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, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo

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, Feelings, Health, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Shopping

Nanakusa Gayu

I might blog about this last year; but let me blog about this.

We have a custom to eat Nanakusa Gayu (seven-herb porridge) on every 7 January to wish for good fortune and to rest stomach from New Year celebration food.

Today we can conveniently get all seven herbs in a packet.

There are

Suzushiro: Japanese white radish (White) represents innocence

Seri: Japanese parsley grows long for prosperous

Suzuna: old vocabulary for radish which means bell to call God

Hotokenoza: the herb looks like the seat for the Buddha.

Nazuna: means taking off dirt by patting

Gogyo: the shape of Buddha’s body

Harabeko: many leaves represents prosperity

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.

Posted in Feelings, Food, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo, Work

18 December 2018

I assisted a business meeting in Ebisu, Tokyo.

Ebisu is one of Seven Japanese Gods and he represents success.

I’m pretty sure he will bring business as a result of today’s meeting.

We celebrated with Tendon (Tenpura Rice Bowl) at Tenya, Ebisu and Taiyaki (Sweet Bean in Red Snapper shaped waffle).

Tai (red snapper) is a symbol of good luck coz it’s rhyme Medetai (happy).

There are so many good signs!!

Posted in Cooking, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Place, Restaurants, Shopping, Tokyo

2 January 2019

I started my new year morning with Shishimai (lion dance) and Masuzake (Japanese sake in a wooden square cup).

After experiencing Japanese traditional new year, we went for Belgium breakfast at my favorite breakfast restaurant: Le Pain Quoitidien, Tokyo Midtown Roppongi.

I had New Year Special Menu.

I started with a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate 2019.

Off course, I enjoyed all food.

Furthermore, I received a new year gift from the restaurant: Fukin (Japanese traditional kitchen cloth) and a ticket for free audio museum guide.

After heavy brunch, I played with little niece at Hinoki-cho Park.

Though we had a heavy brunch, we enjoyed strawberry tea with Phillips Chocolate the Boston’s Oldest Chocolateir for tea break.

Coincidently, I used a mug that I bought it at Pier 1 Imports in Boston.

We relaxed a bit at home and went for grocery shopping; I cooked Yakiniku (Korean BBQ) for dinner.

Can I call BBQ cooking ? hahaha

We are spending New Year in very traditional way: relaxing family gathering.