Friday, April 28, 2023

this and that

The hollyhock has started to bloom, which means when the flowers at the top bloom, rainy season will begin...eep
If you see this volunteer, ask him for directions...
Datsun cab light van
shawarma-ish smash burger 2nd try…good & easy with tortillas...
Tokyo people...saw this guy talking with the crow

Found this interesting shaped kakinotane, apparently it is made by the same company that makes the kakinotane for Toyoko Inn.
NOT Tokyo's this lady, I've seen her two times already, whenever I pass through our shopping arcade, she is probably doing a live video of cosmetic products...I believe she is Chinese because that is the language I hear whenever I see her...
Car shaped kakinotane...wonky uploaded photo.. boo!

This week was a cold snap week with some rain.

Hope you are doing well.

It's the start of Golden Week here, have a safe weekend.

Thursday, April 27, 2023


One year ago, we were making pickled tomatoes

Five years ago, we were telling you about the move

Eight years ago, we were checking out the wisteria in Noda

Eleven years ago, we were checking out the koinobori in Ikeda

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

egg poacher

After seeing this on a television show, I wanted to get it and finally found it at different location of Seria.

It is supposed to make "perfect" soft poached eggs, or what Japanese call "onsen tamago" the photo on the package

In Japan, you often see these types of eggs served with bento or at ryokan (Japanese inn), when you crack the egg into a bowl, the soft poached egg just slips out, the whites are really soft and the yolk is oozy and they are often eaten with a shoyu based sauce.

Put the gadget into the sink, add your eggs and fill the gadget up to the line with boiling water

I tried to measure the amount of water before doing this, but it started releasing the water as I was refilling my cup...anyway, I think it uses about 4 cups of water

As soon as you put the hot water in it starts releasing the water, so make sure to put it into the sink before starting!

There is a teeny hole at the bottom that slowly releases the hot takes about 13 minutes.

After the 13 minutes, remove the eggs carefully from the gadget, it's HOT!

Crack the egg, like it was raw, and it should just slip out

I think my eggs were too small or maybe the 13 minutes was too long or maybe a combination of both because I had to use a spoon to get these out of the shell. 

The yolks were not oozy like most onsen tamago I have eaten in the past.

Will need to tweak the time with the size of the eggs, I think.

But I like that you don't need to fiddle with them over the stove to poach.

The Japanese have gadgets for everything.

ps this is Made in Japan & BPA free

I think the hole is 1/10 of a centimeter
This is the inside "filter"
It is removable so you can wash it.

The poacher can hold 745 milliliters (3.14 cups)

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


Sunday, we bonded with nature one day after Earth Day...we got out and about early and headed to Kitakamakura.

It's about an hour away by train from where we live.

First off, Jochiji...I saw this temple in a J-drama, and wanted to check it out.

Super peaceful and lots of birds chatting/singing away.

So many wild wisteria plants here and there too, just look for the purple on the mountain sides!

Meigetsuin...this temple is also called Ajisaidera because of all the hydrangea plants.

They open the area in back of the main hall during Shobu (iris) and Koyo (fall colors), not many flowers to be seen on this day, so we'll need to go back!

Many rabbits decorating the area and they even had a real black rabbit, Nero, so cute!

Been wanting to check out Chocolaterie Calva, especially since the owner chef Jiro Tanaka won the World Chocolate Masters in 2022.

Chocolate soft serve with 70% Saint Domingue bon bon & coffee...1474 yen (tax included)

Rich, creamy & the bon bon was fruity!

Matcha terrine & kurichocolat (chestnut chocolate) yokan & coffee...1155 yen (tax included)

rich, bitter matcha, brandy soaked chestnut and chocolate...delicious!

I'll be back. the sitting area they don’t allow chatter, so it was nice to be still for a couple of minutes and all the peonies in the garden were beautiful
Lunch at Micoco Cafe...I ordered the spice curry...1500 yen (tax included)

This came with a salad made with Kamakura veggies...the curry wasn't hot spicy but was super flavorful.

Satoshi had their kenchin soup with musubi 1150 yen (tax included)

I thought his lunch was a little too small, so I also gave him some of my curry.

Kenchoji is a huge property with lots of smaller temples.

One temple, Hansobo, has lots of tengu (goblins)

There is also a spot to see Mount Fuji, but dust cloud hampered our view on this day 

In the Dharma Hall you can view the dragon and clouds on the ceiling.
There are several juniper trees that are over 1000 years old.

When we visited there were also lots of peonies blooming.

Near the JR Kitakamakura station is Hanabishi, a sweet shop that sells fruit daifuku.

We purchased the benihoppe...580 yen (plus tax)
Fuji apple...430 yen (plus tax)

There wasn't anything out of the ordinary about these, though they do give you a red thread to cut your daifuku in half.

Glad we tried this but dunno that we’d go back here.
From Kitakamakura, you can walk to Kamakura, but I feel Kamakura is one of those overtourism spots, so we instead walked in the opposite direction to Ofuna, where we spotted the Ofuna Kannon.

In the past, we had seen the kannon from the train and wondered about it, apparently it took over 40 million yen and many decades to finish.

