Posted in Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Japanese Culture, Shopping, Work

31 December 2018 (Omisoka: New Year’s Eve)

It’s omisoka for Japanese and we supposed to be at home to prepare welcoming New Year.

However, my boss (foreigner) didn’t approve my leave (Japanese) because he took holiday since 21 December 2018.

My boss approved all other Japanese staffs to take leaves so I was alone in the office.

I could be the only person in the building as well.

Luckily, boss called to inform me I’m allowed to close the office at 3 pm.

The town was quiet and deserted.

I rushed back home because I was expecting my niece for New Year holiday.

She changed in a dress that we bought for her.

She likes blue princess look dress which Mom chose for her than black and red lady look dress which I picked for her.

We all (including Choco) stayed up late till midnight to welcome New Year together.

We greeted

Akemashite Omedetogozaimasu

(Happy New Year!)

Now I manage to update what I left out in December 2018 because I was sick.

Now I’m back on track and hope you would continue enjoying my blog.

Posted in Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Travel

30 December 2018

My relatives who owns rice fields always prepare mochi (pounded sticky rice) for new year.

I enjoy their mochi very much because rice are so fresh and chemical free.

It tastes much much much better than commercial ones.

Today, I cannot eat mochi and brown rice that are sold at supermarkets.

I need to get my supply from my relative.

This time, I took Choco with me.

It’s his first time to ride for long hours: 2 hours straight.

I’m glad that he slept in the car for both ways.

It was a nice sunny day.

I drove through Kujukuri where it plans to be a surfing tournament place for Tokyo Olympics 2020.

We can see the construction going on and there is a nice beach and waves for surfing.

I brought my apron but there were enough people to work on; I left it with experts.

I just enjoyed eating them.

What a good job that I had!

My other cousins were busy grilling yakitori (skewered chicken).

I took my portion of mochi and uncle’s.

I delivered mochi to the uncle who couldn’t make it today.

He was so surprised and happy when I showed up with fresh mochi.

He treated me Sukiyaki (beef pot).

He was so happy that he couldn’t stop talking.

His smiling face made me happy as well.

It was a nice day because I met my loving relatives and Choco behaved well.

Posted in Choco-chan, Daily Life, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends

Honest Choco-Chan

We had a guest who loves dogs over the weekend.

Choco was busy visiting Mom’s and guest’s rooms in the morning and playing with them.

Unfortunately, Choco was alone on Monday morning.

I was busy getting ready for work and a new friend was busy packing to go back home.

Usually. I give him food with a command of “sit” and “down”.

We look into eyes and he eats his food from my hand.

In a way, we communicate despite busy morning.

On that day, I was running late and he was given a bowl.

He caught my eyes because he looked lonely when he started eating but I left for work.

Mom reported to me that Choco didn’t finish his breakfast.

When I returned home, he left more than half in the bowl.

I gave him the left over from my hand and he ate all though these food are harder being left out since morning.

He needs to feel loved.

Current food is bit large for him so I’m breaking in smaller pieces for him now to save time in the morning.

Choco, you are so honest; obviously, you need attention.

I will wake up earlier to spend time with you.

Love you, Choco!

Posted in Food, Japanese Food, Tokyo, Feelings, Place, Family, Friends, Experience, Japanese Culture, Restaurants, Choco-chan

Shibamata Taishakuten (Shibamata Taishakuten Temple)

Shibamata is located in Tokyo and the place is famous for Shibamata Taishakuten (Shibamata Taishakuten Temple) and the filming place for the series of movie named Otoko wa Tsuraiyo (Being Man is Tough).

Though it’s located in Tokyo and the temple is famous, this would be my first time visiting this temple and temple town.

On the way, I took a bus from Kanamachi Eki (Kanamachi Station); therefore, I got off near the Sando (Commercial Road to Temple).

If you take train, Keisei Line, to Shibamata Eki (Shibamata Station), then Tora san (the main character of the movie) and Sakura chan (sister) will welcome you at the Station.

