Monday, April 30, 2018

yashi pan

About 10 minutes from where we live is Yashi Pan, a tiny bakery.

On my first visit I tried their tuna and corn bread, this was filled with lots of tuna, corn, black pepper and some mayo.

The other thing I tried was their baked curry pan (left).

The curry was more Asian with hints of coconut milk.

I liked that this wasn't fried and that it was filled to the gills with curry.

The other day I tried their Chicken Panini which had lots of grainy mustard in it.

Their frank roll had grainy mustard in it too, but to me the chicken panini had a little more flavor.

There are other items I am looking forward to trying and I like that you need to communicate with the people behind the counter as to what you want to purchase.

I'll be back.

Yashi Pan
4-23-9 Ikegami
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6312.9101
Hours: 8:00-18:00
Closed Wednesdays & the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays

Sunday, April 29, 2018

boulangerie corse

About 6 minutes from where we live is Boulangerie Corse, a tiny bakery that is open rather early in the morning until rather late at night.

The first time I tried their fish burger.

The bun was nice and fluffy and the fish nicely seasoned.

On my second visit, I had their lasagna pie...the outside was on the sweet side and the inside had lots of sauce and some veggies.

I liked the flakiness of the puff pastry.

And their curry cheese pan was a nice rich curry with lots of cheese.

Looking forward to trying other items.

I'll be back.

Boulangerie Corse
6-16-4 Nishi Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3735.0878
Hours: 9:00-20:00
Closed Wednesdays

Saturday, April 28, 2018

suikoen & niihao

Back in October last year when we visited Tokyo, we had tried Niihao's gyoza, little did we know we would live 20 minutes walking distance from this place!

One of the first things we noticed about Kamata and the surrounding areas after moving here is that there are tons of Chinese restaurants, I would say there are more than the amount of convenience stores!

We tried Suikoen on the day we moved into the apartment.

This was after we got things done at the city office.

The nice thing about Suikoen is that they have 300 yen plates and the servings are quite generous.

We ordered 5 different things(because we didn’t think the servings would be too big)...this pork stir-fry.

chicken with cashews, vegetable stir-fry

gyoza and shrimp with mayo sauce (not pictured).

Super cheap eats.

And then we found out that Niihao has a restaurant near one of our stations (we live in between two stations, so whenever we go somewhere we can walk 8 minutes in either direction to one of the stations depending on what direction we want to go)...we had their gyoza

pork stir-fry

shiru-nashi tan tan men (this is spicy noodles without soup) be sure to mix this well as all the sauce that they serve this with is at the bottom.

There are many other Chinese restaurants that I am sure we will check out, but I have also noticed that there are Thai and Vietnamese restaurants too, so hopefully I can try them for lunch.

7-64-3 Nishi Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 050.5591.0656
Hours: 11:00-24:00

7-4-7 Ikegami
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5700.2180
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: 11:30-14:00 (lunch), 17:30-22:00 (dinner)

Friday, April 27, 2018

and we're back...

Yesterday, the phone guy came to install our phone/internet line.

It took me some time to figure out how to log-in to use the wifi, but am glad we are finally able to reconnect to the world.

Yesterday, the electric guy also came to attach an antenna to our lanai so that we can view satellite television.

Yesterday, the building management sent some guys to fix some areas in the apartment (this was actually a continuation of last Friday).

Also yesterday, a mover came to pick up all the empty cardboard boxes.

And the bags filled with the 5 boxes for the dishes.

If you follow us on Instagram, you saw this and that of the past couple of weeks…I’d like to share with you about our moving day(s).

4/15, Sunday, the weather was forecast for rain, but we were lucky to get some clouds and some sun...

the movers came at 12:30 and estimated that it would take about 5 to 6 hours...WT?

I had reserved a seat on the Shinkansen for 17:00, but accepted that I probably wouldn't make it...

An hour into the move, Satoshi had to return to Tokyo to pick up the key to the apartment from the RE agent.

Dunno why they couldn’t give him the key on Friday, oh wella...

The leader of the moving team mentioned that he thought I was “used” to moving because everything was packed up and ready to go when they, well, when you say I need to pack up our stuff by 12:30, I pack up our stuff by 12:30.

