Eating Bread Everyday

Posted March 31st, 2010 in Eat out in Japan, Japan | No Comments »

I do eat rice too, of course, but, I’ve been hunting on bakeries here.  I love bread ( well, I love any food :p ) especially Japanese bread ♪

A photo from a cafe.  Going to a cafe with dad for breakfast on weekend is my routine 🙂

Normally Japanese bread loaves are sold thickly cut.  I love thick cut toast.  And, Japanese bread sold at supermarkets are somehow much tastier than those here… (to me)  There are many kinds, such as “chewy”, “double aged dough” etc  I love the chewy one (もっちり) 🙂

Here is my another favorite bread “melon-pan”.  You can buy it at most bakeries, supermarkets, convenience stores and other shops that sell bread in Japan.  You can guess how popular this bread is.

Melon-pan contains two different dough – the base is normal bread dough (sweetened) and the top is cookie dough.  It’s sweet bread and it tastes different depending on the bakery/brand.  Personally I like the cookie-part to be very crusty.  Some of them are pretty soft.

The reason why it’s called “melon-pan” is that the bread has patterns and it looks similar to a melon.  There is a character in Japanese cartoon called “melon-pan-na chan” too .


Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs

Posted March 30th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

Beard Papa has been franchising in foreign countries (it may be in your home country too) for a while.  There used to be one Beard Papa’s shop in Centro Galleria in Perth few years ago, but it closed its door. Shame! 🙁

Being famous with the Yellow Signage and Papa’s face, Beard Papa is now known as the bakery of the “World’s Best Cream Puffs”.
Each day we bake choux pastry shells that are made up of two special layers. The inner layer is a choux pastry shell and the outer layer is a pie crust. This unique structure creates a light, crunchy shell.  They use handpicked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and their whipped custard cream takes 2 hours to prepare.

Once you are around the shop you can already smell the sweet custard 🙂

This is one of my favorite sweet in the world!  They’re selling sakura flavor for a limited time only.  Matcha and caramel are also nice 🙂


Club Harie

Posted March 29th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Taneya Group started its business in 1872, and now you can find its products across Japan, mostly at big department stores.  Taneya shops sell wa-gashi (Japanese sweets), and Club Harie sells you-gashi (Western sweets).  (I talked about Club Harie’s baumkuchen here)

As Taneya Group started from Shiga, there are many Taneya/Club Harie shops in around my house.  I went to Hikone city (15 minutes from my house) to go to its Hikone shop.  … there are 3 buildings; one is Club Harie, one is Taneya and another is cafe and museum. (these buildings are connected)  I went to the bakery to try their bagel!.

I knew they only sell bagels on weekends, so I went there on Saturday.  There are sooo many people, and only 2 bagels were left when I arrived.   They only had plain flavor.  I bought one, and tasted at home.

Again, pretty small.  As I opened the package film, I could feel the bagel was soft.  I squeezed the bagel with two fingers and the dough sprang back.  I had a bite, and it was really soft, moist and chewy.

I liked it!  I mean, I could taste the sweetness of the flour, and as I chewed the sweetness became more condensed.  The body was pretty light, and I think it’s quite different from an American style bagel.  Ummm… interesting!


Japan is “sugoi”

Posted March 28th, 2010 in Japan | 3 Comments »

There are so many thing I feel “sugoi” about Japan.  “Sugoi” means … well, “unbelievable” “great” “wow” “very” etc etc.  We use this word quite often.

One of them is the service in Japan.  Someone who’s been to Japan should know how good the hospitality service in Japan is.  Even at the plat home in train station, people who work there greet every passenger by bowing and saying “itterashaimase” “arigato-gozaimasu”.

The other day I went to a bakery shop by car.  As it was Saturday and the shop is located in a famous tourist place, there’re so many people walking around.  Luckily there were three traffic officers at the entrance and the exit in the bakery car park.  After finishing my shopping, I proceeded to the exit, then a traffic officer was giving me a sign “please wait” with body language.  As I waited, the officer suddenly walked towards the road and stop all cars coming, then waved his hands to me while bowing and screaming “arigato-gozaimashita!”.   It was only for me.

