Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Sunday, we went out for groceries and then we had lunch at Lee Lounge.

A tiny cafe that we've been wanting to try.

It was kind of crowded, but we were still able to sit at a distance from others.

I had their napolitan...980 yen (tax included)...this was delicious and the sauce was not sweet.

My only peeve was that it was on a teeny plate, so you had to eat super carefully so as not to spill.

Satoshi had their thai shoyu ramen, he was asked whether he wanted rice noodles or egg noodles, he chose rice noodles.

His lunch came with a mini gapao rice, which was also scrunched into a teeny bowl, making it hard to eat.

But he said he enjoyed his lunch...900 yen (tax included).

It is a pretty laid back place, so we look forward to trying other items on their menu...we'll be back.
Down the street is Yaguchi Fresh House, a grocer that sells fruits and veggies.

I noticed he was selling beets, so I bought a bag, 162 yen (tax included).

I roasted them and we'll eat them in the coming days.

We also picked up something sweet from Cusunoki

Their Zao cheese...525 yen (tax included)...fluffy airy cheesecake filled with blueberry jam and coated with cake crumbs...so good!
Chocolat...365 yen (tax included)...chocolate cake with chocolate whipped cream and chocolate curls...delicious.

The wind was icy but at least the sun was out.

Lee Lounge
1-26-1 Tamagawa 2F
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 070.8947.6948
Open daily 9:00-22:00

Monday, January 30, 2023


Satoshi's implants went as scheduled.

He was done by about 4:30-ish.

Before "picking him up", I bought us dinner from Stivale so we could just jump on the train to go back home.

Lasagna and hamburger with cheese and demiglace sauce.

1530 yen (tax included) for both.


He had some pain but was able to eat AND had wine...

Have a good week.

ps we didn’t have snow, at least I didn’t see any 

Friday, January 27, 2023

this and that

Every time I pass by Donkey, I see their photo of their hotcakes pasted on the window and want to try them.

Well, I finally did and was totally disappointed.

First off, they cut the hotcakes before serving them.

Am thinking these were the frozen type...bummer.

Satoshi’s dry curry looked ono.

There was talk about snow at the beginning of the week, everyone around Tokyo got the snow, we just got fahreezing temps...was kind of bummed, I mean if it is gonna be fahreezing...

Now, there is talk that Tokyo might see some snow over the weekend, we'll see.

Since Satoshi was working from home, most of this week, and there was that talk about the snow, I stocked up so I did not need to go out of the house for groceries.

Well, Wednesday night, just before Satoshi's German online class, the gas range’s light came on saying it needed new batteries...so guess who had to go out to get some batteries?!

At least the nearest covenience store is only 3 minutes walking away...

And as luck would have it, after buying the batteries, it seems that "someone" didn't turn off the range properly, which is why the light on the range was blinking...grr.

oh well, at least we have spare batteries...

This shirunashi (no soup) tan tan men...it had the perfect balance of ma (numbing) and la (spicy).

Tried a new (to me) banh mi place. 

The other day, I happened to pass by and noticed them.

Apparently they opened sometime last year...

I ordered their grilled pork...680 yen (tax included)

Loved the bread and the grilled pork was similar to the sweet char siu flavor we have in Hawaii.

I think they could've put a little more veggies, but overall I enjoyed this, I'll be back to try other items on their menu.

Satoshi is having implant work tomorrow, so he needs to get a PCR test done today.

On top of that for the past two weeks he had to take his temperature and record it.

I'm going to go with him to the PCR test so I can see where the hospital is.

Hoping all goes smoothly, he will have anesthesia and will be allowed to "sleep" it off, he said he'll be able to come home on his own, but I'm worried he won't, so I will go to "pick him up" tomorrow afternoon.

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

Banh Mi Xin Chao
5-19-10 Nishikamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6715.8087
Open daily 10:00-20:00

Thursday, January 26, 2023


One year ago we received our blood orange order from T-farm

Four years ago we were trying 175 deno tan tan men

Eight years ago we were trying zabon-zuke

Thirteen years ago we thought spring was coming

Seventeen years ago we were talking about tsukiai and other things.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023


I had wanted to bake some mochi type muffins.

When it came time to line the muffin tin, I realized I only had 3 muffin papers, so I used some parchment paper.

It was hard to fill with muffin batter, because the parchment didn't stay secure in the muffin tin.

Also while making the batter I only had a little mochiko, so I used half mochiko and half flour.

