Monday, March 19, 2018


butter chicken curry❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #バターチキンカレー #オキシモロン #カレー #北浜 #大阪 #butterchickencurry #curry #oxymoron #kitahama #osaka #japan After my second dental appointment, I was lucky to be able to eat, so I went to Oxymoron.

They are a curry shop and have several shops mostly in the East Japan area, this is the first shop in Kansai.

When I got there most seats were filled, luckily I was able to grab their last seat at the counter.

After ordering they told me that I may have to wait 30 minutes for my meal because they serve each customer in the order that they receive the orders.

Luckily I had a book with me.

The butter chicken curry was delicious and especially hit the spot on this rainy Friday.

Untitled They also give you some caramelized walnuts as a palate cleanser.

I have a couple more appointments before this root canal is done with, I am glad I got to try this place and hope to be back.

1-1-22 Kitahama
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6227.8544
Closed Wednesdays
Lunch: 11:30-15:00, Dinner: 17:00-21:00 (weekdays)
(weekends) 11:00-19:00

Sunday, March 18, 2018

foodie thursday in kyoto

Untitled Thursday I went to Kyoto with my host-brother's wife, Kazumi.

She works so we don't get to hang out too often.

I've been wanting to try Awomb.

They have several shops scattered around Kyoto.

This particular shop takes reservations, the others don't.

The lunch at this shop serves only one thing teaezushi which means literally means hand dressed sushi.

From the various dishes you take toppings like fish, veggies and condiments like wasabi, jelled shoyu, place everything on sushi rice and eat it with thinly sliced egg that is colored green with matcha.

Add some dashi from the dobbinmushi (earthen teapot) to change things to a chazuke.

It was fun eating all the different things, making different combos.

At 2970 yen (tax included) it isn't somewhere you would go everyday, but it is a nice place when you want to bring friends/family from out of town or for a special occasion.

(Click on the photo to see the video of the different foods)

Untitled Thank goodness I went to see where this place was, boy was it hidden from the street!

Untitled The jinchoge (daphne) are blooming, love the fragrance!

Strong like tuberose.

Untitled We had sweets and some tea at Gion Tokuya.

After the projectile warabi mochi...I am a bit traumatized, so I ordered their uji matcha kintoki shaved ice.

Too bad I cut off the top of the shaved ice in the could've seen some of the gold leaf flakes they had sprinkled!

It also had some soft mochi and sweet bean paste on the bottom.

There was also some sweetened matcha syrup and if that wasn't sweet enough, you could use the clear syrup that they also served.

1st shaved ice for the year...

Untitled We also went to Kyoto Takashimaya to get some sweets for Kazumi to take home.

I purchased two of these sakura manju by Taneya.

It was a nice sunny and semi-warm day.

I hope Kazumi had a nice time.

It was nice to spend some time with her and to be out and about.

Awomb Gion Yasaka
463-8 Shimo-Kawaramachi
Higashiyama, Kyoto
Phone: 075.204.3564
Lunch: 11:30-15:00, Dinner: 18:00-20:30
Days off so call before going

Friday, March 16, 2018

freedom kitchen

went to check out freedom kitchen’s new shop❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #お弁当 #フリーダムキッチン #箕面 #牧落 #昼ごはん #昼食 #lunch #bento #freedomkitchen #minoo #makiochi #osaka #japan #大阪 Recently Freedom Kitchen moved.

They are apparently renovating the place on their own, so it is taking some time.

I was able to pick up a bento from them the other day.

The woman at the register said they will have a place to eat upstairs after their renovations are over.

I am glad they didn't move too far from their old address.

I'll be back.

Freedom Kitchen
1-16-28 Sakura
Minoo, Osaka
Phone: 072.725.0621
Hours: 11:00-17:00
Closed Sundays and some Saturdays

Thursday, March 15, 2018

fizzy sakura green tea

lupicia’s sakura vert cold brewed in carbonated water...delicious❤︎temps not quite warm enough for cold beverages though ・ ・ ・ #ルピシア #桜ヴェール #お茶 #大阪 #炭酸水 #lupicia #sakuravert #tea #osaka #carbonatedwater #japan #beverages #coldbrew #水出し Lupicia's Sakura Vert (green tea with cherry blossom leaves) cold brewed in carbonated delicious!

