Wednesday, May 31, 2023

mizumoto park

Sunday we met up with Satoshi's German language teacher and her husband at Mizumoto Park.

Satoshi thought she lived near the park, she doesn't anymore, but was happy to meet up to see the irises 

I chatted with her husband in Japanese, while Satoshi and his teacher were chatting away in German, though at times all three were chatting in German and I was just soaking in the feels of the conversation

This grandpa was so cute, he rang the bell on his bike and this cat jumped out from the banks to get some snacks from him.
This lady was just out walking her owl...she said if she doesn't have it tied properly, it will fly away

We asked what she feeds her owl, it eats mice & chicks…eep!

It was also wearing diapers to prevent having to clean up its poop.
There are 10 iris beds in this area of the park, they were not fully in bloom, but still so pretty.

I'm sure when it is in full bloom it will be very crowded, so I'm glad we went when we did.

Lunch was at Pizzeria da Tasaki, a super tiny shop that is a favorite of Satoshi’s teacher, near the JR Kanamachi station.

Satoshi and I shared the Pair Lunch...two pastas, one pizza and two drinks...price from 2700 yen (tax included) depending on what you choose.

Octopus Puttanesca...loved the olives in there too.

Pizza with bacon, chinese yam and aonori...different but the crust too
Shrimp pepperoncino...chili oil based pasta topped with shiso

Satoshi’s teacher and her husband also had the pair lunch with different pizzas & pastas.

Our lunch came out to 4000 yen-ish since Satoshi had more than one glass of wine

I was kind of “crispy” after being out in the sun for so long.

It was nice to meet his teacher and her husband.

Thanks for today, B & H.

Pizzeria da Tasaki

6-11-1 Kanamachi

Katsushika, Tokyo

Hours: 11:00-15:00 (lunch), 17:00-22:00 (dinner)

A few more photos and video if you are interested, here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


We checked out Hamazushi...going at 17:00 thinking it wouldn't be too busy...we were wrong.

After waiting over an hour probably longer, we finally got seated...

Nothing is circulating around, you order what you want and it comes out to you on the conveyor belt, it was fun watching other people's orders whizz past too.

I think this is a good system so that nothing is sitting out for too long on the conveyor belt, and no one can touch it or do other weird stuff to the sushi (ick)
Plus I like that you can order your sushi with half the amount of rice.
Though I probably cancelled out all of that by eating daigaku imo...ha!
Everything was fresh! and tasty
And they have all sorts of shoyu (soy sauce) from different parts of Japan.

I'm glad we tried this sushi chain, it was definitely way better from our "other sushi experience"

We'll be back.

2-17-18 Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00-23:00 (weekdays), 10:00-23:00 (weekends)

Monday, May 29, 2023

back to kitakamakura

I saw something on social media that the irises were blooming at Meigetsuin, so we went back on Saturday.

Well, apparently everyone else saw the same thing, so everyone and then some was there too.

Even though the irises weren't in full bloom, it was nice to see, though the area was quite small and we felt it was not really worth the extra 500 yen you need to pay to get in.

The ajisai, hydrangea, weren't ready though there were some to see.
Lunch was at Shintomi, a tiny noodle/sushi shop run by a family.

I chose the hiyashi chuka, loved the thin noodles and slightly puckery shoyu based sauce...980 yen (tax included)

Satoshi had their shoyu ramen with a mini sashimi donburi...can't remember how much his set was, but he said he enjoyed it.
After lunch, we went to check out the Kitakamakura Old Private Home Museum...500 yen per person admission.

Three old private homes are clustered on this property and display various artists artwork.

On this day, they were also showing various hydrangea.

So pretty!

One of my favorite art pieces.

It looked like a relief of hydrangea and cat.

And this quilt! so beautiful.
We came back to Tokyo and had something sweet and cold at Ichimaruhachi Matchasaro.

I had this matcha montblanc, soy milk soft cream topped with matcha...650 yen (tax included).

Satoshi had this matcha parfait...972 yen (tax included)...matcha pudding, vanilla pudding, mango sauce, matcha soft serve, warabi mochi and dango...huge but he enjoyed it.

I tasted it and thought there should not have been mango sauce in it...

Everyone is out and about, crowds, lines, you name it.

Still, it was nice to bond with nature for a little bit.

More pictures and some videos if you are interested, here.

376 Yamanouchi
Kamakura, Kanagawa
Closed Wednesdays
Hours: 10:00-16:00

Friday, May 26, 2023

this and that

curbs are apparently great pillows
the lilies I bought last Thursday all bloomed, and are HUGE! (pictures from a couple days before they all bloomed)
was worried it would fall over, so I put them in 2 vases.

and then I knocked over one of the vases while changing the water in the other vase...ack!

So, I cut all the flowers that were "branching" out past the vases and put them into smaller individual vases, hopefully they won't tip over now.

still at it
vanilla matcha salted caramel chocolate banana sundaes, say that 10 times fast...

Tuesday, Mother Nature flung us back to March temps and also gave us rain all day!

I'm having a hard time keeping up with the temps differences during the day and night, plus I put away all my winter clothes and futon...eep

Remember that shake udon? well someone found a teeny tree frog in theirs, I guess that’s what happens when you don’t wash the veggies…ack!

