This weekend we went to Kobuchihama and Fukukiura outside of Ishinomaki in the Tohoku area. We went together with Ishihara-san to deliver some donations and to help out making mekabu and wakame. Both are seaweeds or, rather, mekabu is the part of the wakame seaweed just above the root system.
We left Tokyo around 1 am on the night between Friday and Saturday. Chie and I shared the driving while Ishihara-san was occupying the backseat of the car. We arrived in Fukukiura early in the morning on Saturday and stopped at the temporary homes to meet our contacts there and to deliver some goods.
Once that was done we walked to the harbor where we helped out with separating the mekabu from the non-usable stalk of the wakame root system. You can see one of the locals doing this in the below video. Then you can imaging Ishihara-san, Chie and me along with 20 or so other volunteers doing the same… But in slow-motion 🙂
After our work was done someone came and bought the 1 ton mekabu that all of us have prepared. Loaded it on a big truck and drove off into the sunset… Well, it was still midday but it sounded so nice 🙂
We also had some time to have a look at where they were cooking konago that they had caught during the morning. Konago is a small fish, just a couple of cm or 3, and is cooked whole. Quite tasty in salads, soups and various other kinds of Japanese dishes.
In the afternoon we went to Kobuchihama and met Shinobu-san. We joined her families company where we helped preparing wakame. Basically separating the soft parts from the stalk. It was much more difficult work and I think I manage to make more damage than help here 🙂
In the evening we visited Kasuo-san’s home and he and his wife invited us for dinner. It was a great dinner and we could try mekabu and wakame in various dishes along with some tempura and other dishes. We had actually planned to have dinner in Sendai close to our hotel but this was much better.