I just recently went on a camping trip with 10 of the 12 Chibu Junior High School students and 8 of the 12 teachers. A lot it was similar to camping back home; same style tents, cooking on a campfire, night time flash light fun.
But there were some differences as well.
For example, we camped on an island! Chibu is part of the Oki Islands archipelago. Even though there are 4 main islands, the entire archipelago is made up of around 160 islands. We actually camped on an island even smaller than Chibu’s 5 square mile main island.
Another difference was the activities. We lit fireworks, the students took a walk in pairs in the dark while the teachers tried to jump out and scare them, and we participated in an traditional style of fishing for sazae (sea snails) that has become less popular in modern times.
But the thing that caught my interest the most was the way they made rice while camping. It makes sense that Japan would invent a tool to allow even the most remote campers to enjoy their dinner staple. Here’s a picture:
You simply pour pre-soaked, uncooked rice in the container, add water, and cook on the open flame until the water is evaporated. It took about 45 minutes.
To my surprise the rice was just as good, if not better, than the rice we make in our rice cooker at home. Khoa and I have been eating rice every day since living in Japan. Maybe we’ll buy a few of these campfire rice cookers to take home to the US so we can enjoy rice wherever we may roam.