I put some yuzu peel that I had in the freezer, used up some chocolate chips and also added some cocoa powder

My baking powder expired but I used the hot water test and it still bubbled so I used it.

Even with all these obstacles, the muffins came out nice and will be good for breakfast or as a snack.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Saturday before we went out to do errands, I gave Satoshi a bag of stuff to put in the garbage area (a little room near the parking stalls) of our apartment building 

After he came out I gave him my empty bags for us to use when we did some grocery shopping after our other errands.

First off, Satoshi wanted to update his bank passbook (yes Japan still uses passbooks!), so we stopped at the ATM, then we went looking for a particular white envelope.

After looking at a 100 yen shop and 2 convenience stores, we finally found the envelope at a different 100 yen store, and went to send something for his friend whose husband had passed away suddenly.

(The reason we needed a special envelope was the letter that Satoshi wanted to send said friend couldn’t be folded into "fourths"…Japanese death superstitions/etiquette)

Then we went to the cell phone shop so Satoshi could ask them about his cell phone.

It was then that I realized he wasn’t carrying the empty bags I gave him.

So we retraced our steps and still couldn’t find the bags.

And ended up walking all the way back home because I still needed bags to go grocery shopping and guess what we found on the sidewalk near our apartment…

the bags!

At least we found them but it was so weird that I hadn’t noticed he dropped the bags soon after giving it to him nor did he realize he had dropped them

(photo: this furry keeping warm and probably wondering what we were doing)

Monday, January 23, 2023

trying more recipes

I saw this online and wanted to try.

The online version used hoshigaki (dried persimmon), but I only had ichidagaki which is a harder type of dried persimmon.

What you do is split it down the center, take out the seeds then put in a schmear of cream cheese.

The version I saw online, cuts the kaki with the cream cheese into rounds.

This was good as pupu, but I'll look for softer dried persimmons so that I can try this again. 

On the recipe sheet from Shuetsu there was also a recipe for tartar sauce.

Which reminded me of this recipe.

Again, I ad-libbed because the portions seemed a lot.

Tartar sauce : translated from Shuetsu

1 boiled egg, mashed

30 grams fukujinzuke, minced

8 grams fukujinzuke "sauce"

35 grams mayo

8 grams vinegar


salt to taste

Mix well and add salt to taste

NOTES: I used a 7 minute boiled egg, 15 grams of fukujinzuke, 1 gram fukujinzuke "sauce", 1/2 teaspoon vinegar 

I didn't measure how much mayo I used but didn't use too much 

I didn't have parsley but think this will add some color and more texture to the tartar sauce

I omitted the salt and added some pepper instead

We had this with beef rolls, which is what the Japanese tartar sauce I noted above is eaten with and it was delicious.

I'm glad I tried this recipe and look forward to trying a couple more on the sheet.

Friday, January 20, 2023

this and that

While I was getting ready on Sunday, my Swarovski pendant dropped onto the cement floor and cracked...sad!

Hoping I'll be able to find the other piece that broke off and no one steps on the piece, though I did vacuum the area...

It was a brownish Swarovski, and larger than most beads, so I hope I can find a replacement...

These wings from Shinanoya!

Grilled with a little soy sauce, so meaty, juicy and tender!

80 yen (tax included) a piece...I would get this again! 

Instead of gifts, every year we all send photos to my cousin and then she puts all of the photos together into a calendar.

She orders the calendars and sends them out to us, we finally received our calendar.

We appreciate all the work she does to put these calendars together and always look forward to seeing everyone's photos in it...thanks P!

"Someone" has been working from home at least twice a week especially on those cold days...which means the a/c aka heater is on all.day.long...at least I can sleep an hour longer because I don't need to make his bento BUT cannot really go holo-holo (gallavanting) because I still need to get him lunch by noon...

Tokyo people...saw this furry one dressed up all spiffy

This marron danish from Hutte was so ono!

Chestnut cream, whipped cream, a whole chestnut on top and everything wrapped with a flaky pastry.
5 more months to go...

I had bought round mochi for New Years and we ended up with only 1 left.

Since I wanted to eat zenzai for breakfast but didn't want to buy another bag of large mochi, I was happy to find these cute sized mochi…105 yen (tax included)
They cook in about 2 minutes and are super soft!

I gave Satoshi the round mochi and also put a couple of star pieces in his zenzai.
Finally got to try Torikyu's nori bento (they had it on hiatus)...500 yen (tax included).

