We visited Obama city the first summer of Barack Obama’s presidency when the small city’s hopes were high that tourists would flock and souvenirs linking President Obama with the city were readily available. The Mikestsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum gift shop sold an impressive selection of Obama goods:
At the time we lived in the next prefecture but since Obama was only accessible by local roads, it took hours to get there. Now there’s a fancy new expressway and even all way from Nagoya didn’t take long at all. When we revisited Obama this spring, however, the mood was different. The museum gift shop was gone. The few President Obama souvenirs we found were in the tourist center.
Soon nobody will remember President Obama and the original mackerel-loving cat mascot takes over:
Obama’s last stand:
Before visiting again, I Internet-searched for others’ experiences in Obama. The general opinion was: “there’s nothing there.” It’s true. It was peak cherry blossom season that weekend, but not many tourists. The little food museum was deserted. A few tourist buses stop at Fisherman’s Wharf, everybody gets out and buys souvenirs, they get back in and go.
Obama was the origin of the Mackerel Road to Kyoto. Now there are few fishing boats in Obama port. I don’t think there’s much fishing going on anymore.
The Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum. These guys come alive at midnight, probably:
The ancient common people’s diet. Bummer:
The origins of sushi:
Second floor of the museum, lacquered chopsticks:
I usually buy cheese-in-fish paste, but they only had one kind:
Fish market across the street from the Fisherman’s Wharf (closes at noon):
Obama burger. We looked everywhere for these Obama burgers. At the tourist center next to the train station where we stopped to get a map, Sam asked about them and we were told to go to the supermarket. We did, but they said Sunday was Obama Burger day. No Obama burgers for you. They’re made with local ingredients. The bun of rice flour, the burger with sea bream, mackerel, or beef.
Walking around sleepy Obama city, sleepy old shops, old buildings, hardly anyone around: this is the best thing to do. A narrow dark covered shopping street with a few shops still open. Everybody goes to bed early. It must get dark at night.