Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thai Noodles [Tinun] / タイ国ラーメン 「ティーヌン」





Today, I was planning on going to this Korean restaurant called [Bool Dak] in Shibuya for some really spicy food, but when I got there, I discovered they don't do lunch on weekends. So I had to change plans and decided to try out this Thai noodle shop I've been meaning to go to called [Tinun]. Aside from Thai-style noodles, their menu offers the Thai standards, red and green curry, along with chicken rice dish. I decided to sample their tom yam ramen today. The soup was spicy and sour (as it should be), and the amount of noodles used was enough to fill you up. It was quite delicious.

今日渋谷で韓国料理店の「ブールダック」で激旨料理食べる予定だったが、店に着いたら、週末にランチはやってない。作戦変更で前から気になってたタイラーメンの店に行ってきました。店の名前はタイ国ラーメン「ティーヌン」。ラーメンがメインですけどメニューにタイ料理の定番のレッドとグリーンカレーとか、チキンライスなどもあります。今日注文したのはトムヤムラーメン。スープは当たり前にすっぱ辛い。麺の量も多かったです。とっても美味しくいただきました。






Bon Appetit!

いただきます!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ippudo / 一風堂



The other day, a co-worker of mine sent me a couple of coupons for free bite-size gyoza at any Ippudo ramen shop as the shop was celebrating their 25th anniversary. Of course I had to take advantage of it. So as soon as Mikako was finished with work, we headed to the nearest one to our apartment, which would be the one located near Komazawa Park. Their menu lists only three types of ramen - akamaru kasane aji, shiromaru moto aji, and Hakata tsuke-men. As this is a Hakata ramen shop, it is a tonkotsu (pork-based broth) ramen shop.

この間会社の同僚から「一風堂」の一口餃子の券を貰いました。今年で「一風堂」の25周年の為、一口餃子のただ券を配ってるらし。もちろん行くしかない。美香子がバイト終わったら早速うちの一番近い店舗に行きました。駒沢公園の近くにある店舗でした。メニューに三種類のラーメンしかありません‐赤丸かさね味、白丸元味、と博多つけ麺。博多ラーメンなので、もちろんとんこつです。


[Ippudo] menu.

「一風堂」メニュー


Mikako ordered the shiromaru, while I ordered the akamaru.


Shiromaru Moto Aji / 白丸元味


Akamaru Kasane Aji / 赤丸かさね味



Bite-size Gyoza / 一口餃子




And before my final words, a word of thanks to my co-worker.

最後の言葉の前に、同僚にありがとう!


Bon Appetit!

いただきます!

Aomori Nebuta Festival in Tokyo / 青森ねぶた祭り・イン・東京

Aomori Prefecture's Nebuta Festival is held every year during the first week of August, but Tokyoites had the chance to see it here in Tokyo last weekend. The even was promoting the opening of Shin-Aomori Station in December of this year, which will be the last stop on the Tohoku Shinkansen (the bullet train).

青森のねぶた祭りは毎年八月の上旬で行われる、でも先週東京の住民が東京でねぶたを見ることが出来ました。今年の12月に新青森駅がオーペンする予定。東北新幹線の終点駅となります。それをプロモートする為ねぶたが東京にやってきた。


The Festival participants and float getting ready for the evening's parade.

ねぶたと参加者が出る準備に集まってます。


The traditional clothing for the festival - I have my own at my mother-in-law's house.

ねぶた祭りに着る衣装 ー 義理の母の家に自分のやつもあります!


A closer look at the Nebuta (and yes it is lighted!).

もう一回ねぶたを見る(はい、夜になると光ます!)




video


The Parade in progress. It doesn't compare to the actual Nebuta Festival, but its a treat to see it in Tokyo - in the winter no less.

ねぶたが表参道に通ってる。本場青森のねぶたではないですが、東京の真冬でねぶたが見れるなんて贅沢ですよね。



video


The Tokyo Event brought only one Nebuta float. In Aomori, you will see about 20 of these extremely large and elaborate floats. It's an awesome festival that should be on your must-see list if you make it to Japan in the summer.

東京のねぶた祭りに一つのねぶたしかなかったが、本場青森県で見ると20位のねぶたが出ますよ。見ると凄いしか言えない位迫力がある。日本の夏に来れたら、絶対見に行くべきの祭りです。


Are these floats large or what?

ねぶたってでっかいでしょう?


I can't wait to take my parents, sister, and brother-in-law to their first Nebuta Festival in Aomori which is the plan for this summer.

早く自分の両親と妹夫妻を青森で初のねぶた祭りに連れてあげたい。今年の夏はそうゆう予定です!


Very Cool!

カッコイイ!



