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Karaoke: Japanese Style

July 8, 2010

NOTE:  This blog entry is excerpted and cross-posted from a travel blog written by the 2010 California Teachers of the Year in their Journals From Japan.  The five-teacher contingent includes InterACT blogger Kelly Kovacic and ACT member Valerie Ziegler.  Please go to their blog to see some wonderful pictures, read the rest of this post additional entries, and leave them some comments.  (DC)

One of Valerie’s students, Yuko, is spending the summer in Kyoto visiting family. They made plans to meet up in the afternoon and when torrential rains disrupted the bike riding plans of Amber, Kathy, Melanie and me we decided to tag along with Valerie, Yuko, and her mom. Still a bit homesick for the cuisines of California, we had pizza again for lunch and then set out to explore Kyoto some more. Yuko took us to Nishiki Market, commonly known as Kyoto’s Kitchen, a long street covered with Japanese lanterns and store fronts filled with foods including octopus sticks, pickled fish, and freshly caught squid. Also along this road are pottery, clothing, and jewelry shops. We strolled the street for a little over an hour and could have easily spent more time here. Yuko and her mom were the most gracious tour guides and provided us with another highlight from this trip.

Mitzi again chose another unique and tasty spot for dinner. We ate at Kushi Kura, known for their Japanese style skewers. We feasted on BBQ chicken, green pepper, and miso chicken skewers along with fresh vegetables dipped in a delicious miso paste. We sat in a small, private room in traditional Japanese style, on the floor with mats and no chairs. Not quite ready to say good-night to our final evening in Kyoto, we hit the town to take part in a modern Japanese tradition: Karaoke. In our own private Karaoke room, the CA TOY 5 belted out some hits by artists such as John Denver, Celine Dion, the Jackson 5 and Journey. After our singing renditions, Kyoto may just be ready to bid us adieu.

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