Puppy Cam

Posted December 31st, 2008 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »


This live video feed debuted Oct 8 on Ustream tv.

The six Shiba Inu pups, (3 boys and 3 girls) turned 11 weeks old on December 23rd. This is the first litter from their mom, Kika.

– Autumn (Purple collar) – Is now with her new loving family.
– Ayumi (Formerly Yellow, now Lavender collar) – 6 lbs 6 oz (as of Dec 12th)
– Amaya (Red collar) – 6 lbs 8.5 oz (as of Dec 12th)

– Aki (Green collar) – 8 lbs 0.5 oz (as of Dec 12th)
– Akoni (Black collar) – Is romping around the yard romping around with fallen leaves at his new home.
– Ando (Blue collar) – 7 lbs 3 oz (as of Dec 12th) – Is being a perfect angel at his new home.

Why don’t you get a peek on these cute puppies?? (>v<)

BTW, at night the owners turn off the lights and the camera so the dogs can sleep.

Fish Market near Japanese Ocean

Posted December 30th, 2008 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

Today I went to Tsuruga city in Fukui Pref.  The purpose was to buy some crabs from this famous fish market 🙂

(BTW Tsuruga city is located next to Obama city = was unofficially supporting Barack Obama during U.S. Presidental election because of the similarities in names.)

There were so many people inside… many seafood too :p I saw a huge octopus (approx 50m x 1.5m), lots of crabs, lots and lots of dried cuttlefishes…  One of the them looked like a face; is that the face of cuttlefish?? :p  (for more photoes, click here )

As there were hundreds of crabs to choose from and all of them looked nice & fresh, we just grabed 2 huge crabs which were arranged on the ice near us.  Costed 5000 yen each.

Then we decided to have lunch at a kaiten sushi restaurant inside of the market.  Everything was so delish and fresh, I ate so much :p  My favorite was tsubu-gai (shellfish) and aburi-salmon (seared salmon).  Yum!

Then we headed to home.  I love the view from the car…  Lots of mountains and lots of rice field…  (country side!)

At night, we cooked crab steam boat (kani nabe) 🙂  Steam boat is the king of Japanese winter food!  Lots of veggies… so healthy 🙂  The juice from the crabs and veggies were soooooo delicious and tasty, I didn’t need to season it much.  Just water and drops of ponzu. That’s it!

Ate a lot again…

Osaka Food

Posted December 29th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 6 Comments »

In Japan every area has its speciality food, but I believe that Osaka food is very unique.  The famous ones are Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki.  In Osaka you can find takoyaki / okonomiyaki shop everywhere!

They use this special grill plate for takoyaki; pour mixture into the grill, and make them into ball shape.  You will need a skill to do it!  In Perth you can only get deep-fried takoyaki from Japanese restaurants (they just deep-fry frozen pre-made takoyaki) but originally takoyaki is supposed to be “grilled”.

Takoyaki means octopus balls, but nowadays you can get many flavors (not just octopus); cheese, mochi (rice cake), corn, meat, fish etc…  So fun! 🙂

If you go to okonomiyaki restaurants you will grill okonomiyaki by yourself.  Waitress brings the mixture to your table, and you grill the mixture on the grill plate (which is attached on your table).  All the condiments (sauces, bonito flakes, nori powder, beni shoga, mayonnaise etc) are prepared at each table, and once okonomiyaki is cooked you eat them straight from the grill plate.  Yes it’s hot, but very nice (>v<)!

Finally… bagels!

Posted December 28th, 2008 in Food, Japan | 3 Comments »

One of my best friend in Osaka started a business this May 2008, a bagel shop 🙂  I’ve been checking up her blog from Perth everyday and thinking “aaa… I wish I could get nice bagels in Perth…”.

I don’t get to see any bagel shop in Perth.  I think there is none??  I only see bagels at a corner of supermarkets and some bakeries…  Not many people seem to know what bagels are too. (surprising!)

