Posted in Tokyo, Feelings, Daily Life, Japanese Culture

Snow in Tokyo

According to the weather forecast, it forecasted starting snow around 3 pm today.

When I looked out around 3 pm, it was still raining.

I was budgeting for a project so I wanted to finish it before I go.

Everybody left at 5 pm sharp.

I looked out at 5:30 pm…then I lost a word…

I don’t mind snow, but it’s uncomfortable walking on the icy road with office attire.

It takes time to reach home.

We need to walk carefully (again, the road is slippery: icy snow on the asphalt) and public transportation delays.

I use subway, underground, for commuting so theoretically, I should not get affected by snow.

But, I was stacked in a subway on the way back because public transportation in Tokyo is vulnerable to snow.

There are many train operators in the Greater Tokyo Area.

To enhance the usage of line, suburb lines are connected to the Tokyo Metropolitan Subway.

Line is getting longer and longer.

At the end of my subway line, it connects to another line on the ground.

Subway operates behind schedule: it increases people waiting on the platform by taking space for passengers to get off from a train.

Train operators (not only one operator, but many) stop subways to control crowd on the platform.

All subways park at the nearest station till crowd get controlled, making subway to operate behind the schedule…

I plan to leave home early tomorrow morning, anticipating delay of subway and the icy road condition to walk carefully and slowly.

I’m thankful.

I’m at home and in the warm bed.

Oyasuminasai (Good Night)

Posted in Exercise, Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo

Furniture Hunting with Mom

My parents plan to move to a new condo.

Mom is looking for new furniture and so as I.

We plan to go for furniture hunting today; that’s why Mom spent night at my place last night.

I excused myself to go to gym and quickly got ready to go out.

Of course, before we go for a good exercise, we went to get a nice brunch at my favorite Italian Restaurant: Il Ritrovo, Roppongi Hills.

This restaurant is famous for pizza.

The chef won the pizza contest in Italy.

Food is delicious; price is reasonable; staffs are nice.

I highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for an Italian.

We took enough fuel, then went to IDC Otsuka (International Design Center Otsuka) Ariake Show Room, Ariake, Tokyo.

Otsuka Kagu Ltd. is the first furniture retailer implementing direct import of furniture from overseas.

Yes, this company had an issue with furniture industrial people by breaking the Japanese tradition of multi-layered distribution system in Japan.

This is my favorite furniture store because I can find about 50,000 items in 75,000 sqm.

I can compare many styles, concepts and brands at once.

Yes, it is a good exercise because I walk back and forth to compare furniture.

Yes, this shop ables to see the actual products.

Mom found a dining table and chair set and lace.

I’m considering a bed and light.

We plan to visit few more shops.

I love furniture hunting!

Posted in Cooking, Feelings, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food

Cooking Rice in a Pot

I cook rice and brown rice in a pot.

Cooking rice in a pot is very easy.

This time, I cook brown rice.

I wash two cups of brown rice and add 120% of rice of water.

First, cook with strong fire to bring it up to boiling, then lower the fire to the lowest to cook till all water is absorbed.

Add 120% of rice of water again; then cook brown rice the same way again.

Cook with strong fire till boiling; then lower the fire to the lowest to cook till all water is absorbed.

Turn on the fire to maximum for 10 seconds; then turn off the fire to steam it for 10 mins.

I cannot eat all at once so I quickly pack them individually to make a ready-to-eat instant rice pack.

You need to pack immediately after finishing steaming it for 10 mins.

If you leave it long, rice won’t be moist enough when you heat it up by microwave.

Now these are ready to be frozen.

I can easily heat it up by microwave to enjoy steaming brown rice anytime.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Travel

Trip to Hokkaido (Day 3)

I woke early to go for Onsen (hot spring).

It’s quiet; air is crispy but Onsen keeps me warm.

I love this moment in open air onsen.

I took a quick breakfast.

I picked all bad combination: carbohydrates…but these are nice…

I want to try Wakasagi Tsuri (pond smelt fishing) on the frozen pond.

Today, Wakasagi Tsuri is available only at Kairaku Koen (Kairaku Park), Tsukigata Town, Hokkaido.

We set the car navigation to Tsukigata Onsen.

It’s about one hour from Sapporo and two hours from Jozankei Onsen.

Yes, there are many beautiful sceneries.

Arrived at Kairaku Koen.