After hiking up the steep walkway, it was amazing to see.

The temples we visited had admission fees for adults & children (I've only noted the adult fee here).

It was nice to bond with nature and not many tourists.

We hope to come back to this area for iris & hydrangea season

1402 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 9:00-16:30
Admission* 200 yen for adults

189 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 9:00-16:00
Admission* 500 yen for adults

1503 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 9:00-15:00
Admission* 300 yen for adults

8 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 8:30-16:30
Admission* 500 yen for adults

Micoco Cafe
1489-4 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 11:00-17:00

Chocolaterie Calva
407 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Hours: 10:00-16:00

Fruit Daifuku Hanabishi
495-9 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 9:00-16:00 (closes earlier if sold out)

Ofuna Kannon
1-5-3 Okamoto
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Hours: 9:00-16:00
Admission* 300 yen for adults

More picture and videos here if you are interested

Monday, April 24, 2023

back to kagurazaka

Friday, I went back to Kagurazaka.

Unlike the weekends, Kagurazaka is quite empty during the weekdays.

Most of the people that crowded the train station at the time I went, were students going to the nearby university.

I stopped into Akha Ama for Khemkhon, a washed dark roasted coffee from the Doi Chaang Village Chiang Rai Thailand,  that I had iced...600 yen (tax included), love! it was chocolatey, spicy and caramel-y

The tiny terrace in front of the shop is for people with their furry ones.

Friend, K, had given me their coffee way back in 2016, as omiyage (souvenir) when she visited Thailand.

Glad I was able to re-connect with them here in Tokyo.

Loved the coasters.

A couple of steps away is Pain des Philosophes.

Another tiny shop that sells all sorts of hard types of breads as well as some croissant type treats.

I timed it so I would be there just a little after they opened, and they already had a line!

I purchased a baguette and a pain au chocolat...720 yen (tax included)

Loved the ratio of chocolate and butter!

The baguette after toasted was a little too hard for my teeth, but I still enjoyed the taste.
Next time, I'm gonna take out coffee from Akha Ama and buy a pain au chocolat and sit in this park nearby...

And then I bought some fried things from Ohnoya Beef for our dinner.

Not sure how I learned about this shop though.

Ika (squid), ebi (shrimp), filet katsu & matsusaka beef menchi (fried hamburger)....860 yen (tax included) for all four pieces 

They also sell bento as well as raw meats.

The filet and menchi were so good! Juicy and lots of flavor.

I bought the ika & shrimp for Satoshi and he said both were delicious.

I like that the panko coating doesn’t separate from the meats too

Blazing again but it was nice to get back to this area, more cafes and places I want to check out, I'll be back.

Akha Ama Coffee
1-25 Akagi Motomachi
Shinjuku, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6280.8755
Open 8:00-19:00 daily

Pain des Philosophes
1-8 Higashigokencho
Shinjuku, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6874.5808
Closed Mondays
Hours: 10:30-19:00

Ohnoya Beef
6-8-58 Kagurazaka
Shinjuku, Tokyo
Phone: 090.1842.2311
Open 10:30-19:00 daily

Friday, April 21, 2023

this and that

Tokyo People: this grandma reminded me of my grandma, she wouldn't use her cane just carry it...

sometimes I see Tokyo People with some “interesting” things written on their clothes..."think rich look poor"
or on this lady’s bag, "any piranha tries to chomp me, I'll pound him"...didn't know Snoopy was so violent! ha!

shakuyaku (chinese peony) season
we thought this dark thick grey cloud that looks like a mountain range might be the dust cloud from the gobi desert...ick!
went to Ikegami Honmonji and the surrounding temples to check out their flowers...wisteria
botan (Japanese peonies)
more botan

Yesterday, went to check out this wisteria near Sakaeya Bakery.

It had been a year since I had been this way, many empty lots and construction along the way, was hard to remember what had been there before.

2 ladies were sitting and chatting under the flowers, so I tried to make sure my photos didn't include them.

Bought a bacon egg burger from Sakaeya Bakery 260 yen (tax included) and mini donuts filled with sweet bean paste 240 yen (tax included)

The weather was very blazing!

Earlier in the week…Thankful for BFF who opened up a letter I had received from my bank in Hawaii

Apparently back in December 2022 one of their employee’s email account was accessed without authorization and there were emails and attachments that might have had my info in it! 

after an investigation that ended in March 2023! it was determined that an email/attachment that had my info was involved, gah!

If you ask me it was kind of a long period between December and now to tell me about it…

So, I froze stuff and canceled stuff, what a p.i.t.a. trying to remember what info I'd given to set up accounts, especially when I sometimes can't even remember what I've eaten for lunch the day before...hope the person(s) involved got laser beamed…

Sadly my aunty who is also with this bank told me she received the same letter…eep!

Hoping no other “excitement” comes from this…

I just found out that one of my Dad's sisters passed away. We will miss you Aunty J.

Not wanting to end this on a sad note...can I show you the last lily from Easter?! Still going strong.

Hope things are better where you are and you are doing well.

Have a safe weekend.