He said he’s often gone to homes and the people moving haven’t even started packing…WT?

Since our Osaka apartment didn’t have a huge parking area, they had to make a couple of trips to load and unload our stuff onto a larger truck.

And guess what, we were done by 15:30!

The building manager came a little after and I thanked him for taking care of us when we needed help and gave him our keys.

I then made my way to try to catch the Shinkansen...

When I arrived in Umeda, I used the restroom and bought something to eat (because to try to do this at Shin-Osaka, the lines of the restroom might be krazy) then I made my way to the Shinkansen station (Shin-Osaka).

I arrived at Shin-Osaka and saw that my “flight” was ready to leave so I hauled my suitcase while running up the stairs to the platform.

I sat in my reserved seat and less than a minute later, the train pulled out of the station...whew!

When I arrived in Tokyo, I met Satoshi in Kamata where we would spend the night.

The movers were coming bright and early between 8:00-9:00.

It was a long day, but we were in Tokyo.

4/16, Monday, we checked out of the hotel and made our way to the apartment getting there a little before 8:00.

At 8:30, a huge truck drove up…this was filled with our belongings.

The teeny truck are what the movers rode in.

The first things to come out of the truck were the furniture that we brought with us.

Then ALL the boxes...I think we had over 100...

Afterwards, Satoshi had to go downstairs to see the empty truck and sign that they delivered everything.

It was a good thing we didn’t bring the sofa and dining definitely wouldn’t have fit in this apartment.

AND, the closet space has been cut in half, so there are some things that we don’t know where to store.

BUT, my kitchen counter space has doubled to “two folder papers” AND there is lots of space under the kitchen sink (oh and the sink is longer too).

I did lose a drawer in the kitchen, so have to figure out where to put my gadgets...

The drawer that is there in the kitchen is too shallow, so we can’t put all the utensils that we once had in there.

AND I found out the hard way that while my fridge was made by the same maker, the fridge and freezer were not in the same areas as my old one...thank goodness I didn’t have ice cream in there, though I hope that the jams and pickles that got frozen will be okay.

There was one scary moment...the last items that the movers pack up are the shoes in the shoes at the entrance of your apartment, so of course, when they unpack, it is also the last items that they take out of the boxes.

I went to the shoe closet and wanted to take out my slippers...but they weren’t there!

In fact, half of my shoes were not there...

Instead, there was this pair of shoes that I have never seen in my life…

Talk about panic!

We called the movers in Osaka and told them about the unknown pair of shoes and asked them about the other missing shoes.

The Osaka team told us that they had put our shoes into a cardboard box and “thought” they had labeled it...luckily, we found the unlabeled box, BUT, we still don’t know who’s shoes these are and have a feeling it was left by the people who lived in the apartment before us...eep!

“Someone” got the huge flat screen tv that he’s been literally takes up a whole wall of the apartment and I think we need to watch it from the apartment next door...

The building is rather old so it isn’t wired for BS TV, which I think is satellite television, which means we need to put up an antenna.

I got a new washer and it has a built-in dryer, I need to figure out how to get the dryer to dry things fully, but it will definitely come in handy for the rainy season.

Our weather has been summery, but our apartment has a nice cross wind.

Am hoping dreaming we’ll still have nice cross winds when summer actually starts.

It is the start of Golden Week and we plan to explore the surrounding areas.

Sorry this post was super long, but I wanted to get in as much as possible.

Thanks for being patient and sticking with us.

I look forward to sharing more with what I've been eating and update you on my dental adventure...

Have a nice weekend.

Urvest Kamata (UPDATE:12/20 out of business)
5-12-12 Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3739.0002

Thursday, April 26, 2018

this morning

How are you all doing?

Hope you didn't forget about us.

I have a detailed post about the move but need to edit it a little more, but wanted to share with you the view we discovered from our lanai this morning...

Mount Fuji!

The past two weeks, the air was super hazy plus we also had some heavy rains yesterday, so we've never noticed her.

Looking forward to being greeted by her and will update you all soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

this and that

In Japan, since space is premium, everything is measured.

The other day, we got the measurements for the pan where the washer will sit.