If you look closely, especially below the blue and white sign, you will see that it takes a lot of manpower to move one of these floats.

2010年のサインの下に良くみると、ねぶたを動く力は結構人数が必要と分かります。

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Walk around Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine (Part 3) / 代々木公園と明治神宮の散歩 (パート3)

Passing through this torii, I will be on the grounds of Meiji Jingu Shrine.

この鳥居を渡ったら明治神宮の中です。


Before heading to the actual shrine, I took a little detour to check out the Aomori Prefecture Food Stall Court Area. Unfortunately, it already being 3pm and the food booth closing at 4pm, most of the stalls were sold out of their various products. And the lines for the ones that were still serving food were extremely long. As a result, I didn't get to try any of the items on offer. I wasn't too disappointed though as I've made many trips to Aomori and have tried some of the foods on offer when I was there. The following picture will show you what I missed out on.

明治神宮の本館に行く前に、青森ご当地グルメ屋台村を訪ねました。もう午後3時で、屋台村が午後4時までのせいか、ほとんどの物が売り切れでした。まだ営業してる屋台には超行列が出来ていたので、ご当地の食べ物は諦めました。自分は何回も青森県に行ってるから、屋台で売ってるものはいろいろと食べたことがあったので、全然悔いはなかった。下記の写真で何があったかを紹介する。


Starting from top left to right:


Hachinohe Senbei Jiru, [Aji no Sapporo] Miso Curry Milk Ramen, Goshogawara Razor Clam Ramen, Towada Pork Bowl

Kuroishi tsuyu yakisoba, Misawa hokkidon (hokki being a variety of clam), Shimokita kasamai yaki (Japanese beef skewers), Aomori style shoga-miso oden

Oominato Navy croquette, Fujigasawa chicken skewer, Goshogawara age tai, Namioka hot apple cider


A wall of wine on the temple grounds. Why? Read the sign below.

ワインの樽はなぜ明治神宮に? 下記のサインを読んでみて。


English version


Japanese version




Otorii (Grand Shrine Gate) / 大鳥居

I thought I might have some time to check out the Meiji Jingu Garden (which has a small entrance fee) but then I noticed the sign that said there was a three hour wait. Needless to say, I skipped the gardens.

まだ時間もあったから明治神宮御苑を探索しおうと思ったが(入場金は必要)でも入口に3時間待ちのサインを見て、ここも諦めました。


Finally nearing Meiji Jingu Shrine - its quite a walk from the entrance.

明治神宮にやっと近づきました、入口から結構歩きます。


The Gate I just passed through.

先通った門。


Meiji Jingu Shrine comes into view.

明治神宮にやっとたどり着いた。


This is the crowd on a Saturday - imagine this times 10 for hatsumode on New Year's Day.

これは普通の土曜日。初詣が10倍位の参拝客が訪れると考えると。。。凄いしか思えない。


The crowd didn't dwindle one bit after I paid my respects.

自分が参拝した後に次々と参拝客が来る。


I still had another hour or so before the Aomori Nebuta Festival in Tokyo would start. But at 4pm, there was a short program before the festival began. I decided to stick around and watch it.

青森ねぶた祭り イン 東京はあと1時間ほどだったので、4時位に明治神宮にてねぶたの出陣式が行われた。それを見ることにしました。




video

A Walk around Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine (Part 2) / 代々木公園と明治神宮の散歩 (パート2)

Heading back to where the people are, I came across a sun dial.

人が居る場所に戻ったら日時計を発見。


There is an area of Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine that's fenced off to the public, it is land dedicated to a bird sanctuary.

公園内で人が入れない場所もある。東京の大都会の中に野鳥の誘致園がある。


Another view of part of the bird sanctuary.

野鳥の誘致園はバードサンクチュアリでも呼ばれてます。


The species of birds you are most likely to see. I'm not going to bother finding out what the English names are - the pictures should suffice.

サインに書いた通り良く訪れる鳥達。


Sign explaining why the bird sanctuary was created. I'm not going to translate the entire sign.


Another interesting piece of art. This is called "Quetzacoatl" by Frederico Silva. Presented as a gift to Japan from the Republic of Mexico.

またアートの作品発見。これは「ケツァカアトル」。作者はフェデリーコ・シルバ。メキシコが日本に贈った物です。


I love checking out the various monuments and art pieces in public parks. This one is called "Shiawase no Zo" which translates to "The Statue of Happiness".

公園内で記念碑やアートを見るのが楽しい。これは「しあわせの像」。


Another interesting bit of history in Yoyogi Park. This area is a sample garden created in 1964 when the Olympics were held in Tokyo. Read the sign for more details (even though I'm not sure if you can enlarge the picture).

