Friday, July 31, 2009

Japanese Microbrew Tour - Niigata Prefecture / 日本地ビールツアー ‐ 新潟県

Made with Koshihikari (Brand name rice) - very Niigata isn't it? Tastes great too. This is Koshihikari Echigo Beer.


Just take it from me that it tastes great and I won't have to go to the trouble of translating the above.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yoshoku-ya [Kuni Tei] / 洋食屋 くに亭

A few weeks ago, we had to go to our Ward Office so I could update my Alien Registration Card (a required card for all foreigners living in Japan). I had recently become a permanent resident of Japan, and now I needed to update my ARC as well. We decided to have lunch nearby and we just happened to stumble upon this little place called Kuni-Tei that seemed to be a family-runned business. We were there just when they opened. Mikako ordered her standard when going to family restaurants - hamburger steak with demiglace sauce. I decided to order their chicken cutlet with sauce. Mikako gave her meal an average rating, I however, enjoyed my meal. I like little homey places like this that have a friendly service.


Hamburger Steak Set / ハンバーグ定食

Chicken Cutlet Set / チキンカツ定食

Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nakazato Market Street Festival 2009 / 中里商店街祭り 2009

One year has passed already as we find ourselves at the Nakazato Market Street festival again. I love summers in Japan with these small festivals happening all over. Unfortunately, it was so hot, that my friends and I just bought some food and headed to his house to eat (friend's house being nearby). We must have been at the festival for a total of fifteen minutes or less!


The video clips may look kind of lame but the performance was actually entertaining.


So we bought some Indian food...


Some yakitori...


Some paella...


From this little cafe...


And some crepe for dessert...


Until the next festival...


Monday, July 27, 2009

Takoyaki Ippo / たこ焼き 一穂(いっぽ)

Some time around May, a new tako-yaki stand called [Ippo] opened in our neighborhood. That would be little dumplings filled with octopus if you didn't know. On one of our nightly walks, we went there and ordered some tako-yaki to go. You have a choice of five different flavors - sauce, soy sauce, ponzu, yuzu-ponzu, or iwa shio (salt). You can also order extra toppings of onion, cheese, or abura-kasu. We ordered the sauce flavored tako-yaki. But this tako-yaki stand doesn't just serve tako-yaki. There is also tako-sen and kyabetsu-yaki on the menu.

今年の5月にうちの近くに新しい店が出来ました。「たこ焼き 一穂(いっぽ)」とゆう名前です。この間、夜の散歩したら、「一穂」に行ってやったたこ焼きを買いました。味付は5種類もあって‐ソース、だし醤油、ポン酢、ゆずポン酢、と岩塩。私たちはソース味を選びました。トッピングの追加も出来ます。あぶらかすとねぎとチーズ。メニューにたこ焼き以外のものもありました。たこせんとキャベツ焼き。今度キャベツ焼きを食べてみたい。

The finished product. To give you my honest opinion though - it was nothing to rave about. Not a bad night-time snack. However, the tako-yaki we had at last year's Azabu Juban Festival were much better. They used the little whole octopus and were twice as large. We'll be munching on some those next month.


Oh, I forgot to add that [Ippo] has there own web-site. Check them out at:


Japanese Microbrew Tour - Kanagawa Prefecture / 日本地ビールツアー ‐ 神奈川県

A couple of beers from Kanagawa Prefecture that I found at my neighborhood sake shop. Yep, the name sounds German but it really is a Japanese microbrew - it is SanktGallen named after the St. Gallen Monestary in a small Swiss town near the border with Germany. I tried there Amber Ale and Golden Ale.


Amber Ale - nice and refreshing. Tastes almost like a dark beer but not quite (it's an ale after all).

アンバーエール。味は黒生に近いですが、それほどのくせはございません (得エールですから!)

Golden Ale - lighter than the amber, but not quite a lager (because its an ale I tell ya!)

ゴルデンエール - アンバーより軽い気がするけど、ラーガーまではいかないくらい(エールですからって!)

For a limited time, our neighborhood supermarket also carried some microbrews from Kanagawa Prefecture called Yokohama Beer. There was an Altbier, a Pilsner, and a Lager. Alas, I missed out on the Altbier and Pilsner, but did manage to grab myself a Yokohama Lager. Actually it was called "Kai Kou Lager" celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port.


As I find myself drinking mostly lagers, the taste is nearest to my regular choice of Kirin's Ichiban Shibori.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Having Fun in Komazawa Park / 駒沢公園で遊んでる

The first things we did at Komazawa Park was rent a funky bicycle and took Rino for a spin!


Its a family bicycle!


And we're off!


Rino is so cute!! / 梨乃ちゃん超可愛い!

Hey, now only one person pedaling!

View of the family bike course / 家族自転車のコース

After our little bicycle tour, my friend and I bought kites and flew kites (again!).


While my friend and I were flying kites, Mikako went on Rino photo splurge.


Rino quenching her thirst after modeling.

And so ended a day of play at the park.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Cafe Birdie NaNa / カフェ バーディ ナナ

A couple of weeks ago, friends of ours invited us to hang out with them at the Komazawa Olympic Park. But before heading into the park for a day of cycling, flying kites, and just walking around, we first decided to have lunch. We chose a place called Cafe Birdie NaNa that was family friendly and close to the park itself. We didn't expect anything fancy but I must say, this cafe is well worth the trip just for the food! While our friends chose the omelette rice with beef stew and the loco moco, Mikako chose the homemade hamburger steak. I couldn't resist the pork spareribs! All the dishes looked and tasted delicious!

二週間前位、友達が私たちを誘われて、近くの公園で遊びに行きました。でも公園でサイクリングやら、凧上げする前にちょうど昼食の時間だったので、公園の近くのカフェ「バーディ ナナ」に行きました。 料理は期待したわけではなかったが、ここの店がマジ旨い!友達が注文した料理はビーフシチューオムライスとロコモコフライドエッグのせ、美香子が注文したのは自家製ハンバーグ。僕はですね、特製ポークのスペアリブをチョイス。 全種類本当に美味しいです。

Pork spareribs / 特製ポークのスペアリブ

Homemade Hamburger Steak / 自家製ハンバーグ

Beef Stew Rice Omelette / ビーフシチューオムライス

Loco Moco with Fried Egg / ロコモコフライドエッグのせ

Except for the order of ribs, the lunch choices come with soup and salad.


Bon Appetit!


Peiyong Cho Omori Yakisoba / ペヤング 超大盛りやきそば

Quick and easy dinner (more like a snack though)


Looks rather plain, but it was quite delicious - and just a bit spicy.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Home Party with Friends / 友達の家のホームパーティ

If it wasn't for the couple pictured above, I may never have gotten married. It's true. This is the former Master and Mama-san of the oden-yatai where I was a regular. It's also where I met Mikako. It's been a few years since the yatai was retired, but we were invited to their home for an informal get together.


It was an evening of beer, food, and fun!


Nori and Hama / ノリと浜ちゃん

Shoei / ショー君

Mari's standard pose / マリちゃんのいつもののポーズ