So exciting news! In our small rural Japanese town where there aren’t many events, one popped up. Our friend Taka, who owns 5 of the bars and restaurants in Sasebo is quite the entrepreneur. He has many projects and events that he helps setup all around Japan but especially on the island of Kyushu. He doesn’t normally put together events in Sasebo but he had been wanting to plan one for a while and so the planning commenced, and the 99 Wines event was born.
While I was sailing down in Australia this summer I was able to get my Engineering Officer of the Watch qualification (EOOW). For any of you out there that have worked on it or gotten it you know what all it entails. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the EOOW qualification, it’s a watch station very few people stand and it puts you in full control of the engineering plant. You are in charge of all engineering equipment including the main engines, generators, brakes, water, etc. It’s not an easy feat to accomplish if you aren’t an engineering major or you haven’t grown up in the engineering world like most of the chiefs that stand the watch. Well, I studied my ass off and somehow qualified as an EOOW and then started standing the watch. For my celebration present, my sister bought us tickets to the big Sasebo event. She bought them right from Taka so we were ticket numbers 2 and 3! We felt like VIPs. haha.
We searched through our closets, did our hair up, fancied our faces, and were on our way to the big event. When we were arriving the Mayor or Sasebo was just finishing up his toast. We were just on time.
The event was both inside and outside right on a dock overlooking the water. It was a bit chilly but that’s what the 99 wine tastings were for I suppose, to warm up our insides. The even occurred at what is the pier for the “99 islands” in Sasebo. There are actually over 200 islands small and large in the waters surrounding this dock, but the Japanese made it simple and named them all the 99 islands. With the 99 islands we had 99 types of wine to taste and boy were they splendid. I love a good wine tasting and I have noticed that the more wine I taste the less I read about the wine before I drink it and the more inclined I become to try wine based solely on what the label reads and looks like.
My sister and 2 other officers from my ship, coming to enjoy the wine tasting with us.
Along with the wine tasting that quite an array of foods to try. One of the events was the fish cutting, which I have flip video of below. Here is the fish they were cutting to serve sashimi. It was delicious and we waited in line to try some and I went back for seconds. Oyshi (Delicious)!
This is Taka and his wife Keiko. Taka is the man who put the event together and invited us all along. Thanks Taka for such a great event and time with friends, especially in Japan!
Hmmm, now let’s see what types of wine they have to offer. I spent most of my night with red wine which is unusual for me, but that was just the mood I was in I guess. At the end I tried a couple of the whites. All of the wines were very delicious.
Enjoying our wines and standing close to the table so we can easily get more.
Along with the wines were performances by different types of dancers. This woman performed a type of belly dance with slow movements.
And we all made funny faces, because that’s what you do when you’re in Japan at a wine tasting event with other Japanese people.
Next up was a calligraphic, who drew Japanese pictures while war music played. He was very good.
Afterwards came this awesome dancer with her golden clothing, twirling around and looking like a beautiful and elegant lady.
Then a type of luau dance played and 3 performers took the stage…
And left the stage to be a little bit more crowd friendly.
Finally Taka came up to sing us a sing, (he is great on the guitar!) and he dedicated it to both Krista and I and it was beautiful. I felt like I was famous having him calling me out and singing a song to me like that.
Another girl he had met also took the stage with him afterwards and they sang a ballad or two. At this point a Japanese man asked me to dance and how could I say no. He was quick on his feet and was just throwing me around the dance floor. People were impressed and so was I, I couldn’t believe I was able to dance like that!
At the end of the night it was time for some Mama San’s or that’s what the Americans around these parts call it. An older woman runs the shop and makes some of the best gyoza this side of the Asia. It is deep-fried and crispy around the edges, and the insides melt in your mouth just right.
Sometimes we eat like heathens, no big deal.
In a few days I leave for Thailand so stay posted for the fun of Bangkok and Pattaya!