Monday, January 30, 2012

Olive no Oka (The Olive Hill)

I like to go to Tokyo, and some of my recent posts were on the capital. But I remember some of my friends told me that they like to see where I live. The city I live in is about 60km from Tokyo, and it's far less populated and there aren't as many restaurants of course.

I was really into Italian several years ago, but people seem to like something different these days like Kaiten sushi. There are as many as 4 different Kaiten sushi restaurants in my area. But on this day I wanted to try this Italian restaurant named "Olive no Oka". "Oka" means hill. 

 Like other Italian restaurants, a drink bar (where you can have as many refills as possible) was available. This machine is pouring coffee in the glass. 

 I was a bit concerned about the future of this restaurant as there weren't enough people. The dishes I ordered were instantly served. 

The left is of course pizza, and the right one had much seafood. I don't remember the name for the latter, sorry.  The tastes of the two were good compared to other Italian restaurants. But I'd say they were just good. 

People say food is very expensive in my city compared to Tokyo. It must be because every restaurant in the capital is competing against each other, but when I have less tasty dishes for more money, I can't help but think people in Tokyo are fortunate.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Brownie and 万豚記 (Wang Tsu Chi)

I came to Akihabara this weekend too. It had been forecast it was going to rain or snow in Tokyo, but I had found online good restaurants in Akihabara. So we went ahead with what we had planned.

 On this day, the temperature was about 4 degrees in the morning, so I was wearing a down jacket. Still, it was very cold and I found it was hard to breathe because the cold wind slapped my face. 

Some blogs said this curry shop was the best in this area. It was about a 10 minutes' walk from Akihabara station. But it was 11:30 when I came here, whereas the restaurant opened at 12:00. So we were killing some time at a coffee shop.  

This is the rice and curry I ordered "Vietnam Curry". It tasted of coconut milk and the curry was spicy enough. It was very good, but what was surprising was this was served only 5 minutes after we took seats.  

And we had Chinese dishes for dinner. This 万豚記 was on the 8th floor of Yodobashi Akiba building.  

 And again, this Ramen (坦々麺) was served after a few minutes we ordered. The noodles were wide, and the soup soaked in them perfectly. You can have Chinese food everywhere in Japan, but this restaurant serves what you can have on the streets of China according to my friend who have gone to China before. 

This is dumplings that are called "焼売 (Shuumai)". Normally this kind of side dish comes before Ramen, but it was served after I told a waitress we had been kept waiting. As I watched the kitchen, the chef was yelling at a female colleague, and she seemed to be about to cry. I felt sorry for her. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Walking about in Tokyo

Normally I don't want to spend much on train fares, but my friend insisted we go to Tokyo a second time this year, and I accompanied him as I didn't have anything special to do. But acutally the metropolis never stops making me entertained.

Do you remember I went to a shrine in Akihabara whose name is "Kanda Myoujin"? It's where some members of AKB48 who came of age last year showed up on the 9th. The day is called "Coming-of-Age Day", and it's when people celebrate their adulthood.

It was past noon when we prayed at the shrine, and we were feeling hungry. We were thinking of having Ramen for lunch, but as we were walking past this restaurant, its good smell caught our attention. The Japanese reads "Tadon".

Are you familiar with a kind of beef called "carubi"? It's very soft and has a bit of fat. The price was only 650 yen, and it was enough to make us feel full. We had coffee at a Doutor afterwards.

 I really like to introduce the facade of GAMERS. The ads were renewed this time. When I was walking in front of this, a foreign man was being interviewed by a Japanese TV station. I was curious about what kind of question he was given.

I was looking for rare CD's, and we came to Shinjuku. This is the landmark of the area that is called "STUDIO ALTA". You can see the big TV screen, and it's also where people meet up with their friends or lovers.

There is a cafe in Akihabara "AKIHABARA Backstage Pass", and it was built to compete against AKB48. The producer for this cafe is a guy named "Tsunku", and he made the girls' group "Morning Musume" all the rage until years ago, but lately the group was superseded by AKB48, which is based in Akihabara too. Take a look at the video below to see what the cafe is like. It's in English!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I came to Akihabara yesterday again to see how the shops would look during New Years. If you take advantage of the TX line to come here on a weekend, the round trip costs you only 21 US dollars, but on weekdays you have to pay as much as 24 dollars. But some ticket machines were giving out a little discount from the 1st to 3rd.

I like Indian food, and I'm always on the lookout for a good one while walking about in Akihabara. My friend found this one near a TX exit. As you can see this restaurant is called "JAI HIND".  

One of the walls looked quite Indian. The waitress seemed to be Indian too, but she spoke fluent Japanese.  

 This is curry with boiled egg. The price was about 14 dollars. The taste was as good as Ajanta's.

A photo I took while I was on my way back. You can see the poster of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It was one of the most successful anime of last year. 

Would you still associate Japan with radiation or earthquakes? I hope you don't, and don't worry, you won't have any trouble coming from those while you're in Japan.