Posted in Beauty, Cooking, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Food, Tokyo

New Supply from LA

It was my first day of work in 2020; luckily, I could punched out at 5 pm sharp.

It was too short to catch up with my friend who is currently returned to Tokyo for holiday over the dinner.

I cooked easy-to-prepare dinner: Buta Shabu Nabe (pork clay pot) with various Kinoko (mushrooms).

She is so sweet by bring me new supply of Peet’s Coffee and many more foodies from LA!

Arigatogozaimasu!

Posted in Art, Cooking, Family, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Mt. Fuji, Shrine and Temple, Tokyo, Work

Akemashiteomedetogozaimasu (A Happy New Year)

I worked till 31 December 2019 on New Year’s Eve.

It was so quiet in Ginza.

I could be only one working in my office building.

Even Japanese government office close from 28 December – 3 January to celebrate New Year.

My boss called and allowed me to leave earlier; I left happily at 2:45 pm.

I was feeling sentimental looking at last sunset of 2019.

I went to pick up my niece.

The road was clear so there was no traffic.

I wanted to surprise her so I decorated her room with balloons while she was taking a bath.

I succeeded it!

She was so excited!

I also took a bath to welcome new year freshly.

We ate soba (buckwheat noodle) for tradition, wishing for a long life like soba.

It turned midnight…we greeted Akemashite omedetogozaimasu and A Happy New Year then popped a party cracker!

We all got excited for a while and went to bed at 1:30 am.

I woke up lazily on Gantan (New Year Day).

Most of shops and restaurants closed today.

We ate Osechi (New Year Dishes) for brunch.

Each dish has a meaning.

For example, Kurikintoki which is made by sweet potato and its colour in gold means wishing to have gold (richness), etc, etc.

And Ozoni (chicken, vegetables and mochi/rice cake in soup)

After brunch, we paid a visit to our family shrine, Tenso Jinja (Tenso Shrine) for New Year prayer.

I wrote my wish on Ema (Wish Designed Board) and I used this picture for my New Year Greeting eCard.

We had a break after returned from the shrine.

Niece and I made Monaka.

We fill Anko (sweet bean paste) on monakanokawa (monaka shell/wafer).

We can adjust the amount of anko.

There are ume (plum) and fukuro (owl) shapes.

Based on astronomy, I believe nothing much of difference from yesterday’s; however, it is the first sunset on New Year’s Day.

I look forward for more adventures in 2020!

Akemashiteomedetogozaimasu!

Posted in Art, Beauty, Feelings, Food, Friends, Japan Technology, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Shop, Shopping, Tokyo

Toraya @ Tokyo Midtown Roppongi

I went to Toraya to look for Japanese traditional confectionery to host my Singaporean friends for lunch on Sunday.

The shop sells their confectioneries at one counter and exhibits history of their confectionery based on theme.

This time, tray.

I like this flower tray among them.

Yes, we image to use Japanese designed tray for Japanese food.

However, the exhibition is introducing these trays can be used for Western food as well.

I bought dessert for lunch from there and it came with seasonal limited edition of Origami (folding paper) edition paper bag.

So cute!

I bought these.

Next year is year of Rat.

Rat designed Yokan (sweet bean jelly) and Monaka (sweet bean puff).

I like them and hope they did, too.

Posted in Exercise, Feelings, Food, Friends, Golf, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Mt. Fuji, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Travel

Christmas Golf

My friend arranged Christmas Golf at Satsuki Golf Club Kanuma Course.

I caught 6:50 am subway for Kita Senju Station to catch Tobu Express Kegon 5 (Departing Kita Senju Station at 7:42am); this train reaches far as Nikko, a nice UNESCO heritage place.

The uniqueness of this train is it’s entrance is located at platform of other line.

I enjoyed peaceful Winter views from the window.

There are many ducks.

Mountains with snow.

I even spotted Mt. Fuji!

Mountains can be seen clear and closer.

Kegon 5

The club bus will wait for us at Shin Kanuma Station.

We checked in at the club and got ready.

Today, we can drive in the cart in the course; yeah, we can save energy!

It was nice weather, sunshine without cold wind.

I enjoyed the first half; then I had a Genghis Khan, Mongolian Style mutton BBQ for lunch.

I played okay for a player who hasn’t played for nearly two years (Score: 95).

After the game, we quickly took a bath to catch a club bus back to Shin Kanuma Station.

We went to our usual place, Micchan for after game party and Bonenkai (Year End Gathering).

We wanted to continue chatting, eating and drinking but we had a train to catch.

We continued on the train.

We even stopped at Kita Senju Station to further continued.

I had a good laugh with my friends so I could conclude that my Christmas was ver Merry.

Posted in Choco-chan, Experience, Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Travel

Short Trip to Unohama Onsen, Niigata

I didn’t have a proper weekend for for rest for months so I took Monday and Tuesday off.

I also needed time to clean dirty dishes and clear garbage from gathering.

It was before noon, Choco and I packed up and left house.

It’s his first stay over.

We stopped every two hours for Choco’s toilet; nonetheless, it’s good to take a break for a driver as well.

We took a quick bite for lunch at the parking area.

It was a nice clear day.

I expected to see Autumn leaves changing in colours.

We drove to mountainous area and the scenery became more scenic.

There is snow….

Kanetsu Tunnel

Enjoying looking at the rice field after harvest.

We stopped at the Parking Area for toilet break.

There is some snow and I wanted Choco to experience his first snow.

I thought he would enjoy it but he didn’t; he angrily asked me to pick him up.

We continued driving country side.

We finally arrived Unohama Onsen (Unohama Hot Spring) Wan Yado, Niigata.

