Monday, May 31, 2021

4 times a charm

After 3 times postponing their wedding due to this pandemic, we FINALLY got to celebrate with them.

Luckily the weather was cooperative too.

The last time we saw the groom was in Hawaii when he was 6!

(His sister and brother were also there with his mom and they barely squeezed into my car with all my Lion coffee demo paraphernalia in the back of my car...good times!)
The wedding facility, Bayside Gehinkan Veranda looks out over the Yokohama Bay. 

(we had to "cross the border", technically we are supposed to stay within our prefecture during the state of emergency)

Their chapel is on the top floor.

flower shower
Banquet facility on the 3rd floor.
Each place setting had a cardboard cutout of your name...oh the fails of katakana...if you know how to spell my name it isn't like this...though my name with JAL is Kyasarin...ha! 
Pandemic table favors...alcohol wipes

The food: maguro & red bell pepper terrine with anchovy cream sauce.
housemade bacon, mashed potato puree, puff pastry
seasonal soup: carrot
cod with vegetable chips...the chips were so not crunchy and kind of chewy...
beef with mushrooms and onions...a little too rare for me!
wedding cake and caramel nut ice cream

It was nice to get out, see friends and "forget" for a little while about what is happening in Japan, we still had to do the "mask dance" while eating though.

Oh, and during this state of emergency the government (which has been extended to June 20) has made a “request” for everyone not to serve alcohol at restaurants, bars and gatherings like this...bummer if you run a bar and the likes...

So....the wedding facility was serving...Vintense, a Belgian brand of non-alcohol "wines" and "sparkling wines" essence, "real grape juice".

It was a bit over the top for me to drink grape juice with dinner, so after awhile, I asked for water....

There was even non-alcohol sake...Satoshi tried this and he and the groom's father scrunched their faces and immediately put their glasses down...must've been junk, yeah?!

Hoping this was a safe get together....

Thanks for today H & A...all the best to you!

Bayside Gehinkan Veranda
1-3-1 Shinko, Naka-ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa
Phone: 045.222.6550

Friday, May 28, 2021

this and that

Blood orange infused vodka.

Two more weeks for the bottle on the left to be ready to drink.

We drink it with ice and carbonated water.

MOS Burger's madai katsu (sea bream) fried perfectly, topped with a lemony tartar sauce.

With people not eating out, the supply of fish as well as other food items apparently have no where to go.

MOS Burger helped out some fishermen in Shikoku and made katsu from their madai (sea bream) delicious!

It's corn season, so I made a batch of corn rice.

Since I've started using MIL's rice cooker, it was a bit of a squeeze to get a whole cob of corn in there...but it was so good!

My cousin, M, was kind enough to email me the other day to tell me that she went to visit my Dad...thank you!

Appreciate all the relatives and friends that go to see him during the year.

As for this pandemic and the Olympics...oh em gee.

One government official said "oh, we can cancel the Olympics at any moment if necessary"...

The medical community is begging for the Olympics to be cancelled but has fallen on deaf ears.

The consensus around Japan is also with the medical community calling for the Olympics to be seems that the only ones that want this Olympic to happen is IOC (International Olympic Committee), who seems to benefit from sales and payments from Japan... AND apparently IOC is the only one who can cancel the Olympics....who signed this contract?!

And the Japan government who is planning to hold an election after the "success" of this Olympics and “ending” the pandemic....grr

The Olympic committee were also talking about "no spectators" for the games, BUT are making a public viewing area in Yoyogi Park and other areas around Japan?!

AND have started to remove trees in Yoyogi Park to create this public viewing area?! WTH!

If Japan cancels, they stand to lose a trillion or so yen, BUT when you compare how much capital has been lost for every "state of emergency" Japan has carried out (3 so far), the loss is close to 15 trillion yen?! or something krazy like that...

The vaccines have started this week in Japan for 65 years and older...we'll see how "quickly" it goes for us to get our notification for our vaccines...

In the meantime, I hope you are all doing well.

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

tokyo people


Another video of Tokyo music attached...enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

pepper rice

I have been seeing this all over the internet recently and had to try.

Jenny tried it and her version is called  yakiniku fried rice.

After looking online I think Pepper Lunch came up with this idea first, they have all sorts of variations on their menu.

The components are pretty simple...beef, rice, garlic, green onions, corn, butter and yakiniku sauce.

For the yakiniku sauce, I used the recipe for Mio's sauce.

Since most people were staying at home in Japan (not eating out), most people were making this on their hot plates.

