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 .


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 🙂


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 🙂


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!


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.


Date with Dad

Posted March 21st, 2010 in Japan | 2 Comments »

It is 6 AM here but the sun is already out.  Spring must be around the corner.  Usually I don’t wake up so early, but today my dad left home early to go to Vietnam with his friends.  He looked excited 🙂  I hope he has a good time and be safe.

Yesterday my dad and I went to Otsu city, which is the capital city of Shiga prefecture.  He suggested to go to Bunka Hall first then go to Otsu Prince Hotel to have a cup of coffee, and browse model houses built around the hotel.  My dad is thinking to build another house…

Bunka Hall (culture hall) is a place where Shiga museum, library and big park are gathered.   The park was beautiful!  Many people were exercising around the pond and families were sitting on the glass enjoying their time.  I took so many pictures of trees and koke (Mosses and Liverworts).

We had a quick browse at Museum, and had lunch at a cafe inside the library.  I had omu-rice set, and my dad had ebi fry teishoku (prawn katsu set)

After lunch, we went to a tea room inside the park.  We had freshly made maccha green tea and wa-gashi (Japanese sweet).

… so full! We left there and headed to Otsu Prince Hotel.  After a cup of coffee, we walked around the model houses and had a chat with sales staff.  Talking with the staff made me realized how much Japanese houses are focusing on the durability for the earthquakes, fire, and also eco.

Modern houses are now all operated with electricity (such as bath room, kitchen, floor and also air conditioning system) yet monthly electric fee is pretty cheap.  For example, you can set the water in the bathtub at the same temperature and enjoy hot bath anytime, you can add hot water, talk from bathroom to anyone in the kitchen, keep the bathroom floor warm, set air-con in the bathroom, automatic toilet sheet, air condition for the whole house, temperature controlled flooring etc etc.  There things are common nowadays.

The layout of Japanese houses are so unique and I wish I could have such house in Perth.  Modern Japanese houses are wooden floored, but have at least one wa-shitsu (tatami matted room).  It’s nice, but I know it’s very difficult to do it to houses in Perth :p


Yamashiro Onsen Trip 2

Posted March 20th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food -, Japan | 2 Comments »

Dinner was crab full-course (>v<).

Started with beer, we had crab sashimi, crab steamed board, crab chawan-mushi, frame-grilled crab, crab sushi, crab tempura, crab salad, crab soup, and crab flavored rice with crab meat.  You gotta be crab-lover to eat this dinner…

Crab season is winter, and the areas near Japan Sea, like Ishikawa prefecture, is famous for crabbing.  My family used to come to Fukui prefecture (next to Ishikawa) every winter to enjoy crab when I was a kid.

The food was delish!  We were so full and couldn’t move our bodies after eating these crabs…

In the morning, we were woken up with these breakfast.

A typical Japanese breakfast – rice, miso soup, some condiments and grilled fish…

We grilled our fish on charcoals..  There was squid sashimi, some cooked vegetables with dashi broth, pickles and Onsen Tamago.  Onsen Tamago is half-cooked egg by been immersed in natural, hot Onsen water.  It’s eaten with soy sauce and mirin based sauce.  Those 6 condiments are mentaiko, nori (seaweed paste), grilled salmon flakes, chirimen-jako (seasoned tiny fishes), walnut miso, and seasoned dry shellfish meat.

My dad and I finished the meal with Onsen coffee (brewed with Onsen water).

You can imagine how full we were!  So many seafood in 2 days….  I wonder how come Australian people don’t eat seafood as much as we (Japanese) do, we both live in island county.


Yamashiro Onsen Trip 1

Posted March 19th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

My parents, brother and I went to Yamashiro Onsen in Ishikawa prefecture as 18th was my mum’s birthday, and my dad is turning to 60 (kanreki) on 27th.  We stayed there one night.

This area, Kaga, is very historical place and also famous for its natural onsen.  My family stayed in a room with private onsen. 🙂

Ryokan means traditional Japanese style inn/hotel.  The room is usually tatami-matted, and guests were expected to sleep on futon on the floor.

It was also a cold day and little raining.  We arrived this Ryokan around 2pm, and just relaxed until 6 pm – dinner time.  There’re also few more spas (onsen) inside of the Ryokan (non private) , so I went out of the room to enjoy bigger Roten-buro (outdoor onsen) at the ground floor.  Although those spas are not private, there’s no one there. 🙂  I was alone and enjoying 4 different Roten-buro by myself. ♪

The dinner and breakfast was gorgeous!!!!  I will post about the food later 🙂

This are is just 2 hours drive away from my house. The onsen (natural water) was so good, and I could feel my skin was so smooth after taking bath.  Everyone changed to Yukata (light cotton kimono) and played card game until dinner…


Public Spa (sentou)

Posted March 17th, 2010 in Japan | 2 Comments »

Today at 11 AM my friend picked me up from my house, and we headed to a public spa located in North Shiga.  This place is like a recreation centre: it got few spas, saunas, shops and restaurants inside.

We decided to enjoy spa first then have lunch buffet.  I think it is really weird and hard thing to imagine for foreign people that Japanese people get naked in front of strangers and friends and share a bath in public.  At the changing room, people take off their clothes and become totally naked.  (no photos, of course!)  Before taking bath, you need to wash your body first as a manner, then enjoy few different types of spas and saunas.  We enjoyed ‘massaging spa’ (water jet massages your body), roten-buro (outdoor spa) and misty sauna.  The misty sauna was really nice!  Super humid and hot.  A cool air felt so nice afterwords.

We felt it was enough, so we got out from the spa and started to get dressed in the changing room.  Then suddenly my friend said ” I don’t feel good….” and a second later she was laying on the floor!  She fainted!  I guess the hot water made her dizzy.

I let her rest for a while.  Luckily there’s a “women only” relaxing room with massage chairs and a tatami flooring room upstairs.  We stayed there for about half an hour, getting massaged and laying on tatami, then moved to a buffet restaurant.

This restaurant is famous for its Ebi Fry (deep-fried prawn katsu).  😀

It was nice ♪ I enjoyed other Japanese food as well, such as kiridashi-daikon, nanohana pasta with bamboo shoots etc.

Gochiso-sama-deshita!  🙂


At Home

Posted March 17th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

I’m waiting for my friend at the moment…..

I’ve been watching tv, and just want to post about it.

Adam Lambert (American idol 2009) came to Japan!  It seems that he is quite popular among Japanese girls too.  When I was watching American Idol in Perth, I didn’t really think anything about him, but suddenly he became attractive :p

Sawajiri Erika is back? … well I don’t know about her much, but according to Japanese Entertainment News, she had few scandals in the past.  I only remember her as an actress..

She is back to business after 2.5 years of break, and is getting a big attention for her tv CM of Takano Yuri Beauty Clinic .  I honestly think she has changed and is beautiful.

… I gotta go now!