Thursday, May 31, 2018


One of Satoshi's friends lives in Oimachi, so after walking around after our monja lunch, we decided to find a place for dinner in Oimachi.

There was a place that he has been wanting to try but there was always a line...Pizzaman.

This shop looks like an old military barrack, round on the top, made of corrugated metal.

Inside it is rather noisy.

The pizza comes out quick from their wood burning oven.

We shared their margherita, daily special pizzas, an order of fries and a bottle of wine...the crust was so good!

The daily special pizza had all sorts of different grilled veggies on it.

And the fries were crispy....mmm.

Make reservations if possible, otherwise you'll need to wait for a table.

They also have salads and pastas.

I'm glad we tried this place and look forward to coming back.

1-11-8 Oi
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3774.0900
Closed Mondays
Hours: 11:30-14:00 (lunch), 18:00-21:00 (dinner)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


We met up with two of Satoshi's co-worker friends.

They both grew up in Kansai and work at the same office as Satoshi but everyone are in different departments.

One has lived in Tokyo for over 10 years, so he took us around to see the "sights".

Lunch was monjayaki or monja (moan-jah) for short at Tsukishima.

Tsukishima which is a couple of stations from Tsukiji has tons of monja shops.

Have you had monja?

I was leery because I heard it is similar to okonomiyaki but super watery and not very photogenic.

We started with some butteryaki...bean sprouts, mushrooms, squid legs & scallops..cooked on the griddle with butter and some shoyu (soy sauce)...delicious.

Then the ingredients for the monjayaki arrived...mochi pieces, cheese, mentaiko (spicy pollack roe), dried ramen, cabbage, dried shrimp, and I think some katsuobushi (shaved bonito).

Underneath all of that is the liquid "batter" which is more like a very unappetizing looking slurry.

They put the cabbage, dried shrimp, katsuobushi onto the griddle then as it cooks, they use the bera (bay-rah...metal spatulas) to "chop" up the cabbage, dried shrimp and katsuobushi into smaller pieces.

Then some of the liquid batter is added and then all the goodies (mentaiko, mochi, dried ramen & cheese).

The bera is used to spread everything out over the whole griddle and everything melds together.

Each diner has their own smaller bera and you scrape and press the monja with the bera against the griddle, whatever sticks to the bera is what you eat.

Monja is definitely not "fast food" it is meant to linger over while "talking story" (what we say in Hawaii meaning to chat).

I'm not a fan of mentaiko, but this was delicious.

I think the burnt cheese & mochi parts were the best.

The texture of monja is just that--burnt cheese off of a frying pan.

Click on the link to see a video of monja cooking...

We also had a curry cheese version.

It was my first time trying this it is totally different from okonomiyaki and I would eat this again.

3-9-10 Tsukishima
Chuo, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3531.0731
Hours: Lunch 12:00-15:00, Dinner 17:00-23:00
Closed Tuesdays

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

bakery alice

Found a new bakery called Bakery Alice.

They had all sorts of things.

I tried their mushroom tartine...crusty baguette topped with bechamel sauce, mushrooms, a little bacon & good! especially the burnt cheese bits.

The blueberry danish was also good too...a flaky pastry filled with some cake, topped with custard and blueberries.

The cake inside was a nice surprise!

I'm glad this bakery isn't too close to where we live too but I'll be back.

Bakery Alice
8-1-9 Chuo
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3753.6178
Hours: 7:00-19:00
Closed Tuesdays

Monday, May 28, 2018


The other night, Satoshi didn't need dinner, so I bought some chicken dal curry from Shanti.

The spiciness can be changed, I think their range is 0-5?! I chose 1.

For 500 yen (tax included) you can choose from their the curry of the day, keema, dal, chicken, veg AND they also add 1 naan or some rice.

The chicken dal curry was their curry of the day.

The curry was a little too salty for my liking. The naan was so big that they folded it!

They also have a 750 yen (tax included) menu with exotic stuff like mutton, prawn and seafood that also come with 1 naan or some rice.

I am curious what their other curries taste like, so I'll be back.

6-30-7 Nishi-Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6320.2027
Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 Dinner 17:00-23:00
Open Daily

Sunday, May 27, 2018


I've seen this guy get out of his "stall" which is pretty impressive but I wanna know how this guy parks under the stairs...

Saturday, May 26, 2018

antenna shops

In Tokyo, they have antenna shops, which are outlets for products from different areas of Japan.

Like in Shinagawa, they have an antenna shop for products from Akita prefecture.