Had to be careful opening up the bottle...

Still a little too nippy for cold drinks but I look forward to having this combo again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


bummer this place lost its laid back atmosphere❤︎too bad because the food is delicious ・ ・ ・ #タロコーヒー #落ち着けない場所になちゃった #残念 #上本町 #大阪 #カフェ #talocoffee #uehonmachi #nevergoingback #osaka #japan #cafe It's been about a year since my last visit to Talo Coffee.

If you remember, it wasn't a very pleasant one.

Fast forward to Monday.

I had intended to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant, but they took an unexpected day

The udon shop that I had bookmarked, which is next door to the Chinese restaurant already had a krazy

So, I decided to give Talo Coffee another try which was just up the road.

Usually I don't give places another chance, because there are just too many other places to try out there...

Anyway, I went into Talo and the place was kind of packed, which I should've taken as a sign.

They did have a table reserved and a table to seat 4 open, but since I was alone, I was told I needed to wait until a table opened up.

So I did.

While I waited I was instructed to look at the menu and decide what I wanted to order.

I ordered the cheese omelette rice (omurice) topped with fried shrimp.

While I waited for my food, a couple left so their table opened up.

I was reseated there and within minutes a salad and my order came out.

As I was eating the same tension like the one during my previous visit was in the air...trying to turn tables when there really weren't people waiting for them.

In fact, as I was eating, the waitress came to clear the empty plate that my salad was on.

I had a couple more bites of omurice and she was trying to clear that plate too! WT?!

Another unpleasant experience...

Bummer because their food is delicious.

Never going back though.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

me time

Untitled I often have a lot of me time, but recently I've had more than usual.

Satoshi has been helping with a little league tournament, and he's had drinking thingies with various school baseball alumni so he's been MIA many weeknights and the past two weekends.

Anyway, since the ume was blooming at Hattori Ryokuchi, I decided to check it out on Saturday.

Untitled Finding where the ume was blooming in the park was tricky as the map of the park does not specifically indicate "ume forest" or anything like that.

So I was walking towards the Japanese garden where I thought it might be but stumbled upon the trees in their "round flower bed" area....

Untitled Click on this photo to see the short video.

Untitled It was definitely nice to get out and about.

Especially since we've had dreary rainy weather and the temps dropped back down to single digits.

Even with the sun out, the wind was still very icy.

The weather dude says that we will have warmer "almost summer-like" temps next week...which I hope he is wrong because the sakura (cherry blossoms) will start blooming and then we really will nose dive into summer...

Untitled Lunch was at Zenigata.

The only thing I order here is their keema curry udon.

I forgot how spicy it was...and it is still delicious.

Almost halfway through March...too fast!

Monday, March 12, 2018


Thank you N for brightening up this blustery & rainy day. I appreciate your kindness❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #感謝 #ケアパッケージ #ハワイ #grateful #thankful #carepackage #hawaii #大阪 #osaka #japan Reader N was so kind...sending us a care package.

It arrived on a blustery and rainy day last week.

Thank you so much N! We appreciate your kindness.

Friday, March 09, 2018


Untitled The other day as I was coming back from the market, I saw this "moving" in the azalea bushes of our apartment complex.

Which of course, startled me.

Then I took a closer look and realized it was a furry neck warmer thingy...whew!

Whenever someone drops something like a glove, people hang it from the fence or in this case the wall where they found the lost item.

If you've dropped something and retrace your steps you might be able to find your lost item on a fence or wall.

Cool yeah?!

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

aunty misao's saba patties

long ago my grandma’s sister had given me her recipe for salmon patties, I finally got around to trying her recipe using canned saba(mackerel) instead❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #鯖缶 #パティー #サラダ #胡麻ドレッシング #スナップ #ラディッシュ #大阪 #乾燥おから #mackerel #patties #salad #radish #sugar Many years ago, my grandma's sister gave me her recipe for salmon patties.