By the way,

Yesterday was my dad’s 60th birthday.  We had dinner at a sushi bar near the house, and had birthday cake together at home. It was a good day 🙂


Boulangerie Pommes de Terre

Posted March 27th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

The other day I went to my favorite bakery called Pommes de Terre.  (not that famous one in Tokyo, this bakery is in Shiga :p )  My favorite at this shop is Mentaiko France (photo)!!! (>v<)/

This Mentaiko France has hard crust, and chewy body.  The mentaiko paste is seasoned with high quality butter and it is very yummy!  You can’t eat this if you like soft bread as this France-pan (baguette) is very very hard: sometimes it scratches your mouth.  I love hard bread!

… and, a happy surprise!  Their bagels just got out from the oven!  I asked the staff if I could buy them (as the bagels were still hot and couldn’t be placed in the display shelf yet), they said “ok” .

I bought a matcha bagel and a cheese bagel.  Nice and hot 🙂

As you can see, the bagel is pretty small.  Japanese bagels are about this size.  I had a bite on each bagel…

My feedback :  I thought their bagels were more like normal bread, not heavy and not really chewy.  I could taste butter in the dough. As a snack bread, it was really yummy ( good taste, sweetness and the texture) but I didn’t feel it was a bagel.

My time is running here (>0<)  I want to taste Japanese hard bagel while I’m here if I can!


Trying to Enjoy This Moment…

Posted March 26th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

This morning, I made breakfast for Pooh (my cat) and left home to go to an electric shop to have a browse.  I wanted to buy something (enough shopping? I know! ><) but couldn’t find anything good.  On the way back I went to a shopping mall to buy something for my grandma, then ended up buying something for myself too :p  At home, I woke my brother up and had lunch together (with grandma too).  Now I’m relaxing near the window typing this.

I love the moment like this.  Just relaxing, watching Pooh…  I don’t want to go back to Perth!

… well, I have to.

I had a bite on baumkuchen that I got from my friend’s wedding. This baumkuchen is coated with white chocolate..  yum!

I love baumkuchen.  There is a famous shop near my house Club Harie and its baumkuchen is available at department stores such as Takashimaya, Hankyu and Daimaru.

Tomorrow is my dad’s 60th birthday, so we are celebrating with a big birthday cake 🙂


Current Trend in Japan Mobiles – Smart Phones-

Posted March 25th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Current technology is amazing….  Think about it.  The Mobile phones we were using about 10 years ago are so much different from our current mobiles.  The looks, facility, data capacity and technology on the current mobiles are amazing…

In Japan, despite the decrease of sales on the normal mobile phones, the sales for so called “smart phones” are increasing every month.  A smart phone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities beyond a typical mobile phone, often with personal computer like functionality. The most well-known smart phone is iPhone.  It connects to internet, and has lots of apps to do so many things.  A touch panel mobiles are also considered as ” smart phone” in Japan.

NTT docomo Japan‘s Xperia is one of those smart phones that is getting attentions. It connects to internet (WiFi), has GPS system, high quality movie display etc, and also a face recognition system.  Which means, you can browse photos on the screen, touch the face of the person and go to the person’s page.  There, you can browse all the history (phone call, emails etc) between you and the person as well as her/his photo gallery.  At the photo gallery, the screen can show the each person’s name on the photo.  Touching on the name takes you to another person’s page, or chose to make a phone call.

Fujitsu sells “style free mobile phone”.  When the phone is in the basic style, you can use it as a touch-panel mobile phone.  Once you slide it to open, you can use the keyboards.  And, you can actually separate the phone into two pieces.  This phone can be connected to a projector too.  Separating the phone into two pieces makes things easy.  You can talk while looking at the display unit, you can take a photos from a distance, you can type the keyboard away from the screen (easy use), etc.

Furthermore, this phones has 12200000 pixel camera, free touching writing facility (you can write or draw directly on the screen and it automatically translates to a letter or an icon.