Not all apartments have them, so if you don't have one there are precautions you need to take, just in case your washer overflows...

Anyway, since I got the measurements for the pan I looked at the movers catalog but was concerned the washer I wanted would not fit, so I called the moving company.

They weren't too sure if it would fit, so I called an appliance store...of course it would fit because they wanted to make a sale...

I then called the maker of the washer I wanted, the guy said that if the measurements we received were the inside perimeter of the pan, not the edge/lip perimeter of the pan, then the washer would fit.

I then called the real estate agent who gave us the measurements and asked her whether the numbers were from the inside of the pan or the edge/lip, she confirmed they were from the inside of the pan...whew!

Long story short, I was able to order the washer I wanted...

Also, since some of Japan's bedding is futon (comforter) style.

The moving company gave us several of these bags for our futon.

This is actually 2 bean bag chairs...that's how huge this is (I guess I should've take a side shot too, so you can see how big the bag is)

This particular moving company has a code with their means "fragile"...yellow means "I want to use this right away"...white has no meaning.

Square boxes are used to pack heavy things like books.

Rectangle boxes are used to pack light things like clothing.

There is even a really long rectangular box that they gave us, which is for kimonos, but I used one for our umbrellas instead.

The boxes for the dishes came, and while appreciate that I didn't have to wrap them, a lot of my dishes didn't match the sizes of their!

We use these plastic boxes that we brought with us when we moved from Hawaii to store a lot of things.

The moving company only allows clothing to be kept in them for the move (this is because the boxes would be too heavy for them to carry if they allowed other things in them), so we had to transfer items we had had in them and put clothing in them instead.

I still have a little more packing to go...mostly jams, pickles & dried foods, just before I need to pull the plug on the fridge/freezer...

AND it is supposed to rain on Sunday...hoping this all goes smoothly.

Send us good mojo...Take care!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

last sakura walk

This year's sakura was way too quick.

I took a break from packing on Monday, and shot this video (click on the photo).

The weeping cherry trees were beautiful!

Am gonna miss this neighborhood...

By Wednesday, most of the petals had fallen.

The weeping trees were still nice though.

The little pond in Suigetsu Park was filled with pink petals!

Spring is way too short...

Monday, April 09, 2018

atlas obscura

Remember the tokkuri ika?

Well, recently we were approached by Atlas Obscura to use our photo for their article.

Thanks for using our photo and giving credit where it is due.

Sunday, April 08, 2018


We got the place in Ikegami that we wanted.

We're on schedule to move this coming Sunday.

I'm just waiting for the RE agent to send us some measurements so that I can have Satoshi order my appliances through the moving company.

We need to order as soon as possible so that they can have them ready for when we move in Monday morning.

I've been packing and doing a little more purging.

Boy do moving boxes take up space!

I kind of wish that the shop who will take the furniture (for a fee) we are giving up would've come earlier than the moving day so that I would have more space for moving boxes, but I think they have a contract with the moving company and can only do it on moving day using the movers...sigh.

In a way it is a good thing that Satoshi is not around (he'll probably freak out when he comes home this Friday), there is only a tiny area to walk, though doing this all myself is running me a bit ragged.

On Wednesday, the boxes for our dishes will be delivered, no wrapping, just slide them into slots.

Over the past two days, I was trying to get as many things into boxes.

It is amazing how much dust accumulates and I can only imagine how gross it will be after they move out the refrigerator, washer and book shelves...eep!

We've also hit a cold snap and wouldn't you know it I already packed my warm clothing...brr!

It's been kind of sad too seeing everything going into boxes, things that were once on the wall aren't there now...the room kind of echoes too.

Whenever I go to the store or out to get some lunch, I walk my different routes and silently thank the things (flowers, sceneries) I used to look at on my walks.

AND I definitely need to go on a diet after this since I've been trying to eat all the sausages, butter and cheese in my freezer...eep!

Tomorrow I go to the dentist to get a mold made for the tooth they are fixing.

Hopefully it will be sunny and I can get a bit of positive mojo.

Anyway, that's what's happening...hope you all have a nice week.

Friday, April 06, 2018

this and that

Monday, I called our city for an emergency bulk pick up.

