Today I went with my host mom, Nick, and Mackenzie to someone's house nearby to make mochi. They had several dogs and several kids, all of which were cute and fun to talk to in Japanese. The kids were quite into video games as well and had DS's with Pokemon, Zelda, and Dragon Quest.
Making mochi involved going just outside and using a big hammer to pound rice in a big bowl thing into a sticky paste. That was about all there was to it, just pound and grind it until it's mushed together. We all got to try it too and even the kids did it with the help of an adult. Me and the kids commented on how the giant hammer was like King Dedede's from Kirby games and found amusement in our common knowledge of video games.
For lunch we had the mochi we made, which was made into balls. We took one at a time and added various toppings to them including sesame seed powder, some other sweet powder, natto, mayonnaise, sugar, and soy sauce. The mochi itself was quite thick but tasted sweet and good. The sesame seed powder was probably my favorite topping.
After that, two of the kids played a big stringed instrument called a koto and were pretty good at it. The video I took wasn't so good, so hopefully I'll be able to get the one my host mom took and post that at some point.
Then my host mom left to go read a picture book to kids at the library, but we all stayed behind and played Wii games with the kids. We played New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Party, and it was fun to see the different phrases and words that the kids used when playing and the different names for enemies and characters in Mario. For Wii Party, the kids tried to explain the instructions for each minigame in Japanese and we usually got the gist of it.
After a while, my host mom returned and we all went back to my host family's house for a dinner of sushi, which we rolled up ourselves.
Full album here!