Friday, November 30, 2012

Jaja Oiken / じゃじゃ おいけん

One weekend in October, the wife and I spent a weekend in Minami Boso in Chiba Prefecture with our friends Yukio and Reiko.  We were planning on leaving Saturday night after Yukio and Mikako got off work.  Reiko and I have Saturdays off so we decided to meet early and I was going to be her guide to my neighborhood.  We met up around 1pm; however, our first order of business was to eat lunch.  I decided to take her to this Morioka Style Jajamen restaurant that I've been wanting to check out myself as well.  It is called [Jaja Oiken].  A jajamen specialty shop.  In fact, that is the only item on their menu!  But you can choose different size portions.  You may notice from the picture above that there are no tables at this restaurant either.  Only a counter space that comfortable sits about five people.  And yet, this place is popular with celebrities and regular people as well.

一ヶ月前位友達の幸男とレイコが小旅行を企画して、4人で南房総行くことになった。出発は土曜日の夜。幸男と美香子は夕方まで仕事。僕とレイコはフリーだったので、れいちゃんがちょっと早めに三軒茶屋に来ました。二人は千葉に住んでいるので中々三茶まで遊びに来ない。れいちゃんの為に三茶散歩を実行。一時位の待ち合わせで、やっぱり最初は昼食だ!自分が気になってた店に連れてあげようと思って、盛岡じゃじゃ麺の専門店「じゃじゃ おいけん」に行きました。この店のメニューはじゃじゃ麺以外のものはありません。上記の写真を見れば、テーブルもなく、カウンタースペースしかありません。それに大人5人以上だったら直ぐ満席。でも芸能人や一般の方もこの店を愛してます。壁に芸能人の色紙がいっぱい飾ってる。 じゃじゃ麺しかありませんが、麺の量が選べられる。

This is how the jajamen is brought to your table.  You then mix it up.  There is also a range of spices so you can add to make your own original jajamen flavor.  You can freely add garlic, ra-yu, vinegar, ginger, etc.  Mix it thoroughly, than eat at your own pace.


Range of spices to make your original flavor / カウンターにお酢、ラー油などが置いております

Quite delicious! / 美味しい!

But when you are finished with your jajamen you don't want to leave the restaurant just yet.  For an extra 80yen, you can enjoy Oiken's chitantan (or jiandantang).  The English translation seems to be fried egg soup.  It's quite filling as well.


Chitantan or Jiandantang / チータンタン

This might give you an idea of how small the shop is.  It opened in 2003 and is still doing strong business.  My sister has already asked me to take her here when she comes to visit next year.


Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Street Performers Festival in Sangenjaya 2012 (Day 2) / 三茶de大道芸 2012 (二日目)

Sunday was a nice day and a great to check out more street performers in Sangenjaya.


Ah, Mikako and I have seen this artist before about five or six years ago.  He dances to music while painting.  The print doesn't give you how cool his performance is.  His name is Yukinko.

あっ、僕と美香子がこの人5、6年前も見たことある。パフォーマンスはとにかく面白い。踊りながら絵を描く人。アーティストの名前はユキンコ。 プリント写真じゃこの人の凄さが伝わらないね。

He uses both brushes and spray paint.


Still dancing and painting.


The finished product / 絵の出来上がり

We met up with friends while watching Yukinko perform.  Afterwards, we head towards the yatai mura (yes, I'm going to eat the assortment of meat today!).  But before we got there, we passed a few walking art pieces as well.


Tall man and Tall Elvis / 背の高い男性二人、一人はプレスリー?

Human Snails? / 人間かたつむり?

Today's main feature (for me anyway) / 今日の主役 (僕にとってですが)

Yummy! / 美味しい!

Chinese balance performers (they've been coming almost every year for the past few years).  They're still awesome no matter how many times you've seen them.

中国雑技団 (毎年来てる)。何回見ても凄いよ。

More walking art / ウォーキングアートまた発見

Kinda creepy / ちょっと不気味かも

Dude was sweating profusely (he must have been hot in this outfit) / 彼は超汗かきだった (この衣装で苦しかったのかね)

Until next year...


Monday, November 26, 2012

Street Performers Festival in Sangenjaya 2012 / 三茶de大道芸 2012

Every year in the middle of October, my neighborhood (Sangenjaya) features a street performers festival.  This year it was on the weekend of the 20th and 21st.  As Mikako works all day on Saturday, I thought I would take a sneak peak for myself (and grab some lunch at one of the many food stalls as well).


Fairly big crowd at the yatai mura (food stall area).


