We Warmed Up to Each Other by Local Music

(Making Soba noodles and Rice balls)

Hi! I am Kazue, and I live in my hometown in the San’in region, the least populated area in Japan.
That means it’s “Off-the-Beaten-Track”, I reckon. I like to go out wearing Kimono on my days off.
Let’s experience something in the countryside together! My motto is “Stay local! Do local! Feel local!”

It had been raining since first thing in the morning, so for this trip, we decided to go and make soba (buckwheat) noodles and rice balls at the “Ooe-no-Sato residence”. It was my first time to meet the couple who had prepared everything and had been waiting for us to arrive, but as soon as I met them, I felt a bond between us.

Our guests this time were two Mongolian families, and it was the first time for the mothers and their children to try making soba.

They all put their best effort into the whole process, watching carefully and then trying it themselves: adding water to the flour, and then kneading, rolling, and cutting the dough.

It brought a smile to my face to see them enjoying themselves so much. After that, we made rice balls from rice that the couple at Ooe-no-Sato had grown.

It was freshly cooked and very hot, so everyone was laughing and in high spirits as they made rice balls.

When everything was ready, we all sat down to enjoy a late lunch of soba and rice balls that we had all made together.

The skies were still a little sketchy after we finished our lunch, so we decided to stay and relax at Ooe-no-Sato a little longer. The couple there surprised us with songs and music played on a shamisen! Everyone loved it, cheering as they played.

When they started playing Yasugi-bushi, a local song from eastern Shimane, the children got so excited that they started dancing! And then, as a way to say thanks, the children sang a Mongolian song for everyone!

You can see from everyone’s expressions in the group photo how much we all opened up to each other.

I strongly feel that this kind of experience really lets you get to know local people! It’s the real charm of Okuizumo!!

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