Friday, July 30, 2021

this and that

Filled up my second stamp card from Benny.

I had mentioned in the comments of that post that filling one of these up gets us 500 yen off our bill, but I was mistaken, they give us 300 yen off our bill.

I really like shopping here because it is rarely crowded. 

Been enjoying the ikaten noriten combination snacks....fried squid and fried nori, good on its own but fried is a bonus.
Thick pieces of maguro (ahi/tuna) from Benny...

8 pieces of maguro was about 850 yen (tax included)...using a 30 yen coupon….3 pieces for me, 5 for Satoshi.

Super fresh and delicious.

And so…we hit 3875 cases yesterday in Tokyo, 10,000+ overall in Japan.

Did you see the crowds outside of the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony last Friday? from what they showed on tv here, it was krazy crowded…can only imagine what the numbers will be over the coming days.

Holding the Olympics just gives everyone a reason to get out and about…their reasoning is that they have waited a year to see friends and family…well if you haven’t received your vaccines yet (they are still vaccinating the higher age groups) AND the Delta variant is floating around…

It doesn’t help when the Prime Minister has no message or plan as to what we should be doing.

Talk about frustrating.

On Tuesday, we both felt a bit sluggish and I had a slight fever, so it was good that we had stocked up on food and just stayed indoors.

Having a slight fever and dealing with the humidity and heat was not fun.

I wasn’t exercising my arm, but using it when I cooked or did the dishes…yup chores still had to be done…

Can you believe July is almost over?

Have a safe weekend everyone.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

doyo no ushi no hi

Yesterday was Doyo no Ushi no Hi, the day when everyone eats grilled unagi (eel) to build stamina for the heat of summer, which I've written about here.

Well, since I had planned for it to be raining from the typhoon and that maybe we wouldn't be able to get out of the house after our vaccines, this was our dinner last night...corned beef and cabbage.

The heat is pretty brutal this year too, so I'm sure we'll eat some grilled unagi in the weeks to come...

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


This was the sunset on Monday.

The weather dude said that it turns this red, orange, pink color when a typhoon is approaching.

Luckily we only had some rain on Tuesday and more rain overnight, nothing more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

chura pine

We recently tried a new (to us) pineapple variety called Chura Pine, which was grown on Ishigakijima.

“Chura” is beautiful in Okinawan.

And the Japanese called pineapple, “Pine” for short.

When I looked online for “chura pine”, there were different varieties that popped up.
So, I compared my photo to the different photos on a farm’s wasn't a Snack Pine which is the Bogor type (which we’ve tried before).
It wasn't the Peach Pine....which is supposed to smell similar to peaches...
It was the Hawaii looked different from the pineapple we have in Hawaii, look at the "floppy" crown.

Trivia tidbit: Apparently pine cones were once called pineapples.

This pineapple had lots of "eyes", it could have been more ripe & sweeter but it was still delicious.

I'm glad we tried this and have planted the top.

Hope the heat doesn't kill it.... 

p.s. Yesterday we received our 1st vaccination...whoo. 

I think we sat in the waiting room longer than it took to actually get jabbed.

Our arms are a bit sore, but so far so good.

Hopefully the 2nd one will actually be in 3 weeks.

p.p.s. a typhoon (Nepartak or Number 8) is heading for our area today....eep!

Monday, July 26, 2021


Last week, I ordered a 10 package tasting set from Daimaruya, a store that sells hoshiimo (dried sweet potato) which we visited back in 2019.

If I am not mistaken, all the varieties are grown in Ibaraki.

The fun part of this set is that you do not know what varieties you will receive.

I like how fast it was delivered.

We ordered it on Monday, paid the for it at the post office on Wednesday and received our order on Thursday.

Daimaruya does not take credit card payments for their online store, so the only junk part was to have to pay for it at the post office.

Unlike post offices in the US, Japan's post offices have their own bank services.

If we had a bank account at the post office, we could have gotten a discount on the handling fee for these dried sweet potatoes.

I'm looking forward to trying all the different varieties.

I've put most of these packages into the freezer and will take them out for us to snack on.
After we eat through all of these, I'll make an account at the post office so we can order more dried sweet potatoes.

What are you enjoying these days?

Thursday, July 22, 2021

this and that

Tokyo people...this guy was more interested in his phone than the building they were taking down...
super cute mail box
Bakery Home...we picked up an assortment of things to try.

Walnut cinnamon roll, peanut butter filled coronet, chocolate cookies and miso negi bread.

Satoshi enjoyed the miso negi bread and peanut butter filled coronet.

I loved this walnut cinnamon roll, it was filled with lots of walnuts and cinnamon filing.

The chocolate cookies on the other hand were not sweet, dry and meh.

