Posted in Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Restaurants, Tokyo

New Normal: New Style Buffet Lunch at Cascade, ANA Intercontinental Tokyo

I had JPY 20,000 (USD 200) worth of vouchers from ANA.

I’ve decided to take my niece for lunch buffet at Cascade, ANA Intercontinental Tokyo.

It’s new style (New Normal) because some dishes are ordered base and cart delivery base to control Mitsu (crowd).

We all enjoyed food and desserts

We all also received Panda Baum (cake) for a souvenir.

My niece enjoyed it very much.

I think I used my voucher wisely.

Posted in Books & Magazines, Cooking, Family, Feelings, Food, Health, Japanese Culture, Tokyo, Travel

Supposed to be Tokyo Olympics’ Opening Ceremony Day

It’s Japanese National Holiday, Health and Sports Day, today which I believe it was created for Tokyo Olympics.

It supposed to be Tokyo Olympics 2020 Opening Ceremony Day today.

It was National Holiday, Ocean Day, yesterday making this weekend long (4 days) .

I thought the town would be crowded with visitors and I would be glued on TV.

Japanese government launched Go to Travel Programme on 22 July 2020 to stimulate tourist industry by excluding Tokyo residences.

The government subsidies traveling cost for transportation, accommodation and coupons to use in the visited area.

However, the policy is changing even after launching.

On the other hand, the number of new case is shooting, recording 366 in Tokyo yesterday.

And the number increased not only in Tokyo but also other areas such as Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and many more.

All governors are worried after this long weekend coz many people are traveling with Go To Travel Programme

I’m enjoying long weekend with my niece and we don’t mind to stay in because we haven’t seen since New Year due to the COVID and we have so many things to do!

We’ve been playing games by creating and changing game rules.

I want her to eat healthy so I try to cook as many as I can and she volunteered to help me making dumpling!

We are having so much fun staying in!

I’m not qualified for Go To Travel Programme and it’s better to avoid crowd.

We decided to stay in but we are having so much fun!

I’ve never thought we would spend Olympics Opening Ceremony Day like this.

I like how I’m spending today though it’s different from what I imagine last year – being with family.

Stay Safe!

Posted in Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Restaurants, Tokyo

Totally Eel Day

21 July 2020 was this year’s Doyo no Ushi.

Doyo no Ushi is a date for Chinese calendar; therefore, the date for western calendar changes every year.

On Doyo no Ushi, we have a custom to eat Unagi (Eel).

We believe eel is energy food and we encourage to eat eel during summer when we lose energy.

I had my belated Doyo no Ushi (Eel’s day) on 22 July 2020 at Chikuyotei, Ginza for lunch.

It was nice and surely I gained some energy.

When I returned home, Mom reported she bought Eel Obento (take away) for dinner at our family restaurant, Shojikiya, Roppongi.

It reminded me of my grandpa.

We talked about him and memories with him while having our dinner.

I like eel so I don’t mind to have it for two continuous meals.

Each restaurant has different taste (character) on food even though it’s the same dish.

I think I managed to gain energy which I need it for now.

Posted in Art, Daily Life, Feelings, Japanese Culture, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo

New Normal: Reservation for Admission

This is a poster for museum at 21_21 Design Sight, Roppongi, Tokyo.

The exhibition date is extended because the museum was closed for two months.

Furthermore, we need to make a reservation for admission to enter the museum.

Even dining at the restaurant, it’s recommended to make a reservation to secure a seat.

Making a reservation is one of NEW NORMALs.

Posted in Cooking, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Shop, Shopping

Furusato Nozei (Home Town Tax Payment Programme)

In 2014, Japanese government introduced new tax incentive system to support local areas: Furusato Nozei (Home Town Tax Payment Programme).

We can purchase local products and services (hotel stay, experience such as diving, etc) to support the area.

We pay for products and services and the government provides incentives for income tax deduction.

There are few Furusato Nozei service providers such as Satofuru, Furunabi, Department Stores, etc.

This time, I purchase Nama Katsuo no Tataki (lightly roasted bonito) from Katsuura-city, Chiba via Satofuru,

My mother side are originally from Katauura; therefore, YES, I would like to support the city and this has sentimental value for me.

I will purchase more products and services from the areas that I would like to support.

This was my first purchase and I’m glad that I was strongly recommended to use this system to enjoy products and services AND tax deduction.

Posted in Feelings, Japanese Culture, Place, Tokyo

Renewing Driver’s License

I supposed to renew my driver’s license this year and I should do it between prior and after one month of my birthday, meaning by 4 April 2020.

At that time, the number of new cases was increasing and I thought going to driver’s license centre where we could expect a large number of visitors is dangerous.

I processed to get an extension for three months for renewing driver’s license.

My deadline became 3 July 2020 after the process.

I thought the three months period would manage the COVID situation, not creating a crowd.

However, I learned that the Samezu Driver’s License Centre (Ota-ku, Tokyo) and other premises were closed till 31 May 2020.

