Tuesday, February 19, 2019


The backstory: Back in 2006 when we climbed Mount Fuji, we stayed at a hotel in Gora.

Unfortunately, my mom and dad got slightly injured during the hike, so Satoshi took them to the hospital and the next day had to return to Osaka for work, so he didn't have a chance to enjoy the hotel or their hot spring.

We had hoped to return one day with my parents, but that never came to be and we finally went this past weekend.

From where we live it takes about an hour and a half to get to Odawara, in Kanagawa prefecture with JR.

Then using the Hakone Free Pass, we rode the Hakone Tozan line to Gora (about 50 minutes).

Lunch was at a cute shop called Marmie Kitchen.

I ordered the Sri Lanka Curry....minced pork, sauteed eggplant, some noodles....mix it well then eat.

Different, a little spicy, a little sweet...I enjoyed this.

Satoshi had their beef stew which he said he enjoyed too.

After lunch we took the Hakone Cable Car from Gora to Sounzan.

How's this view hog?! Stood there the whole way up filming.

They were fixing the cables from Sounzan to Owakudani, so they put us all onto buses to Owakudani.

Owakudani is the sulfur pits where you can try black hard boiled eggs.

You can also see Mount Fuji, from the parking area, but we couldn't.

From Owakudani we rode the ropeway to Togendai.

You are also supposed to be able to see Mount Fuji from the ropeway, but we didn't.

From Togendai Port, we rode the cruise to Hakone-machi port.

Again, you are supposed to be able to see Mount Fuji from the lake, but we couldn't.

So, instead of going back to Gora in reverse, we caught the bus up back to Kowakidani, then catching the Hakone Tozan train back to Gora.

After checking in, we went to their hot springs and then got ready for dinner.

Scallop Terrine with ice plant, mushrooms and basil mayo.

Pumpkin potage.

Kinmedai (Splendid Alfonsio) with white wine sauce.

Duck Breast Roti (roasted) with Honey sauce.

Strawberry Mousse Cake & Orange Sherbert.

Everything was delicious and the service was good.

It was a long day and we were glad to be back in Hakone.

Marmie Kitchen
1300-39 Gora
Hakone-machi, Ashigara-gun, Kanagawa
Phone: 0460.82.4719
Hours: 10:30-16:00
Closed Mondays

Hakone Transportation

Hotel Marroad
1320 Gora
Hakone-machi, Ashigara-gun, Kanagawa
Phone: 0460.82.3131

Monday, February 18, 2019

this cat

Over the weekend we went to Hakone, I hope to have a post up tomorrow.

Today, I wanted to share with you this cat that lives nearby...it never waits to go indoors near the bottom of the door, it waits all the way up near the roof...

Since I've never seen them open those shutters on the bottom, I think the reason it waits where it does is is so that the owners can "see" it through that window.

Pretty smart, yeah?!

Friday, February 15, 2019

this and that

Yesterday, I ran some errands then had lunch at Shake Shack.

I tried their Chick'n Shack...a crisp coating...very moist and meaty chicken.

Fluffy bun, buttermilk dressing, pickles and julienned lettuce...loved this.

Also love the sakura cups...Spring is coming!

Valentine's was low key.

I bought some pre-made food items from the department food floor and dipped some strawberries blinging them up with some sprinkles.

p.s. I gave Satoshi this bar of chocolate, he likes milk over dark...loved the wrapper, apparently there were 50? different types to choose from...hope you had a nice Valentine's Day!

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2019


Stumbled upon this house nearby that has an avocado tree in their yard.

Satoshi doesn't believe that it is an avocado tree, but if you zoom in on the photo, you may be able to see a few avocados still on the tree.

I hope to make friends with them...

p.s. it's Valentine's Day...hug the ones you love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

mother meat plaza's curry

Tried Mother Meat Plaza's Beef Curry yesterday.

It doesn't look like there is much meat in there but there was a lot and it was melt in your mouth tender.

The spiciness was just right too.

At 450 yen (tax included) this was very reasonable.

It doesn't come with rice, I added my own when I got home.

I'm glad I tried this and will be back.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


This past weekend was a 3-day weekend.

Satoshi had a class on Saturday, so we didn't do much...plus it had snowed overnight, so the rooftops were white.

The snow melted then fell again in the afternoon.

Sunday the temps were up a bit and the sun was out, so we went to check out the ume (apricot) at Yushima Tenjin (which is also called Yushima Tenmangu).

If you remember, we visited this shrine in September.

But before visiting the shrine, we had lunch at Ponta Honke.

This tiny restaurant has apparently been in business since 1905 and invented their particular way of cooking tonkatsu in lard at a low temperature slowly raising the temperature as it cooks.

Satoshi ordered the kaki fry (fried oysters)...the oysters were huge (maybe 6 to 8 inches long?!) and very "meaty".

Not rubbery like they are sometimes served at other restaurants.

At 3000-something yen, they were worth it.

I ordered their cutlet (pork cutlet). The panko is soft almost fluffy...2500 plus yen

The coating does fall off when you grab a piece, but the tonkatsu never tastes greasy or heavy.

That little nub off to the right was a deep fried potato.

Everything was delicious!

We were glad we got in at the first seating too...when we left the line outside was long! and the wind super icy.

Definitely not a place to frequent all the time, but I'm glad we got to try them.

Up the street from Ponta Honke is Yushima Tenjin (Yushima Tenmangu).

They were having their ume matsuri (apricot festival) though many trees still had not bloomed.

Still it was nice to get out and about.

Ponta Honke
3-23-3 Ueno
Taito, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3831.2351
Hours: 11:00-14:00 (Lunch), 16:30-20:00 (Dinner)
Closed Mondays

Monday, February 11, 2019

magie du chocolat

It was my birthday on Thursday, so to celebrate I bought some sweets from Magie du Chocolat.

The chocolate dipped madeleine, chocolate dipped candied orange and cacao copan...300-something yen (plus tax) each

The madeleine was dense, buttery coated with lots of chocolate.

The candied orange was a bit sticky but matched with the chocolate that was used.

The cacao copan had a lot of nuts in it.

Loved each one.

Instead of cake, I bought puddings for us to try.

The top is their homemade caramel.

The middle is a blonde chocolate, which when looking online is a caramelized white chocolate.

The bottom is a Ghana chocolate, the bottle cover said "kuwabenaakuwa" which I think may be the area in Ghana where the chocolate is from.

Super rich and creamy.

At 600-something yen (plus tax) each, this isn't everyday fare, but it was a nice way to celebrate.

I'll be back to try other baked items.

Magie du Chocolat
6-33-14 Okusawa
Setagaya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6809.8366
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: 10:00-19:00