Thursday, August 16, 2018


Untitled If you are following us on Instagram, you'll know that I was able to view the fireworks for our city last night from our balcony.

Click on the photo to view (a little over a minute long) video.

The whole fireworks show was 40 minutes long.

Because the winds were southerly, I could even smell the smoke from the fireworks!

Anyway, it was nice to be able to view them without having to deal with the crowds.

Today, the winds are krazy strong but still very very humid and warm.

We're expecting some cooler (non-humidity) temps over the next couple of days but after that, the temps are forecast to go up again...eep!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Untitled This time of year there are many fireworks shows.

Saturday night they had a fireworks show near Odaiba.

Odaiba is a man-made island near Shinagawa, which is near to where we live.

I checked the position of the fireworks show and compared it to where our apartment is.

Luckily we could see the ones that got up higher than the building in this photo from our east balcony.

Tonight is supposed to be the fireworks show for our city.

Hopefully we'll be able to see it from one of our two balconies.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

berry tomatoes

Untitled I think these berry tomatoes were from Hokkaido.

They kind of looked like scotch bonnet peppers, so I made sure to re-read the sign at the market.

I'm glad we got to try these, they were super sweet.

Monday, August 13, 2018

foodie saturday

Untitled Saturday, it was blazing hot and humid.

Satoshi's been studying for a test, so I decided to get out and about.

I don't know how I found out about the lotus flowers at Shinobazu Pond in Ueno, but I decided to check it out.

Click on the photo to view the video.

The southern area of the pond is called "Lotus Pond" and is filled with lotus plants and flowers.

Untitled It was amazing to see.

Untitled Since I was near the Ueno Zoo, I stopped in to get cooled off and to try panda stamped anpan from Wholesome Bakery.

Last year, the panda at the Ueno Zoo gave birth, so they've been celebrating with all sorts of panda goods.

The anpan was a brioche bread filled with sweet bean paste.

With an iced coffee, it hit the spot.

Then I headed to Ginza.

I wanted to check out the Hiroshima Antenna Shop, boy! was it hard to find.

I did find it eventually...

Untitled It was getting close to lunch time so I popped into Oslo Coffee and ordered their croque monsieur.

The sandwich was oozy and delicious.

Again, it was nice to cool off and take a break.

Untitled My last stop was Ginza Six, a relatively new building filled with shops and eateries.

I wanted something sweet so I tried Philippe Conticini's citrus parfait.

Super refreshing with all the different citrus used.

It was fun watching them make the parfait right in front of you too.

It's still brutally hot and humid.

Still, it was nice getting out and about.

Wholesome Bakery
1-57 Ueno Park, 3153 Ueno 1F
Taito, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6806.0430
Hours: 6:00-22:30

Oslo Coffee
5-8 Ginza, inside Ginza Core 1F
Chuo, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3289.2264
Hours: 11:00-22:00, closed when Ginza Core is

Philippe Conticini
6-10-1 Ginza, inside Ginza Six B2F
Chuo, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3289.4011
Hours: 10:30-20:30

Friday, August 10, 2018

things I brought back

Untitled Click on the photo to see some of the things I brought back from my mom's kitchen.

Sorry the video is kinda shaky and really short. oil screen, oil guard, oshizushi (pressed sushi) mold, long oshizushi mold, grater and tofu drainer.

Can't wait to make ninjin shirishiri with the grater and trying to think of a tofu recipe to use the drainer for...

Thursday, August 09, 2018

supermarket finds

supermarket finds❤︎nagano blueberries & fukushima peaches ・ ・ ・ #blueberry #nagano #peaches #fukushima #japan #buyjapan #ブルーベリー #長野産 #桃 #福島産 Can I share a secret with you?

If you want to know at what stage of the season the fruits or veggies are in Japan, look at where it was grown.

For example you will see most fruit & veggies start from Kyushu (where it is technically warmer) then make its way up all the way to Hokkaido.

Of course, there are some fruits and veggies that are only grown in certain areas of Japan, so this tidbit wouldn't apply.

Anyway, these peaches which were grown in Fukushima Prefecture which means that the peach season is nearing the end.

These blueberries were grown in Nagano, so I think the season is also coming to an end.

We'll try these in the coming days, hopefully they won't disappoint.

UPDATE: the peaches were on the firmer side but sweet and delicious. The blueberries were a little tart but delicious too.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

naan taco

naan taco❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #naan #taco #mosburger #oolongtea #ikegami #tokyo #japan #humidityisevil #ナンタコス #モス #烏龍茶 #池上 #蒸し暑 #東京 I should talk about the humidity and heat more often.

This morning it was 71F/22C and no humidity!

