For a long time I heard the noise of a truck driving up and down the streets of Azamino あざみ野 playing a strange recording. At first, I had no idea what these trucks were selling until the other night. Finally while I was riding my bike from Ichigao 市が尾 to Fujigaoka 藤が丘 at 10:30pm I saw one of these trucks parked next to the station 駅. It was a “Yakiimo” truck which was selling Japanese grilled sweet potatoes. Mystery solved! On the back of the truck there was a large wood grill full of potatoes. These trucks drive around cities playing music much like the ice cream man in the US. Unfortunately for me, I had no way of bringing one home or I would have bought one. According to one of my students 生徒さん at my English conversation school 英会話 in Azamino あざみ野 these yaki-imo vendors first appeared on the streets of Japan more than 100 years ago, using hand-pulled two-wheeled carts. Then, when automobiles arrived, the large cast iron grills understandably found their way onto the back of mini-trucks. Really nice to see such an old simple tradition still going strong today. I look forward to having a taste next time they drive by my house.
Smith’s English School (スミス英会話 あざみ野校)