I finally got around to trying it the other night.

Since I didn't have canned salmon, I used canned mackerel.

Adaption of Aunty Misao's saba patties : makes about 8

1 can mackerel packed in water, drained (90 grams)
1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons dry okara
1 egg
1/4 purple onion, diced
several grinds of pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, break the mackerel up with a fork.
Add the flour and dry okara
Add the egg, onion and pepper.
Mix well
Heat the tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan
With a soup spoon, scoop out and dollop into the pan, then flatten with back of the spoon.
Cook for at least 2-3 minutes then flip
After flipping, cover pan and cook for 2 minutes to cook through.
Take out of the pan and place on paper towel to "blot" the oil from the patties.

NOTES: I didn't have many of the ingredients in her recipe (canned salmon, breadcrumbs, water chestnuts, green onions). Her recipe also uses 3 eggs.

The can of salmon on her recipe has more volume (200 grams), which is probably why she uses a more breadcrumbs and 3 eggs.

Anyway, I'm glad I tried this.

In Hawaii, we would have these kinds of patties served with salad and rice...I just served ours on salad with a little sesame dressing.

On a rainy night like the other night, this was perfect comfort food.

It was easy to put together and I'll definitely be making this again.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

haagen dazs' hanamochi

chestnuts, sweet beans, soft mochi & ice cream❤︎delicious ・ ・ ・ #華もち栗あずき #ハーゲンダッツ #大阪 #haagendazs #chestnut #sweetbeans #mochi #icecream #osaka #japan #アイス #日々のおやつ Recently Haagen Dazs came out with 2 new hanamochi flavors...kuri azuki (chestnut & sweet bean)

this has a sweet salty taste just like sakura mochi❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #華もち桜あん #ハーゲンダッツ #日々のおやつ #大阪 #haagendazs #icecream #sakura #osaka #japan #アイス And sakura an (cherry blossom).

I wished the kuri azuki had more chestnuts in there.

The sakura an was spot on for flavor, not like the last cherry blossom one I had tried.

Both have a soft mochi layer, so you should kind of let it sit out a bit before eating.

With the warm temps we had over the weekend, this was perfect!

I'm glad I got to try these.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

so pretty

Untitled I found this small bag of radishes at Crazy Pantry that were marked down 50%.

I have a feeling they were marked down because of the yellow leaves...geez!

The radishes themselves were perfect!

Love the outside pretty, yeah?!

Monday, March 05, 2018

kyu yamu tetsudo (again)

Untitled After Satoshi saw my Instagram post on Kyu Yamu Tetsudo, he wanted to check them out.

Satoshi really likes Japanese style curry so I was surprised he wanted to try this type.

Japanese style curry is the roux type using flour and some kind of oil.

Kyu Yamu's curries are what the Japanese call "spice curries", which I believe use veggies, some type of stock, some type of protein and lots of different spices.

Some spice curries can be on the "watery" side while some can be quite thick.

Since Kyu Yamu's menu hadn't changed from the last time I went (only a couple of days before) I ordered the other 2 curries which was a spicy beef & pork keema and vegetable curry.

This time around I chose the brown rice.

On the weekends they only have one soup for you to change up the flavors.

Luckily, it happened to be the one I hadn't tried, the Japanese dashi(stock).

Man, that spicy keema was super spicy.

Untitled Satoshi chose all four...sigh.

And since we had just seen a movie, our ticket stubs also gave us a small free drink.

Satoshi chose beer (even though he was gonna go out drinking afterwards...ahem)...while I chose oolong tea.

I think he enjoyed this and I'm glad he got to try this place.

p.s. our temps have skyrocketed over the past two high as 21C (69F)...BUT are gonna slump back down 10 degrees or so in the coming days...gasp!

Sunday, March 04, 2018


IMG_3959 When I opened this can of Peach Belg.

It smelled so good, like the white peaches we have during the summer.

But, it tasted so gross...