When we visited Akita, I couldn't find butter mochi without it having artificial sweeteners in it, so I went to check out the antenna shop.

The first butter mochi I came across at the antenna shop had artificial sweeteners in it and then I looked in the refrigerated area...and they had a version that was made without the artificial sweeteners by Asari Kashiten....whoo!

Oh em gee, the mochi was so so soft, they also had a version with miso and butter, will try that one next.

This is different from the butter mochi we have in Hawaii, it isn't oily...there isn't much butter flavor and it seems a little sweeter than the one we have in Hawaii.

Still, I'm glad I got to try it.

Besides the mochi, I also purchased some Akita Komachi, a type of rice from the area.

I look forward to checking out other antenna shops around Tokyo.

ps the Japanese use the word "antenna" to mean "something trendy", they have their "antenna" up to catch the latest trends...

Friday, May 25, 2018


Satoshi had a class and his classroom is right across the street from Tokyo Tower.

There are several temples near Tokyo Tower and we visited one called Zojoji the other week.

They were allowing people to visit the tombs of the Tokugawa family (for a fee) on the property, so we went to check it out.

Loved the dragons near the doors of the tombs.

There were lots of these statues for unborn children.

It was nice to see Tokyo Tower with azaleas in bloom.

So much to explore, we still need to get to the top of Tokyo Tower too.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


We tried this yakishisomaki made in Sendai (Miyagi).

Shiso (perilla) is filled with a sweetened miso, walnuts, sesame seed mixture then pan fried.

Sweet, salty...this was good with rice.

I'm glad we tried this.

I found a recipe online and want to try making this.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Thought I would show you my kitchen...

Where we lost some storage space, we gained storage in other places.

Like under the kitchen sink, there is one big cupboard.

It has doors to separate the areas, but no "walls".

Glad I brought the stacking shelves that I had under my kitchen sink at our place in Osaka, really came in handy.

A nice thing too is that the 100 yen shops here mostly sell these types of storage gadgets, so it is easy to make your own shelving/storage.

The only bad part of the counter top is that it only comes up to right under my belly button.

I am short so I feel like a giant whenever I use the counter top, and can only imagine what a six foot tall person would feel like using it....

> I lost a drawer in this kitchen, but made my own using a plastic basket.

On the bottom, big gadgets.

Using two smaller containers, I separated the other utensils and they fit perfectly on top of the big gadgets.

Above the kitchen sink we have this metal rack that came with the apartment.

These types of racks are in most older kitchens in Japan, MIL has one in her kitchen too.

I have a gadget holder that uses suction cups to stick it onto the wall, but for some reason it doesn't stick to this tile so I am using clips to hang it from the metal rack.

The kitchen sink isn't wider but it is longer.

There is a long ledge behind the gas stove and sink, so I use it to store teapots and other gadgets.

And since there wasn't any towel racks in the bathroom for our bath towels, we bought a vertical tension rod type coat rack.

We still have some things that do not have a place to be stored, but for the most part, everything is put away somewhere...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Wondering why the built-in dryer of our washer is so "weak"...look how teeny the filter is.

There are 3 filters...but still.

No wonder it takes forever for things to get completely dry.

My peeve with this built-in dryer (besides the fact that the clothes do not get completely dry) is that the clothes do not "relax" in the dryer, they dry as a scrunched up ball...which increases my ironing work load...oh well, we'll see what happens when rainy season starts...

Monday, May 21, 2018


I recently was at the department store and they were having a campaign.

If you spent $10 you would get a spin and chance to win prizes.

I spent $20 and got two spins.

On my first spin I won 2nd place and was allowed to choose 2 prizes from their prize table.

I chose a package of arare for Satoshi and a package with 2 huge dorayaki in it for myself.

On my second spin I got the booby prize and was given a piece of hard candy.

Stoked that I won but bummed that the dorayaki has sorbitol in!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

boulangerie corse

I realized that the sandwich I tried earlier from Boulangerie Corse, was not their fish but their tatsuta chicken (a type of fried chicken).

THIS is their fish burger.

Sad that I couldn't tell the difference between chicken and fish, but it was still delicious and better than Ikegami Orient Bakery.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

momotaro tomato suzuke

 I got this idea from watching "Kodoku no Gurume", a soap opera (Japanese call these dramas) which a lonely businessman eats at different eateries while out on business.

I recently came across these tomatoes called Momotaro.

This variety has a "pink" flesh which apparently resembles peaches...thus the name Momotaro (Peach Boy).