Saturday's sunset...points if you can see the moon.

It is the start of a 4-day weekend...I had thought this past Monday was a holiday but I was mistaken.

They changed the holidays around to accommodate the Olympics...

We have our appointments for our first vaccine, but I will report on it AFTER we actually receive the shot, since there have been people reporting that their appointments were cancelled THE DAY BEFORE they were supposed to receive them, sigh.

Yesterday Tokyo's case number was 1832...the PM (prime minister) now says that "it is easy to cancel the Olympics, but to actually go through with it is the real test"...grr

The medical experts say that at this rate, Tokyo should hit 3000 cases by the first week of August...I think it may be sooner than that...

At this point we are racing against the clock between receiving our vaccines and getting infected with the Delta variant...

Have a safe weekend.

Bakery Home
2-19-10 Nakarokugo
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3737.5852
Hours: 10:00-19:00, Saturdays 8:00-18:30

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


We've been wanting to try Inose's shumai ever since we saw it on a television show.

They only sell these on Wednesdays and have always been sold out by the time we've gone past the shop.

The wife of the owner always tells us, "if you come by 8:15, you might be able to buy some"...emphasis on "might"

We could always reserve some but with the weather as weird as it has been the day we do reserve some would probably rain cats and dogs...or something...

Today, we got lucky though...we walked over to Zoshiki, to see if Mizoguchi had taco rice...they didn't.

BUT...Inose had no line...they were not sold out and we were able to buy shumai!

These were delicious! super moist and flavorful...450 yen (tax included) was super cheap too.

No wonder most people buy more than one container.

I'm glad we tried these and will buy these again.

Monday, July 19, 2021


1st time cooking with shishito peppers...where have I been?!

On Saturday, I wanted to make skewers and needed another veggie.

When I walked into the market, this packet of shishito was staring at me.

On top of that the price was nice...100 yen!

These peppers were on the small side but easy to use.

The other skewers were tomato with pork belly and ume shiso pork belly rolls.

On Sunday I served this with some grilled lamb.

I still have a little left so will use them for our dinner tonight.

It is a holiday today, Umi no hi (Ocean Day)...5 days until the Olympics and boy! are there all sorts of problems arising.

Have a nice week.

Friday, July 16, 2021

this and that

Tokyo people....this couple was dressed up!
Caught these two waiting for their turn at the was so blazing! that day.
Cute origami found in the vending machine windows...

Banana called Caribbean Queen apparently a grand nain variety from Costa Rica.

Highlight for Satoshi this week was not having to go to work and to be able to watch the Home Run Derby and MLB All Star Game.

Warning: if you are snoring (loudly) and Kat cannot nap, this may happen....

It's nectarine season, I thought I had wrote about finding this last year, but didn't.

The nectarines we have in Tokyo are grown in Nagano prefecture.

I'm glad I found them again this year.

And so, on Wednesday, Tokyo's cases hit 1149 and 1308 on Thursday...pretty much what science said would happen.

By the time the Olympics rolls around in a week!, we (Tokyo) should be near 2500?! or higher.

The "bubble" that the Olympics said it would have with media, athletes and staff has holes in it, as they are finding foreigners walking around Tokyo as well as other discrepancies ....sigh

Oh and the IOC have “special rules”…only needing to “quarantine” for 3 days AND can travel outside the bubble to Hiroshîma and Nagasaki while the Japanese need to “stay at home”…grr

And as if there is not enough drama, with the temperature of the Pacific ocean so warm, it may make a typhoon sometime soon…eep

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2021


Two shops down from Songbird Bakery is a cafe called SSYET (not too sure how to pronounce this...definitely hoping it is not pronounced as "sh++")

SSYET doesn't open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and instead lets Inyo use their space on these days.

I think it is nice way for eateries to “test out” brick & mortar places before actually committing to a place of your own.

Anyway, we tried Inyo's spice curry on Tuesday.

Inyo only does take out, which is perfect for things these days.

minced pork and summer veggie keema...potato and green bean spice stir fry...cucumber and myoga pickles...beet and coconut stir fry...medium boiled egg and cilantro...1300 yen (tax included)

This curry was delicious and filling.

The side dishes…some were spicy *cough* while others were just aromatic.

I liked that everything wasn’t oily or salty.

The owner also gave me an ume shrub drink (which I shared with Satoshi) since their credit card reader was wonky.

I added some carbonated water since it was a little too sour for my liking.

I'm glad we got to try them and hope to takeout from here every so often.


1-2-12 Nishikamata

Ota, Tokyo

Phone: n/a

Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 

Hours: 11:30-14:00

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

hio ice cream

We recently tried a craft ice cream called Hio (hee-oh).

