SMS Birthday Weekend- Hashirimizu Beach BBQ

Grilling it up, after our yakisoba tutorial

On Saturday, SMS had his birthday party.  SMS can be very nostalgic at times, mostly relating to all things San Diego.  One of the things he really likes is having a Summer-specific birthday party, aka involving the beach or the pool.  A week prior, we had gone to Hashirimizu beach after deciding to walk there from our apartment.  This was somewhat ill-advised since it made us very late to another BBQ.   While we were at the beach, we saw several beach huts including one that had a poster advertising their beachside BBQ specials.  It caught SMS’ eye and he decided that it’s what he wanted to do for his birthday party.  

Yuko-san made reservations for us and we headed over for our 12 o’clock reservations.  The sky was very overcast but the rain mostly held off.  There was a brief period of rain later in the afternoon but even that was ok since the grills were underneath a metal awning.  We showed up and the owners seemed relieved/excited we were there.  They escorted us to the table next to our grill and lit the coals.  There was a grill and a pan to put over the charcoal.  Our food came out in two massive containers and included prawns, scallops in the shell, snails, beef, pork, cabbage, noodles, corn, squash, onions and  peppers.  We were also given two sauces- one for the noodles and one for the beef.  We weren’t really sure what to do with the food.  I know, I know, grill it!  But in what order and was there a way to do it?  We had no idea.  So, we decided to start after unsuccessfully asking the grill guy for help.  We had just started with the cabbage, noodle and pork when one of the nearby partygoers came over and asked, “Excuse me, do you know how to cook yakisoba?” We answered, “No” and he quickly came to our aid!  In case you would like to recreate the method at home, start with oil, pork and cabbage.  Next, mix in some sauce as it cooks and use the double spatula method to cut up the meat into teeny pieces.  Then, add the noodles and grill it up.  It was fairly well-done by the time we ate it and totally delicious.  We were very grateful! 

This is not SMS
SMS, Suikawari champion!

We also cooked up the beef, shrimp and veggies.  We all ate a lot and had a great time hanging out.  A little later, the partygoers next to us set up a plastic bag-wrapped watermelon in sand and, one at a time, the kids were blindfolded, given a wooden samurai sword, spun and directed towards the watermelon.  It turns out that it was a Japanese Summer game called suikawari.  People shouted directions and clapped to guide them and at a certain moment, said, “Hit it!” (or something equivalent, in Japanese, n’est pas).  The kid would take a big whack with the sword and at least the first few kids viciously thwacked the sand, missing the watermelon.  The adults came over to us and asked if any of us wanted to try and the birthday boy decided to go for it.  There is video evidence to show that he is very good at suikawari.  He hit it!  Sagoy desu ne!  It was very cool and fun to be part of a traditional Japanese Summer beach party game.

SMS’ new yukata- ikemen desu!  Mine definitely looked better the night before!

Soon after, we all dispersed to get ready for that evening’s Yukata cruise, sponsored by the MSCs from the hospital in honor of the medical service corp’s 67th birthday.  We went up to Yokohama and met up with a great group of people, all of us in Yukatas.  There was a near miss with three of our friends just making it but make it they did!  We had a yummy dinner of sashimi, tempura, edamame and other snacks.  The sake and beer were flowing which led to excellent karaoke.  The cruise was a little shorter than the organizers had thought but we were kind of stuck unless we wanted to pay more so the party moved onto another bar.  SMS and I joined for a bit and talked to some nice people, most of whom I really hadn’t known before.  We left around 11:30 in order to catch the train and make it home in time to not completely destroy our Sunday.   Our Sunday was a little more low-key.  We cleaned, hung out at a friend’s house in Uraga and packed for our upcoming US trip.  It was really an amazing birthday weekend and I’m so happy it was a success! 

The iPhone camera has limits!

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