Thursday, June 30, 2022


One year ago, we were trying soy meat. Sadly this shop closed down a couple of months ago.

Five years ago, we got together with my host-family for my host-brother's wife's birthday.

Ten years ago, we checked out Nuuanu Okazuya.

Fourteen years ago, we were checking out the neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Monday, the weather dude said that the rainy season is over in our area...usually rainy season lasts about 40 days, but this year it ended 20 days early! (WT!) which means, bring on the heat of summer! eep.

Shirokuma, literally "white bear" is a popular frozen treat from the Kagoshima area of Kyushu. 

Shaved ice that is drizzled with condensed milk, topped with fruits and sweetened beans. Sometimes there is also some vanilla ice cream under the shaved ice.

The two versions I found at had strawberries and strawberry sauce, the other version had fruits...321 yen (tax included) each.

We’ll try the strawberry version today.

I'm glad we tried this and it was the perfect way to keep cool.

Hope it is more bearable where you are.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

no class

The person or persons who left their bags of garbage outside of the area where we are supposed to put them.

This guy sleeping on the train with his shoes on the seat, mask guarding his chin.

Monday, June 27, 2022


Last Sunday we checked out the irises at Horikiri Park and decided that even though a week had passed, we should check out the park that we missed in Kanamachi.

Well, it was good that we did, but also bad because it was so krazy hot.

Thank goodness that ant wasn't real...

There weren't many irises!
But, it was so nice to see open skies!
To take off our masks while walking with no one else around

Best thing 400 yen (tax included) could buy!

It doesn't look like anyone is around...we're all in the shade!

Loved this metal artwork in the window frames of the Green Plaza, a community center on the property.
We'll be back for the sakura (cherry blossoms) and maybe this Fall...anyway we'll be back when it is cooler...

Mizumoto Park
3-2 Mizumotokoen
Katsushika, Tokyo
Open 24 hours

Friday, June 24, 2022

this and that

Costco bagels...there is an import store in our shopping arcade that started selling Costco Japan items.

This bag of 6 bagels was 700 plus yen (tax included), which is apparently higher than what Costco sells these for, but it was nice to have American bagels for a change.

They also bring in those huge muffins, but I thought 6 would be hard to freeze (my freezer isn't so large).

The sunset last Friday.
Neighborhood cat angry that I interrupted its bath time to take its picture...
This Andes melon was super sweet.
The Hanayome peaches weren't quite ripe, so the peel didn't come off as easily as it would if the fruit were a little more ripe.

But, it was still sweet and floral.

I've told you about being able to buy 1/2 a pizza before, this time I found 1/2 at a supermarket.

This teriyaki chicken pizza was quite tasty.

Been hooked on this live camera of a bird feeder in a forest, in Tresna, Poland.

Usually there are birds and squirrels…Was surprised to see a deer this time.

Then there were wild pigs!

Of course there is a time difference, and sometimes there are only flying bugs, but if you want to check out the forest, here is the link.

Tokyo's daily case count is on the rise. Knock on wood that there are no "monkey pox" cases.

Temps supposed to hit high 30C's (100F's) this weekend AND we've been told to conserve electricity...eep

Hope you are doing well.

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

omma foods

The humidity has been pretty evil.

Went to get Omma Foods' reimen for lunch today.

Only 618 yen (tax included).

They give you the soup packet so you can put it together just before eating.

Love the pull of the noodles.

Gonna try their bi bim kook soo next time. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Three years ago, we were making Diamond Head Grill's Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones

Five years ago, we were doctoring up some ume jam.

Fourteen years ago, we were adventuring with Tamakikat.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


  (photo from the internet)

Remember I told you about Hiroshi? Well, apparently Hiroshi "married" Umeko and had a “baby” named Hiroko...

Mishima blended the two furikake together and came out with this Hiroko furikake. (I love how all their furikake have “people” names!)

The mustard greens of the Hiroshi, plus the kari kari (crunchy) ume of Umeko.

Apparently this is blended version is only sold at Daiso.

I couldn't find this blended version (photo above), but was lucky to find Umeko, so I just bought them separately….

