Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sushi and then some

Hi, it's getting really cold in my area too. I went to Akihabara two weeks ago, but there wasn't anything new that was worthy of taking pics of. So let me show you some random pictures that were taken in my area. 

 This is the biggest department store in my area, and it is called SEIBU. Though you can see the sign CREO big, people call it SEIBU because SEIBU, which occupies the left part of the building, sells luxurious goods that draw people. The merry-go-round you can see gets set up in November in preparation for Christmas.

 I had sushi recently. This set was only 980 yen (about 11 US dollars). It was very inexpensive for this volume.

 And let me show you my favorite, "anago". Foreign people often say they like eel as sushi, but to be specific we don't have eel but anago as sushi. Their tastes are a little different from each other.

And this is a picture of an anago. Yes, it does look like an eel, but while eels live mostly in the river, anagos are found in the sea. Japanese people would understand if you say "My favorite is anago", instead of eel.

Do you eat sushi as it's good for your health? I saw on TV people in New York saying something like that.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Komeda's Coffee

Hi, I'd like to introduce a newly opened coffee shop in my city. It's Komeda's Coffee, which had started its business in Aichi prefecture. I had known this coffee shop for many years, but haven't given it a try because the nearest shop was in Tokyo. But when I went to Tokyo I was forgetful about it. 

 This shop opened on Oct, 17th in my city. My friend had been seeing its construction getting closer to completion, which made me very curious. 

Almost all the seats were occupied. I liked these pillars and roof that were made of wood. The waitress wasn't familiar with the menu yet, so she went back to the kitchen to explain what they could serve. 

This is the set I ordered. The price for the coffee was 500 yen and the egg sand was 490 yen. 990 yen in total, or about 12 US dollars. The coffee was good, but the taste was a little less than worth the price. The egg sand was just okay.

This is the dish my friend ordered. It was a "shrimp cutlet". There were three pieces in one set, and the price was 750 yen or about 7.5 Euros. It was very good, but people would want it to be less than 500 yen, which is the price for a big sandwich you can have at Doutor

To those who can read Japanese: visit the website of this coffee shop.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gundam Cafe and etc.

 As I was talking about, I went to Tokyo last weekend, and had some fun. The weather was ideal for people to stroll, with the temperature around 23 degrees Celsius (73 Fahrenheit).

 I don't want to bore you with similar pics, but take a closer look. Every time I come to Akihabara, the ad on the GAMERS gets renewed. You can buy manga everywhere in Japan, but getting the one you really want at the GAMERS will give you more satisfaction. 

 One of the purposes we came to AKB was to have Ramen at this shop. The name was 雲林坊, which can be read as Yun Rin Bou. 

You can have the same Ramen as China at this restaurant. This was a Ramen called 担担麺, but compared to ordinary 担担麺 (Tan Tan Men), this didn't have soup at all. But it tasted nice all the more for the uniqueness. 

 We went to Ochanomizu as well, and on our way back we visited this coffee shop in AKB. The Kanji 庵 can be read as Iori. The meaning of 庵 is like "hut". 

 The interior was really classic. I liked it very much. 

 The main purpose of visiting Tokyo this time was to have some drink at Gundam Cafe. This was the mobile suit Zaku, which was standing at the entrance. 

Compare the pics with those robots (mobile suits) . You would see a little similarity between the robots and the dishes.  

 If you look up from the seats in the center of this cafe, you can see this relatively big figure. I saw some foreign people taking pics too. 

The cocktail I ordered was "Kira Yamato", which is the name of the hero in the anime Gundam Seed Destiny. The two coasters were designed after the robots of Gundam too. 

I had to drive back to my home after getting off the TX line, so the cocktail had no alcohol at all. But the Kira Yamato made me feel good like ordinary cocktails do to me. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cafe de Shippona

I was thinking of visiting Tokyo last weekend, but I had something to do in my city, which kept me from going. I think I might go to the capital this weekend, but I'm not really sure. By the way, I went to a restaurant in my city last weekend that seemed a bit unique. 

 The name for this cafe is "Cafe de しっぽな". You can see the name written on the two places in the pic. I think しっぽな(Shippona) is a coined word, which would basically mean "tail". 

 There were so many figures and pictures of cat all over the restaurant. You'd think the owner of this cafe should be a cat person. 

 One example of the figures was this. This place seemed like one for girls, so I was a bit embarrassed. I could see many female customers. 

 And another thing was this. Do you like it? 

I ordered "A chicken cutlet set" for lunch. The left saucer was shaped like a cat again. The taste of the cutlet was much better than ordinary family restaurants. Next time I come here I should bring a woman to mitigate my embarrassment. ^^;

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TomTom -2-

As I've shown in this blog, I'm still a huge fan of coffee. I introduced a coffee shop "TomTom" in this post before, but lately I found its new outlet in a neighboring city. So I went in there to see how good its coffee was.

There is a bookstore "Wondergoo" in front of this shop, and I used to visit it to browse books, but I didn't notice this coffee shop until recently. 

You'd relax to your heart's content in this coffee shop. I thought this shop was intended for adults, because one coffee was a bit more expensive than that of Doutor. 

There was something like this which entertained my eyes. The room was dimly lit, so you'd concentrate on reading for example.

I always decide how good the shop is by drinking its iced coffee. It was a bit bitter but with a little milk in it the taste got milder. Another thing I liked about this shop was each table was relatively big where I could put my bag, ipod, and what not. 