Bagel is one of my favorite food, I love its chewy texture (>v<).  This friend lived in America for about 2 years, and she loved American bagels.  After she got back to Japan she couldn’t forget the taste and texture, so she started making them up by herself!  According to her blog, she loves tough, chewy heavy texture like I do, so her bagels seemed perfect to me 🙂

To taste her bagels was on my To Do List in Japan, and today I finally had the chance!!  I met her in Osaka last night and she gave me some of her fresh bagels… 🙂  I was so happy♪  (thanks yutsuki♥)

If you live in Japan and love bread/bagels, why don’t you try them♪ Available through online Sysouer Bagel Recommended!!

Eating out

Posted December 27th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

On the next day we arrived Japan, I had dinner with one of my best friend.  I was taken to this neighbor Italian restaurant “Cannery Row”:  one of my favorite place 🙂

We ordered cheese fondue, chicken pizza and fresh basil & smoked salmon pasta as main; salad, drinks, entree and dessert are in buffet section, they are “all you can eat”. 

All the food is very nice!!  but the reason why I like this place is their service.  Staffs are so polite and friendly:)  Love their uniform too:)

Cheese Fondue

There are millions of restaurants in Japan and the places I’m showing in this blog are just one of them.  During this holiday I went to buffet style restaurants quite often.  This Cannery Row is also buffet restaurant, and other place I went was an organic and slow food buffet restaurant “Hinano”.  It’s a fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine, and they only use organic food 🙂  I think their target is women (as most of their food was vegetable, not so many meat), and I love all the food!(I’m a girl :))  Japanese style salad, udon, grilled fish, tempura, pizza, few kinds of rice, etc etc….   They keep serving different food every 30min so we didn’t get bored.  I ate a lot…  OMG :p

(these plates are not only for me!  a table of my family (9 ppl) :p)

Their interior and plates are also nice; I think this type of restaurants “natural” “slow food” “healthy” “organic” “buffet” are Japanese trend now. (maybe?)  Inexpensive too!

It’s snowing!

Posted December 26th, 2008 in Japan | 4 Comments »

It’s been 10 days since my partner and I arrived at Osaka Kansai airport.  Everything is great here, some of the things are changed and some are not.

Food is amazing, I keep eating a lot everyday… but I can’t help it!  (>0<)  I don’t care if I put on weight… :p

Today it was snowing.  That was the first time to see snow since we got here.  No wonder it was so cold last night 🙂

I’m not a good driver in snow, but I did try driving this Kei- Truck car (used for our rice fields) to shopping mall.

I’ve been shopping a lot!  Hope I can bring all the stuff I bought here back to Perth…  or maybe I have to send some of them by mail :p

Salmon Dishes

Posted December 25th, 2008 in Food | No Comments »

I love seafood!  I used to eat lots of fish and other seafood everyday in Japan.  We eat raw seafood: the seafood in Japan is so fresh and tasty that no need to be cooked.  Here in Perth, on the other hand, I can’t get fresh seafood easily 🙁  I wouldn’t eat the white fish uncooked which I purchased from local supermarket.  Feels dangerous to eat them raw.

However, I like salmon here. I think the quality is ok, and sometimes you can get sashimi-grade salmon from fish markets.  Fish is good for your brain and health so I try to eat as much as I can 🙂

How we eat salmon in Japan, except for raw dish such as carpaccio and sashimi, is usually grilled or braised in a pan.  In Japanese cuisine we grill the salmon with just a sprinkle of salt, or sometimes marinade the salmon in preserved-malted- rice( Koujizuke) and grill them.  We usually cook till well-done.  You can also marinade in miso paste or soy sauce based marinade.

Marinade salmon in miso paste mixture (1 tbs miso paste, 1tbs sake (Japanese wine) and 1tsp sugar) for more than 30 min before grilling.

Marinade salmon in soy sauce mixture (2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs sake, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp grated ginger) for 30 min, then pan fry or grill in the oven.  Boil the sauce down till half its volume and pour over the salmon.

Or you can just deep-fry them with corn flour, then eat with some dipping sauce!!

