Last Saturday was a glorious autumnal day.
It was so beautiful it caused suspicion. "Too good to be true," we all said, carefully packing umbrellas as well as sunscreen on our way to the annual ALT imonikai.
But do you know - it was true.
An imonikai is a traditional Tohoku picnic held in autumn. People gather, often by a river, to eat potato and meat soup cooked in big iron pots over an open fire.
The ingredients vary slightly between regions, but meat and potato are the staples, with a handful of seasonal vegetables thrown in.
For dessert there were skewers of dango - a Japanese dumpling made from rice flour, similar to mochi. There are many different flavours and sauces for dango like anko (red bean), kinako (toasted soy flour), goma (seasame seeds) and they are all delicious!