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Sep 3, 2012

鮎料理とタクシーの運転手さん Ayu Cuisine and a Taxi Driver

日原を流れる高津川は天然鮎が釣れます。
清流高津川の鮎は香りも特別だとか。

Takatsu River that runs through Nichihara is famous for wild Ayu.
  Ayu, with its distinctive sweet flavor and nice aromas, is much-prized delicacy in summer.

というわけで、日原二日目の夜は、鮎料理で有名な割烹美加登家でいただくことにしました。

So on the second night at Nichihara, we went to a traditional Japanese restaurant "Mikadoya" to enjoy its famous Ayu cuisine. 

日原は小さな町ですが、美加登家はとっても立派な雰囲気。
和服姿の女性たちが玄関で出迎えてくれて、個室に案内してくれます。ワクワクです。

Though it is in a small town, Mikadoya has a classy atmosphere.  Women in kimono welcomed us at the entrance and took us to a private dining room.
立派な建具。 I liked the woodwork.  
お料理良し、お酒良し、おもてなし良し。
とても楽しい時間を過ごすことができました。

And we had a pleasant time there.  
We enjoyed the food, sake, and their wonderful hospitality.

それにしても鮎の食べ方にもいろいろあるのだと知りました。
(これまで鮎といえば塩焼きしか知らなかったもので。)

It was surprising to know there are so many ways to enjoy Ayu.  
(The only way I had eaten Ayu was grilling it with salt.)

こんな感じの鮎尽くしです。
Let me show you what we had...

珍味子うるか(鮎の白子)
Rare delicacy, Uruka (soft roe)

鮎の洗い Ayu no Arai (Sashimi washed in cold water)


御椀白味噌仕立て Ayu in white miso soup
When you open its black lid, you see this beautiful gold and red inside.
Such a treat for your eyes.
御椀の蓋の内側が鮮やかでした。

日本酒は津和野の「初陣」 Cold Sake "Uijin" from Tsuwano
Sake + ceder=a big smile!

鮎の塩焼き Grilled Ayu with salt
一人2匹づつと聞いて驚きました。
Wow! Two for each of us?
 うるか茄子 Eggplant cooked with Uruka


鮎味噌包み焼き Ayu cooked with Miso in aluminium foil
すみません!撮らずに食べちゃいました! Oops!  I ate it before I took its picture!

酢物 鮎姿造り Vinegared Ayu 

鮎めし Ayu rice

青梅の甘露煮(これには鮎は入ってません) 
Sweet plum, no Ayu in this(^^)

女将さんのお話では一人で8,9匹の鮎を食べたことになるそうです!
そんなに食べたなんて自分でも驚きですが、それだけ食べられたのはやっぱりそれだけおいしかったからでしょう。
めったにできない経験でした。

In total, they said I had about 8 or 9 Ayu!
I'm surprised I ate that many, but it was that delicious. 
It was quite an experience!

さて、夕食後はタクシーをお願いして、山の上のペンションに帰ります。この運転手さんが感動的でした!真っ暗で細い曲がりくねった山道を上がっていくんですが、山に住むイノシシの話などを聞かせてくれて。そしてなぜか途中でタクシーのメーターを止めてしまったんです。まだ着いていないのに。「止めてあげましたよ」と言うでもなく、ごく自然に。今でも理由はわからないんですが、なんかおおらかな感じで感動してしまいました。
まけてくれてありがとうございました、運転手さん!

After the dinner, we asked for a taxi to go back to where we were staying, a pension on top of a mountain.
The taxi driver had to drive up the dark narrow winding road.
He was a friendly driver.  We enjoyed, half drunk, listening to him talking about bores in the mountain.  Then, I  saw something I couldn't understand.  He suddenly stopped the meter.  Why did he stop the meter, I wondered.  But he just kept driving and talking about the bores.  And finally, when he stopped the car in front of the pension, he read the meter and asked for that price.  
I still don't know why he under-charged us.  
But I was touched by his subtle kindness.   

日原にはおいしい鮎がたくさん、そしていい人もたくさん、でした。
\(^o^)/

At Nichihara, you can find good Ayu, and also you can find good hearts.
\(^o^)/  


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4 comments:

Rurousha said...

Good grief! I thought you ate ayu (on a stick) by roasting it on a fire next to the river where you'd just caught it! That's the only way I've ever eaten it. :) I didn't realize you could have it in so many different ways.

"Oops! I ate it!" I laughed when I read that caption.

Maybe the driver wanted to catch and barbecue an いのしし for you. ^^

Merry Witch said...

Your way is the best way to eat ayu!

I have caught trout, but never ayu. It's hard to catch, isn't it? I think you need a lot of patience.

I'm kind of embarrassed that I took all these food pictures. I thought it's OK because I was just with my husband and we were in a private room. But still... (*^_^*) Thank you for your kind comment.

lina said...

I simply love the food presentation! :)

What a kind gesture the taxi driver made. Was it because it's too expensive and he actually likes your company and not charge you?

Merry Witch said...

The food was served beautifully. I admired the food, not only with my tongue, but also with my eyes.\(^o^)/

Also, they try to serve each food at the right temperature, i.e. cold thing cold and hot thing hot. So, sashimi was served on shaved ice, and shioyaki was served on the hot stones. I was so impressed.

I don't know why the driver was so kind. But I really liked the way he did it, it was so natural. I think people are so sweet in the rural area.