One of my first social gathering experiences in Japan included being invited to a beach BBQ party with some of the residents. Now, I freely admit that if I were back in the States, I might have been too tempted just to sit at home and not go anywhere, but new country= new experiences so, “Yep, away to the beach I go!”
It turned out to be a great time with good food and good people. Japanese BBQ does not include “typical” American BBQ fare, such as big slabs of ribs and brisket with BBQ sauce. The BBQ I had at the beach was nicely marinated in a sweetened garlic soy sauce concoction beforehand; the beef itself was also not so “big” and “bountiful.” They were cut into thin slices a la Korean bulgogi. In addition to grilling the meat, there was also grilled corn-on-the-cob, onions, bell pepper, etc. Let’s also not forget the rice balls, onigiri.
As for the beach itself, since the weather was a bit cool (mid- 70’s degrees), it wasn’t really conducive to traditional swimwear (i.e. bikinis), which was just fine with me. (No need for me to scare away the Japanese with my wider pasty American body.) The beach itself was surrounded by mountains, and it was just absolutely gorgeous during sunset.
Overall, a great time to be had by all. Now, if only I didn’t smell like eau de BBQ from head to toe on the way home… 🙂