Sometimes I can’t catch up with current technology…  As we can’t use Japanese mobiles in other countries (Galapagos Syndrom)I will probably continue using iPhone in Perth, but I sometimes get overwhelmed by the current apps.  You can do so many things on a piece of machine.  As the world says, ” the future is here”.


If you go to Japan…

Posted March 24th, 2010 in Japan | 2 Comments »

If you get a chance to come to Japan, there is a thing I want to say to you…  Don’t buy anything at the first glance!  Once you arrive Japan you will see so many things that you want to buy… but, you shouldn’t buy them yet!  You may find nicer / cheaper things later somewhere else.  This is my lesson :p

Yes.  I bought so many things in the beginning, and now I regret it.  After I bought a thing, I found a similar thing at cheaper price in another shop.  Sometimes better quality!  Hmmm 🙁

Now I’m in panic, to tell the truth…  I have no idea how I’m going to bring everything I bought back to Perth. (>0<)  I went to the post office today to send some of them, but they’re too heavy.  I will go to the post office again tomorrow.

I couldn’t help but shop …!  Things are much cheaper and better quality here.  I’ve been telling my friends that I’m doing shopping here so that I won’t need to buy anything in Perth for the next one year :p

… It’s been raining everyday here, and the forecast says that Friday is snowing in Shiga.  The dark weather, cold, and the news from Perth, etc etc…  bit depressing (>c<)

I will try enjoy the rest few days in Japan!


What Happened in Perth ?!

Posted March 23rd, 2010 in Perth WA, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Some may know what happened in Perth, Western Australia few days ago.  There was blackout across the city, flood, and big ice balls were hailing.  BBC NEWS ”Power cables collapsed, hospitals were flooded. Some schools remained closed on Tuesday.”

Message from my husband:

“Lucky you’re not in Perth right now cos there seems to be a mild emergency.  There was a big storm that popped up out of the sudden, hours before I was sweaty outdoors then suddenly big rain + knocking sounds on the rooftop.”

” I was on computer when it happened and power went out.  When I checked the meter I found that it was raining ice block (hail storm) and you couldn’t see 10 meters on account of the violent rain and hail (mostly rain).

I freaked out because I couldn’t contact him for 2 days.  He said he couldn’t use computer, and now is at his sister’s house.  What a relief…

There seems that lightning struck something at WesternPower.  My friend also told me that the front grass of her car was hit by the ice cubes and is broken.  Many people was taking cold shower in the dark.  I assume all my food in the fridge is all gone by now…. but I’m happy to hear no one I know is hurt.

I hope everything goes better soon.


Friend’s Wedding in Kobe

Posted March 22nd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

It was a really really windy day.  Not only in Kobe, a huge storm hit Japan island yesterday.

I went to Kobe to attend my friend’s wedding.  She is a friend from Osaka collage.  The ceremony and the party was held at Partire Kobe Wedding Village (near Kobe Mosaic), just few minutes walk from JR Kobe station.

Although it was cloudy in the morning, the sun started to show when the ceremony began.  She looked sooo beautiful !!! I was so happy to be there to cerebrate her special day together 😀

The whole ceremony was well organised – both groom and bride cried a lot (with happiness), so did other guests.  And, there were funny parts as well, such as groom threw a bouquet of broccoli to male guests (to compete with bride’s bouquet toss), and whoever caught the broccoli had to eat it with Japanese mayonnaise. :p  And, when the groom and bride fed wedding cake to each other, bride was holding a huge spoon and groom had to eat a huge block of cake.  (the spoon groom was holding was a normal size)  Anyway, with lots of lough and tears, the ceremony ended with outdoor dessert buffet.  There’re so many mouth-watering-looking sweets.  My friends and I took a piece of wedding cake (sponge and cream with strawberries and fruits) first then went back to get some more, but most of the sweets were gone by then :p  Everyone run to the buffet counter and took as much as they could put on a plate.  … I realized that everyone had two stomachs…

After the wedding, groom, bride and their friends normally move to another place to have another party without their parents and families.  (called “nijikai”)  I didn’t go to the “nijikai”, but had a cup of coffee with my friends at a cafe in Kobe Mosaic.  Just wanted to catch up.

It was a good night.