Archive for June 2016

Field trip, Hokudasai and Ramadhan Karim in Hokkaido

Welcome June, this is the third month I stayed in Sapporo. The weather is getting warm and also there is so much beautiful green scenery in Hokkaido University. This month, there is a lot of activity that held in June. The first one is my laboratory field trip, than Hokkaido University Festival (Hokudasai) and Ramadhan Karim, the holy month of muslim community that start in this month also.
First, I’d like to tell my laboratory fieldtrip experience. In the beginning of June, 2 and 3 June, I have laboratory fieldtrip. Our laboratory member, students and professor join this trip. In my laboratory we have eleven students, two Indonesian, two Japanese, four Chines and one Vietnamese than two professor. In this field trip, we spent two days and one night. In the first we visited Hokkaido Research Organization, Agricultural Experiment Station. In this place we are looking for the crop technology that farmers in Hokkaido used. To manage the farm, researcher and farmer collaborate each other by using GIS technology, so farmers can easier manage their farm. After that, we take lunch and went to outdoor school. This kind of school usually using for out bond activity and we stay one night in this place.

Figure 1. Fieldtrip Laboratory Member

Second day, we continued our trip to Takinoue Park. In that place there is a beautiful waterfall and also lot of flower. After that we continued to Ainu Museum. This kind of museum provide us about the history of Japanese people in the past like what the wear, what kind of tools that they use for transportation and other activity. After that we are going to fruit and vegetable company. The name of the company is J-farm. In Hokkaido, maybe it’s hard to plan some vegetable or fruit because of the weather is little bit extreme. J-farm build a greenhouse technology to plant tomato and the other vegetables and also they make some product using their crop like ice cream tomato, tomato jam and etc.
The next day in 3 June, there is Hokkaido University Festival held in campus. Hokudasai start from 1 June until 4 June. This festival provide a lot of entertainment like cosplay, dance, and the best things is food festival. Indonesia Students Associations of Hokkaido University also participate in this program. We make Indonesian food stand during the festival. At least four kind of Indonesian traditional food and one kind of drink we sold in Hokudasai. The festival was very attractive. There are so many people came to the festival because not only we also can tried the others food from the other country like Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, India, China, Thailand and many more.

Figure 2. Hokudasai

Figure 3. Indonesia Food

Figure 4. Indonesia Students Association

In the last, the important things that happen in this month is Ramadhan, the holy month of muslim community. We have to fasting from sunrise until sunset. It’s the first time of me to fasting outside Indonesia. In Indonesia actually we fasting around 12 – 13 hour but in Sapporo, I have to fasting around 17 – 18 hour per day. But the weather in Sapporo is cool and sometime warm so it’s not too hard fasting here. I hope I can complete my fasting until the earlier of July.がんばて。

Figure 5. Iftar Party

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Hokkaido and Marine Animals

About 3 weeks ago, I went to Usujiri Marine Biological Research Station, helping my friend for sampling sea urchin. Usujiri Marine Biological Research Station is research station of Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University. The station is located in the southern part of Hokkaido. It takes around 1 hour to reach the station from Faculty of Fisheries Hokkaido University in Hakodate by using car.

I’m not so familiar with coastal area before, so it’s very interesting for me, especially when we were looking for sea urchin. Sea urchin is called as uni in Japan. When you saw sea urchin, maybe you are curious about how sea urchin moves. Sea urchin can move freely by using adhesive tube feet in under the body. Gonad of sea urchin is eatable and has been widely processed into delicious food around the world. In Japan, sea urchin is served raw as sushi and also sashimi. I heard that sea urchin from Hokkaido is popular as high class ingredient for sushi. ‘Ezo-Bafun-Uni’ and ‘Kita-Murasaki-Uni are popular sea urchins that come from Hokkaido.

Fig 1.Not only found sea urchin, we also found many star fishes (picture from Li-san)

During my stay in Hakodate, I get opportunity to see (directly) and eat many kind of marine animals that I never seen before, such as sea urchin, sturgeon, sea cucumber, rockfish, star fish,  zebrafish and etc. Not only can see them directly, I also gain some interesting information about them (thank you for sensei and also my friends that gave me interesting information about that animals). The most interesting one is sturgeon. Sturgeon is common name of fish that come from family Acipenseridae. Sturgeon can live very long time and also the length of the body can reach more than 5 m (depend on species). Some species of sturgeon have ability to produce egg that is called caviar, a luxurious food. Believe me, caviar from sturgeon is expensive. The price may differ among sturgeon caviar, depend on the quality. But I heard that the price of the most expensive sturgeon caviar on the record is about 35.000 US Dollar per kg. Can you imagine? Therefore, sturgeon that able to produce caviar is referred as one of the most valuable wildlife resources. For your information, I don’t know before about caviar from sturgeon and also the price that can be so expensive. Before this, I only know about caviar from salmon. But some people said that salmon’s egg is not caviar.

Fig2. I and sturgeon picture

Another interesting marine animal is sea cucumber. Like star fish and sea urchin, sea cucumber also belongs to echinoderm. It has very soft and cylindrical body. We call it teripang in Indonesia. Sea cucumber is not only utilized as food, but also widely used in pharmaceutical. It has been utilized as folk medicine in Asia and believed as medicine for several illnesses. Sea cucumber has all necessary fatty acids which are important for tissue repairing. Therefore, sea cucumber can regenerate and heal the body parts very quickly.

One of my friends is doing research by using zebra fish, small fish with blue stripes on the side of the body. Zebra fish (Danio rerio) was the first vertebrate that can be cloned and also popular with its regenerative abilities. Not only that, zebra fish also had been modified into several transgenic strains. Zebra fish has been widely used as model in scientific research about vertebrate development and gene function. And nowadays, zebra fish is popularly used in medical research such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune system, and also infectious disease. Moreover, by using zebra fish as model, researcher not only can identify gene that is responsible for a disease but also can develop therapeutic agent or drug for a disease. Sugoi ne!

Fig 3.Zebra fish

Hokkaido is popular in fishery industries, so I get opportunity to see many kinds of fishery product. Every year, Hokkaido produces high quantity of marine products. Based on data in 2008, salmon, scallop, and seaweed are the top three marine products from Hokkaido, in the term of production value. Seaweeds become important materials in Japanese food. Aonori, Aosa, Umi-Budou, Mozuku, Wakame, Konbu,Hijiki, Matsumo, Nori are several kinds of seaweed in Japan. Some of them are expensive and can be found only in fancy restaurant. There are thousands species of seaweed in the world, but they are divided into 3 main classes based on the color : green, brown, and red. Among them, brown seaweed is the most abundance in amount. From a lecture, I just knew that seaweed is originally come from Indonesia.

Overall, I recommend you to eat fishery products of Hokkaido. You should try Hokkaido scallop (hotate), oishi. And also, when you were in Hakodate, don’t forget to visit Asaichi fish market. Asaichi is located near Hakodate station. You can see many kinds of fishery products at there. Many seafood restaurants also can be found there.
Fig 4.Asaichi fish market in Hakodate, Hokkaido

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