  • Cut Chili + Soy Sauce or Sambal … Indonesia Style
  • Soy Sauce + Sesame Oil + Chopped Spring Onion, Grated Garlic … Chinese Style
  • Chopped Coriander + Sweet Chili Sauce + Roasted Peanuts (crushed) … Thai Style
  • Pest + Fresh Tomato Salsa … Italian Style
  • Sansho Powder … Japanese Style
  • Soy Sauce + Grated Ginger … Japanese Style
  • Hoisin Sauce + Sweet Chili Sauce … Ume Style

kiva – Loans That Change Lives

Posted December 23rd, 2008 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »


I’ve always wanted to do some volunteer work since I was little.  It started when my elementary school teacher showed a video to us in a class:  the video was about kids in Ethiopia.  The reality in other countries shocked me.  As a Japanese, I could eat anything at anytime since I was a baby, and I thought it was normal thing.  Apparently it wasn’t.  In other countries they have no food to eat and many people die everyday.  Kids can’t go to school to learn.  They don’t have any facility to do anything.  Is there anything I can do to such people?

I tried to find out what I could do, but there was no actual chance for me to go to the country and help them out.  School, work…  I didn’t even have that amount of money anyway.  Then, I found this website- kiva

Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.  You can choose someone to lend to from this website, and then make a loan. Help a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community.  It is a loan, so of course you will get your money back after the period, or if you wish you can re-lend to someone else in need.

There are many interesting businesses, Grocery Store in Afghanistan, Beauty Salon in the Dominican Republic, Taxi driver in Lebanon etc…  I made a loan to a restaurant owner in Peru.  You can choose the amount to lend in increments of US$25.00 up to the total amount they are requesting.

Men’s Bra

Posted December 20th, 2008 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

In Japan there are bras for men??  … and according to the fasion news in Japan, this item is extremely popular and people have to wait for few months to book up the stock!

Wow… interesting :p

There are also other color available.  (pink, red, white…)

Is it only Japan, or worldwide?

Asian Salad

Posted December 19th, 2008 in Food | 1 Comment »

One of my favorite recipe(ºuº*)v  You can add beef, chicken, prawn, scallop… for varieties!!  Colorful and healthy salad.  One important rule you need to follow is: DO NOT OVERCOOK the veggies.  The texture is the key for this salad 🙂

<Asian Salad>

  • Branch       … Broccoli, Asparagus, Bok Choy
  • No Branch … Bean Sprouts, Carrots, Capsicum, Spring Onion


  • 3 tbs Oyster Sauce
  • 3 tbs Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Roasted peanuts (or any nuts) – crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • sesame seeds
  1. Boil water in a sauce pan.  Branch vegetables and place in a bowl of iced water quickly to stop the cooking process.  Dry well.
  2. Shred carrot and capsicum.  Chop up spring onion.
  3. Chop coriander and Mix with all other ingredients for dressing.
  4. Place all the vegetables in a bowl.  Mix through dressing sauce just before serving.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

* You can add grated garlic to the dressing if desired.


*Beef Asian Salad… Stir fry sliced beef with sesame oil and grated ginger.  Mix into the salad.

*Prawn Asian Salad… Stir fry prawn with garlic or ginger.  Mix into the salad.

Souffle Cheese Cake

Posted December 14th, 2008 in Food | 10 Comments »

This cheese cake is very light, yet creamy.  Very addictive! (>u<)

<Souffle Cheese Cake> 18cm round tin

  • 200g Cream Cheese (Softened at room temperature)
  • 50g Unsalted Butter (Softened at room temperature)
  • 30g Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolk
  • 50ml Fresh Cream
  • 50g Plain Flour


  • 3 Egg White
  • 20g Granulated Sugar

* Preheat the oven to 160.

  1. Whisk softened cream cheese in a bowl.  Add softened butter and mix.  Add egg yolk and sugar then mix.  Add cream and mix.  Add shifted flour and mix with spatula.
  2. Make meringue (hard peak) in another bowl using an electric mixer.  Add the meringue to the cheese mixture and fold in carefully, try not to break the form and do not mix too much.
  3. Pour the mixture iinto a lined cake tin.  Place the tin on a oven tray and pour boiling water into the tray (to the half level)
  4. Bake for about 50 minutes.

* If the boiling water is evaporated while baking, add more boiling water.

