This is how we roll.

It took me way too long to figure up a title for this, I will admit that from the start.

Hello regular internet!  I can now upload photos, write blogposts easily, have music in the background, enjoy the sunshine that is afforded in our flat and and and … BE CONNECTED TO THE WORLD AGAIN.  There’s a lot going on out there, and it’s nice to keep a global view on things.  Apparently there is stuff happening here in Japan too and I can only keep all this pent up so much before I have to write about it – so without further delay ….

THIS IS HOW WE ROLL!

With only being here a few days (at the time of all this happening) Jen’s settling well into her new job, and I’m getting my own stuff sorted here so I can properly get on that job hunt.  Being a house-husband is nice and all, but being able to contribute back to society in some way (and get paid for it) would be greatly fulfilling in both a personal sense, and in a I-have-to-pay-for-stuff-too sense.  I digress.

River through Nagoya We were invited to head out to the Hori River (堀川 – Horikawa) River Festival and spend the afternoon with one of Jen’s coworkers and her family.  It was of special importance because the particular part of the festival we would be enjoying would be the Rolled Cake portion.

I believe a couple thousand local school children all submitted art-peices, hand-drawn of course, of a rolled cake design. Each one had to have a basic theme, the kids included flavors, fruits, designs, and plating ideas all in their little rolled masterpieces.  It was whittled down to around 400 kids, and then from there a final 20 were picked to actually be made by local restaurants and cafés.  Our friend’s daughter, Shioh, was one of the lucky 20 to be picked and had her cake actually made, put on display, judged and made available at the café that picked her design.  All in all – extremely fantastic!

Ready to judge cakes!

I don’t have video of the Gospel Choir that played before the cake demonstrations, but I believe this photo both conveys the excitement of seeing cakes, and our surprise at hearing Gospel Music in Japan.

Yep. I'm in Japan.

I shall get to Shioh’s cake at the end — we shall take a small diversion first. During the judging portion of the contest we were rewarded(?) with the presence of the this group of Nagoya girls all dressed up for the occasion. I don’t quite remember their importance, but it was at this moment that I really realized that I was, in fact, in Japan.

Just being in the area for the judging, and seeing all these tasty looking cakes would’ve been enough to excite anyone for an afternoon, but this would not be all that was planned for us. We went across the river and then somehow got invited to partake, with Shioh, in an event that shall forever go down in history – The Creation of the World’s Largest Rolled Cake (Guinness Verified!)

I’m not kidding you. Here we are, in Japan less than a week, barely finding our bearings and we now get to be apart of this. Game on.

The sheets of cake were rolled out. Stretching over 21m long. Apparently rolled cakes are popular here, I had no idea.

We were lined up. We possibly stood out just a little – Jen being the only blond-haired girl in the area, and myself … looking like a typical foreigner. Perfect, they would expect us to not know much Japanese (which is true) and might give us a break with directions (which didn’t happen.) We had our little ace up our sleeves though! Shioh, this lovely 9 year old girl, speaks both English and Japanese. She even has a verifiable American accent. (Probably because she attends an English school in the area with her friends as well!) While everyone we work with, and know so far, know a decent amount so we can talk to each other, Shioh definitely knew the most and was the perfect translator to help us as the chefs helped us with spreading the filling, rolling, and decorating the cake.

Rolled-cake filling ... ready!

After spreading the filling. It was time to CAREFULLY AND IN UNISON roll this entire cake. We practiced with rolled towels under the expert tutelage of the chefs across from us, when everyone was given the OK sign (There was probably 50-60 people total partaking in the rolling … on each side.) we began the slow process of rolling a TWENTY ONE(+) METER LONG CAKE!

Roll that cake!

Somehow … this task was accomplished without breaking any of the rolls. SUCCESS! We weren’t done though, what’s a cake … without the exterior frosting and decoration? Not much of a cake, if you ask me. Luckily, they had thought of this and were well prepared and onward we went.

More cream!!!

Decorating with Shioh!

Cake frosted. Cake decorated. Job well done. We were extremely proud of our accomplishment.

Three master cake rollers.

The previous world record hung in the balance as they aligned everything and brought out the measuring tape. Would our cake officially beat the standing record of 21.(something) meters?

New world record!

21.64 meters!!! New world record!!! That’s a lot of cake. So much cake that t brought out the local news. They were doing interviews of people attending the cake rolling. Perhaps you can see where this was going? Now, I don’t QUITE remember what I said in response to the jumble of words that was said before I had the microphone and camera pushed in front of me, but I do remember hearing “ka” in there which tends to signify a question. I only assumed that they asked what I thought of it all, and (I think) responded graciously and excitedly to be apart of it all.

Om nom!!! Only AFTER the interview had concluded did Shioh tell me I did great, and based on my answer thought I actually understood Japanese. What a sweet girl.

All the rolling made us hungry. While we did get some cake (they had cake prepared for those who helped, we didn’t actually get to eat the World Record Cake) on the river … it was time to head to check out Shioh’s entry!

Lovely cafe Blanka

The Cafe had an awesome little art gallery in the basement, and there were guitar and violin recitals on the main floor. Met some other people there and had a great time. The star of the afternoon though … was Shioh’s Cake.

Shii-oh's cake!

Rolled cake with a white-chocolate cream. The fruits were amazing, the plating wonderful, and the powdered-sugar animals a real surprise. It is a shame that Shioh’s cake didn’t take top 3 (in my mind, it was absolutely the best!) but I think after we all were able to have some, we quickly forgot that fact.

Happy cake!

Powdered bunny!

So there you have it. First official adventure in Nagoya. As it turns out, the next day we are to leave for Okinawa & Ishigaki Island for a Science Conference & Birthday Party. Not a bad combination.

Hello Japan … I think we’ll stay a while. 🙂

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About Geo

I pedal a lot and spend time on two wheels. Greenie at heart. I have one chance at this whole life thing - so I better make the most of it.

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