Tuesday, May 31, 2016


So, those two guys came by yesterday to "fix" the door.

This time around they brought a power screwdriver...even though they didn't know how to use it...sigh!

At least they also brought that teeny rachet type screwdriver...

After a half an hour, the door was on, but I noticed that it wasn't put on correctly.

I mentioned that there wasn't a gap there before.

Instead of fiddling around with the adjustable parts of the hinge, they said that it couldn't be done.

They made an "excuse" that our shoe closet was old and warped.

Having watched a couple of DIY shows, I am pretty sure it could've been adjusted...

Today, Satoshi called the building manager and he came by to take a look.

He agreed and said they did a kapulu (half-a##) job, and was gonna call to complain.

I really appreciate our building manager, he's always super efficient. (Thank you!)

Monday, May 30, 2016


Over the weekend, we bought a thingy to convert our LAN signal to Wi-Fi.

I had been waiting for the prices to go down on these and this was about 7000 yen.

The guy at the electronics store was so helpful.

And the installation was so easy (just plug it in).

Now we have wi-fi all around our apartment...Whoo!

Friday, May 27, 2016

kaneko unagi

Yesterday, I walked twenty minutes to Sakurai intending to shop at Daiei.

I didn't realize (until I got there) they were renovating and were closed...boo!

This was the perfect chance to try Kaneko Unagi, a tiny shop that sells unagi kabayaki (grilled eel with a sweet-salty sauce).

While I appreciated that they only sell unagi raised/caught in Japan, they are pricey.

For the one unagi that I bought, it was 2470 yen (tax included), and that was the most inexpensive one...

Satoshi and I shared it for dinner.

It was good, the flesh of the unagi was very moist, the skin quite crispy.

I may be back, but not too often.

Kaneko Unagi
2-1-14 Sakurai
Minoo, Osaka
Phone: 072.721.4057
Closed Sundays
Hours: n/a

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Yesterday, we had a bit of "excitement"

As Satoshi opened the door to our shoe closet, two of the three hinges "snapped" and the door was being held up by the last hinge at the bottom.

Satoshi called the building manager then left for work.

The building manager came to take a look at it and said that he would need to call someone to come and fix it.

Later that day, two men came to "fix" it.

They gave me kind of a weird vibe as one was wearing a suit and the other was wearing a workman jumpsuit.

They took a look at the door and said "whoa? it is big".

The guy in the jumpsuit then takes out this teeny ratchet looking screwdriver thingy and proceeded to take off the top hinge so that he could look for the same thing.

I was thinking "you gonna take forever with that teeny screwdriver" and he did.

So the door was hanging on by last hinge on the bottom and they were gonna leave the door like that until they could come back to fix it...

I said, "um, so is it safe to leave the door like this?"

They said, "no".

So I said, "so could you take the door off?"

"Oh you want us to take it off? we can do that"...sigh.

In the end, it took even longer because the guy had to take all the hinges off (with that teeny screwdriver) to get the door off...

And apparently it will take a week to find the parts...

Still I'm thankful our building manager moves quickly.

Anything exciting happening where you are?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


When I hear the word hydroponics, usually lettuce comes to mind.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find hydroponic blueberries at the market.

The berries are tiny! but firm and delicious.

Apparently they grow all sorts of fruits using this method.


Are farmers growing exciting things using hydroponics where you are?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

spicy pork

There is a spicy pork recipe that I currently am hooked on. I make a batch of it and freeze half of it.

I use it to top roasted eggplant, tofu, yakisoba noodles.

The other day I used with some goya (bittermelon).

It is similar to this recipe.

Spicy Pork from "Miyane-ya" : makes about 4 servings

160 grams minced pork
clove of garlic, grated
nub of ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon tobanjan (chili paste)
3 tablespoons tenmenjan (sweetened miso)
2 teaspoons miso (soy bean paste)
3 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
180 milliliters chicken soup
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
sesame oil

In a pan, saute the pork with the garlic and ginger.
Add the next 7 ingredients to the meat mixture and cook, but do not boil
Add the slurry, mix well.
Add a little sesame oil for flavor.