I had to convince Satoshi to bring a light sweater to work.

Changing the subject, apparently, it's been 4 years since MOS burger had their naan taco.

It seemed a little smaller than in the past, but was still delicious.

What did you have for lunch?

Tuesday, August 07, 2018


Untitled You should've seen the TSA line in Honolulu, it snaked around a couple of times and went all the way to the curb!

They finally have free wifi and have changed the gate numbering.

The menu on my flight was keema curry or oyster chicken.

I chose the keema curry and it was pretty good.

We also had fried fish (I think) with some marinated onions which was delicious too.

The grossest thing on the tray was the potato salad which had a weird texture so I didn't eat it.

Untitled We also received Big Island Candies cookies and Tropilicious sherbert.

The flight also wasn't too full so the seat next to me was empty.

I watched many movies...."Zootopia", "Coco" (I only saw the last half because I fell asleep after lunch), "Moana" and "The Greatest Showman".

Mostly animation type movies, but I enjoyed all.

Since Satoshi couldn't meet me at the airport, I sent one bag to be delivered.

It was weird trying to remember how to get back to where we live.

I guess I haven't really adjusted to the move yet.

My bag was delivered yesterday and everything seems to be intact.

The heat and humidity are brutal.

Most of the plants on my lanai are dead...sigh.

Our kitchen is the only place with the air conditioner, so we also are using our electric fan.

I guess it doesn't help that a typhoon is also approaching.

Hope your week is going well.

Monday, August 06, 2018

highway inn kaka'ako

thanks for today @rexmaximilian always nice catching up with you❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #chicken #laulau #lomilomisalmon #poi #purplesweetpotato #haupia #highwayinnkakaako #kakaako #hawaii #supportlocal #kanakattack I haven't been meeting up with too many friends this trip back because I really didn't know what kinds of things I would need to get done regarding my Dad's estate.

Boy, was there a lot to learn this time around...

If you've been following us on Instagram or Facebook though, you know I have been eating.

Thankful that BFF Wen, lives pretty much down the hill from me, so we would often go out to eat, talk story or just go holo holo (galavant).

I did get a chance to meet up with Rex, my Flickr friend.

Last year Rex and I met up at Ono Hawaiian Foods because it was closing.

Almost every summer, we've planned to meet at W & M, but something or other has us eating elsewhere.

This year was no different.

We were all set to meet at W & M and Rex messaged me on Monday that he had mistaken the day so if I could meet up on Tuesday instead of Thursday.

I messaged him back and told him W & M is closed on Tuesdays.

He then explained that he needs to be in downtown after lunch for a photo shoot, so if I could pick somewhere near there.

I thought about the parking downtown and SALT at Kaka'ako came to mind.

Then as I was looking at the different eateries online, Highway Inn popped out at me.

I had remembered him saying that he liked the food there, so I asked if we could meet there.

Actually, I'd never eaten there because like my Ono Hawaiian Foods post, our family usually made our own lau lau and other Hawaiian foods, rarely did we go out to eat it.

The chicken lau lau was HUGE and filled with tender chicken, a piece of salted fish and lots of luau leaves (the leaves of the taro plant).

The other mains to choose from were beef or tripe stew, kalua pig or pork lau lau.

The plate also came with choice of lomi lomi salmon, mac salad or tossed salad.

Choice of rice or poi.

Sweet potato and haupia (coconut pudding).

And if you were even hungrier, you could add on more items...eep!

I loved the school lunch trays!

I couldn't finish everything, so I'm glad they had take out boxes.

It was nice meeting up.

Untitled Before meeting up with Rex, I went to Punchbowl, to visit my grandpa's brother, a non-related "uncle" and I also went to see my Dad.

The plaque for his niche was up (they had mentioned before the interment that it may take up to 60 days), I'm glad I got to see it.

It's been a long yet short 8 weeks.

My brother intends to move back to the mainland and sell my parents house sometime next year.

Which is why there were so many danshari posts, though we have so much more stuff to go through.

I do hope he will change his mind and stay in Hawaii a little longer though.

Thankful for all the love from family and friends (both virtual and those in real-life).

By the time this posts, I should be back in Japan.

Be well everyone.

Highway Inn Kaka'ako (SALT at Kaka'ako)
680 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.954.4955
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 8:30-20:30, Fridays-Saturdays 8:30-21:00, Sundays 9:00-14:30

Sunday, August 05, 2018

this and that

Untitled Random things...Bringing back a family sized bag of PB M & M's and 3 fun sized bags of PB Snickers.

This "should" last me until me next summer.

Untitled Kinda bummed that Lion Coffee changed their bags from the one on the left to the one on the right.