The line for the sausage assortment was extremely long (but I plan to get some tomorrow when I will go again with Mikako and also meet some friends.)


Meat Meat Meat / 肉 肉 肉

And more meat / また肉

Even though I passed up the meat today, I did indulge in a craft beer called Kawaba from Gunma Prefecture.


The first street performer I saw / 本日最初に見た大道芸

Here he is again being "The Thinker" / “考える人”の真似

My first bite to eat - tandoori chicken skewer / 最初に食べたもの ‐ タンドリチキンの串焼き

However, this was my main lunch - fish and chips / 本当の昼食はフィッシュアンドチップス

You also get a large choice of sauces to top your fish and chips.  I settle for the standard vinegar and also decided to try the spicy soy mayo combo sauce.


My kind of food booth! / 僕が好きそうな屋台!

Street performers art work / 大道芸のオブジェもあちこち見かけます

Wandering around some of the back streets (and yes, this is still Sangenjaya)


Tomorrow - more food and more street performers.

明日 ‐ 食べ物と大道芸のつづき。

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bus Festival 2012 in Yoyogi (Part 3) / バスフェスタ 2012 in 代々木 (パート3)

As I was heading home from the Kyushu Fair, I had to pass by the stage where the bus drivers had their short talk show.  But unlike the driver's panel discussion, there seem to be a huge crowd gathered for the next stage event.  And most of those people hand their cameras at the ready.  So I checked to see what the next stage was going to be.  Aha!  Bus guide uniform fashion show!!  So I stuck around.


Hinomaru Bus / 日の丸観光バス

Hato Bus / ハトバス

Tokyo Yasaka Kanko Bus / 東京ヤサカ観光バス

Fuji Kyuko Kanko / 富士急行観光

There were 10 different bus companies that took part in the fashion show.  If you are wondering why the final picture is small, it is because I took it with my cell phone camera.  The battery in my digital camera went dead half-way through the show.


And so to home I went.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kyushu Fair 2012 / 九州観光・物産フェア 2012

The main event of my walk was not the Bus Festival, but this, the Kyushu Fair! But there is one small problem with going to a food fair by yourself, you can only eat a couple of items before you get full.

この間の散歩の目的地はバスフェスタではなく、これ、九州観光・物産フェア! こういう物産フェア一人で行くのが一つの欠点があります、それはいろんなものが食べられたに事です、一人だったらすぐお腹いっぱいになる。

This was the first food item on saw on display.  I know my wife would have loved to have one of these.  Steamed sea urchin filled surf clams.


This is more my speed, bacon shish kebabs!


Yes, I bought one.


The Sasebo Burger, another Kyushu specialty.  I didn't want to eat an entire burger and fortunately, the food stall was selling half-portions.  This was my main meal for lunch.


Sasebo Burgers in the making.


My half-size Sasebo Burger.  Juicy and delicious.

ハフサイズ佐世保バーガー。 とっても美味しかった。

Beautiful day and a nice turn out.


Craft beer from Saga Prefecture, Arita Beer.


Hm, what is this food stall making?


Huge okonomiyaki, that's what!


I was already full from my half-size Sasebo burger so only my eyes enjoyed the rest of food items that were available.


Bowl of tripe / もつ煮

Shumai / シュウマイ

Although this is the Kyushu Fair, there were a few booths that featured items from other Prefectures, this is the Yokote Yakisoba from Akita Prefecture that won the B gourmet (like B-movies, but related to food) in 2009.


An assortment of croquettes / コロッケいろいろ

The mascots of the different Kyushu Prefectures were also in attendance.


Mu-chan, mascot of Miyazaki Prefecture / みやざき犬 むぅちゃん

Koi Hime, mascot of Ogi in Saga Prefecture / 佐賀県小城氏のマスコット、こい姫

Yokan Emon, another mascot of Ogi in Saga Prefecture / ようかん右衛門(えもん)、佐賀県小城市のもう一人のゆるキャラ。

Saruku-chan, mascot of Nagasaki in Nagasaki Prefecture / さるくちゃん、長崎県、ながさきしのゆるキャラ

Oidon-kun, mascot of Kagoshima Prefecture / 鹿児島県のマスコット、おいどんくん

Mascot of the entire Kyushu island, Kyu-chan / 九州のマスコット、キューちゃん

Kyu-chan was on the stage for an even in which you could win free round-trip tickets to Kyushu.   Three prizes were on offer, sponsored by the airline and travel industry.  The contest was open to all.  Rock Paper Scissors.  Only winners stand, draws you must sit.  I participated but lost in the first round.


And on that note, I was headed home...or so I thought.