The manual that our city gives us states that you should at least give them a week's notice to schedule the pick up.

And the minimum cost would be 2470 yen for 1 square meter (10 square feet) of bulk garbage.

So when I called on Monday, the guy that answered said, "when did you want the pick up?"

I told him if he can do it sometime this week that would be great.

He said, "we can come tomorrow afternoon"...whoo!

Then he told me to put everything into our garbage pick up area by noon.

So it took me 45-ish minutes to lug everything down.

This was the one time I wished we had had an elevator...

As I was waiting for the truck to come in the afternoon, this particular Tuesday was our actual bulk pickup day.

Boy, the guys in the truck were having a field day putting on red stickers that indicate we have put out the bulk garbage incorrectly.

I ran down to tell them that I had requested emergency bulk pickup.

They immediately removed the red stickers and were off to pick up others' bulk garbage.

Then in the afternoon another truck came (the one I requested), they determined that I would only need to pay them 2470 yen and within 5 minutes the two guys had thrown everything in their truck and were off.

I wanted to share with you that the Japanese have an expression when their feet are sore...they say that their feet are laughing...while in America, we say they are crying.

My calves are definitely crying and not laughing...

I am super glad they were able to schedule the pick up this week and that I can move on to other things that need to be done.

Today, I went to get my root canal checked.

I also told the dentist that after he is totally finished, I will move to Tokyo and that if he could recommend a dentist there.

Next Monday they will take a mold to make a cap for the tooth.

Then the week we move to Tokyo, I need to come back to Osaka to get my tooth totally finished...

Satoshi said this before going to Tokyo..."we are definitely gonna need some R & R after this"...yup!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Monday, April 02, 2018


How are you?

Thought I should bring you up to date as to where we are...

So, after we found out that the price of the rent for us to look for was set, we also found out that the square footage that we were allowed was set too...eep! (550 square feet max)

The company labels our housing as "company housing" so everyone has to be the same rent and same square footage.

Apparently rent and square footage is more for families of 3 or more and less for those who are single or live/work away from their families.

If you remember, right now we live in a 600 square foot apartment.

Over the past couple of weeks, we worked with a real estate agent familiar with Satoshi's company's conditions.

She sent us all sorts of prospects, and one apartment that struck our attention was located in Shinagawa.

It was so convenient that Satoshi would be able to avoid riding the trains and walk to work!

The last Thursday of March we met up with the real estate agent in Tokyo and to our disappointment the Shinagawa property was poorly maintained and scarily dark.

Luckily the agent had two other properties lined up to show us in the Ikegami area.

To commute from Ikegami, Satoshi would need to ride two trains but both rides are not very long.

The commute time should equal to just about the same amount of time he takes to commute in Osaka, though I am sure the trains in Tokyo have a different kind of crowding.

Out of the two properties we looked at in the Ikegami area, one stood is 470 square feet and on the top floor of the building, getting lots of sunlight, just like our apartment now but of course, smaller.

It is not too far from the train station, just like our apartment now.

The weekend before we looked at properties, we met with the moving company, they gave us an estimate and scheduled our move for April 15 (which could change if we cannot move in by the 16th).

Most of our appliances are old (17 years) so we are planning to get rid of them.

The cool thing about the moving company is that they sell new appliances and will get rid of our old ones (for a fee).

Among our belongings there were some things that we (mostly Satoshi) are not ready to part with, so we talked with MIL and she has allowed us to store these things in a room of her house. (thank you!)

Over these weeks, we also went several times to Kyoto to clear out the area for us to put these things and also help her clean a little.

During most days I have been packing boxes and purging (lots of purging!).

Thank goodness our city has an emergency bulk garbage pick up (for a fee) and they will be coming tomorrow!

During the past two weeks, I was also able to meet up with my host mom, host sister and some friends for lunches.

I was worried I would have to throw out some butter I had in the freezer but the family next door kindly accepted it. (thank you!)

Unfortunately I know I still will have to throw some food things out but at least most things have been eaten or given away.

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks.

At this point, we're still waiting for the real estate agent to get back to us on the apartment we are interested in.

Thank you for all the advice and good mojo from you readers, friends and family.

Be well.