Choose konbu (seasoned seaweed) or okaka (seasoned shaved bonito) for your rice...I chose konbu.

So ono! and super reasonably priced

Glad I got a photo of this cleaning shop...they will be tearing it down soon.

How are you doing?

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

trying a new recipe

I tried one of the recipes that came with the fukujinzuke we purchased from Shuetsu.

Toritsumire (chicken meatball) : translated from Shuetsu

200 grams minced chicken

1 gram salt

40 grams fukujinzuke, chopped

15 grams fukujinzuke "sauce"

3 or 4 leaves shiso, juilienned

10 grams oil

Mix the minced chicken with the salt

When the mixture gets a little sticky mix in the chopped fukujinzuke, "sauce" and shiso

Rub the oil onto your hands and form the meat mixture into bite sized balls.

Cook in a heated frying pan.


NOTES: first off I thought this fukujinzuke was quite salty when I ate it with some instant curry, so I was kind of worried to use it in the recipes they gave.

Tsumire is apparently meatballs made with fish and usually found in a soup.  

Tsukune is apparently a meatball made from ground chicken or other meat and is grilled or cooked in a pan.

Since Shuetsu calls this a tsumire, that is what I’m calling it.

Also, I thought some of the amounts they noted on this recipe was kind of high, so I kind of ad-libbed

First off, I omitted the salt that they have in their recipe

The recipe just said minced chicken, I used a mixture of ground thigh & breast chicken meat because markets here sell them separately 

Instead of the amounts in the recipe, I only added 20 grams of fukujinzuke and 5 grams of the sauce

The shiso, I minced instead of julienning

I didn't want to rub oil onto my hands like the recipe said so instead I just drizzled a little on the pan before cooking it 

While cooking, I also covered the pan so that the meatballs would heat and cook through faster.

I also used a spatula to turn them every so often so they would brown nicely.

This was delicious! not overly salty.

The fukujinzuke stays crunchy.

I think this recipe works because the pickles are in a shoyu based sauce, not too sure it would work with other types of pickles.

I would make this again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

omiya yogashiten

Finally got to check out Omiya Yogashiten, they've been in business since 1884!

Their showcase is filled with all sorts of cakes and baked items.

Love their packaging!
We purchased their classic chocolate, it didn't seem to be cake but a rich dense slice of ganache covered with whipped cream and topped with a chocolate truffle, strawberry tarte with lots of strawberries and rare cheesecake (no bake cheesecake)...1944 yen (tax included)

Everything was delicious, not too sweet, though their crust was more like a cracker than a flaky pastry.

I guess with the pandemic they closed their dining area, so I look forward to eating here in the future.

We'll be back.

Omiya Yogashiten

2-4 Kanda Awajicho

Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: 03. 3251.1088

Open daily: 9:00-19:00 (Mondays through Saturdays), 10:00-17:30 (Sundays)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Sunday we got out and about early so that we could be one of the first ones in line at Hachimaki, a popular tempura shop in Jimbocho.

I had marked this place when we first moved to Tokyo back in 2018 when I had walked around this area while waiting for Satoshi to finish an errand.

We finally got to try them and it didn’t disappoint.

In business since 1930, this place is popular with famous literary people as well as celebrities.

I ordered the tendon 1000 yen (tax included) comes with 2 shrimp, 1 piece of squid, 1 piece of kisu (sillago), 1 piece bell pepper, 1 piece renkon (lotus root)

I was happy the waitress asked if I wanted more of less rice, I ordered less rice.

Satoshi ordered their ebi tendon 1300 yen (tax included) comes with 3 shrimp, 1 piece kisu (sillago), 1 piece bell pepper and 1 piece renkon

All came with miso soup and pickles.

The pickles were on the table and were housemade ginger.

On a side note: While we were eating, I was disappointed with the 3 people at the table next to us, who took off their masks to “talk story” while waiting for their meal.

Still, I'm glad we got to check this place out.

We'll be back.

ps While I was taking the picture of the shop, Satoshi saw the cute cat...can you see it?!


1-19 Jimbocho

Chiyoda, Tokyo

Phone: 03.3291.6222

Open daily 11:00-20:00

pps if you are interested in seeing more pictures and a video from this area, please click here

Monday, January 16, 2023

23 years

So many things have happened over that amount of time.

Good and bad.

Thankful that Satoshi still puts up with me.

Love you.

