Friday, July 22, 2022

small kine hiatus

Am in Hawaii to try to save my expired driver's license.

Thankful Hawaii's Governor extended the grace period (several times over the past year or so) to renew.

And I'm glad I made an appointment for my license BEFORE booking my flights because the earliest appointment I could get for my license was the last week of July.

Putting this trip together has kind of been a new experience for me, lots of unknown territory mainly because I didn't know where to look for info.

One of the hardest things to figure out was how to book myself a PCR test 72 hours before I return to Japan while also freaking out at how expensive it is!

The second would be the app that Japan wants us to use when we return from abroad…

Thankful BFF & Aunty M are letting me into their "bubbles"...

Hopefully the next time I come to Hawaii, I’ll be able to drive, catch up with friends, Satoshi will be able to come along and this whole pandemic thing will be over.

Crossing fingers (and toes) that everything goes smoothly and safely, especially with this krazy variant…

Talk to you in a couple of well everyone.

Thursday, July 21, 2022


One year ago, we were trying Inose's shumai

Five years ago, we had a foodie adventure with Hiromi

Nine years ago, we discovered mandals

(photo when we visited Gujo Hachiman in 2015)

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Remember those soaps I bought from Daiso?

Well, if you ever see them, do not buy the one labeled "olive"

Unless you want to smell like rubber tire...ha!


Live and learn...

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

this and that

This was what the weather radar thingy looked like on Friday.

Our area rained

Wish there was a way to bring water to those in the world having heatwaves, fires and droughts...

Apparently July 13 to 16 is Obon in this we had some ohagi from Okuniya.
And from Daruma

Yesterday was Umi no Hi (Ocean Day), so it was a holiday.

We stayed close to home, since the case numbers are kind of krazy.

Monday, July 18, 2022


Last year, my friend Junko, sent me a care package filled with all of her favorite foods. (Thank you!)

One item was this ra-yu (chili oil).

It is called Sendai ra-yu and 90% of the "gu" (ingredients) is Sendai gyu-tan (beef tongue).

This particular ra-yu wasn't spicy, though there is a spicy version, it was so good on omelettes and stir fried veggies. 

The beef tongue seemed to be simmered until tender in a sweet salty sauce. Then packed into the bottle and filled with chili oil.

I will keep an eye out for it and hope to purchase more from the Miyagi Antenna Shop in Tokyo.

Friday, July 15, 2022

this and that

It was so hot the other day, I tried to stay cool with a pineapple bar.

I dipped it in li hing powder while I was eating it.

So good!

Craft cola is kind of trending here, I tried this one made by Asahi, because it has citrus and spices in it, it had kind of a medicinal taste...meh

Remember I told you that the weather dude said we were going back to the rainy season?

It was true and then it got super hot and now we are back to rainy.

This week was mostly cloudy or rainy, some areas of Japan saw flooding!

Umeshu update: the liquer is starting to change color.

Slightly pinkish near the top of the bottle.

The ume is starting to shrivel up too.
Tokyo People: if you look closely at this woman's shirt, you'll see why I took the photo.
Omma Foods' kimbap...486 yen (tax included)

It had gobo, carrot, egg, spinach, takuan, minced pork or maybe it was chicken.

It was cut unevenly but was tasty, I would get it again.

Tuesday's daily case count for Tokyo hit 10,000 and hasn't stopped.

Apparently it hasn't been that high since March.

Satoshi had gone out for drinks with a friend on Tuesday.

Since he goes to work, he is probably the most likely to bring the virus home, so I told him that from now on, he should cut back on meeting up with friends, until the case count goes down.

Our apartment is so small that if one of us gets it, there is literally no way for us to quarantine, unless one of us sleeps on the lanai...

Medical people will FINALLY be eligible for the 4th vaccine…

Anyway, hopefully we can avoid this variant...hope you all are doing well.

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2022


One year ago, we were trying Hio Ice cream.

Five years ago, we were fascinated with bottle tops

Ten years ago, we were dealing with 'tude at Bubbies

Fifteen years ago, we were waiting for a typhoon to pass.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


Yesterday was the funeral for Shinzo Abe.

It was supposed to be a small service, with only family, but there were so many people from his political “family” and connections that showed up to give their respects and prayers that it turned out to be larger than expected.

There were also areas at the church, in front of the Liberal Democratic party building, as well as the rotary area where he was shot, for people to leave their condolence messages as well as flowers.

People from all over Japan lined the streets of Tokyo to give a prayer as his hearse passed by, many shouted "thank you".

Somehow the gloomy weather and rain just adds to the sadness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022


Saturday night...our building shook for 1 second if you can call it shaking.

It actually felt like something hit our building.

Kind of like when your car is rear ended.

The earthquake warnings came AFTER it happened.

Luckily there was no damage but it sure scared us.

Monday, July 11, 2022

in shock

As with most of the world, am totally in shock over the assassination of the former Prime Minister.

Apparently the gun laws here are so strict, you have to pass a background check, mental health examination among other criteria.