Hated to waste this but it was so so bad.

Saturday, March 03, 2018


1st root canal visit done with...afterwards glad I was able to enjoy this delicious sakura(horse meat) keema at synergy ❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #シナジー #スパイスカレー #北新地 #大阪 #桜肉 #キーマ #カレー #synergy #spicecurry #kitashinchi #osaka #horsemeat #curry #japan Sorry it's been quiet here.

I had a root canal procedure done on the last day of February...don't worry, it wasn't painful and I was able to eat afterwards...

Life just got a little busy after that...

Anyway, after my procedure, I went to Synergy getting there about 5 minutes before opening.

The owner makes a 3 types of curries...chicken, pork and a weekly.

This week was a sakura keema.

"Sakura" is what people call horse meat because of the pink color.

The meat was a little tough but I still enjoyed this.

Just the right amount of spices to give a little burn but not totally blast your tastebuds.

At the end of your meal, she also gives you a tiny jigger of yogurt with honey as a palate cleanser.

I noticed the chicken and pork curries didn't have the bright veggies that the weekly one did, so I'm glad I chose the weekly one.

I'll be back...oh and I need to go back to the dentist in a couple of weeks to get more treatments done to that root canal-ed tooth (thank goodness for health insurance!)

1-5-35 Dojima
Kita, Osaka
Phone: n/a
Hours: 11:30-14:00 (or earlier if she runs out)
Open: Monday-Friday
Closed: Saturday, Sunday & Holidays

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

osaka castle area

Untitled Monday, I had an appointment but it was cancelled last minute.

Since I had planned to check out the ume at Osaka Castle before the appointment, I decided to get out and about anyway.

It was sunny and a little on the warm side.

Untitled The area in front of the Osaka Castle station has gotten a face lift.

Lots of eateries.

If I'm not mistaken, I think this area opened up late last summer.

I told Satoshi about it and he wants to check out this are too.

Untitled Spring is coming, slowly but surely.

Hope you are having a nice week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

thankful (part 2)

thank you @vickinags for all the goodies❤︎hope you are enjoying your trip! ・ ・ ・ #lisasee #puertea #kindbars #kakipi #thankful #osaka #japan #books #プアール茶 #柿ピー #感謝 #大阪 #本 Recently V, was in Japan.

She was so nice to send me a book we had talked about when we met up last year as well as snacks and pu'er tea.

Untitled The kakipi (kakinotane rice crackers with peanuts) were from the Toyoko Inn. A chain of hotels near train stations around Japan.

I love how there were more peanuts than the rice crackers.

Untitled And how you can use the cap as a bowl.

Thank you V!

Monday, February 26, 2018


when your favorite pen pal sends you a haul of chocolate because she doesn’t want you to have to wait for krazy white day in japan❤︎thank you thank you ・ ・ ・ #感謝 #チョコ #友達 #ペンパル #penpal #chocolate #grateful #friends My pen pal, LJ, recently sent me a haul of chocolate because she felt that I shouldn't have to wait until White Day (March 14).

Am so thankful for friends.

Thank you LJ!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

the spoon

Untitled I had been looking for the spoon with all the holes in it ever since we had tan tan men at Hokkai-ramen Susukino...and finally found it at Shimojima...a shop in Osaka that sells all sorts of stuff.

Shimojima reminds me of a shop in Hawaii called Fisher Hawaii...they have paper goods, as well as stuff for the office and kitchen.

Anyway, I am glad I have these now, next is to put it to use.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

kyu yamu tetsudo

aigake curry❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #あいがけ #カレー #旧ヤム鐵道 #ルクア1100 #大阪 #aigake #curry #lucua1100 #osaka #japan It had been awhile since I had eaten at Kyu Yamutei.

They have since expanded and now even have a shop in Tokyo.

Anyway, this particular shop's interior is the inside of a train car.

They have 3 choices...aigake (choose two of their 4 curries), triple (choose three), all (all 4 curries).

I chose the aigake.

The curries I chose were the pork keema with bacon chutney and the chicken keema with hijiki soymilk achaar.