Friday, January 13, 2023

this and that

New to me bakery area inside Yokohama's Takashimaya called Bakery Square, all sorts of bakeries from Kanagawa Prefecture.

Bluff Bakery, which we've tried before...Dukkah coated curry pan which the bakery calls "Don't you love curry?"...not too spicy, loved that there was a big piece of beef in there too!

Bon Vivant's Manuru Bread...found a version of that Korean cream cheese garlic bread...so good!

The bread itself was soft, the cream cheese had a slight tang from yogurt (I looked at the ingredients) was on the sweeter side and there was lots of garlic & butter! yum!

Carrot cake to share...love this version by Bluff Bakery

I love how you can choose the size of the piece you buy.
Cream puff and eclair from Mickey

Not bad for 250 yen (tax included) each.
Sometimes we walk down to Tamagawa...
Nishikiya Kitchen's Chocolate Beef Curry...bitterness from the chocolate, lots of beef flavor...love!
Made up a "new" pupu combo for us...all kinds of sashimi, takuan, shiso, bubu arare, furikake, a little mayo....serve with nori.
Sweet, salty and spicy minced pork kind of like the topping for tan tan men...on potatoes...found this in the pre-made food area at a supermarket it was so good!
Asakusa Highball...meh, this was really sweet.

What have you been enjoying?

Krazy things going on with Japanese not being able to get visas to get into China for work is apparently retaliation for Japan having strict COVID entry rules for people from China...sigh

And they found 15 cases of the latest variant (XBB.1.5) in Japan last month…

Hoping it doesn’t get too krazy here again…

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


We've been wanting to check out Tiger for some time now and especially after it was featured in a J-drama.

It is about a 30 minute walk from where we live, so we left early so we could be there at 10:30 when they opened.

I had their curry rice...650 yen (tax included).

Simple, pork and onions, this curry reminded me of something my mom used to make.

The gyoza snob had to try their gyoza...550 yen (tax included) for 6.

It passed his test...

I tasted one and it had lots of cabbage and garlic in there.
He also had their Tiger-men...seafood, veggies, thin noodles and a slurry shoyu type of soup.

He enjoyed this too.

I'm glad we got to check out this place and look forward to coming to try other items on their menu.

We'll be back.

2-51-16 Nishirokugo
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3733.3646
Closed Wednesdays
Hours: 10:30-20:00

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


Sunday, we got out early so that we could check out the Winter botan (peony) display at Ueno.

(The line to get into the zoo was krazy! going from the zoo all the way through part of Ueno park!)

If you remember we saw the dahlia display in October.

The admission for the peony display was 1000 yen, a little higher than the dahlia display, but the area was bigger and there were lots more flowers to see.

So pretty! This display runs from January 1 to February 23.

From Ueno Park we went down the street to Shuetsu, which apparently was the first shop to make fukujinzuke, the pickles that you usually see served with curry in Japan.

They have been in business for over 300 years!

They also gave us some recipes to use their fukujinzuke in, can't wait to try this.

While looking for lunch, we ended up at Gyu-sha for lunch since the other places we wanted to try had krazy lines.

I ordered the 180 gram hamburger curry...1250 yen (tax included)

The curry was not made from scratch, but the patty was made from 100% beef, unfortunately there was some gristle in there but this was still tasty.

Satoshi ordered the 300 gram hamburger with wafu onion sauce...1590 yen (tax included) which came with rice.

It came out sizzling and Satoshi said he enjoyed this.

After lunch we walked towards Jimbocho and had pour over coffee at Glitch Coffee.

I had no idea how expensive pour over coffee could be...live and learn...

I think my cup of Ethiopean was 1500 yen (tax included)...eep

It was floral and I enjoyed this but will stick to espresso drinks in the future here...

Satoshi chose a Columbian bean and his was 1000 yen (tax included)

His coffee had a citrusy tone to it, he said he enjoyed this.

And then we walked to Tokyo station.

It was nice to be outside.

Hope you enjoyed our outing as much as we did.

3-29-5 Ueno
Taito, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00-19:00 daily

6-5-9 Sotokanda
Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6803.0529
Hours: 11:30-15:30 (lunch), 17:30-22:00 (dinner)

Glitch Coffee
3-16 Nishikicho
Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5244.5458
Hours: 8:00-19:00 (Mondays-Fridays), 9:00-19:00 (Saturdays & Sundays)

p.s. if you are interested in seeing other photos and videos, please look here