Well, instead of the time solving a problem, it created desperate people to renew the license because of closure of the center!

I waited till very last minutes and asked for a day off to go on weekday on 2 July 2020; hoping there would be less people.

And YES, there were less people at the Samezu Driver’s License Centre and the process went smoothly.

However, I had to sit in two hours lecture due to my record.

My driver’s license became blue and need to come back for renewal in three years.

If you are an excellent driver with no record (which I was for last time), the lecture would be 30 mins and you get a Gold Driver’s License which you don’t need to renew for 5 years – the privilege given to an excellent driver.

I hope I will become an excellent driver (GOLD) again so that I don’t need to sit in 2 hours lecture and I don’t need to come back for 5 years. haaaaa

Posted in Daily Life, Feelings, Friends, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo

No More Free Plastic Shopping Bags

Japan imposed retailers to charge plastic shopping bags to save environment by reducing producing microplastics and CO2 emission on 1 July 2020.

The retails charge a plastic bag (and some for paper bags) from range of JPY 2 – JPY 20 (ISD 0.02 – USD 0.19).

Therefore, this became a memorable last free plastic shopping bag at Precce, Tokyo Midtown Roppongi.

However, some retailers such as Meidi-Ya continues to provide free shopping bags that is categorized as biomass shopping bags.

There are three types of biomass shopping bags and they are:

First, the bag is made by more than 25 percent of biodegradable material. The Meidai-Ya provides this type.

Biomass Plastics Logo by Japan BioPlastics Association
Biomass Mark by Japan Organics Recycling Association

Second, the thickness is more than 0.05 mm that allows to reuse it and it requires to state state that it is recommended to reuse the bag on the bag itself.

Third, fully (100 percent) marine biodegradable shopping bags.

We are now encouraged to use Eco Bags.

Today, I carry my favorite Eco Bag that my friend gave me years ago, could be a decade…?

I do have a collection of large and durable shopping bags that I bought in the US and given by friends as souvenirs from overseas.

I use them when I visit to COSTCO but now it would be handy when I go to any supermarkets.

Posted in Daily Life, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Health, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Restaurants

New Normal: A Table for Three

I took out my parents for dinner at Satsuki, the Hotel New Otani Makuhari.

It’s Father’s Day today, but we missed Mother’s Day due to Stay Home Request so we celebrated both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day today.

We had a nice Italian dinner.

The dinner was nice but when we were ushered to our table (for three), we were all surprised to find the arrangement.

We knew restaurants are recommended to seat customers next each other, not facing each other.

The restaurant was not crowded at all; there are only two couples occupying two corner tables at that time.

Nonetheless, the restaurant arranged our table (for three) to sit next each other.

We were surprised; simultaneously, accepted and make a humor out of the situation.

We are family so we don’t hesitate to talk; we chatted and enjoyed our dinner even we were seated at funny table seating arrangement.

This is one of New Normals that we need to accept from now on.

It became a memorable dinner that we won’t forget.

Posted in Daily Life, Feelings, Friends, Gadget, Health, Japanese Culture, Movie, Tokyo

New Normal: Movie

Tokyo lifted Tokyo Alert and moved businesses to Step 3 on 12 June 2020 (allowing more businesses to reopen such as Karaoke Box) and schedule to allow all businesses to restart on 19 June 2020.

Movie theatre was allowed to reopen on 1 June 2020 when Tokyo shifted Businesses to Step 2.

Accordingly, Toho Cinemas Roppongi opened on 5 June 2020.

It would be nice to watch an action movie, ANNA (Russian KGB Spy Movie) on the big screen.

However, we I learned that there are new normals for watching a movie as well.

The seats are parted by one seat in between.

Even we go in a group, we need to sit according to seating arrangement; we cannot sit next each other.

There are many more NEW NORMALs at the movie theatre to practice.

At the ticketing counter, of course, operated machine is one machine a part.

When we enter, our body temperature would be checked by the thermometer which requires to face the monitor.

Well, I didn’t know every 14th of the month is TOHO CINEMAS DAY so that we can watch a movie for discounted price of JPY 1,200 or USD 12. (Normal Price is JPY 1,900 or USD 19)

The movie was thrilling and breath catching.

It’s nice to watch a movie at the movie theatre.

Posted in Daily Life, Feelings, Friends, Health, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture

New Normal: Virus Shut Out

I was wondering what people on the street are wearing.

It’s smaller than a Corporate ID card.

Only few people wearing it among looks like a group of colleagues so it’s surely not an ID card.

Soon I found out from my friend who is wearing it and giving me this: Virus Shut Out produces by Toa Industry Co Ltd (Tokyo).

It contains sodium chlorite to kill virus for 30 days.

It comes with a neck strap so that we can immediately start wearing it.

Now this also became a part of fashions like masks.

My friend is wearing it with Kumamon character design.

I didn’t know there are choices.

Thank you my friend for considering my health.