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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Joys of Japan...and Tofu

Well, the adventures continue here in Japan. Yesterday we were up with the sunrise, on a bus and off to Nikko, Japan. While in Nikko yesterday we visited a Tofu plant. Yes, we did sample several different kinds. No, they weren’t all that bad. We had fried tofu, baked tofu, soft tofu, hard tofu, tofu protein and something that tasted just like a sugar cookie (that was my favorite). We also got to make our own. So, if you are interested in a class science project, here is one just for the agricultural chefs out there:

Items needed:

Plain soy milk
Liquid magnesium
Measuring beaker
Measuring spoon
Measuring spoon
Paper cup
Paper bowl

How to make:

Measure 100 cc’s of soymilk in beaker. Pour the milk into the paper cup. Measure 2 cc’s of the magnesium in the small measuring spoon. Pour into the soymilk in the cup. Stir exactly 30 times, and then place the cup in the microwave for one minute. Take out of the microwave and pour into the paper bowl. Now, you have tofu.

It was really fun to make this, and then eat what we made. We then toured the rest of the facility and listened to how they make tofu on a very large scale (which I might add isn’t too different that how we made our tofu. It’s just more mechanized and efficient.)

After we left the tofu plant we continued on into the City of Nikko and visited a Shinto/Buddhist Temple. They were doing work on this temple which had been there for a really long time. It was neat to watch the detail they were putting into the painting of this temple.

From there we traveled out of the city and up a winding road into the mountains where we saw an enormous lake, more than 550 feet deep, that had been formed by a lava flow. There was ice all over the place, and of course we all about fell.

Next, was probably one of the neatest things we experienced:

We went to see a waterfall. Now this was no ordinary waterfall, simply because the only way to get down to it was to ride in an elevator to the bottom of the mountain and then take stairs out to the observation deck. It was just one of those sites that make us appreciate the world around us and it was good to take a deep breath of mountain air.

From there we headed to the Ryokan Hotel and enjoyed an authentic Japanese hotel experience. It made for a great night of relaxation and fellowship between all of us.

Today, we again woke up very early, enjoyed an authentic Japanese breakfast and then boarded the bus and headed back to Tokyo where we had our first high school visit. One of the things here that never ceases to amaze me is that Japanese hospitality. We were showed around the high school farm where they teach there students about horticulture, food science, environmental science and much more. We then headed inside and were able to learn some games that the students had prepared for us. We also were able to interact and participate in the games with them. It made for a great way to spend the afternoon.

So far it has been a wonderful and inspiring trip. We have been having a great time and learning a lot about the Japanese culture. Tomorrow we are headed to our host family experience and our next high school visit. Look for more blogs soon.

Submitted By,

James Flatt
National FFA Southern Region Vice President


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