To tell you the truth I wanted to show you a new posting on Tokyo, but lately I've been unable to go to the capital because the weather has been unstable. I wish I could go there in next two weeks. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Under the railroad bridge

Hi, it is "Respect-for-the-Aged-Day" today, so I have enough time to update my blog. I went to Tokyo last Saturday, and as I had expected, there were lots of people throughout the capital as people were going to have the three-day weekends.

My friend wanted to drop off at Okachimachi station to buy tennis goods, so we walked from there to Akihabara, when we saw this shopping mall under the railroad bridge. As you can see, it seemed very new, and I found out that it was built just last year. The mall has its own name, "2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN".

 I could see many cute shops that sold things like this. 

 As the name "ARTISAN" suggests, many of the shops seemed to be run by people specializing in making artifacts.  

 Would you include Miku in the category of the artifact? As you can see this figurine was in the showcase for people to take pics. 

 As I was walking along the mall, I found this chic coffee shop "Yanaka". The seats in there were all occupied. 

So we were seated on this deck just in front of the shop. It was a mildly hot day, so this iced coffee tasted really nice. It had the strong bitterness I was expecting of.  

 As I was strolling about Akihabara, I saw this pachinko ad truck that featured AKB48. I read an article where a famous music producer said this group's popularity would last for another 5 years. Well, I don't think so. 

 And I came to this restaurant, "Pizza Salvatore" for dinner. My friend's iphone worked very well for us to get here. 

 As it was still warm around 6pm, we dined at this table. 

The name for this pizza was "Diabola". I guessed the name had something to do with devil, because it included many kinds of spice that would energize you like hell.

We came back to Akihbara. The Hatsune Miku ad was for a karaoke bar. It was very impressive to see the Miku lit up in the center of Akihabara in the night. 

I often have unpleasant days as you would, but I want to show you mostly the fun part of Japan in this blog :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cheapest Ramen

I went to Akihabara to eat Ramen that many people online said to be very good.

 This Ramen shop "Kimura" was about a 10 minutes' walk from the station. Kimura is one of the most commonly used family names in Japan. I had a few friends whose names were Kimura. 

The taste of this Ramen was relatively good, but what was amazing was the price was only 530 yen, or 6.3 dollars (5.3 Euros). As you can see it had enough volume to make me satisfied. As I waited at the table, people came one after another.  

The last two pics of mine are additional ones. My friend wanted to buy cleaning liquid for his contact lens, so we came to Ikebukuro where almost anything is available.

Ikebukuro can be written as 池袋, and Akihabara is 秋葉原. You can see how far the two stations are from each other by looking at the pic above. A one-way ticket from Akihabara to Ikebukuro is 190 yen. 

And I saw this ad truck on my way back to Ikebukuro station. It was advertising the website E☆エブリスタ where you can upload your own works like novels, manga. And basically you don't have to pay for the works available on the website. 

It started to feel cool in the morning and evening over here. I'm now waiting for leaves to turn yellow :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Yokohama -2-

This is a sequel of the last post. I'd like to show you some more pics taken in Yokohama.

Some people overseas might know we're currently having a territorial dispute with China. This visit was before we started to have the problem, so Chinese people were friendly and we could take a look around this town very comfortably. Having said that, I still think the Chinese in this area would be kind to us. 

Do you know the chestnuts that taste really sweet? These chestnuts are called "Tenshin Amaguri", and its origin is China. But we can buy similar products at convenience stores as well.  

 I left the Chinatown and came near to Tokyo Bay. This building was right before the station we got off, and its name was "Yokohama Kaikou Memorial Museum". Kaikou means "opening of the port". 

 If you walk from the station for 15 minutes, you can visit this "Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse". Its outside look is oldish, but you can buy lots of fashionable things inside of it. 

We had coffee at this shop in the warehouse "Chez Madu". It is a coffee chain that has only 4 outlets in Japan. It was selling doughnuts as well which you can see on the left. 

I don't remember what this coffee was, but I think it was a cafe latte. I'd say this tasted better than Starbucks, but I'd prefer inexpensive coffee that Veloce serves. 

Some people know I'm a music freak, and I reserved a Korn live dvd that is going to be released next month. And I'm going to see Nickelback in December! What do you expect for after the summer ends?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Yokohama -1-

This is the first time I say this, but I lived in Yokohama of Kanagawa prefecture before I moved to Ibaraki. I usually don't remember the times when I was there, but since it is such a nice city, I see it on TV from time to time. During Obon (the summer vacation of Japan), I came to the China town of Yokohama to enjoy the atmosphere.

It takes only 40 minutes or less from Tokyo station to Yokohama. This is "The Minatomirai 21  line", and it takes you to the China town. As you can see, this station was built recently, in 2004.  

 It was really hot like 35 degrees when I got here. This is one of the gates of the China town. There were so many people who I thought came to eat Chinese food. 

Have you ever tried the sharks' fin soup? This restaurant specializes in it. Since there are several same restaurants in this China town, it would be hard for you to miss this.  

Dumplings. The prices ranged from 400 to 500 yen.  I wasn't sure if she was Chinese or Japanese.

I went to Taiwan last year, and saw many times the commercial for this energy drink on Taiwanese TV. So I tried this for the first time. But it tasted like odd Pepsi.  黒松 would mean "Black pine". 

My friend said he wanted to have lunch at this restaurant. Looking back, I think this was a good choice. 

This dish is called "刀削麺"(Toushoumen), and the noodles are basically cut off a wheat lump. It was cool like water but the taste was spicy. 

There was something like a shrine in the center of the town. Precisely it must not be a shrine, but western people wouldn't be able to distinguish it from Chinese temples, which is the case with me too. 

I want to show you more pics of Yokohama later!