NOTES: Depending how you serve it will determine how many servings you will have.
Super easy to make and having some in the freezer sure helps me whenever I don't know what to make for dinner.

Monday, May 23, 2016


Over the past couple of days, Satoshi went to Hong Kong with some of his co-workers.

Before he left, I asked if he could look for these chocolates, Chà.Ke.Li which are made by an upscale Chinese restaurant, Yè Shanghai.

The reason I asked for these were because they were apparently infused with various teas.

He purchased 8 of their tea chocolates.

Jasmine (Ghana 40.5%), Longjin (Papua 35.7%), Matcha (White 37%), Earl Grey (Mexico 66%), Oolong (Venezuela 72%), Tieguanyin (Santo Domingo 70%), Shuixian (Cuba 70%), Pu'er (Tanzania 75%).

Unfortunately for most of these, the tea flavors were so overpowered by the chocolates they were unnoticeable.

We did enjoy the Jasmine, Matcha, Shuixian & Earl Grey ones though.

A bit disappointed, I am still glad we got to try these.

Thanks Satoshi!

Chà.Ke.Li by Yè Shanghai
Level 3, Pacific Place
Metro Admiralty Station
Hong Kong
Phone: 852.2918.9833

Friday, May 20, 2016

pâtisserie cri de coq

Yesterday, I checked out Pâtisserie Cri de Coq, a tiny sweets shop in Minoo.

Since I wasn't going straight home, I picked up their croque-coco, a crisp coconut cookie.

So good!

They also have chocolate bon-bons & canelé as well as cakes.

Hope to get back to try other items.

Pâtisserie Cri de Coq
3-7-2 Hakushima, La Garellia 1F
Minoo, Osaka
Phone: 072.729.0285
Hours: 10:00-19:30
Closed Wednesdays

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Slowly but surely, I've been washing our autumn/winter clothes.

As the weather warms up, we usually put them away and then take them out again later in the year.

Since I washed our knit caps, I wanted them to keep their shape without shrinking...

So I used my colander(s).

Satoshi was surprised when he came home to see my cap like this...

Fun, yeah?!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

nuts soaked in honey

Nuts soaked in honey is trending here...

I'm not sure where this originated but remember seeing them in Paris at their markets.

Instead of buying the ones that I've seen at the markets here, I made my own.

Nuts Soaked in Honey : makes 1 bottle

Your favorite nuts (toasted, roasted or not), preferably unsalted
Your favorite honey

Fill a bottle with your favorite nuts and then drizzle the honey in to fill in the crevices.

Wait a couple of days before using.

NOTES: Super easy and delicious on plain yogurt.

Another way I've seen this used is on salad, which I hope to try soon.

I think this would also make nice gifts.

Have you ever seen/tried nuts soaked in honey? Please tell me how you used them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

aramaki rose park

We visited Aramaki Rose Park on Sunday.

We brought some baked items that we had picked up from Manpuku Bakery (a croquette sandwich, bagel with egg, pastrami, zucchini and lettuce, potato foccacia and yakisoba pan). Some bing cherries and two small thermos' of coffee. Everything was so good.

We love this park, and going there early in the morning (it opens at 9:00), is so peaceful.

Hope you had a nice weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Since I usually wait while Satoshi attends his German class, I usually have a late breakfast and then I usually run errands.

This past Saturday, I had wanted to re-visit Talo Coffee to try their breakfast, so I headed to Tsuruhashi...only to find they were closed...boo!

I grabbed a curry pan at Cocoro, which is a couple doors down from Talo Coffee and ate it in the park across the street.

Then I walked to Namba and remembered I was near Westwood Bakers, so I stopped in for some iced coffee and an almond chocolate doughnut.

