It is a tradition especially in Yayoi's home prefecture of Yamagata which begins in high school, where in autumn people gather at a riverside to enjoy the taste of "imo" a potato like tuber. Yayoi's former classmate Kakima-kun invited us to such a party for people living in the Tokyo area who originated in Yamagata prefecture in the area Yayoi was brought up in. On October 21, 2012 we went to Akigawakeikoku and walked down to the river area where many groups had shelters on the rocky river beach. Apparently the equipment could be rented from a shop on the upper river bank. Our large group was split into about eight sub groups based on region of origin each had a blue tarp, two tables and a tripod and barrel fire pit with wood supplied.
A large cooking pot was filled with broth, mushrooms, Yonezawa beef, eggplant and of course "imo" all of which was supplied from Yamagata-ken. Later some people near the administrative shelters began pounding a special cooked rice to make "mochi", a very sticky chewy rice.
We ate the soup (three helpings in my case) and later we had the "mochi" with either azuki bean paste on it or edamame paste.
It was a very warm sunny day at the beach and I managed to "fry" the right side of my face. Yayoi met former classmates and had a nice chat with a good friend of her brother Tsutomu in Ome.
I sat on the river bank and threw pebbles into the water. A little boy attempted a conversation with me and had quite a disgusted look on his face when he realized he was 'losing me'. Anyway his little sister came and sat down near me, I fished a plastic shovel out of the water for her and we became best of friends, although she was a little camera shy.
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