There are many attractive stores standing next to each other all the way to the temple.

I was tempted to try fresh traditional local food, but I forced myself to visit temple for prayer.

The main entrance of the temple.

There are many people coming for prayer.

I tried a fortune paper…. I pulled the Good Luck.

Everything gonna be as I wish! Yeahhhhh

After praying, we continued for sightseeing.

This temple is famous for curving.

I found my zodiac: Rat.

There are many Buddha’s stories.

This curving describes trying not to look down and treat people equally, yet suffering from persecution.

Nonetheless, there is always a light for guidance.

There are many dragons are curved or drawn at this temple.

After admiring curving, we admired Japanese garden, Suikei-En (Suikei Garden).

This is a nice Japanese garden.

Many prototypes of curving are displayed there.

Chandeliers look antique.

There is a Byobu (folding curtain) drawn by famous Japanese painter, Yokoyama Taikan (Taikan Yokoyama).

And this is the main room with the most important Kakejiku (hanging scroll) with the Japan’s largest nandin alcove post which skewered to the roof.

We also admired the garden from outside.

There is a well of Goshinsui (Holly Water).

Of course, I washed my both hands.

And this must be the main entrance of the garden with the garden’s signage.

Now it’s time to enjoy food!

We had a brunch today so we are ready for nice meal after a walk.

We had local specialty Unagi (eel) at Kawachiya.

We took a window side table on the second floor.

The view from window was nice; I can see the main gate of temple.

I had Unaju (Eel Rice Bowl), kimo roll (Eel Liver Roll) and Koi Arai (carp raw fish).

I enjoyed both side dishes very much.

Then I went to look for desserts: Kudamochi (mugwort ball).

I enjoyed Yoshinoya’s very much; these are fresh, warm, soft and rich with mugwort!

I also tried another shop’s Kusamochi, Takagiya.

I enjoyed visiting the temple and temple town.

I would love to come back again.

Choco was patiently waited for us at home.

I wanted to take him out for stretch so we went Gaston & Gasper for dinner.

I’m glad to know that we can all sit together inside.

Cheers Choco!

Posted in Cooking, Family, Feelings, Friends, Shopping

Ad Hoc Dinner

We went to Keisen Flower School to check closing sales items.

I bought these three items; I will terribly miss the school.

After visiting the school, I invited my friends for tea at my house because Mom went to buy cakes for her friend and us.

We had so much to chat so my friends stayed for dinner.

I went to grocery shopping to prepare simple dinner.

Again, it was simple and I bought a ready-made chicken to save time.

A whole chicken is just nice for four of us.

I like to host gathering at home so that we can talk freely (not worrying about others), stay long as we want (staff won’t chase us out) and I don’t have to walk back home (especially in cold!).

Posted in Choco-chan, Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Shrine and Temple, Tokyo

23 December 2018

I saw the banner saying Kotto Ichi (antique market) at Nogi Jinjya (Nogi Shrine).

It is a small market but indeed Antique Market.

The town is decorated for Christmas but the Shrine is already decorated for New Year.

I use this photo for my New Year greeting.

There is Hood Luck sign with next year’s zodiac, Wild Boar (in Japan, it’s not pig) and many Japanese Sake Barrels.

Please check my blog for 1 January 2019.

After checking antiques, I went to the Shrine for praying.

I also prayed at Seisho Jinjya (Seisho Shrine) which is located inside of Nogi Jinjya’s premises.

This Shrine is for wisdom which I need it very much!

I drew the fortune paper at the Nogi Jinjya on the way out.

It’s Kyo (Bad Luck)! Oh No!

I take it as a lesson.

There is another shrine just next to the main gate entrance, Akasaka Oji Inari Jinjya (Akasaka Oji Inari Shrine).

I prayed to get power.

It was a lovely day and Choco also enjoyed a walk.