Good friends are so precious.  When I lived in Sakata City, I met a wonderful woman who lives there.

So she and I and another wonderful woman (the writer of this great blog) all went to a senbei factory together.  What fun!

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When I posted about this on FB, my mom (who knows nothing about Japan) later asked me, “But what ARE senbei?”  Senbei are rice crackers.  As shown in the picture, there are different kinds. Japanese people love them.  I don’t have a salty tooth, so I am not a rice cracker/potato chip kind of person, but every so often they are really nice.  I remember when I first came to Japan, I hated them.  People kept offering them to me, and I just didn’t really care for them.

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These rice crackers are quite low in calories (comparatively).  They are baked, not fried.

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After the factory, we visiting the adjoining cafe.  It was such a sweet little cafe!  And you know, if it were in Tokyo, I know it would be so crowded.  In an out of the way place like Sakata City, it wasn’t crowded at all.

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My coffee.

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The menu

 

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They had a wonderful gift shop filled with various kinds of their senbei, including many kinds I had never seen.

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To be honest, I had never really thought much about this brand of senbei.  It hails from Sakata!

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I bought lots of different kinds to bring back as gifts.  I am always trying to find different souvenirs to bring back, and I had never brought these as gifts for people in Fukushima before.

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This is the packaging of the brand for sale in foreign countries.  So if you see this brand, you will know they are actually upscale rice crackers!

 

It was so nice to go out with friends.  Living in Sakata, I had no idea that Helen lived so close (in nearby Tsuruoka City.)  Now I am in AFWJ (Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese) which helps foreign wives get together with those nearby, and help them be aware of other foreign wives.