Here is how I made mine...(serves 2)

olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1 cup rice, cooked
125 grams thinly sliced beef
4 stalks green onion, sliced
1 package corn (100 grams), rinsed 
nub of butter (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons yakiniku sauce
grinds of pepper
wedges of lemon

Heat the oil on medium and add the garlic
When the garlic is fragrant, add the rice and turn off the heat
Arrange the meat around the rice
Top the rice with green onions, corn and butter
Turn the heat back on to medium, cook the meat for a couple of minutes (depends on the thickness of your meat and to your liking)
Break up the rice gently with a wooden spoon 
Add the sauce and fold in gently
Cover for a minute, grind pepper and serve

Satoshi loved this.

You can add more garlic and more sauce, but this amount was perfect for us.

You could even use different veggies and meats.

NOTES: I served this with wedges of lemon and I think  it helped to cut the richness of this dish.

I will probably make this again during the summer when I don’t feel like cooking.

On a side note, have you tried this chuhai? it is called zeitaku shibori and is made by Asahi. I bought the lychee flavored one and it tasted like you were actually eating lychee.

Hope to find more of these...

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


Down the street from Kirin Coffee, is Kimura-tei.

They sell all sorts of bento (even curry rice!) and their shop has been used in several J-dramas (Japanese soap operas "Our sister's soulmate" & "Plage")

I tried their nori bento...350 yen (tax included).

Fried fish, kinpira, takuan and a tempura fried chikuwa.

This was filling and not salty.

The rice was a little too soft for my liking, but everything seemed like it was made that day.

Satoshi had their makunouchi bento...480 yen (tax included).

Saba (mackerel), tonkatsu and karaage, nimono, kiriboshi daikon..he said enjoyed this and that the karaage was super tender.

Super cheap eats.

We'll be back to try other items on their menu.


7-7-14 Omorinishi

Ota, Tokyo

Phone: 03.3765.6110

Closed Sundays

Hours: 10:45-20:30

Monday, May 24, 2021

omoriya ajitsukenori furikake

We've been enjoying this furikake that is made by Omoriya.

It has bits of ajitsukenori (flavored nori), bubuzuke (rice cracker balls), tiny dried shrimp, aosa (green kelp), konbu and sesame seeds.

I like the sweet-salty flavor it has, plus the crunch from the bubuzuke.

We got it from MIL's stash when we were cleaning back in March...hope to find this again in the stores.

Friday, May 21, 2021

this and that

Remember the peonies I had bought for Mother's Day? well, they kinda started to bloom then started to dry up before fully blooming...AND there were either seeds or bugs coming out of them...eek! (you can kind of see it on the table)
This cat that we saw near Umeyashiki was screeching so loud, I stopped to turn around to see where it was...I think he was hangry.

I finally got up the courage to use MIL's (3 cup) rice cooker, happy to say I did not fail making some rice using it.

Amazed at how teeny a 3 cup rice cooker (left) is in comparison to a 5 cup.

Taco rice that I bought for my lunch the other day...863 calories...eep!

The rice was a little too soft for my liking though but everything else was delicious.

Satoshi bought the squid ink yakisoba...we had fun taking pictures of his black teeth...we are so bored!
The supermarket we were at was having a Okinawa Fair, so we picked up these 2 flavored ice cream bars  by Blue Seal, which I believe is part of  the Foremost?!  

They had one with chocolate mint (my fave!) and strawberry which I thought was a little to "plain", so I chose ube pistachio, the ube was undetectable, but the pistachio flavor was delicious!

The dishes above were also part of the Okinawa Fair.

We are still keeping zen, staying close to home as much as possible, though we do go out for walks to buy lunch when it is sunny.

There are days when it rains, so on those days we stay in.

Hope you all are doing well.

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

boulangerie bonheur

We tried a new (to us) bakery, Boulangerie Bonheur.

They have an outlet shop and a regular shop near Umeyashiki as well as several around Tokyo and Kanagawa.

They are kind of pricey, but they have so many items to choose from, that it is easy to go a little krazy there.

I tried the fish sandwich and an donut (donut filled with sweet bean paste)

They were both delicious but nothing out of the ordinary.

My favorite was the chocolate bread, which was like babka.

Dark chocolate and some walnuts.

There were only 3 slices in the package I bought, since we ate two, with the last slice I plan to make french toast for part of our breakfast.

We will be back to try other items when we are nearby.