We got ready at Mizube no Ie (Water Front House).

Wore a rubber boots then walk on the lake.

There are tents on the lake.

There is a stove in the tent; therefore, it’s very warm inside.

Place a bait (warm) on hooks.

Then start fishing.

Obviously, I’m not good at fishing.

I caught a total of three Wakasagi only.

The weather is nice so we tried to fish at outside.

We drilled our own hole.

I tried for a while, but I caught none. Boo Hoo.

Time’s up.

The shop cooked Wakasagi Tempura for us.

There are only eight (8) and enjoyed each bites because they are very very very fresh.

After fishing, enjoyed Tsukigata Onsen.

I really enjoyed my short stay in Hokkaido.

I’ll plan to come back again.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Travel

Trip to Hokkaido (Day 2)

I forgot to post the view from my room last night.

It was snowing so looked romantic like this.

When I woke up, the view is this.

This hotel has a nice view overlooking Onsen-gai (Hot Spring Town).

Of course, I went for morning Onsen (Hot Spring) before breakfast.

The breakfast is buffet style.

After breakfast, departed hotel for Otaru.

On the way to Otaru, there are few cars parked on the street.

We stopped to see what’s there.

There are tents…they are doing Wakasagi Tsuri (pond smelt fishing) in nature! Wow!

Reached Otaru.

Otaru is known as port city and famous for canal and glass!

I tried making a tumbler by blowing glass at Taisho Glass Kan (Taisho Glass House).

Hon-kan (Main Shop)

Blow Glass Studio

Sensei (teacher) helped me greatly so I could make a tumbler.

After making a tumbler, also made a marble bead at Taisho Glass Beads Kan (Taisho Glass Beads House).

After making crafts, went for lunch.

Walked on Otaru Sushiya-dori (Otaru Sushi Restaurant Street).

There are many Sushi Restaurants on both sides of this street.

Picked and went in Asahi Zushi Honten (Asahi Zushi Main Store) among sushi restaurants on the street.

And ordered Special Sushi.

We continued for Foodie Hunting in Otaru.

Hokkaido is famous for Ramen; looked for a nice ramen in Otaru.

The chef of Tokai-Ya is former French chef.

According to the web, Ramen tastes sensitive and sophisticated and comments are right.

Ordered a bowl of Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, Ninniku (garlic) Chasiu Miso Ramen and Katsuo-meshi (bonito rice).

After walking in Otaru, stopped for coffee at Cafe Deco, Otaru Roman-Kan (Romance House).

Otaru is nice town to walk.

Now time to go back to our hotel: Sankeien, Jozankei Onsen.

One hour drive back to hotel is breath taking.

Snow is thick and heavy; I won’t see these sceneries in Tokyo.

Its cold out; therefore, it’s very nice to dip in Onsen.

I love to dip in open air bath in cold.

Ate dinner and relaxing on Futon.

Plan to wake up early tomorrow for Wakasagi Tsuri (Pond Smelt Fishing). hehehe

Posted in Feelings, Food, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Sunrise and Sunset, Travel

Trip to Hokkaido (Day 1)

Depart Haneda International Airport (Tokyo) for Chitose International Airport (Sapporo, Hokkaido).

There are many buildings and houses in Tokyo.

After 1.5 hours journey; it’s snowing in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Hokkaido is huge; we need to rely on cars.

We didn’t make a reservation, but there are many counters for rent a car service providers at the arrival hall of Chitose Airport.

I just picked Nippon Rent a Car.

The number of rent a car is large in Hokkaido; these cars are all rent a car service cars.

The counter is also huge.

While waiting for a car, I found Hokkaido Exclusive Drink: Hokkaido Tokibi-cha (Corn Tea).

This is nice roasted taste.

There is a departure gate as well.

My Hokkaido Car is cute Toyota Vitz.

First, we went to Shokotsu-Ko (Shikotsu Lake) for lunch or snacks.

These snacks are nice.

Yaki Tokibi (Grilled Corn)

Imomochi (Potato Mochi (potato mixed with pounded rice))

The scenery is beautiful with snow and sun setting.

Driving in snow is also beautiful.

Finally, arrived at Jozankei Onsen (Hot Spring) Sankeien (Hotel Sankeien).

Hotel room is washitsu (Japanese style).

Before dinner, went to Onsen to fresh up and warm up.

Then dinner.

Now I’m watching TV from Futon. fufufu