During the weekdays, you can also receive one of the two soups to add to your curry to change up the flavors.

On this day, it was a japanese stock or thai curry, and I chose the thai curry.

Choose your rice...brown or turmeric...I chose turmeric.

Everything was good on its own and nice mixed together.

I don't often get to the area where Kyu Yamutei is these days so I am glad I can get my fix in Umeda.

I'll be back.

Kyu Yamu Tetsudo
Lucua 1100 B1F
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.6151.1544
Hours: 11:00-24:00
Closed when Lucua 1100 is.

Friday, February 23, 2018

fylgdu mer

went to the dentist this morning and found out I need major dental work done...cheered myself up with all these colorful mezze ❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #fylgdumér #大阪 #メッゼ #osaka #japan #mezze #dailytable Have been wanting to check out Fylgdu Mér out for some time.

Not sure how to pronounce their name.

Apparently it is Icelandic for "follow me".

I think their food is Moroccan.

This was their Mezze plate.

Loved the falafel, avocado hummus and all the veggies.

On this particular day, I had gone to the dentist and found out that I need some major dental work done in the coming's gonna take at least 4 or 5 visits...eep.

Hoping I'll be able to eat after these appointments...

Oh and I'll be back to Fylgdu Mér when I'm in the area to try their other menu items.

Fylgdu Mér
1-13-17 Shinmachi
Nishi-ku, Osaka
Phone: 06.4394.8715
Hours: 11:30-17:00
Closed Sundays

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Untitled We went to check out Bills earlier this month.

If I am not mistaken they opened late last year.

I've seen their lines for breakfast but luckily the line for lunch wasn't too krazy.

Satoshi had their cheeseburger which he said was tasty.

Untitled I had their chopped salad because "beets" and "avocado" were calling out to me from their menu.

The food is kinda pricey but everything was delicious and service was good.

I'm glad we got to try them...We'll be back.

Lucua 1100 7F
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.6456.2500
Open when Lucua 1100 is
Hours: 8:30-23:00

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


The next morning, the streets had a new layer of snow which meant that some spots were super slippery.

IMG_3923 Down the street from the hotel was Niizato Tofu.

They have been in business for over 60 years and besides tofu, sell freshly pressed tonyu (soy milk) for 100 yen a cup.

IMG_3924 Mrs Niizato measures the soy milk using the square container and takes the soy milk out from that blue bucket.

IMG_3925 Still warm and so delicious.

Definitely better than the packaged stuff we find at the markets.

IMG_3929 Tsurushi bina and other decorations at the Tohno station.

IMG_3932 When we arrived in Hanamaki, it was snowing steadily.

From there it was a short taxi ride to the airport.

thankful for this guy who de-iced the wings...sorry osaka we brought back some flurries for you❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #tohoku #japan #dailylife #東北 #花巻空港 #日々の暮らし #hanamakiairport #iwate #岩手県 It was my first time seeing them de-ice the wings...thank you!

We had a nice time in Akita and Iwate.

At least the weather was more cooperative this time around.

I hope you enjoyed our little adventure as much as we did.

Niizato Tofu
1-2 Higashide-cho
Tohno, Iwate
Phone: 0198.62.3332
Hours: 6:00-18:00

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


IMG_3850 Since Momo no sekku or Hinamatsuri (Girl's Day) was coming around, it was nice to see all these tsurushi bina. (These were at Shizuka-tei).

Apparently in the Edo period most people could not afford the elaborate doll displays, so many would sew these types of tsurushi bina (literally hanging dolls) out of kimono fabric to pray/wish for the good health and happiness of their daughters.

IMG_3855 After checking out, the inn dropped us off at the station.

Since we had almost an hour wait for our train, we went to have some coffee and something sweet at Yoshinoya.

This sweet shop has been in business since 1915!

The cream puff that we shared was delicious, not too sweet and filled to the gills with custard cream!

The owner's wife also gave us a taste of their sakura yokan (a thick, jellied dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar).