I'm biased because I used to work at Lion back in the day, but to me the bag on the right looks really cheap.

Untitled Lunch at Haleiwa Joe's with Aunty Merle.

The asian slaw could've been marinated more, but it was nice spending some time with my Aunty...Thank you Aunty!

wun tun min❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #shirossaimin #waimalu #wuntunmin #supportlocal #hawaii Wun Tun Min with BFF Wen at Shiro's.

Simple and delicious saimin...Thank you Wen.

Untitled Crab Cake Salad at Nico's Pier 38 with relatives.

This was tasty but I thought the plating was kinda sad the middle of a huge plate of spinach was this one lonely crab cake with some halved cherry tomatoes scattered on the edges.

Two or three teeny crab cakes and/or maybe a different kind of greens and/or variation of more veggies would've made this look more appetizing to the eyes...Thank you Uncle and Aunty!

Untitled Care package from Mich & K. (Thank you!)

Saturday, August 04, 2018

(trying to) live pono

farmers2 Do you try to do the right thing?

In Hawaii, there is a saying "live pono".

If I'm not mistaken, there are several meanings, but for me, it means to "do the right thing".

The other day, I went to the market and bought a salad, a container of poi (mashed taro) and the salad came with a dressing packet (which was free with purchase of the salad).

The line at the checkout had a slight hiccup, and the guy before me needed to get something price checked.

When everything finally got sorted out, he paid then left.

Then the cashier proceeded to ring my items up.

I am usually good about watching when the cashier rings things up, because sometimes the price on the shelf isn't what is scanned, but on this day, I wasn't paying attention.

The cashier gave me a total, I paid then went home.

As I was eating my salad, I pulled out my receipt and realized that the cashier had charged me for the dressing and hadn't charged me for the poi!

So, the next day, I went to the store and explained what happened and that I wanted to pay for the poi.

The manager was so thankful and almost started crying as there had already been several shopliftings earlier that morning. (eep!)

She then tried to give me a case of water (using her reward points) for being so honest, but I refused it because I was only there to pay for the item that I wasn't charged for, not to receive anything for trying to do what was right.

I know I probably should have gone back the same day, but I'm still glad I went back to do the right thing.

Have you ever had something similar happen to you? Did you live pono?

Friday, August 03, 2018

(yet more) danshari

Untitled I donated more things to my mom's church.

Like all these stuffed animals...

Did you have these Koala Me thingies? (top right picture)

They could cling on to things...

Untitled And my Hello Kitty "collection"...I think these were from Happy Meals.

Hello Kitty and her boyfriend Daniel.

I know I've written here that I wasn't much of a Hello Kitty fan, guess I was mistaken...oops!

I don't remember if I had to eat separate Happy Meals to get the pair, or if they came together for one Happy Meal...krazy yeah?!

I loved them because they were dressed up in different cultural (bridal?) costumes.

Not all of these Hello Kitty dolls were in pairs though (if you know what year these were from, don't say it out loud, don't want anyone to know how old I am...)

I hope the ones that have pairs will be sold together.

And I hope all will find good homes.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

teapresso bar

Untitled Met up with Sheri of Happy Little Bento since they are visiting for the summer.

It's been a couple of years since we were in Hawaii at the same time, but it is always nice catching up with her and her family.

We met kinda halfway of where my parents house is and where she was we met up in Waipahu at Teapresso Bar.

I'm not sure if this is a local company or a mainland one, but they boast all non-gmo, no powder, brewed to order boba teas & coffees with vegan, gluten-free & organic options.

I tried their Iced Tropic Osmanthus sweetened lightly (25%) and large boba (tapioca balls)(because the small ones weren't ready yet).

This was super floral & refreshing, perfect for the sticky humid day it was.

I was trying to pinpoint where I have had this flavor and when I got home looked online.

Osmanthus is the sweet olive or what the Japanese call kinmokusei, my favorite Autumn flower!

Not that I've ever tasted the flower before, but the fragrance while drinking the tea was just that.

Anyway, if you've ever wondered what kinmokusei tastes like, I would suggest you try this.

WARNING though, it is super heady, so I understand why not everyone likes this fragrance.

Untitled Her kids made these cute origami of a bird/box and top.

And they also gave me these great snacks.

Untitled Look at the size of this Chinese Pretzel, which I think is made by Family Grocery Store in Kaneohe.

Oh em many good memories of my mom when she used to make these.

Untitled Luckily, we haven't gotten rid of all Mom's kitchen stuff so it was nice to pull it out of hiding and see how teeny it is compared to the pretzel that Sheri had given me.

I hope we'll be able to meet up again next summer.

