Special, yes, very special.

Before having meat dishes we had a very inspiring lecture by Prof. Ivo Smits from Leiden U. on Japanese ancient literature, many authors of which were women!
For the meat dishes we had a blind tasting of two glasses of Pino Noir, one of which is from Bourgogne, France and the other is from Hokkaido, Japan. Both were amazing!
It was such a pleasant and enjoyable evening.

I’ve just realized how lucky I am to be a tenant of the wonderful landlord family, who are kind, caring, friendly, thoughtful, and have great sense of humor. Last summer when I arrived in Leiden I knew only few people, but now I have met and shared time with so many people thanks to my landlord family. I must say they are my role model, who are open to and accept those who are from different backgrounds, nationalities, languages, generations.


肝心の寿司は、築地で働いていたというオランダ人が開いた北海の新鮮な魚を日本食用に加工している魚屋Hokkai Suisanの魚を取り寄せた。寿司を作るのは家主のお嬢さんたちである。これまでに何度か寿司パーティーをして、彼女たちは寿司作りの腕を磨いてきた。
しかも、ライデン大学で私を受け入れてくれた日本文学研究者Ivo Smitsさんが、ゲストとして来てくださるばかりが、日本文学についてミニ講義をしてくださることになったのだ!日本のことをもっと知りたいので是非お願いしてほしいと提案してくれた家主家族の勉強熱心さにも感激した。
My landlord family and I will throw a sushi party inviting 10 people tomorrow!
The party was originally scheduled in early April, but it had to be postponed due to the corona crisis. During these three months my landlord and I have discussed a lot how to make the party successful. My landlord family suggested we arrange some tables in their garden so that guests can be seated in the beautiful nature while they can keep their proper physical distance each other.
I’ve ordered fish from Hokkai Suisan, the owner of which used to work at the famous fish market, Tsukiji, in Japan, and which sells fresh and delicious fish from the North Sea.
My landlord daughters will be in charge of making sushi, who have practiced many times and developed their skills!
It’s so exciting that one of our guests, who is the owner of a wonderful wine shop in Leiden, will bring bottles of wine for the party. The owner and I have discussed many times which wine we should choose for sushi. He’s got an amazing idea that guests will try some glasses of Riesling from different regions and figure out which one goes well with sushi. How nice!
Another exciting thing is that my sponsor at Leiden University, Ivo Smits, will kindly deliver a lecture on Japanese literature and culture at the party!! Wow!
I will be in charge of making appetizers and meat dishes as well as introducing some wines that I brought from Japan. We plan to do some blind tasting of the wine with European wine from the same grapes.
Well, it’s been three months since my landlord and I started preparing for the sushi. We’ve exchanged a number of messages and talked in person so many times. Viewing the drawing of the arrangement of tables in the garden for the sushi my landlord lady and I often say each other that we can open a sushi restaurant here in Leiden. Well well, I am happy that I could find a way to stay in Leiden after my visiting fellowship ends next summer!!!


botanical garden

I learned that the beautiful garden with various kinds of trees, plants and flowers, of my landlord family’s, used to be part of a botanical garden, which belonged to University of Leiden. My landlord family as well as their neighbors, who share the garden, have kept the beautiful nature in good shape for long years. I’ve fallen in love with the fantastic and wild garden, which gives me a lot of energy and inspiration. I am fascinated by the history of the garden as well as the history of those who have spent their life time in the garden.