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Hinodeya Newsletter

Hinodeya Raffle Prize Winner, Martina, 
visited Japan and Hinodeya Japan!!

 
Here is Martina's report on her visit to Japan.
We are happy to share her experience with our valued customers.
We hope you will win the prize next time!
The Hinodeya Experience
Martina Li
I never imagined winning a trip to Japan. I clearly remember the night my friends and I dined at Hinodeya Ramen SF, we had such a fun time. At the end of our meal, our party was given two tickets for the raffle, one of which I entered. Honestly, I had forgotten about it until receiving the email which congratulated me as the winner of trip to Japan Raffle. I read and reread the email so many times in disbelief. After accepting the trip, the Hinodeya Team made all the arrangements for us.
Although this was my third trip to Japan. I was especially looking forward to the day trip planned for us. My sister, dad and I took the train to Hasuda, Saitama prefecture about 45 minutes North of Tokyo. This is where the original Hinodeya Ramen is located. We were greeted by Masao Kuribara, owner of Hinodeya Ramen, and his two staff members, Maya and Haru. The six of the rest of the day.
Seinosha. our Japan trip coincided with rice planting season, so the first destination of the day was to Seinosha, a rice farm in Saitama. It was my first time seeing rice fields. There were many other tour groups at the rice farm participating in the planting event. After changing into comfortable clothes and water boots, we went out to the rice field. The field was bare with mud and water. We took the rice seedlings from the trays and started planting in the pre-marked spots. The planting was quite simple yet tedious at the same time. We had to pull the seedlings apart and reach into the mud to secure the seedlings. As we planted the seedlings from one side of the field to the other, I grew a deep appreciation for rice farmers and the labor intensive nature of this work. When the field was completed, we went to the creek to wash off the mud and dirt on us. The creek water was cold an refreshing. We then enjoyed a quick barbecue lunch with some of the rice produced at the farm.
Seiryu Shuzo. Our next destination was Seiryu Shuzo, sake winery in Hasuda. It started as an ordinary tour through the facilities and the process of sake production. But the tour ended at large dining hall, where there was a live band, bento meals, and sake waiting for us. The atmosphere quickly changed to a festive one. We tasted so much sake. There were 7 types of sake in our tasting flight, then staff members came around to pour other varieties. As we enjoyed our sake, the chefs had a tuna craving and sushi making demonstration for us. Everyone ate, drank, sang and danced. It was such a fun experience that we never expected from a sake winery tour. I will most definitely book a tour with them again.
Hinodeya Ramen. we went to Hinodeya ramen next for our official lunch, even though we had two meals already. Compare to the restaurant in San Francisco, the Japan location was smaller. We sat at the counter and watched the chef prepare our food. The meal started with some crispy gyozas, then followed by their signature dashi broth ramens. The broths were light and flavorful, so we thoroughly enjoyed these. My favorite was the clam one. Even we were full, we couldn't help ourselves and finished most of the ramen. We decided a coffee break was needed to help us digest. The restaurant close by had a nice area for us to chat and enjoy some refreshments.
Sasala. For dinner, we dined at Sasala, the sister restaurant of Hinodeya Ramen. A 7-course kaiseki meal was prepared for us. Unlike a traditional kaiseki meal with all courses laid out at once, each course was brought out separately. The dishes were plated beautifully with precision. The ingredients were unique and showcased different fish and seafood. My favorite courses were the nigiri and ''surf an thrf'' with uni and wagyu beef. This incredible meal ended with the final course of matcha ice cream parfait.
The end.​ It was such an eventful day and we didn’t want it to end. Thanks to Masao and the Hinodeya Team, we got to explore a different part of Japan and experience activities we wouldn’t have done otherwise. Our time at the rice field and sake winery are top highlights of our Japan trip. The day was also food-filled with four meals! The barbecue lunch and bento meals were fun, and the meals at Hinodeya Ramen and Sasala were exceptional. 
But what made the trip special was really Masao, Maya, and Haru. Without their hospitality and kindness, we wouldn’t have enjoy our day as much as we did. Masao and Maya conversed with us in English and everyone participated in all the activities together. It was a fun day with great company! 

Thank you again Masao, Maya, Haru and the Hinodeya Team for a memorable Japan trip!

Thank you for your continuous support.
     We hope to see you soon!   
                                                                               
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