Hi friends welcome to my blog~ I’m LinChen and I had the pleasure of staying at Amano-san’s home – Kame House along with the Fushimi Girls (Jennie, Jenny, and Rosemary) for Saturday night.
Amano-san was an absolutely AMAZING host!! She prepared wonderful food for us and catered to all of the dietary restrictions of the group. Amano-san is such a cool person. She left the bustling Tokyo to settle in Ishinomaki, she used to run a restaurant and is now an architect, she is renovating Kame House all by herself and running it as a homestay, and she is a great mom to her dogs, おこげ(Okoge) and ゆず(Yuzu), who can be quite a handful!!
Kame House is located on the hill so Jennie, Jenny, Rosemary and I decided to take advantage of that to watch the sunrise. We had to wake up at 4:14 AM to catch a glimpse of the rising sun, but the view from our room was definitely worth it.
It was the last weekend (so soon!) before the last project week and the Brightmaki Festival and so I really wanted to explore more of the surrounding area of Ishinomaki. One places that kept coming up during my research and also recommended by Amano-san was Matsushima. Matsushima is a seaside town around 40 minutes away via the Senseki line which is approximately halfway between Ishinomaki and Sendai. It is one of the Three Views of Japan and renowned for the pine-clad islands on the bay and the many temples and shrines built during the 1600s. Since most people went to Sendai, only Ariana, Estella and I went to Matsushima together.
Even though Matsushima was quite close to Ishinomaki, the effects of the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake were less severe. The day we went also coincided with the Matsushima Park Festival, thus, the seaside town was especially lively with live music playing and many people walking around. A very different atmosphere from Ishinomaki.
Although the shade was comfortable, the second we step outside, the scorching high noon sun not kind to us. And so, we ran to catch the train (we forgot to check the train schedule) back to Ishinomaki at 3:04 PM.
Later at night, Ariana, Estella, Harrison, Linh and I checked out an Izakaya called スイスイ(Suisui). On Sundays, Suisui has a buffet to finish off the ingredients for 800 yen. The owner was running the restaurant all by herself, it was so impressive. She kept dishing out amazing food not even found on the menu and I could not stop myself trying each new dish even when I was full.
As more and more of the schedule gets highlighted, I can’t help but feel sad that the program is coming to an end. Although I wish there is more time here at Ishinomaki, I know we are only short-term visitors here and bound to leave at some point. But I sincerely thank all the people I have met here. Their hospitality, resilience, and positivity will continue to inspire me long after I depart from this country.