They are a small batch ice cream maker.

Their main shop is in the Jiyugaoka area of Tokyo.

They also have a shop near Kamata, where we live.

The ice cream they make uses single origin milk from Hokkaido and organic ingredients.

Currently they are selling their ice cream at some Lawson in the East Japan areas, which is where I purchased these.

The vanilla ice cream was smooth, super creamy and rich.

The salted caramel, like the vanilla was also smooth, super creamy and rich. The flavor reminded me of eating those French salted caramel candies.

We want to see what they are selling at the shop in Kamata, as they are supposed to have seasonal flavors.

I'm glad we tried this and hope we can try other flavors in the future.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


Sunday, we checked out the Zoshiki area for lunch and dinner...

What caught our eye was fried shrimp from a butcher shop called Inose.

I bought a roll from Family Mart and made a sandwich.

Satoshi bought some rice and instant curry to make his fried shrimp curry lunch.

The fried shrimp was all shrimp, without spaces of only batter like some places.

We also purchased Inose's reishabu salad.

Reishabu is thinly sliced pork that is blanched and usually seen during summer.

The salad had lettuce, onion, cucumbers and the pork.

I added some shiso and okra.

The dressing that came with this salad was so good!

It was kind of like ponzu (citrus soy) but with (I think) some ginger in it.

I still have one more bottle, so I will use this soon.

Inose also makes shumai, which we want to try but need to reserve, so hopefully we'll be able to do so soon.


2-25-2 Nakarokugo

Ota, Tokyo

Phone: 03.3732.4062

Closed Fridays

Hours: 9:00-19:00

Monday, July 12, 2021


Yesterday, we had one of those krazy rain storms.

It brought hail, krazy winds and lots of rain at once in parts of Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures.

We heard a lot of thunder and saw some lightning and also heard many running to get out of the rain.

This was the sunset afterwards...

And the faintest but wide rainbow seen from the other side of our apartment.

Today is the start of yet another state of is again only "on request" nothing mandatory.

This one is supposed to last until August 22, the end of the Olympics.

During this state of emergency, there are "events" like O-bon, summer vacation and various holidays...

Many shops that mainly serve alcohol (bars, izakaya, karaoke) are asked not to operate and will be "compensated".

These shops are very upset because they still have not been compensated for other states of emergencies.

All shops and restaurants are asked to close at 20:00.

Convenience stores are exempt from this rule, so you know where the people drinking on the street are getting their alcohol from...

Over the past week, there has been so much damage in Kyushu from rains and other prefectures in Honshu.

On top of that, Tokyo's rainy season isn't even over and we've gone straight into blazing and humidity, our temps yesterday was 33C (91F)!

A little over 2 weeks until the Olympics...I still feel Japan should not be holding this.

Have a good (safe) week.

Friday, July 09, 2021

this and that

Reconnected with this recipe.

I omitted the ginger and it was still delicious.

Finally made the haupia using the mix that friend Val had given me...instead of putting it into an 8 x 8 pan, I put it into my yogurt/pudding jars.

I still have the bread pudding mix to try...hope to do that soon.

Yumetouka...another variety from Yamanashi Prefecture, this could have been a little more ripe.

It was firm like a nectarine and a little sour near the seed.

Ichi maru hachi's imagawayaki.

They sell all sorts of matcha based drinks as well as these matcha based imagawayaki.

I purchased the one filled with tsubuan (chunky sweet bean paste) for Satoshi and I.

They also have cream fillings too.

I tried to crisp up the outside in the toaster, but should have toasted it longer.

I'm glad we tried this.

Tried the Plant Based Whopper with Avocado...

It was pretty good, though you could tell it wasn't beef.

I wish they made this in the whopper junior size...
The krazy things you see in the window of a dentist's office....I like the creativity of using "teeth" as lamps..

So…Tokyo’s daily case numbers hit 900 on Wednesday…pretty much what science said would happen.

The prime minister is putting us back on "prohibition"…which he feels is taking "preventive measures"...what?!

Bars, karaoke and restaurants will not be able to serve alcohol.

I think they need to stop selling alcohol after 20:00 at convenience stores too to prevent people from drinking on the streets, but what do I know?!

No spectators will be able to view the games in person, BUT staff, Olympic VIP and athlete entourages will be able to view the games in the!

I don't think doing this will stop the foot traffic during the day or night... 

Between rain bursts, we've been lucky to get out for a bit to buy food and necessities.

The weather dude says that our rainy season is almost over, which means wet and humid will turn to blazing and humid.

We called our doctor's office and are waiting for them to call us with our vaccine appointment...hopefully it will be soon.

 Hope you are doing well....have a safe weekend.