I'd never bought them in Osaka because they were mostly found in the department stores and expensive, but these were grown in Aichi Prefecture and rather inexpensive, 5 were 276 yen so I decided to give them a try.

Using a paring knife, take out the area around the stem.

Make an "x" at the bottom.

In boiling water, place the tomato in for 30 seconds.

Then place the tomato into an ice bath for 30 seconds.

Peel the tomato skin.

Put the peeled tomato into this pickling liquid
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons shoyu
2 tablespoons dashi(stock)

Scoop some of the pickling liquid into the area where the stem was.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours and enjoy!

NOTES: The pickling liquid is actually the amount for 1 large tomato but I used it for all of them, pickling them over 3 days.

These tomatoes were sweet and went nicely with this pickling liquid.

Super refreshing, especially on these hot days.

I am gonna be making this more often this summer.

Friday, May 18, 2018

guru guru bagel

We recently tried their Osatsu Keema Curry (spicy keema curry with bits of sweet potato) and Kamata (yomogi (mugwort) with sweet bean paste and cream cheese).

The bagels have a nice chew and are filled with a good ratio.

I don't think Guru Guru Bagel is related to Guru Guru Bakery.

They are also close to the JR Kamata station, so whenever I am near, I plan to pick some up.

We'll be back.

Guru Guru Bagel (UPDATE: closed 8/2018)
5-13-32 Nishi Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5711.0581
Closed Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays
Hours: 12:00-19:00 (earlier if they sell out)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

guru guru bakery

Guru Guru Bakery is located one train station away from us, about a 25 minute walk.

Their baked items seemed like French style and I love that you need to communicate with the people behind the counter as to what you want instead of taking things with a tray and tongs.

Everything looked so good that I bought 4 different things...

caramel nut danish...this was good, though the caramel oozed out of the container they had put it in and went all over the plastic bag that the rest of the items I bought were in...

chocolate walnut scone (square)...a bit dry but flaky

meat gratin pie (bottom right)...flaky pastry lots of italian seasoned tomato, meat and cheese filling...delicious.

sakusaku apuri...flaky crispy pastry mixed with walnuts and apricot good!

I am glad I tried these and that they are not too close to where we are...I'll be back.

Guru Guru Bakery
1-3-8 Chidori-cho
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6410.5962
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Hours: 7:00-19:00

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

otto pan

We stumbled upon Otto Pan when we explored Hatanodai Station.

We picked up their walnut chocolate bread, fig bread, cheese bacon foccacia & curry pan.

Satoshi enjoyed the foccacia and curry pan.

I loved the chocolate walnut and fig bread.

We'll be back!

Otto Pan (UPDATE 2021 out of business)
5-9-10 Nakanobu
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5498.0255
Closed Mondays
Hours: 10:00-18:00

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


We recently tried Indian.

They serve Shina soba, "shina" (she-nah) is the Japanese word for "China"/"Chinese".

The soup was not heavy and the noodles thin, it sort of reminded me of something I've had at Hawaii's Chinatown.

There were fried onions as well as fresh and the char siu was so tender.

I wouldn't mind trying the curry flavored version of this too.

Satoshi had his Shina soba with a half order of their European style curry, which he enjoyed.

They also have a mini curry rice, which is only a couple of bites, I want to try this too.

Not sure why the name of the shop is what it is, but we'll be back.

6-5-11 Ikegami
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5700.5237
Closed: Mondays
Hours: 11:30-21:00

Monday, May 14, 2018

ikegami orient bakery

Tried the fish burger from Ikegami Orient Bakery...200 yen.

This was just okay.

I think I like the more homemade fish patty in the Boulangerie Corse, fish burger.

Still, I hope to go back to try other items.

Ikegami Orient Bakery
6-35-1 Ikegami
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3753.9575
Closed Thursdays & Fridays
Hours: Monday-Wednesday & Saturdays 7:00-15:00, Sundays & Holidays 7:00-13:00

Sunday, May 13, 2018

chopped salad days

We recently tried Chopped Salad Days.

I chose the Mexican...1180 yen, while Satoshi chose the Poke Bowl...1150 yen.

A little more expensive than what we tried in Osaka (and a totally different shop), but still delicious.

These salads can also be turned into wraps.

I think the next time I'll ask for the dressing on the side instead of having them mix it all together.

Since my dentist is in this area, I'll definitely be back.

Chopped Salad Days
2-21-1 Tamagawa
Setagaya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6805.7507
Hours: 10:00-21:00

Saturday, May 12, 2018

when life throws you curves

Tuesday, I got a message from my brother that my Dad had fallen and that he was being taken to the emergency.

