Archive for April, 2006

Where in Tokyo ?

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Where in Tokyo ?

Where in Tokyo ?,
originally uploaded by lhuga.

Pleaase guess where I was last night :)

pollenosis…

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I have no idea about how many people in japan have an allergy to pollen, maybe 20% or more?
Usually my bad season starts in March and lasts till July or August with itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing…i think I look something miserable.
I used to take medicines, but they didn’t make any sense and I dont’ like them, so I stopped taking them.

I heard if I get older, it may get better. How long should I wait for ? 20 years ? :p

Akasaka…. U.S. or Japan ????

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I wrote a blog before about my side job as a dog walker.
A dog walker is very rare in Japan, so I guess I am very fortunate to have such a unique job on the side!!

After teaching yoga, I got off a train at Akasaka, taking almost my size German shepard for awalk.
She is a big dog, so many people move thier way when I take her for awalk.
Though she is very sweet.
She is actually scared of loud noises, and little noisy dogs !!!

Walking around Akasaka is very interesting. Just about five to ten minutes from the dog owner`s residence, there is American Embassy on one side. It is tightly guarded by several uniformed guards, but on the other side over the street, there is a traditional Japanese shrine, Hikawa-jinjya. It is almost two completely different worlds existing at this spot !!!!

The dog and I love Hikawa-jinjya. In the middle of tall buildings, there is so much nature in this part of Akasaka. Many dog owners take their dogs for awalk there. I also see many people having lunch, eating bento(lunch), and just enjoying the seasonal flowers/trees that change the colors rather frequesntly. During the cheery bloosom season, it was very beautiful there. Now the pink flowers all fell on the ground, beautiful fresh green leaves create a totally different world.

Another thing that suprised me about Akasaka is the number of bikers. There are many of them who are in rush of delievering goods. Not only bikers, but also there are many taxies. For me, taking a taxi in Japan is really expensive, hence I hardly have used it. However, many people use taxies rather frequently in Akasaka. Becasue I take a large dog for awalk, and some streets are not that wide, these taxies can be pretty scary. Some taxi drivers are not careful enough to pay attension to us, but only care about how fast they can get to one place to another!!!

I am finding more and more about Akasaka. Tokyo is interesting as each town definitely has very unique characteristics !!!

GW = Golden Week is around the corner !!!

GW = Golden Week is a series of national holidays in Japan.
We have four national holidays in a week !!!
Most Japanese people use this week to take a long vacation in and out of country.
Me….. >.

Ryogoku, the Sumo Town

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Ryogoku Station

Ryogoku Station,
originally uploaded by lhuga.

I went to Ryogoku with my friends today.
This is the first time going there, and I was really surprised to see 2 paintings of Sumo Wrestler inside Ryogoku station.
This guy is the champion of March 1972.

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Coming soon…IKEA Funabashi (Chiba)

I should have written this earlier…
We have IKEA in Funabashi next Monday, 24th April !

On IKEA website, you will find a link which leads you to IKEA 4.5 MUSEUM
Click yellow bar and see 14 rooms. They say its concept is “Japanese Traditional room type 4.5 tatami floor”
Which is your favourite ? My best is ” No.12 – Book Lover Room ” It looks really comfortable.

Click blue bar, it leads you to present page, written in Japanese though..
14 patterns furniture will be sent to LUCKY PEOPLE :)
And the most important thing; deadline is next Sunday evening, 18:00.

Lunch box is Obento!!

obento1.jpgIn elementary school and junior high, I had school lunch "kyushoku." But when I was in a kindergarten, I took obento every day. My mom did not make cute obento like her or her. But it is good memory to have mom’s obento every day. How can I say…I feel home made obento would be important communication between moms and their children, mom would cook and fill container thinking of children. My mom cared I would eat lunch at all because I could not eat much before junior high.

From wiki, the origin of bento can be traced back to the late Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333) when cooked and dried rice called hoshi-ii was developed. Hoshi-ii can be eaten as is, or can be boiled with water to make cooked rice, and is stored in a small bag. In the 16th century, wooden lacquered boxes were produced and bento was eaten during a hanami or a tea party. When I was a kid, an almunium container with some character print was popular, but I hated it because soup and sauce dripped.

Times have changed, also technology has dramatically changed. We have convenient Obento items, this container has a keep-warm function (Well, I hardly saw such a bombastic container around me, maybe carpenters or those people who would go to work by car can take such a big container) and there are many cute cooking tools like thisWhat is this?  It’s an octopus sausage maker, still an important item for kid’s lunch! This is an informative, cute obento site, check it out.

Not only just cooking items, food itself has developed. Since the number of working moms is much more than before, we need to cook obento quickly in the morning. Frozen foods are always very convenient for obento because just a few minutes heating by microwave or toaster oven is okay without cooking. There are various frozen "small size" foods for obento. Ohitashi (spinach dipped in soy sauce) or Hijiki (cooked seaweed) can’t be a main dish, but these are important backseat players for nutrient balance and also to caulk the container without gap.

obento2.jpgI read, frozen foods for which you don’t need to use even microwave or toaster are getting popular. Open package and set into obento container, that’s all. The frozen food will be good to eat at room temperature around lunch time. Nissui is the big seafood and frozen food maker, they made the "Obento Benri" series, they are food you don’t need to heat and will be nice to eat at room temperature. Japanese veges dish, Chinese,Korean, they are all good to eat without any cooking. You know Ajinomoto?!. They have some frozen food for Obento you can use without any cooking too: fried chicken, rice with sauce, etc.

Ah, I read an another article. Japanese food is the boom in the world. (Wow! Takoyaki shop in the UK? In Moscow, a lot of sushi bars opened in the last few years, but half of them are under freshness indicator, umm it’s scary.) And the biggest soy sauce maker Kikkoman will make a factory in Europe. I suppose sooner or later those frozen foods will go to foreign countries. So would you try cooking obento? It’s very easy to make it now. What you do is just pack, then you will have Japanese lunch box.

Do you eat Loaches ????

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I love Japanese food ! One of the reasons I am so happy being back in Japan is definitely the food!
I have lived and traveled to several different parts of the world, but I still think Japanese food satisfies my apetite the best !!!!

I went out on Friday with my friend, siting right next to a case of living loaches!!!
I wonder if I ever tasted them, but I know we/Japanese eat them.
That night I tried somethiļ½Žg very original to Japanese dishes, but didn`t try loaches.
I have these memories of catching loaches when I was little,
so it is little odd eating them.

Has anyone tried ?

I want to try next time when I see loaches.
What I know is that it`s great Japanese people find all sorts of ways to cook everything !!!
However, I am strongly against eating dolphins and whales…..

Events in Tokyo

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Tokyo Inner Harbour

Tokyo Inner Harbour
At the end of March a new part of the Tokyo Bay area was opened up, with 4 new stations on the Yurikamome line and roads and bridges connecting Ariake to Toyosu and Harumi.
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