Monday, March 26, 2018

full bloom

Remember MIL's sakura branch/tree?!

Well, when we went (to bring some things) yesterday, the tree was in full bloom!

Amazing and so pretty!

Have a nice week!

Sunday, March 25, 2018


Reader Kalin's Mommy sent us all these goodies from home.

We'll enjoy them after the move.

Thank you so much we appreciate your kindness!

Saturday, March 24, 2018


It was the First Day of Spring the other day, but we had a winter storm.

Cold rain and icy winds...brr.

Changing the cute is this teeny sakura (cherry) tree/branch that BIL gave to MIL for her birthday.

It is growing in a ball of moss and dirt.

MIL said that when she received it the buds were a light pink...

They turned darker and one actually bloomed.

Hope your Spring got off to a better start!

Friday, March 23, 2018


I recently got this salad from RF1.

The packaging is unique though maybe not too environment friendly.

Pop the bottom off to take out the dressing.

And the top layer of toppings can be removed too.

Even though it isn't too environment friendly, the greens don't get wilty from the toppings.

And a couple of weeks ago when I needed to pack some strawberries for Satoshi to take with his breakfast musubi, this blueberry basket was perfect.

Cool, yeah?!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

and so it starts

Saturday in Kyoto.

It was a beautiful sunny day.

On the way to see a historical exhibit that Satoshi has been wanting to see, Hokoji had some early blooming sakura.

Hope to be able to share more of this beautiful season with you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Do you remember this post?

Well, Friday we got "that" notice and Satoshi will be transferred to Tokyo.

My anxiety is through the roof and thinking about all the things that need to be done so he can be there by April 2nd...eep!

Of course, moving away from MIL, my host family and many friends will be hard.

But the hardest will be to find a reasonably priced place with enough square footage for us while also considering the time for Satoshi's commute to work.

We were definitely spoiled to be able to live in such a reasonably priced, convenient & "spacious" apartment (600 square feet) with lots of storage space here in Osaka for the past 17 years!

At least we'll be able to keep the place we are living in until the end of April or so, so I am visualizing the actual move during Golden Week (at the end of April).

I do need to also start going through the fridge and freezer...don't want to have to throw anything out.

It is a new adventure and I know I should be excited but I am definitely more worried about finding a place and the move.

Satoshi's company will pay the rent and the deposits BUT they have a set amount, if we supplement, then the company will stop paying and we would be responsible for the full amount...eep!

I really don't want Satoshi to have to commute too long just so that we can have a bigger space to live in but I am coming to the conclusion that if he doesn’t, we'll have to make the move without any belongings(furniture and such)...the properties are THAT teeny and expensive.

I do have a couple of posts lined up but it may be quiet around here after that, just thought I should let you know in advance...

Be well everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2018


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.

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

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)

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

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

Strong like tuberose.

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...

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

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 (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


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

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.

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....

Click on this photo to see the short video.

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...

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


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


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

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

Recently Haagen Dazs came out with 2 new hanamochi flavors...kuri azuki (chestnut & sweet bean)

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

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)

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.

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


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


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