Thanks for today Sheri & family!

Teapresso Bar
94-366 Pupupani St. #105
Waipahu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.517.4040
Hours: Sundays-Thursdays 10:00-21:00, Fridays-Saturdays 10:00-23:00

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

black sheep cream co. (again)

mocha roca❤︎mocha cream + homemade almond brittle ・ ・ ・ #blacksheepcreamco #icecream #mocha #almond #brittle #waipio #hawaii #supportlocal This past Saturday was my last full Saturday in Hawaii so...

BFF Wen and I made another ice cream run.

This time around I tried the Mocha Roca...mocha cream with homemade almond brittle.

The guy scooping the ice cream wasn't as generous as the other guy was the past two visits.

Still, this place doesn't disappoint.

Please stay in business because we'll be back next year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


anthurium Saturday, I received an enthusiastic message on the phone from JCCH (Japanese Culture Center of Hawaii) to thank us for our donation...

Too bad I wasn't home to take the call, I would've mentioned that they should train their volunteers to be as cheerful.

Still, I'm happy they called.

Monday, July 30, 2018

elote fries

elote fries❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #latourcafe #elote #fries #hawaii #supportlocal #pearlcity Tried the Elote Fries at La Tour Cafe recently.

Elote is a Mexican Street Corn...grilled corn slathered with a creamy sauce, topped with cotija cheese, garlic, cilantro & chili.

Having never tried elote, I was curious about this version.

La Tour Cafe's version is crispy pomme frites (french fries), cotija (mexican feta) & sour cream sauce, charred corn & jalapeno, red onions, cilantro, elote seasoning and crispy garlic (there was also a grilled lime to squeeze over everything).

This was spicy, garlicky goodness.

I'm glad I tried this and would definitely eat this again.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

teruya's andagi

Untitled Got together with some of my aunties yesterday for lunch.

Aunty Merle hosted and bought vegetable bentos from Teruya's Andagi.

Apparently they used to sell foods when Shirokiya was actually a store with their food hall upstairs on the East side of the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Untitled The food and andagi were great but spending some time with my aunties, even though we are all not related was priceless.

Thanks Aunties!

Teruya's Andagi
1104 Pensacola Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.389.1714
Closed Sundays
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 10:00-15:00, Saturdays 9:30-13:00

Saturday, July 28, 2018

thanks for today

thanks for today❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #nofilter #sunset #hawaii Went to see "Won't You Be My Neighbor", the documentary about Mr Rogers.

Did you grow up in this era?

For those of you too young to know about Mr Rogers, please look him up on YouTube.

I feel he was influential in my childhood.

His voice, his songs, his message (that we matter and that we are loved) resonate in what I think we need in the world especially these days.

Untitled Have you gone to the movies lately?!

It's been ages since I've seen a movie in the US and I was shocked at the price of popcorn.

I should've brought snacks in to the movies, but didn't, so I bought a bag of hurricane-style (butter, furikake and kakimochi) popcorn afterwards from L1 Iniki, a shop in Pearlridge, which turned out to be my very late lunch.

Still, it was a good day.

I'm glad I saw this, it's not a trendy movie and will probably never be shown in Japan.

It was nice reconnecting...Thank you Mr Rogers

Friday, July 27, 2018

back to black sheep cream co.

“buckle up it’s gonna be a rocky road” = chocolate cream + chocolate covered almonds + roasted marshmallows❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #blacksheepcreamco #icecream #rockyroad #hawaii #supportlocal #waipio BFF Wen and I went back to Black Sheep Cream Co and I tried their Rocky Road which is called "buckle up it's gonna be a rocky road" chocolate cream, chocolate covered almonds and roasted marshmallows.

They "roast" the marshmallows just before serving so it comes out warm.

The ice cream is so good!

So many more flavors to try...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

bon dance

Untitled It's Bon Dance Season in Hawaii.

If you'd like to know what bon dance is, please read this.

I went to the Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission's Bon Dance on Friday with Aunty Marian.

There was a nice turn out.

Untitled Mini chicken hekka (similar to sukiyaki) sold out fast...

Untitled I had their chicken bento...delicious.

Untitled Andagi is always a must.

It was our first time going to this bon dance and I'm glad we did.

Thanks Aunty for inviting me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

thank you

Untitled My Aunty Vi shared more delicious mangoes from her stash.

Untitled And she also gave me a key chain with this printed on it...if it looks familiar it is from Winnie the Pooh.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

more danshari

Untitled More danshari (purging) dolls that relatives have given me over the years.

Untitled I donated these to my mom's church, since the JCCH refused to take them due to storage issues.








Untitled I hope they will find new homes too.