We got together with my host family the other day.
They reserved a spot (for a fee) at Shiawase no mura (literally village of happiness). This is a huge complex with sporting facilities, a hotel, hot spring, camp area and barbecue area in Northern Kobe. (There are more facilities on this property, I'm just touching on a few.)
I am always surprised at Japanese "barbecue" because usually none of the fathers do the barbecuing like in the States.
Nope, it is usually the mothers that do EVERYTHING.
Another thing I am amazed at is that barbecue doesn't mean steaks or sausages (nor potato salad), it is usually yakiniku (which means grilled meat) which you use yakiniku tare, a spicy/sweet sauce to dip your grilled meat into.
Sometimes veggies are also grilled.
Most barbecue areas provide the grill, charcoal & food to be grilled (at a fee). This particular place provides the chairs and space, you need to rent the grill and other items you use. You bring your own food to be grilled and they help you take care of the hot coals afterwards.
I guess it had been awhile since I've seen fires started from "scratch". I remember my dad and uncle using newspaper, a little lighter fluid and matches to start the fire burning. I also remember that it usually took a LONG time to get the fire going.
Nowadays, in Japan, you line up your charcoal, which are not briquettes but actually look like burnt tree stumps, take out your gas burner and light the charcoal...fire started in 10 minutes or less!
One of the items you can rent is a large teppan (steel pan), perfect to make okonomiyaki or yakisoba (fried noodles)...we had both!
It was very windy, so we all had to hold onto our plates, but the weather was sunny and beautiful. Everything was delicious and it was nice to spend the day outside with my host family.
Hope you are having a great weekend!
Shiawase no mura
14-1 Shimotanigami Aza nakaichiriyama