Beating all of our expectations, the first month o’ Sen was actually busy most weekends and the weekdays were all steady. The guests were all amazing (really not a bad apple in the bunch). Most countries in Europe were represented, Africa, Asia, North America (sorry central/south America), Australia and even some folks living in Antarctica (granted they were American-damn those bastards are everywhere :). Everyone was happy and gave us great feedback and reviews (both in person and on-line). Both of us feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful month and we hope it’s a sort of omen for things to come.
2 weeks ago we had our opening party (2 weeks after the fact). It was great, we had 2 amazing jazz sets from Noriko’s uncle, great French, Japanese and Mexican food, tons of drinks and over 40 people celebrating with us. It did end up being a couple real intense days for us, preparing, hosting and then cleaning…but, well worth it. We had our friend Christophe and his wonderful wife Carol, here with us hanging photos, making food, dipping mikan into chocolate (quite a few never made it on to the wax paper to harden) and shooting photos.
We’ve also had some time to knock out some of our projects we had on the back burner. 2nd batch of beer, an amber ale, came out beautifully, our turmeric/rosemary soap also very nice, bamboo lighting stuff + flower holders/vases. The roof is also slowly coming along; we’ve made the table, bought a really cool seat swing thingy and placed it up there, have about 1/3 of the decking done and today or tomorrow will hang the hammocks. It is definitely going to be a very chill place to…well…chill.
About a week ago, we had an especially great group of guests with us and we ended up having a huge nabe party. Nabe is a Japanese “hot-pot” dish where everyone sits around 2 steaming bowls of cooking meat, fish, veggies and gyoza and everyone just goes to town and gets wickedly full, all the while sipping on a brew or chu-hi. And just when you thought, not another drop of food could possibly enter your stomach, then comes the udon to soak up the rest of the sauce….pretty darn good.
Cherry blossom season is finally upon us after a very long and cold winter, so, let the festivities began! O-hanami (cherry blossom tree viewing parties) are the way to experience the magic that consumes Japan in spring; where every able body man, woman and child brings a huge blue tarp to his or her nearest park, sets it down under the biggest sakura and commences to consume tons of alcohol and grilled meat-the kids only eat the meat. It really is an experience and everyone must do this at least once in their lives (or once a year if a residence of Japan). Also there are lots of festivals and traditional performances to behold all over Matsuyama…this one a 2 min walk from our guesthouse at the Shinto shrine right up the street…it’s called Kyogen (a type of Noh performance).
Signing off, thanks for reading, this coming month should be quite exciting!