Our room is typical traditional Japanese style Tatami room.

Choco looked happy.

The inn had a problem with boiler so we couldn’t use shower.

Therefore, we went to the inn across the street – Mikaku – to use their bath.

There is a bath inside

And outside (this style is called Goemon Buro, bath tub is in the shape of bowl).

The beauty part of our inn is there is a room for Choco.

Incan freely take and use basic necessities for Choco such as treats, food bowls, toilet sheets, etc.

I can ask to look after Choco as well (charged service).

We had a private room for our dinner.

Choco could join us and he had his plate as well.

We ordered crab menu; there are various way of cooking crabs.

Boiled

Nabe (Pot Dish)

Osashimi no Funamori (raw fish on boat)

Grilled

Other fish dish and Chawanmushi (steam egg)

Tenpura

Rice and Soup

Oops I forgot to take a photo of dessert Matcha (Green Tea) Pudding.

We are all tired so we went to bed early.

Next morning, we started with a morning bath by visiting Mikaku.

I didn’t notice a manager was quietly sitting at reception.

So cute!

I got ready and went down for breakfast.

We cook fish on our own plate.

It’s a long way back home, about 4 hours to return Tokyo.

We left the place after our breakfast.

People visit Onahama for beach.

It’s Autumn/Winter; therefore beach is quiet.

We took a different road back to Tokyo.

We admired different mountains such as Myoko.

Choco looked excited during the trip; however, once we reached home…. he suddenly looks exhausted.

I hope Choco enjoyed his first stay over.

Posted in Feelings, Food, Friends, Hotel, Japan Technology, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo, Travel, Work

Business Trip to Toyama

I was in Toyama from 30 October – 3 November 2019 for business trip.

Originally, we plan to go to Toyama by Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) but it was suspended because the railway was damaged by Typhoon 19.

I had a confidence that a Japanese railway company, JR Nishi Nihon (JR West Japan) will do their best to recover the line; in fact, it started its operation on 25 October 2019, meaning JR Nishi Nihon recovered Hokuriku Shinkansen in two weeks.

However, I was worried that it might take longer to recover to affect our business trip; therefore, we flew.

We safely arrived Toyama Airport.

There are four flights in a day between Tokyo/Haneda and Toyama.

It’s either two flights in early morning or 2 flights in late evening for convenience of business people.

Therefore, we arrived Toyama early on 30 October 2019.

We couldn’t check in so we dropped our luggage at hotel and walked to Toyama Station.

We took a taxi to visit Toyama Castle before going to exhibition hall, Toyama Techno Hall, for preparation for our participation in T-Messe 2019.

We climbed to Castle Tower.

There is a nice garden.

We had to make a move; we returned to Toyama Station area for lunch.

We had our lunch at Shirohacha.

Then went to exhibition hall, Toyama Techno Hall.

There is a vending machine for ice cream so we decided to take a break; I had a salty caramel.

We finished booth set up and returned to city centre to check in at hotel: Comfort Hotel Toyama Ekimae.

We went out for dinner at Chohachi.

I really enjoyed local specialty: Shiroebi (Japanese glass shrimp).

This Shiroebi no Oshizushi (Japanese glass shrimp pressed sushi) was awesome!

Work hard during day time and enjoyed nice dinner at night.

Yagura Zushi

Kappo Ogawa

I also had crab at Sakanaya Dojo Toyama Ekimae Store.

Honestly, a casual dining place like Izakaya in Toyama serves very fresh, delicious seafood and very reasonable!

On last night, I had two dinners with different people.

After eating a quick dinner at Sakanaya Dojo Toyama Ekimae Store, I went to a train sushi restaurant.

I already had a nice seafood at Sakanaya Dojo so I thought I’m gonna have few sushi to accompany them.

But big NO.

After queuing for some time, we managed to get a table at Mawaru Toyamawan Sushitama Toyama Eki Store.

It was also awesome!

I enjoyed fresh seafood very much in Toyama.

I also enjoyed watching cute Murata Seisakusho (Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd) cheer leader’s cheering while working.

Murata Seisakusho is Japanese leading machinery and parts company.

By the time leaving Toyama, I start liking Toyama.

Now I want to go back to Toyama for seafood, Onsen (hot spring) and nice sceneries.

I started missing Toyama and feeling melancholic but soon I get excited finding Star Wars wrapped aircraft at Haneda Airport!

The END

Posted in Feelings, Food, Friends, Health, Japanese Food, Restaurants, Tokyo

Dinner at Tsukiji no Sakanaya, Ginza

Last night, we went out for a dinner after the meeting.

We didn’t have any restaurant in particular so we started walking to a busy street.

On the way, he spotted a restaurant.

I couldn’t imagine how the restaurant is because the restaurant is located in the basement so I could not see from the street.

When I entered, I was surprised.

It was still early, before 6, but the restaurant was already occupied.

The restaurant name is Tsukiji no Sakanaya meaning Tsukiji Fish Shop.

The restaurant is operated by a seafood wholesale company that even supplies to department stores.

All dishes are so nice, not only seafood but also vegetables.

I didn’t take any photos of food because it was my first time dining with them; however, I can assure that food is nice.

I even enjoyed talking to them.

Both of them are so cheerful.

One shared he had a surgery by Davinci (Hi-Tech operation machine) recently.

He gets after affect, but he is willing to cope with it by making it as a joke.

Another, he also had a surgery in the past.

Both of them laugh about it and live with it.

I witnessed the effectiveness of laughing.

They continued the life is once. We will live. If we are going to live, better have fun.

Wow they were like two characters from the Bucket List that I just watched on Sunday.

I’m glad I joined a dinner.

I together laughed with them.