My very first Kyushoku (Japanese school lunch) at an elementary school in Kamakura!
On Monday my friend invited me to her son's school for Kyushoku open day. It was a little strange, all of the mothers gathering, and then me, Hello Sandwich, an imposter armed with her DSLR. But I'll do almost anything for a good instagram.
The day started off with a 40 minute presentation about the nutritional information regarding Kyushoku. Below is some of what I *think* they said:
"The bread is 30grams for younger students and when the students become older the size of the bread stays the same, but the thickness is increased"
"The spaghetti with meat sauce is very popular. Some kids even say the food here is better than their own mothers"
"We don't serve oranges very often because they are difficult for children to eat. But we serve them sometimes so that when the kids become older they will be able to skillfully eat oranges"
After filing into the classrooms to observe the children serving and eating their Kyushoku, the mothers (and imposter me) were ordered to put on our aprons and head scarves and line up for our own Kyushoku. It struck me at that point that almost everything I own is patterned. I was standing there wearing check slippers, 70s patterned apron, floral shirt and my Mum's paisley head scarf. Way to fit in, Sandwich!
The homemade Kyushoku was delicious and I felt so lucky to be able to experience this. Although eating seaweed and then drinking milk is NOT easy. Also, frozen mikan!
Elementary school stools in mint and pale blue.
These little bags, many of which are handmade, contain spare clothes for the kiddies. In case they fall into the nearby pond, I was told.
Little Japanese school shoes izakaya genkan style.
At this little Kamakura school the kids grow their own rice! Only in Japan.
Next, a walk around town. I adore everything about this little retro Sandwich shop. Kyushoku nijikai?
The most incredible toy shop. The wall of this building fell down in the quake and the community joined together to help repair it.
The walls inside the toy shop are lined with retro photos of many of the children who have bought toys to play with from this store. Some photos so faded you could barely make out faces.
The lovely couple who own the toy shop. Step back in time.
The Kamakura tour continued past this used book store. Hours could be spent here.
Once bank, now tiny bar.
My friend joked that she would find more cleaning stores for me to photograph on my next trip to Kamakura. I guess I should have been taking photos of the nice rice shop, or the samurai sword shop turned knife store but I found these retro buildings much more interesting.
We wandered down backstreets and into hidden restaurants in old Japanese houses where bathtubs were filled with floral installations.
One of the only things I like about summer in Japan is the beautiful greenery. And frozen beers. And kakigori.
A stroll up to a small temple.
May is the best time to visit this rose garden at the Kamakura Museum of Literature.
Hmmmm...so different to Aussie beaches...
Sweetest little trains.
And soon it was time to head back to Tokyo. I had grand plans of reading my new Japanese study book on the 1 hour train trip home, but, in true Japanese train travel style, I nodded off all the way to Shibuya.
Thank you so much Ruth for a special day!
As I sit here and write this I'm looking out of my apartment window watching my neighbour, an older man, tapping the dust from his and his wife's blue and pink futons as they hang over his balcony in the sun. Oh, Japan.