And mixed a teaspoon of Umeko and a teaspoon of Hiroshi with 300 grams of cooked rice.

So ono!

The ume is still quite crunchy even after it soaks up the moisture from the hot rice.

I'll still be on the lookout for the blended version, but at least I could try this combination.

Monday, June 20, 2022


Yesterday we went to Horikiri Iris Garden which is a little over an hour away by train in the Northern part of Tokyo called Katsushika.

We visited an area called Shibamata which in Katsushika back in 2008.

This garden had 200 varieties of iris and they try not to plant the same variety next to another so you can enjoy different varieties at one time.
There were some water lilies.

A little down the road is the Horikiri Waterside Park.

You can see the Tokyo Sky Tree from here and they also have some iris plants here as well.

Near the Horikiri Tenso Shrine, you can see these huge shikifukujin statues (7 lucky gods).
Across the river in an area called Yanagihara, is where the opening scene of J-drama "Kinpachi Sensei" ("Mr Kinpachi") was filmed.
Lunch was at Taishiosoba Toka in Ueno, which uses the broth from tai (red snapper)
I had their hiyashi tai shio soba...980 yen (tax included)

The noodles were super refreshing though the broth was kind of oily.

It had pieces of tai (red snapper) sashimi and some char siu as well, the menma (seasoned bamboo shoots) could have been cooked longer.

Satoshi had their chukasoba 860 yen (tax included)

He said this was delicious.

It was blazing and humid but we were glad that the weather cleared up from the gloom and rain of Saturday.

We missed the info that there was another larger park in Kanamachi (about 20 minutes by bus from Horikiri) with even more irises to see (boo!), so we'll save that park for next year.

We hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as we did.

Horikiri Iris Garden
2-19-1 Horikiri
Katsushika, Tokyo
Hours: 9:00-17:00
*no admission, but it is gated

Taishiosoba Toka
Atre Ueno 1F
Ueno, Tokyo
Open when Atre Ueno is

Friday, June 17, 2022

this and that

The teeniest bananas called "Baby Sweet", these were quite sweet, but got ripe super quick!

Only 100 yen (plus tax) for this bunch!

Trivia: Bananas are the most popular and cheapest fruit in Japan.

Huge driveway for a house that we saw near Myorakuji.
Beautiful sunrise on Monday.

Bummed to hear that Anna Miller’s in Shinagawa is closing in August

The last time we ate here was pre-pandemic when family was visiting from Hawaii.

Monday, Tokyo's case number was 950! The first time in a long time.

Mother Nature threw us back into April temps...eep!

How are you doing?

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2022


1st time trying to make umeshu (plum wine).

The directions were similar to when I made ume syrup (5 years ago).

1kilogram ume
1 kilogram rock sugar
1800 milliliters liquor

Here is what I did:

Wash the ume.

Take out the “belly button” with a barbecue skewer.

Sanitize the jar with some sake.

Dry each ume with a cloth.

Layer the rock sugar, and ume 

Pour in the alcohol.

I used kokuto shochu (liquor made from black sugar)

Now to wait a year.

NOTES: the most frustrating thing was waiting for the ume to be delivered.

When I ordered the 1 kilogram of ume, I was told it would arrive between 5 to 15 days after ordering…

Since I ordered it on May 18, 15 days would have been around June 3rd.

The next day (May 19), I got an email that said harvesting would start from June 3rd and he would be sending orders out in the order he received them, so my order would be sent out sometime between June 3rd and 13th

well June 13 came and I had heard nothing from the!

Since I noticed on Tabechoku that others were receiving their orders, I emailed the farm on the 13th and was told my order would arrive by the 16th…um I think they should have contacted me to tell me it would arrive later than the 13th…

I received the ume yesterday and they were huge! and was a little more than 1 kilogram.

The farm grows the ume naturally without pesticides, so there were some black spots on the fruit but the fruit itself was still firm.

Drama this morning...I checked on it and it had overflowed (eep!), so I had to scoop out some of the liquid and some ume so that the liquid would come up only up to the base of the neck of the big bottles

Glad I checked and now I know not to fill it to the top! (live and learn)

Crossing fingers this turns out good.