代々木公園にいろんな歴史がありますね。東京オリンピック記念の樹木見本園。詳しいことはサインを読んで下さい (写真がもっと大きく出来るかどうか分かりませんけど)。


Trees from around the world that were planted during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

現在の樹木見本園。

There is more history to Yoyogi Park than I thought. The area around this park was also used as the 1964 Olympic's Athlete's Village. The athletes stayed in little bungalows like this. This is one of the remaining buildings that was used by the athletes from the Netherlands. Short translation of the sign below.


上の写真に関する説明。

It was time to leave the park and head towards Meiji Jingu Shrine where one of the Aomori Prefecture's Nebuta float is being displayed.

公園をあとにして、次は明治神宮を目指す。入口の前に青森県のねぶたが展示されてるのでそれを見に行った。


Aomori Prefecture Nebuta Float / 青森県のねぶた




This should give you a little idea of how large the float actually is.


この写真を見るとねぶたの大きさがちょっと分かると思う。

Time to check out Meiji Jingu Shrine and the Aomori Prefecture Food Booth Court.

これから明治神宮と青森産の屋台村を見に行く予定。

To be continued...

つづく。。。

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Walk around Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine (Part 1) / 代々木公園と明治神宮の散歩 (パート1)

Currently as I have Saturdays free while Mikako is working, I've been finding the time to some solo neighborhood walks. This past weekend I walked around Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine. I had two reasons for doing so. The first was because I went and had lunch in Shibuya at a Sechuan style Chinese restaurant and a walk after eating is good for my health - Yoyogi Park being the closest park as well. Also, at Meiji Jingu Shrine and Harajuku's Omotesando - an event was to take place - Aomori Prefecture's Nebuta Festival in Tokyo! There was also an Aomori yatai mura (food booths featuring the local cuisine of Aomori Prefecture) that I wanted to check out.

現在土曜日は僕のフリータイムになってます。美香子はバイト。一人なので、最近は一人散歩で良く出掛けてます。この間は代々木公園と明治神宮を探索しました。理由は二つあった。一つは昼食は渋谷にある本場四川ダイニヌグの店で食べた。健康の為に食べたあとはなるべく散歩をする。代々木公園が一番近い公園で、行ってきました。もう一つの理由は今日明治神宮にイベントが開催してるからです。それはなんとあの青森県のねぶた祭りが東京上陸。明治神宮の中に青森産の屋台村もあること。もちろんそれが一番の目当て。


So let me take you along on my walk.

それじゃ僕と一緒に散歩に出かけましょ。


Walking leisurely around Shibuya with my trusty camera in hand, I decided to observe my surroundings as well.

デジカメを持ちながら、ゆっきりと澁谷を散歩し、周りの面白そうなものの写真を撮りまくった。


What's this? Its an art piece called "Fragment of the Horizon" by Shinji Kikuchi.

これは何だ? 菊池伸治作品の「地平線の断片」。


Store sign for a Chinese restaurant called "Wang's Kitchen".

中華料理店「ワンズキッチェン」の看板。


Symbol Monument for the Salt and Tobacco Museum (yes, there really is such a museum).

たばこと塩の博物館のシンボルモニュメント (本当にそうゆう博物館がありますよ)。


Entrance to the Tobacco and Salt Museum.



たばこと塩の博物館の入口。








As I headed towards Yoyogi Park, I came across a demo in progress.

代々木公園に向かう途中に何かのデモ隊を見かけた。


Walking inside Yoyogi Park.

代々木公園内に到着。


First I checked out the most popular area of the park - the Great Fountain.

最初は公園で一番人気で噴水がある場所に行った。


A monument commemorating Japan's first flight (or so the sign says). In a previous post, I had come across the Birthplace of Aviation in Japan which is located in Tokorozawa.

日本初飛行の地の記念碑。サインはそう書いてありました。以前のネタで日本の航空発祥の地は所沢にあった。



















Not sure who they are but they probably have something to do with Japan's first flight.

誰だか分かりませんが、多分日本の初飛行に関係する方々。


I decided to walk around the less popular part of the park. As you can see, there were not many people around.

今回人があんまり集まりないほうに散歩してみました。写真を見ると、人がほとんどいない。




I think I stumbled across one of the reasons this side of the park isn't that popular. Deep inside the park is a tent village of homeless people. Something the Japanese government doesn't want to advertise to the world. Yes, even Japan has a homeless problem.

なぜ公園内にこち側に人が少ない理由を発見。公園の奥にホムレスのテント村があった。日本政府はあんまり認めたくないことが日本でもホムレスが存在することです。

It feels like I'm taking a walk through the woods.

森の中で散歩してるみたい。



To be continued...

つづく。。。