While their doughnut was good, their coffee was just so-so (what can I say?! I'm a coffee snob)

Satoshi and I met at Utsubo Park and had lunch at South Swell.

Instead of a burger, I tried their chili dog. The bun seemed to be nuked because it got quite gummy after the first couple of minutes...boo!

The sausage had a nice snap and the chili could've been spicier.

After lunch we went to check out the roses at Utsubo Park.

There were so many people that it was hard to enjoy the roses.

We then walked to Nakanoshima Park to see their roses.

It was so hot that many people were huddled under what shade they could find.

Summer is definitely coming.

Friday, May 13, 2016

things I'm liking (disliking)

It's been quite awhile since I've done a post on things I'm liking (disliking)...starting with disliking...

This biscoff ice cream bar.

It could've had more cookie bits in it (way more). It was a nice treat and I'm glad I tried it.

This hiyashi chuuka from Family Mart.

I was all excited to see "red" char siu. The sweet type that I grew up with in Hawaii on this hiyashi chuuka.

Unfortunately, it was so dry...boo!

Loving this Indian fried snack by Haldiram's Nagpur.

The fried "things" (spices, seeds and other things) in there are quite small, so I eat it with a spoon...like a savory granola/cereal.

Quite spicy but so good.

I'm thinking sprinkled on salad would be nice.

Tried this Pablo Beni-imo tarte ice cream.

The layer of beni-imo (Okinawan sweet potato) ice cream was so good.

What have you been enjoying?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

on the lanai

So glad the weather dude's forecast turned out to be wrong.

Looks like we'll have some sun until the end of the week and part of the weekend...whoo!

Just wanted to show you the progress of the dahlia on the lanai.

3 plants total...hope they will flower.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

rainy season

The rainy season is pretty much here, especially with our weather forecast looking like this.

The weather dude seems to disagree though.

Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Saturday night, we met up with Greg who is visiting with his mom.

Dinner was at a small izakaya, Showamaru.

The fish comes fresh from Wakayama.

There was sashimi.

Tako (octopus)

And a fisherman's bowl (shoyuzuke (fish soaked in some shoyu, mirin)) on top of rice with katsuoboshi (shaved bonito) and chirimen (whitebait).

After dinner, his mom went back to hotel and we went to karaoke for a bit.

It had been ages since I've been. At least no one in our party smokes...Satoshi and Greg had fun taking turns singing.

It was nice meeting up, hope he and his mom enjoy the rest of their trip.

Osaka Eki-mae Dai-san Building B2
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.6348.1888
Closed Sundays, Holidays
Hours: 17:00-22:00(Saturdays), 17:00-22:00 (Weekdays)

Monday, May 09, 2016

city bakery brasserie rubin

Saturday, after Satoshi's class, we had lunch at City Bakery Brasserie Rubin.

He had their bincho maguro(albacore tuna), which he said was cooked perfectly.

I ordered the Texas style pork chop.

The BBQ sauce that they served this with wasn't "Texan", it was more Asian. But, I loved that it was an onion sauce, kind of like an onion jam.

The blistered potatoes were good too with a nice crust on them.

Satoshi also loved their bread basket (foccacia, baguette, and other assorted stuff)..."free bread", nice concept...

We'll be back.

City Bakery Rubin
Grand Front Osaka South Building 7F
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.6359.2266
Hours: 11:00-23:30
Closed when Grand Front is

Friday, May 06, 2016

tsukada farm

Yesterday, it was blazing! Satoshi went to watch the Hanshin Tigers minor league at Koshien Stadium.

I decided to hang out at the mall across the street.

Since the game finished at about 16:30, we headed back to Umeda for an early dinner at Tsukada Farm.

Dinner started out with tsukedashi (stuff you don't order but have to pay for)...a chicken meatball soup. The meatball was super moist and the soup really flavorful.

We ordered their Ramen salad...the last time we had ramen salad was in Otaru.

