Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Miyamaru" – A Bed and Breakfast Fishing Experience

Scott and Mrs. Myōjin making dinner.
Managing as a Married Couple
   “Miyamaru” is near the beautiful seashore of the town of Kuroshio. The lady of the house, Mrs. Miya Myōjin, used to work at a nursery school. After she retired five years ago, she opened a bed and breakfast with the thought that she wanted to promote and bring visitors to Kuroshio, as well as teach people about the town’s fishing-driven way of life. Mrs. Myōjin’s husband was a fisherman, but he also retired 6 years ago due to back pain, and now he helps her with the bed and breakfast. Most of their customers are from outside of Kochi, and there are even some people who come from abroad.

“Call me ‘Miima’ and call my husband ‘Papa!’”
Gifts to Mrs. Myōjin from her guests.
There are also gifts from foreigners.
   As soon as we got off the train at Tosa Kuroshio Railway’s Tosa-Saga Station, we saw that Mr. Myōjin had come to pick us up. Although it was lightly raining, he greeted us warmly and with a smile. He even brought umbrellas for us and then took us to the bed and breakfast. After arriving, we all sat down to talk while enjoying tea and small cakes that Mrs. Myōjin had prepared for us. During our conversation, I started to call her “Myōjin-san”. She laughed and said, “Don’t refer to me so formally! Think of this place as your home. You two are about the same age as my daughter, so call me ‘Miima’ and call my husband ‘Papa!’”
   We could tell from our conversation that this couple wasn’t running a bed and breakfast for the money; they just wanted to promote Kuroshio, get more people from outside of the prefecture to know Kuroshio, and lead fulfilling retired lives. Mrs. Myōjin’s creed is “all for one, one for all”.
 
Cutting the katsuo.
 
Experiencing Katsuo no Tataki!
Experiencing the wonderful life of a fishing household!
   Kuroshio is famous for its katsuo industry, and we got to experience making Kochi’s famous Katsuo no Tataki. We also learned the secret behind the tataki in Katsuo no Tataki. It’s called tataki because after you slice and salt the seared fish, you rapidly and firmly pat it.* Who knew?! We also helped Mrs. Myōjin make dinner and got to learn hands-on what it is like to prepare food in a fishing household. At night, after finishing the sashimi and cooking we had made, we couldn’t believe how happy we felt. We also learned that we could do a “‘Tempi’ Salt Making Experience” and a “Mikan Picking Experience” while in Kuroshio.
*tataku in Japanese means “to beat”.
 
The simplicity and warmth of a Kuroshio-style welcome
   What left the deepest impression on us was the neighborly interaction between the people of Kuroshio. When we arrived in this fishing town, people we randomly met on the street would greet us open heartedly. Even though it was the first time we met, we deeply felt their hospitality as they warmly received us. Now we, too, want to give a shout out to foreigners living in and outside of Kochi: “If you want to experience life in a fishing household, come to Kuroshio!!”
Dinner we cooked with Mr. and Mrs. Myōjin

“Miyamaru” – A Bed and Breakfast Fishing Experience –
Address: 486-3 Saga, Kuroshio-cho, Hata-gun 〒789-1720
TEL: 0880-55-2336
E-mail: miyamaru@palette.plala.or.jp
Directions
   JR from Kochi City: Ride the express train from Kochi Station and get off at the Tosa-Saga Station.
You will be picked up from there.
   Car from Kochi City: From the Kochi IC, take the highway to Shimantocho-chuo IC, then head toward Tosa-Saga Station. You will arrive in approximately one and a half hours.
“Miyamaru” – A Fisherman’s Bed and Breakfast
 




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