi lunch. I discovered the joy of botamochi. Balls of sticky rice wrapped in a red bean paste. They looked like piles of poo, but tasted divine.

We wrapped at 4.30 and I was asked what I wanted to see in Japan. I immediately blurted out “castle”. So we went to see one. And had sweet potato ice cream. I also gorged on crisps, a soya bean pretzel and cake, so I totally spoiled my dinner.

It’s my last night in Tateshina. Tomorrow, after a last session at Barakura, I’m ON MY OWN! Somehow, the trains terrify me. And the fact I now have too much luggage, due to the numerous gifts I’ve been given!

Japan, I love you, you’re utterly intriguing, and I fall asleep every night with Safari open on the Wikipedia page.


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