This one had spicy meat topping. I liked this version better than the one in Otaru.

Pork ginger. They actually called it a ginger Genghis Khan. But it was more like a skillet type of pork ginger.

Deep fried squid legs with a dollop of mayo and sprinkle of shichimi (7-spice chili powder).

And a really mini Tokachi slider. Super juicy and moist burger.

Dinner was tasty and costed WAY less than the night before. Not sure that we would go back here though, as it was quite noisy...every time someone ordered something or came in and out of the restaurant the waiters/waitresses would shout out something...

Hope you have a nice weekend!

Tsukada Farm
Hankyu Grand Building 30F
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.6316.5010
Hours: 17:00-24:00

Thursday, May 05, 2016

cubi di legno

Yesterday, we visited MIL in the morning and had lunch together. We also did a little "cleaning". Way more needs to be done, but at least she let us do the amount we did.

Dinner was at Cubi di Legno. I had eaten lunch here previously and was interested in checking out their dinner menu.

Satoshi ordered a beer...600 yen (tax included), while I ordered a "glass" of wine...900 yen (tax included).

Um, if you are going to charge THAT much for wine, I would say you need to fill my glass at least halfway...

Seasonal grilled veggies...1200 yen (tax included)

Seared katsuo (bonito) with panko (breadcrumbs) on one side, with a dollop of caponata...700 yen (tax included)

Pancetta & onion amatriciana...1600 yen (tax included)

Sawara (spanish mackerel) with broccoli, beet orecchiette...2000 yen (tax included)

During our meal, our waitress asked us if we would like some bread...little did we know that each piece was 100 yen (tax included).

While I enjoyed my lunch, this dinner, while delicious was totally overpriced.

We won't be back.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


Sunday, we woke to the birds chattering, a rooster crowing and a goose or something of that sorts screeching...

After some instant coffee and some bread for breakfast, we checked-out and continued to explore.

The Ishibutai Kofun (tomb) is apparently the tomb of Soga no Umako, a member of the powerful Soga clan.

Details about the tomb are written here.

Entrance to the tomb, is quite large and pretty impressive to go into!

Then a couple of minutes uphill from here and we saw a whole hillside filled with rice paddies...beautiful.

We then stopped at Sakata Farm for a 30-minute all-you-can-eat strawberry picking.

I thought 1500 yen per person, was kinda steep, especially since the strawberry season is almost over.

On top of that, I was leery of eating the strawberries without washing them before eating, they aren't touching the ground, but still.

The strawberry variety in this area is called "Asuka Ruby".

We don't have this type of thing in Hawaii (or at least not when I was growing up), so I've always wanted to try doing a fruit pick and eat.

In the end, I think we ate 30 strawberries each, and it was fun.

One rock formation that we saw was the Kameishi (turtle rock).

The stone currently faces the south, but legend has it that it originally had faced the east and should it ever turn to face the west, the whole of Japan will be reduced to a sea of mud...spooky!

And then we saw the Takamatsuzuka Tomb.

Details about this tomb are written here.

We had a late lunch at Misono.

I ordered a hot egg sandwich (the bread was toasted and egg (omelette) was warm)...950 yen (tax included) with iced cafe au lait (+50 yen).

Satoshi had their mixed sandwich (ham, egg salad, lettuce, tomato)...900 yen (tax included) with coffee.

It was a scorching day. Since we got out and about early, we were able to see all that we wanted to see.

The clover fields were so pretty and I loved all the butterflies and ladybugs that we encountered on our bicycle rides, but would nix all the uphill stuff.

I hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as we did.

Golden Week will be over this coming Friday and we hope to get out to visit MIL sometime this week.

Sakata Farm
289 Sakada
Takaichi-gun Asukamura, Nara

1-4-1 Misono
Takaichi-gun Asukamura, Nara
Phone: 0744.54.3386
Hours: 8:00-18:00
Closed 2nd and 4th Fridays