Way back at the start of the Golden Week I had a day with my parents-in-law before my wife arrived in Hiroshima. As mentioned back in part I of this epic series I wrote about going to the baseball with them but earlier that same day I went to the WoodEgg Okonomiyaki Museum building for a cooking lesson!
Yes, you did read that correctly! I rarely cook these days but when in Hiroshima one has got to eat okonomiyaki and an interesting way to do that is by cooking it yourself first. My mother-in-law came up with the idea and I was more than happy to go along with it so on a rainy morning we took a very short journey to WoodEgg; a place which I actually introduced them to last March having seen it’s unique architectural design online.
Okonomiyaki is the classic Hiroshima dish and is basically a pancake-type dish containing many ingredients. The name derives from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” and yaki meaning “grilled” with the polite “o” placed in front of it. In simple terms the name refers to the fact that you prepare it the way you like it. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region and in Hiroshima the ingredients are layered (rather than mixed) and consisting of batter, lots of cabbage, pork, noodles, a fried egg and plenty of okonomiyaki sauce.
Along with a group of six Chinese girls we were taken on a quick tour of the okomiyaki sauce bottle-making plant (above) before we could don our aprons and headscarf things. We were then given a demonstration and typically the cook made it all look so easy! All the ingredients were pre-prepared for us including the cabbage which had thankfully been cut in advance.
I was most anxious about the flipping part of the process but thankful prevailed without too much damage although it was far removed from the neat and perfectly formed one cooked up in the demonstration beforehand! Not too many marks for the appearance of mine but the taste was great
For just ¥700 per person the package includes the factory tour, the cooking ingredients and of course you get to eat the finished product. It’s a bit of a bargain in my opinion as you’d probably pay more to eat it in a restaurant. Cooking it was good fun and there were a couple of other freebies thrown in too such as a big bottle of sauce hot off the assembly line.
The day after that was an absolute scorcher so no better time to have a knock-about on a tennis court with my mother-in-law in the blazing midday sunshine!! As a teenage I used to play tennis regularly with my friends but since leaving home for University all those years ago I have only played it the once and that was a few years ago now. The courts were set amidst a lovely green park full of flowers including some beautiful pink azaleas.
The views from the balcony of my parents-in-law’s place never fail to impress me and it was nice to just hang out there and walk and play with the dog in the near vicinity of the apartment building. Below are some random photos taken in and around that area.