From Hiraizumi to Tohno it was 2 and a half hours by train.

When we arrived the snow started falling slightly.

We had intended to look for lunch, but we also wanted to check out Kappabuchi, and luckily there was a bus that was scheduled to arrive in a matter of minutes, so we hopped on and headed out instead.

The snow was coming down quite steadily now, so we headed inside of Denshoen in search of lunch.

IMG_3870 Hittsumi is the local dish filled with some veggies and "noodles" that are made by flattening and "pulling" at the dough.

The soup is shoyu based...what a great way to warm up!

IMG_3871 We also tried the local sweet called ganzuki.

A steamed cake made from black sugar and is topped with walnuts and black sesame seeds.

The cake was so airy.

IMG_3873 The snow had stopped and we were ready to look for kappa (river creatures).

On the way to Jokenji, we stumbled upon a farm that grows some of the hops for Kirin Beer.

It was cool to see how tall the hops grew!

On to the kappa...legend has it that Kappa were pranksters.

Once a kappa pulled a horse's tail and the rider fell off and got hurt.

The villagers heard what the kappa did and caught the kappa.

The kappa knew that if it was out of water too long it would die, so it pleaded to be spared.

The villagers made the kappa promise never to do pranks.

The kappa promised and the villagers set it free.

Nowadays, parents use the kappa story as a way to "scare" their children, saying that if they get too close to the edge of the river, the kappa will come and get them, in hopes that the children won't play near the rivers.

You should also know that Kappa apparently like cucumbers, which is why kappamaki have pieces of cucumber in them.

IMG_3875 Anyway, behind Jokenji, is a river where you may see kappa.

While we were there, the wind picked up and made the area quite eery.

The blizzard also made things harder to see...

while taking cover in a blizzard, we made a new friend❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #遠野 #常堅寺 #岩手県 #猫 #東北 #tohno #jokenji #iwate #tohoku #cat #japan Of course, my new "friend" scared the bejeezus out of me appearing out of nowhere...

Since the bus wasn't running too often, we went back to Denshoen and called a taxi.

After checking in, we spent some time watching another blizzard whizz by our window...

Then after the blizzard stopped, we checked out the Tohno Museum next door to the hotel.

IMG_3893 The museum shows life in Tohno before modern times and there are also displays of kitchen gadgets, farm tools as well as toys.

I was particularly intrigued by these wooden blocks.

Apparently on each side is a different picture with descriptions on them.

You roll them like dice and make up stories using the different pictures that turn up.

The lady working at the museum also showed us some custom blocks that were made using the German language instead of Japanese.

Down the street from the hotel was Matsuda Shorindo, a sweet shop that has been in business for over 150 years!

IMG_3896 They created the sweet called akegarasu.

IMG_3931 It is a semi-soft sweet that is made from rice flour, black sesame seeds and walnuts.

When sliced, the walnuts look like crows flying into the morning sky, thus the name "akegarasu".

These were slightly sweet and had a slight chew.

Bummer that their other sweets we purchased called Kappa no osara (kappa's plate), a manju like sweet had artificial sweeteners in it.

The owner's wife also mentioned that in a couple of days they would have a hinamatsuri event where many shops in the area would display their dolls.

Too bad we would miss this...I counted the shops on the map she gave us and there were over 40 to see!

We headed back to the hotel and just before dinner, there was a woman telling local folktales in Iwate about foreign language!

Dinner was again huge, though I didn't think this dinner was as good as the ones we had in the previous days.

Still, even if we didn't see any kappa, I'm glad we were in the area.

6-chiwari 5-1 Tsuchibuchi-cho
Tohno, Iwate
Phone: 0198.62.8655
Open 9:00-17:00

7-chiwari 50 Tsuchibuchi-cho
Tohno, Iwate
Phone: 0198.62.1333

Tohno Museum
3-9 Higashide-cho
Tohno, Iwate
Phone: 0198.62.2340
Hours: 9:00-17:00

Aeria Tohno
1-10 Shinmachi
Tohno, Iwate
Phone: 0198.60.1703