Marugame was forced to stop selling their salad and tan tan salad versions in many areas

Yesterday I went to see "Fast X", IMAX version

Even if the reviews are mixed, I enjoyed it.

The theater gave each of us this mini poster 
and sticker, I think the stickers were random, happy I got Jason Statham.

Which made me realize that when I saw "Ferrari vs Ford", right before the pandemic, what the theater had given me was a sticker for that movie too...
Lunch from City Bakery, it had been awhile since I'd been here.

Spicy Saba (mackerel) sandwich, curry spices, fluffy foccacia, pickled purple cabbage...delicious

And a coconut cookie.

I actually had wanted to try their carrot cake, but since I had bought these before the movie, I decided I shouldn't buy something refrigerated...hope to go back to try their carrot cake since it has chocolate & citrus peel in it which I thought was different from most other carrots cakes 

Haagen Dazs came out with these Green Craft soy milk based ice creams.

Chocolate Macadamia and Vanilla.

I like the chocolate one better, the vanilla tasted more like tofu and left a weird oily feel in my mouth...eep.

Rainy season is coming soon...

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2023


Shake Chazuke was one of the first izakaya spots we checked out in our neighborhood.

We had wanted to check them out several times after that first visit but they either had no tables available or were filled with reservations for the night

And then the pandemic hit.

When I passed by the other day, I saw that they will be closing after 10 years in business.

Nice that they are filled with reservations until their last day.

Bummed that we weren't able to check them out one last time though.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

kaitenzushi katsu

Since moving to Tokyo and then the pandemic, we finally got around to checking out a kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) shop.

Not too familiar with the conveyor belt sushi shops in our area (they are different from the shops we had in Kansai) we went to one in our nearby shopping mall, Kaitenzushi Katsu, a chain type restaurant.

When you order drinks, a robot brings them out to you, this was culture shock for us, we didn't know you also had to take the plates that the robot brings with your drinks.

Why?! because the plate color is how they will charge you for the drink…oops!

Since we were sitting near the counter, I could see that most of the fish they used was frozen, meh

One of the sushi I ate was also made from smoked salmon, boo!

Even the supposedly really big neta (sushi toppings) were kind of skimpy and thin.

Before serving, they spray water on the sushi, to make it look “fresh”!

Though a fascinating thing was the way they counted our plates, they just used a scanner and ran it up and down the stack of plates then printed out our bill.

We won't be back here and will check out the other conveyor belt sushi shops in our area as well as other sushi shops instead.

Kaitenzushi Katsu
Grand Duo East Wing 6F
Ota, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00-22:00
Closed when Gran Duo is

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

haneda airport garden

Haneda Airport Garden was all set to open back in 2020 and then the pandemic finally got to open in January 2023 and we finally got to check it out this past Saturday.

Sensory overload wherever you walk with these huge screens

Souvenir shops from all over Japan.
Food shops from all over Japan too.
We tried an Osaka-style okonomiyaki place called Pachi Pachi.

The salad that comes with lunch, we think it was avocado mixed with potato salad because it tasted kinda like it but it looked gross

photo uploaded wonky...there was samurai armour in front of the Hotel Villa Fontaine
Daily okonomiyaki, beef tendon...1500 yen (tax included)

Was kinda small and thin, not fluffy like okonomiyaki we've had in the past

Our lunches also came with a cup of miso soup (no photo)

Yakisoba set....1300 yen (tax included)

The noodles were a bit thick and the sauce was too sweet.

Very “loud” interior of Okonomiyaki Pachi Pachi

Kurazukuri Honpo had this huge sugar art display, the bird and flowers looked real!
Satoshi and I shared this matcha tea soda from Kimikura...700 yen (tax included)

They whisk the matcha before serving, so it takes some time.

The orange soda at the bottom mixed with the matcha was super refreshing.

If you'd like to see a short video of them pouring the matcha onto the soda, please look here.

I'm glad we got to check out this area and hope it will do well with all the tourists from overseas and other prefectures of Japan 

Haneda Airport Garden
connected to Terminal 3 Haneda Airport
Open daily: 10:00-20:00

Monday, May 22, 2023

shake udon

Last Tuesday, Marugame Seimen came out with these cold shake type udon.

They come in these tall cups with udon, sauce and toppings, you shake them then eat them out of the cups.

There are 5 types, ume oroshi (ume, daikon oroshi and wakame), mentaitororo (mentaiko, tororo (grated chinese yam), cut nori), pirikara tantan (tantan nikumiso (spicy pork), cut nori), sesame sauce salad  (salad ingredients and sesame dressing), pirikara tantan salad (spicy pork, salad ingredients, sesame dressing)

I chose the pirikara tantan salad...740 yen (tax included).

Be sure to check the lid before shaking and if possible, shake over the sink, just in case..

After shaking or maybe I didn’t shake them enough, the noodles kind of stayed clumped, so I thought it might be hard to eat from the cup.

So I poured everything out into a bowl instead.

I loved the spicy pork and the slightly sweet sesame dressing.

I would get this again, but wouldn't recommend eating this version as a take out.

I think maybe the others might be easier to eat as take out since they have less toppings.