If you can pass all of the criteria which apparently takes a year or more, you can then get one.

It’s not to say that Japan does not have crime.

There are crimes here but the bulk of them have knives involved.

The phrase used a lot on the news Friday was “hiretsu na banko” (cowardly barbarism)

This was so senseless.

Please take care everyone.

Friday, July 08, 2022

this and that

Tried Omma Foods' bi bim kook soo yesterday...618 yen (tax included)

The woman working there asked if it was spicy was I okay with that, I told her as long as it wasn't too spicy.

When I opened the container, it looked really spicy but it wasn't and I enjoyed the different veggies that were on top.

The noodles were chewy and had a nice pull to it.

I want to try their kimbap next.

Tokyo, as well as the rest of Japan's case numbers have exploded because the latest variant is krazy and our boosters that we received earlier in the year are now less effective

Yesterday Tokyo's was 8000 something and two days before it was 5000 something..eep!

The frustrating thing is a lot of us want to get our 4th vaccine, but the government has only approved it for those 60 years + and those at risk…so a lot of those in the medical field haven’t gotten boosted…gah!

There is an election this Sunday and a lot of things will apparently be decided depending on their results…boo!

Over the week, just like the weather dude said, we went back to rainy season but are again headed for sunny temps this weekend.

Actually there was a typhoon (Aere) approaching earlier in the week, but it turned into a tropical depression, or something like that.

Hope you are doing well.

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, July 07, 2022


Yesterday, Satoshi had a meeting in Kofu, Yamanashi prefecture.

Since he wasn't allowed to take the Shinkansen (bullet train), he wanted to bring something for lunch, but didn't want to lug his bento box around afterwards.

So, I made him a tamagoyaki (rolled omelette) with some edamame in it and also put a little kugini on the side, then put it into the basket that some blueberries came in.

I also gave him some yakiimo (roasted sweet potato) and two musubi with "gohan desu yo" (nori tsukudani (laver sheets simmered in soy sauce, sugar & mirin)) in it.

He was impressed with the blueberry basket and instead of throwing it away, brought it home to reuse it…so, I guess he could’ve lugged his bento box around, yeah?!

Wednesday, July 06, 2022


One year ago, we were checking out Songbird Bakery

Five years ago, we were having a shakerato

Eleven years ago, we were on a walk

Fifteen years ago, we were checking out Grill Nana

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

tolo pan tokyo

Saturday, Satoshi went to Kamakura with his tour guide friends for the whole day.

I wanted to go on my own adventure, but it was also krazy hot outside, so I decided to make a "quick run" to Tolo Pan Tokyo since they open early and I could beat the crowds.

The last time I visited this bakery was pre-pandemic.

I picked up their carrot cake.

Unlike carrot cake that I know, this is quiche style, with a puff pastry base, which I thought they could do without because some parts were really hard probably from the caramel that is on the base of the puff pastry.

There were also some spices in there that I crunched on which wasn’t too pleasant.

Even though the cake was moist, I probably wouldn’t get this again.

Curry Pain…the bread was poofy and there were a couple of large pieces of beef in their spicy curry.

A little oily because it is fried but super tasty. 
Tuna Tolo Burger, this was the same thing I had back in 2019.

There was lots of tuna filling and this time the bun had grana padano in it…love!
Fluffy Doughnut.

The lady at the register asked if I was going to eat this right away.

She said, “if you are, I’ll top this with custard”

Since I was trying to be quick, I told her I was not.

So she minused 30 yen from the price.

The lady at the register also gave me this sample.

Because she had her mask on, I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

It smelled a little like pumpkin and had lots of citrus peel in it! Love!

I left a little after 8:30 and was back home by 10:30.

1540 yen (tax included) for everything.

It was blazing but at least I got to go on my own adventure and get home before the crowds started their day. 

Monday, July 04, 2022


We’ve been interested in trying Kaei’s katsu curry.

It's only served on Fridays.

Since Satoshi went back to work, I decided we should try this for dinner.

A millefeuille style katsu..thinly sliced pork layered with cheese and shiso.

Covered with a “chinese style” ankake (thick) curry sauce that has lots of veggies in it.

700 yen (tax included) each for takeout, a little more if you eat it there (920 yen tax included).

This came with a small salad and a small cup of egg drop soup.

Super filling and the curry is quite spicy.

The only bummer is that the thick curry sauce makes the katsu quite soggy.

Satoshi enjoyed this though.

I'm sure we'll be back.

Friday, July 01, 2022

this and that

The sunset Wednesday night.

Can you believe to save electricity that the government wants us to set our air conditioners to 28C? um that is 82F?! um many elderly people have been dying because they are not using their air sad!

Tokyo’s daily COVID cases have been going up too. 

I have a feeling it is due to this heat, lots of people have stopped masking to avoid heatstroke, keeping their windows closed to use their a/c.

And we only have 60% vaccinated up to their 3rd shot.

On top of all of that, next week, the weather dude says that we will have a 2nd rainy season..WT?!

The world is broken.

It's the start of the 2nd half of the year, have a safe weekend.