Roll with the seasons 2021.12.24
When it comes to culture in Japan, sure, the pop culture of the present generation revolves around the glamorous world of K-Pop and J-Pop, the booming Marvel Cinematic Universe and being relevant on social media. Strip that away and recreation involves trips to the museum, temples, shrines, cafes, musicals and engaging in sports or games (video, PC, smartphone or board, all are relevant). The adjective, ‘cultured’ means, ‘characterized by refined taste and manners and good education’. Knowing the daily schedule of many teenagers in Japan, I am very sure they fit this description perfectly as society and heavy competition to enter top schools demand that they are skilled in one musical instrument, one sport and have high academic grades. As they enter adulthood, those on the straight and narrow take this kind of elegance, grace and discipline with them.
One of things that influence recreation is the seasons and in spring with the famous cherry blossoms and autumn with the red, gold and orange leaves, people can be found gaily camping, picnicking or hiking around, enjoying the outdoors, the beauty of nature and looking for that perfect selfie or group photo. Summer is no different and brings with it massive herds hanging out at beaches, seasides, pools and rivers. They have fun camping, barbecuing, doing water sports and eating. Winter is good for snow sports, spending weekends at ski resorts and family dinners that are known as ‘hot pot’.
Nabe is the term used to describe Japanese hot pot dishes as well as the hot pot itself. Nabe is a popular winter dish that is typically cooked and eaten at the table. Common ingredients found in nabe include vegetables, mushrooms, meat and seafood. The liquid in a hot pot is either a seasoned and flavorful broth, which cooks the ingredients and doubles as a soup base, or a simple and light broth, which is only used to cook the ingredients. Popularly eaten at home, hot pot dishes are also served at some restaurants or as part of a dinner at a traditional Japanese hotel. When enjoying a hot pot dish, each diner gets a small personal bowl into which the cooked ingredients are scooped with a serving ladle. Depending on the nabe type, condiments like ponzu, grated radish (daikon-oroshi), yuzu kosho, mustard and shichimi are often provided. Diners can add the condiments to their bowl to personalize the final flavor to their tastes.
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