They were going to replace the "ball" that connects his leg to his hip but his heart rate was up, so the surgery was postponed.

The next day, they noticed that he had some fluid in his lungs.

They tried to suction the fluid out but it wouldn't decrease.

It was then that they wanted to know whether we wanted to put him on a breathing machine.

He was so frail, so after some discussion, we decided that it was probably best to keep him comfortable instead.

Thursday night before putting him on morphine (or maybe he was already on, not too sure), my brother was able to let Satoshi and I facetime with my Dad (love technology).

We thanked my Dad and said our goodbyes (I don't think he really knew who we were, but I'm still glad we were able to see him and talk to him).

Yesterday, my brother sent me a message at about lunchtime (Japan time) to say that my Dad had passed away.

Even if I wasn't there, I am glad that my brother was with him.

I have to renew my passport (before heading to Hawaii) and already had an appointment for next Friday, so I am hoping to get my passport expedited.

There are some Tokyo posts lined up, but it may be quiet here after that.

Be well, everyone.

Friday, May 11, 2018


With all the rain and cold weather we've been having I thought I would post some items that were making me sad...

Before leaving Osaka, I found out from my friend, Kiyomi that at the end of May, Au Grenier D'Or in Kyoto is closing its doors...I'm sad because over the years we've been there several times...the first time, once with friends and once with Tamakikat.

Another sad thing is remember the goldfish phone booth in Nara?

Well, there is apparently an artist that says "his" version is copyrighted so this particular version that was put up by art students was violating "his" copyright.

He said that if they changed the artist's name to his then he would "forgive" them...I think it is a case of "sour grapes" because of all the attention this version is receiving on Instagram.

Anyway, if you go to K Coffee the phone booth is no longer!

The Big Island (Hawaii) lava eruption.

The KÄ«lauea volcano has been erupting since I can remember, but all those displaced families, so sad...I hope they will be able to safely return to their homes and rebuild their lives soon.

And the last thing I'm sad about at the that I recently found out a 6-story building is coming up in front of where we live... I am crossing my fingers that it doesn't block our view.

I know I don't usually post on sad or negative topics, but is there anything you are sad about at the moment?

Thursday, May 10, 2018


On the last day of Golden Week, we went to check out the Kita-Shinagawa area.

When I think of Tokyo, I think of skyscrapers and neon, sensory overload.

Kind of like Osaka but more crowded...we are slowly finding “the not so crowded” areas, like where the old Tokaido road is located, one of the main roads that lead to Nihonbashi, the center of Tokyo.

This is also where they park the yakatabune (large low boats that are used to sightsee the area especially at night).

It was neat seeing old alongside of modern.

Along the old Tokaido Road (which is now a shopping arcade) is Kaido Coffee.

We stopped in to check our maps and also to get some coffee.

A bit pricey but I enjoyed the coffee and atmosphere.

Another thing we’ve been noticing is that every area has their own shopping arcades.

Unlike Osaka, these shopping arcades do not have rooftops or covering and are thriving!

Some shopping arcades in Osaka that we’ve seen were barely hanging on.

There are many rivers that lead out towards the ocean so there are many bridges too.

This one was near Ebara Shrine.

We didn't walk the whole old Tokaido road, but will eventually do so.

Since it was lunch time, we went to nearby Tennozu Isle, where Satoshi works, and stumbled on this baseball field.

And I've posted about this before...they play two games both on the same field...dangerous yeah?!

There weren't too many shops open on Tennozu Isle because of Golden Week and because it is mainly an office area, luckily Salvatore Cuomo was...they actually have many shops around Japan and we've had our anniversary dinner there many moons ago.

we shared this Bismark pizza, topped with creamy mozzarella, an oozy egg, ham & asparagus.

And this Amatriciana.

Love the food here, and we also won some free food with their scratch off card game, so we'll definitely be back.

More bridges...

They are incorporating these British-looking taxis for the Olympics in 2020, so you'll see more and more of these in the future.

Random, but this camouflage tree was cool too.

It was nice to check out areas close to where we are.

Hope you enjoyed our adventures during Golden Week.

Kaido Coffee
2-3-7 Kitashinagawa
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6433.0906
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: 10:30-17:00 (Mondays), 10:30-20:00 (Wednesdays-Fridays), 10:00-19:00 (Saturdays-Sundays)

Salvatore Cuomo
2-2-4 Higashi Shinagawa, Tennozu First Tower
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5462.9765
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 11:30-15:00, 17:00-23:00, Saturdays-Sundays 11:30-23:00