* Insert skewer and if it comes out clear, it is done.

Easy Sushi with Leftover Food

Posted December 9th, 2008 in Food | No Comments »

Tuna Rolls

If you are thinking of making a sushi platter for upcoming party, you can choose to make just easy ones.  Just adding one platter of sushi to the party table makes whole thing gorgeous.

Sushi rolls are not difficult to make at all, and you don’t need to buy expensive sashimi-grade seafood or follow traditional Japanese recipe book.  You can just create your own varieties.

Here are some examples…

<Tuna Rolls>

I assume tuna can is one of the things that people always have in their kitchen.  You can use them (either chunks or sandwiches tuna) for making sushi:)  Just mix up with mayonnaise (pref Japanese mayonnaise) and few drops of soy sauce before rolling up with rice.

<Reft-Over Chicken Rolls>

Roasted chicken, grilled chicken, or even deep-fried chicken, you can shred them up and put into sushi rolls 🙂  You may add mayonnaise to it, or if the chicken is seasoned already (like roasted cajun chicken) you can just add to the roll 🙂


Just buy Inari Skin from Asian shop.  You don’t need makisu (bamboo sheet) or nori sheet as this sushi can be made by just stuffing the rice into the pockets!

<Sesame Rolls>

If you don’t have nori sheet, you can just decorate the outside of roll with sesame seeds.  On plastic wrap sprinkle sesame seeds (white, black, or both) and spread the sushi rice.  Place any toppings on the rice, and roll it up!  Don’t roll up the the plastic wrap, just the rice :p

<Thin Egg Rolls>

Crack one egg in a bowl and mix with little drops of water.  Pour in a hot flying pan and make a thin egg sheet.  After it’s cool, place the egg sheet on the bamboo mat or plastic wrap and spread the sushi rice on top.  Place your favorite toppings and roll it up.

<Avocado + Ham Rolls>

If you have ingredients for sandwiches but don’t have any bread, you can just use them to make sushi rolls.  Spread sushi rice on nori sheet, and place ham, lettuce and avocado slices.  Drizzle mayo if you like.  Roll up the enjoy♪

To see pictures, click here.

魔法のハーブ☆BRAHMI ~ブラミィ~

Posted December 7th, 2008 in にほんご | No Comments »




でもそんな時、素晴らしいハーブの存在を知ったの!その名も、BRAHMI -ブラミィ(ºuº•)ノ






深刻な神経障害に遭い、14回もの手術と7ヶ月間のリハビリを終えても一向に記憶障害は治らず、歩く事も話す事もできなかった彼。どうにかして彼を救いたいと願う家族はその治療方法を探し求め、 CDRI (the Central Drug Research of India) に辿り着いたの。記憶力向上の実録があるけれど、記憶障害、脳障害への治療については全く実績が無かったBRAHMI。それでも彼の家族はすがるようにBRAHMIを毎日彼に煎じて飲ませ続けました。そして、何と驚く事に、彼の記憶能力が徐々に回復!!そして今では普通の生活を送っているとの事(˚∆˚)


Elmo Themed Party

Posted December 6th, 2008 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

Today was my nephew-in-law’s birthday party.  He turned 2  🙂

Last year his first birthday was Ratatouille (Pixar + Walt Disney Picture)-themed, and everything was that mouse!  And this year, it was Elmo 🙂

His mum (my sister-in-law) told me that there were going to be about 50 adults and 20 kids, and she asked me to make Elmo cupcakes for kids.  

…. Do they look like Elmo??  Ummm maybe not, but kids loved them! 🙂  Just in case nobody touches that Elmo cupcakes, I made some more cupcakes and mini muffins as spare.  And there were some more food…

Sister-in-law hired a jumping castle for kids.  It was really fun!  Even we enjoyed it 🙂  It was a lovely day♪ Now I can just relax and start packing up my suitcase for the holiday (^0^)

To see more picture, click here.


Posted December 3rd, 2008 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »


Every pet deserves a home for xmas, so we’re asking you to help us find

1000 homes for 1000 pets!

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Tim Tam☆

Posted December 2nd, 2008 in にほんご | No Comments »