Boulangerie Bonheur

2-1-1 Kamata

Ota, Tokyo

Phone: 03.6912.1230

Open daily : 8:00-21:00

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


All hype...this wasn't something to try especially if you are watching your sodium.

You cook the noodles...add a tablespoon of the cooking water to the contents of the soup packet and garlic butter oil packet.

Since abura soba is a soupless dish, the tablespoon of hot water to soup packet makes everything super concentrated.

Add your own toppings.

If after hearing me out, you still want to try to make this at home, buy a package of the shoyu flavored ramen, add a tablespoon of the cooking water to the contents of the soup packet, then and add your own garlic, butter & toppings.

We still have one more package of this and I will use only half of the soup packet next time.

We also still need to try the mazesoba, but I'm not getting my hopes up...

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

sanriku's tsubaki cha

My friend in Sendai, sent me a care package in February.

Inside there were all sorts of her favorite snacks which were all made in the Tohoku area and also included was this packet of tea.

As you know, there was a lot of damage with the tsunami that hit the Tohoku area in 2011, but what I wasn't aware of was that Sanriku, an area in Iwate prefecture had many bushes of tsubaki (camellia) that were also destroyed.

In the pamphlet that came with the tea, it also explained that the camellia roots "extend deep into the ground" and takes "years for the plant to reach full size".

I am not sure if there is something similar in English speaking countries, but in Japan, they have something called "hana kotoba" (literally flower words), a system in which the flower, its color is used to describe what the flower symbolizes. 

For example, red camellias symbolizes "pride", "unpretentious elegance"...according to the pamphlet I mentioned above, a reflection of the people of the Sanriku area.

This tea is blend of tsubaki (camellia) leaves and ama cha (sweet tea). Ama cha is made from the leaves of the hydrangea and is supposedly 200 times sweeter than sugar.

In Buddhism, you often see sweet tea during the "birthday" of the Buddha called Hanamatsuri on April 8th...The Buddha is placed in a covered pavilion with lots of flowers and you "bathe" the Buddha with the sweet tea...I have a photo of this here.

This tea was sweet and I'm glad we tried this.

Thankful to receive this and learn more about the Tohoku area.

Monday, May 17, 2021


On one of our walks, we stumbled upon Jason, a discount store chain from Chiba. (photo from the internet)

They sell all sorts of things and are known for selling beverages really cheap.

We didn't buy any beverages but did pick up snacks.

One thing I came across was this agroforestry chocolate by Meiji.

Apparently this a more ecological way to farm cacao.

It was my first time hearing about this form of farming and I look forward to trying the chocolate.

We'll be back to Jason whenever we are in the area.


4-17-16 Omorinishi

Ota, Tokyo

Phone: 03.3298.8500

Open daily 9:00-23:00

Friday, May 14, 2021

this and that

Look at the line for, what part of "go out only for necessaries" do you not understand?!
Beautiful  orchids grown in a yard.
Old cars parked in front of someone's house!

Wow to the cars and wow to the size of the house.
ORO Food Rescue sells food items whose expire dates have recently passed or is nearing expiration.

We picked up this sesame mazesoba and garlic butter abura soba to try.

Apparently it is a collaboration with Ryuji, a You Tuber and Sapporo Ichiban...had no idea who he was, but I hope these taste good.

I like the idea of not wasting food and selling items that have gone a little over the expiration date. 

We'll be back to check out the food items here whenever we are in the area.

Tried the pasta hack that Maybe it's Jenny posted about...bringing water to a boil and boiling your pasta for 2 minutes then turning off the heat, letting the pasta sit for 10-12 minutes...a quick check online told me to minus 2 minutes off from the amount of time on your package since all pasta is not the same.

Since my pasta said 7 minutes, I boiled it for 2 minutes, turned off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes...winner!

Sad shakuyaku (chinese peony) that I bought for Mother's Day...still hasn't!
If you can zoom in on this photo to see what is written on this guy's shirt...f-everything...ha!

Tried a new (to me) beer by Kona Brewing Co, Island Colada Cream Ale.

An IPA with hints of coconut and pineapple, hope to get this again during the summer months....
The tachiaoi (hollyhock) has started to bloom, which can only mean that the rainy season is coming...ugh!

Tokyo's numbers are back up to 1000 cases a!

Hope you are all doing well, we are hanging in there and trying to keep zen.

Have a safe weekend.

ORO Food Rescue (2022: no longer in business)
2-24-2 Omorinaka
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6410.8520
Closed Sundays
Hours: 10:00-19:00