Tuesday, April 13, 2021

takeno to ohagi

The other day on Instagram, my friend told me about the double sakura (yaezakura) that bloom at Sakurashinmachi...thank you!

Since we were already out of the house, we made a special trip to check them out.

The whole street is lined with these yaezakura trees, so glad we were able to see this!

One place that I have had bookmarked in this area is Takeno to Ohagi.

It is a tiny shop that makes ohagi.

They are so popular that when they first opened they would sell out within the first half hour of opening!

I stood in line for 40 minutes to purchase these.

Apparently they have 7 flavors daily...so I purchased one of each.

Koshian (smooth sweet bean paste), sakura (pink), fava bean (green), berry (pink/mauve swirl), pumpkin & apple (yellow), tsubushian (chunky sweet bean paste), coconut & lemon peel (white).

These were delicious! not overly sweet.

The price for each varied but total for this was 1860 yen (tax included).

Definitely for special occasions, I'm glad we got to try this and will be back whenever I need a special gift for someone.

Takeno to Ohagi

1-21-11 Sakurashinmachi

Setagaya, Tokyo

Phone: 03.6413.1227

Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Hours: 12:00-18:00 or earlier if they sell out

Monday, April 12, 2021

ikegami station

Our station got a facelift last year and last month they opened up some shops in the building.

Our public library moved onto one of the floors of the station building and there is a Starbucks next to it.

Hoping to hang out here once this pandemic is over...

Friday, April 09, 2021

this and that

I went past that senior day care nearby and they had a pretty origami sakura tree.

Hibiya Park's tulips that Satoshi saw on his last day of work.
There was also a professional airman drawing happy faces around Tokyo. (you need to look at the photo upside down)

Satoshi didn't explain when he sent this so I didn't know what it was until the news did a story about it.
I had bought some lilies from the cute flower shop in our neighborhood. 

So happy they all bloomed.

I had this raisin bread in Asakusa bookmarked and found out it was sold at another shop also.

So when I went to the Ueno area, I picked up a small cinnamon raisin.

Packed to the gills with raisins...love!

So glad we got to try this and will definitely buy more whenever we are nearby.
Near Okachimachi is Tonkatsu Isen that has been around for at least 80 years.

They are supposedly the ones who invented the tonkatsu sandwich.

Their katsu is super tender that one is supposedly able to cut it with chopsticks.

Bummer the owner (a woman) was so cold. 

Still I'm glad we got to try them, and we will be back to try other items on their menu when dining in is safe.

The sandwich set up above also had egg salad and crab cucumber.

One thing to note is that they urge you to eat this sandwich within two hours of their making it. (um, please note that on your website!)

Was my first time to check out the cherry blossoms at Ueno.

I don’t know if they do this every year, but they had it sectioned off for one way traffic, to avoid crowding.

Too bad by the time I went most of the blooms had fallen.

Another week....leading into another weekend.

Can’t believe it has been a year since my cousin passed due to this virus.

Japan’s numbers are spiking due to the variants.

Our vaccinations are still moving at a snail’s pace.

Have a safe weekend!

Coffee &  Budopan Maizuru
3-33-9 Yushima
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3836.5406
Closed Sundays & Holidays
Hours: 10:00-18:00

Tonkatsu Isen
3-40-3 Yushima
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 050.5456.1802
Closed Wednesdays
Hours: 11:30-21:00 
*cash only

Thursday, April 08, 2021

sakura walk (tamagawa)

 I went back to the Tamagawa area last Wednesday.

Here is a short video that I made with the Reels mode of Instagram.

There was music on it when I uploaded it to IG, but lost the music when I uploaded it to youtube.


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

sakura walk (chidoricho + kugahara)

Tuesday, it was overcast but I walked through Chidoricho and up to Kugahara.
There is a huge tree near the Tenrikyo church.
A tiny pocket park with a huge sakura tree.

The cherry blossom season is always so short.


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

lu rou fan

I have been seeing lu rou fan all around the internet.

And then Jenny posted a really ono (delicious) looking photo on her Instagram.

She sent me the site links to the recipes she used and when I went to the market pork belly that was already sliced in to “lu rou fan” pieces was marked down!

Something was telling me it was time to try.

I adapted this recipe

I had not tried lu rou fan before but thought I might be similar to rafute or kakuni.

Lu Rou Fan : adapted from Tiffy Cooks (2 servings)
238 grams pork belly, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup fried onions
2 tablespoons shoyu
1 teaspoon five spice
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons sake
3.5 cups water
pinch of dried shrimp (see photo)
1 inch nub of garlic (sliced)
1 inch nub of ginger (sliced)
1 star anise

Saute pork until color changes
Add all the ingredients except fried onions and cook on medium-low for 1 hour.
Add the fried onions and cook for another 30 minutes.

NOTES: While this dish was really tender, I am not too sure why it was so salty.

I did add some dried shrimp because I had seen someone on tv put some into their lu rou fan.

Maybe it was from using an oshibuta (drop lid)?

Maybe I need to add more water? I re-read the recipe’s post and it said to put 5 cups water if not using an instant pot... 

Will try this again after I buy more fried onions. 

I’ll simmer it with the lid on (no oshibuta(drop lid)) and add more water.

I hope to try this again before the weather gets too warm.

Oh and I also made some aji tama, using the sauce.

Thanks Jenny for giving me that push to try this.

Monday, April 05, 2021

tokyo people x3

Uploading 3 of these here so I won't have a backload of them.

Sound off if you are watching this at work.

Enjoy! and thanks for watching.