Japanese Breakfast @ Hakone area
I visited Hakone this weekend with my family. Hakone locates western side from Tokyo and it takes about 1.5 hours from Shinjuku station. Since my family live in the western side of Tokyo, so we took the Romance car (special rapid train to Hakone area) from Seijo-gakuen-mae station.
Hakone is famous as for “Onsen” (Hot springs) spot! So many people visit there usually on weekends for relaxing. We also stayed at the “Ryokan” (Japanese style hotel) and took Onsen at night. And what is the best part, Japanese breakfast! Seeing the nature outside of the window, we had delicious breakfast!
In addition to the Onsen spot, there are so many unique museums along with venetian glass museum, Le petit Prince museum, Open-air museum etc… For more detail, please check other photos. I hope you like them!
Seasonal Event : Hina-Matsuri (March 3rd)
The 3rd of March is the traditional and representative spring event day called “Hina-Matsuri” in Japan.
Hina-Matsuri means Girls’ Festival! There is a tradition if the baby is a girl, the parents of the mother give a traditional dolls called Hina-kazari (Traditional dolls of Emperor, Empress, their servants and accessories on the tiered stand) to their daughter’s family. This day, parents having daughter invite their families and friends to celebrate this event. They display Hina-Kazari and serve guests traditional dishes, like Chirashi-zushi (garnished sushi), hard-shell clam clear soup, hishi-moshi and hina-arare (pink and white grilled piece of rice cakes). And they drink Ama-zake (white sake). This is called “sake” but Ama-zake is usually non-alcohol sake for this occasion.I like to make Amazake at home.
*For more detail, please check here!
When I was a child, my parents invited the Hina-Matsuri party for me and my younger sister every year. So this event reminds me of my childhood and I loved it♡
Though I have a baby boy, I like this event. So, I made the Chirashi-zushi for my family this year. Also I found the compact (and also tasty!) Hina-kazari at the supermarket so I built it at home! In addition, I got the modern style Hina-arare (grilled bits of rice cake) as well. Yummy!
Have a wonderful Hina-Matsuri (Girls’ Festival) day, everyone!
New Items Added : Food sample magnets
In my cooking class, I use some magnets to put my recipes on the wall.
However, some of them are not related to the Japanese food so I’ve always wanted to get food sample magnets for a long time!!!
Do you know those names? Have you ever seen some of them in your country?
They are well recreated in detail. I am looking forward to showing you those magnets in the class!
Those look so REAL!
Visiting Kappabashi Dogugai
Many guests visited my cooking class said that they were so interested in getting Japanese ceramic dishes and plates. They also asked me where I got those dishes and plates.
KAPPABASHI is one of the place!
Kappabashi Kitchenware street is located in Asakusa area. The closest station to the Kappabashi kitchenware street is Tawaramachi station, Ginza-line.
In Kappabashi kitchenware street, you can see many shops and stores selling items related to the daily food scene or food business. Since this area is dangerous for me (as a cooking class teacher & home cooking chef), I brought my shopping list not to buy additional things…
My shopping list:
– Food magnet (around 7-8 magnets)
– Rectangular ceramic plates (2 plates)
But after shopping, I realized that some of the items were also added!
– Food magnets (I got 15 magnets!!!)
– New omelet pan
– 4 small ceramic plates
– Kitchen paper stand
– Kitchen towel holder
Oh my…Anyway, I really enjoyed shopping at the Kappabashi. If you are courageous person, please visit and discover this area. For more detail, please check other photos. I hope you like them!
Food samples are massive!
Seasonal Event : Setsubun (February 3rd)
On the 3rd of February, we have the day of “Setsubun” (seasonal division) in Japan.
Setsubun has been an important time-honored rite to welcome the New Year by banishing evils and keep the house from calamity.
On the day, people threw beans to banish demons who cause various evil things and plagues. The beans used in “Mame-maki” (bean throwing) are parched and edible. It is believed that one can maintain good health throughout the year by eating the sam e number of thrown beans as one’s age. And they shout, in principle, “In with good fortune! Out with the demon!”
At the same time, we eat “Eho-maki”, sushi roll containing 7 ingredients associated with the Seven Deities of Good Fortune “Shichi-fukujin”, facing the direction of Eho that is most lucky for the year as determined by the Way of Yin and Yang. (I use more than 7 ingredients! :-D)
In 2017, the derection of Eho is North-northwest!
It is also customary to eat Eho-maki while making a wish in the mind with the eyes closed and without uttering a single word. You will eat the whole roll at a stroke in order not to lose ties.
Like the picture, shown on the left side.
To make this thick sushi roll, please check the recipe here!
Recipe : Sushi roll
Please try it out & Have a wonderful day!
Sweets & Izakaya @ Shimokitazawa
I visited one of my favorite and closest area “Shimo-kitazawa” just recently. In this area, you can see many fashion boutiques, antique goods shops, record shops, used clothes shops and so on.
Shimo-kitazawa was ranked as No.1 Coolest neighborhoods in the world by VOGUE magazine (September 2014 issue) . *Here is the link of the article. http://www.vogue.com/slideshow/1080625/fifteen-coolest-street-style-neighborhoods/
Every time we visit Shimo-kitazawa, we just like to walk around the town and check what is new in this area. (And also, we go to the Starbucks, sit outside of the shop and enjoy watching people.)
Also, we like to go to Daiso, UNIQLO and MUJI shops and do shopping there.The large urban development is now on progress in this area, so my husband and I partly feel sad and also excited to see the new atmosphere!
For other photos, please check YJC Facebook page!
Kyodo : Ogura-an
This is the Japanese sweets called “Taiyaki”.
It’s usually a fish-shaped pancake filled with bean jam.
There is a popular Taiyaki shop near the Kyodo station!
They change the fillings everyday like custard cream, banana cream, chocolate milk, soymilk cream, chestnut cream and so on…
When I visited the shop, it was a Matcha cheese cake filling♡
Please try its taste!
Taiyaki @ Kyodo
Have you ever seen this sweets in Japan?
This is the Japanese sweets called “Taiyaki”. It’s usually a fish-shaped pancake filled with bean jam.
There is a popular Taiyaki shop near the Kyodo station! The name of the shop is Ogura-an. They change the fillings everyday. For example, custard cream, banana cream, chocolate milk, soymilk cream, chestnut cream and so on…
When I visited the shop, it was a Matcha cheese cake filling♡
Please try this yummy Japanese sweets!
Repeaters take photos of two weeks menu calendar.
Ramen @ Roppongi
Since I have a late winter vacation now, I visited one of my favorite area, Roppongi!
To visit this area, I usually take the subway Chiyoda line to Nogizaka station and walk to the Tokyo Midtown. In Tokyo Midtown, there is a lot of cutting-edge stores so I always enjoy the window shopping and got inspired by them.
After that, I visited the Roppongi Hills to see the beautiful illumination near the building. You can still enjoy the Christmas mood there!
In the end of walking, I visited one of my favorite Ramen shop, Gogyo. Almost every time I visit Roppongi area, I go to the restaurant. The soup of this shop is amazing. You will see soon after sipping the soup!
I hope you will enjoy other photos as well!
Can you see the white strawberries?
Happy New Year 2016!