Monday, March 30, 2015

Cherry Blossoms 2015 at Meguro River / 目黒川の花見2015年

Last Saturday as I met up with my wife after she got off work.  She suggested going to see the cherry blossoms along the Meguro River.  I was unprepared but it was still light out and the weather was fine so we walked from Sangenjaya to the Meguro River.  It's about a 20 minute walk or so.  And the cherry blossoms along the Meguro River are one of the most popular areas to check them out.  Not only that, they were in full bloom.  When we reached the Meguro River, we saw Yuya Uchida  (he is a Japanese rock star).

土曜日うちの妻が仕事終わったら、三軒茶屋で待ち合わせしました。妻が今から目黒川の桜を見に行こうと言いだして、散歩開始。三軒茶屋から目黒川は徒歩で20分位かな。もう満開になってるのも知らなかったが、本当に行って良かった。 目黒川に着いたら内田祐也を発見。

For my American friends, this is Yuya Uchida.

Walking along side the Meguro River.



Not only did we get to enjoy the cherry blossoms while it was light out, we will enjoying the blossoms as day turns into night.



As Mikako and I haven't had dinner yet, we of course had to check out the various food booths offering various victuals. 


The first food booth we stopped at was a place featuring some Korean cuisine - toppogi and a meat skewer, along with a beer of course.  Mikako was also happy with the background music featuring Big Bang.


The toppogi was nice and spicy.  The meat skewer also came with some kimchi as well.


A promising little food booth area.


Sausages and spare ribs.  We ordered an assortment of sausages!

ソーセージとスペアリブ。 ソーセージの盛り合わせに決定!

But no, we are not done eating. 


Tandoori chicken or samosas?  We bought a couple of samosas.  This booth also sold some spicy yakisoba.  It had bits of tandoori chicken in it.  Very delicious.

タンドリチキンかサモサ? サモサを購入。チキンも美味しそうだったけど、この屋台はなんとスパイシー焼きそばも販売してた。焼きそばにタンドリチキンも入ってた。とっても美味しかった。

We were getting a little full, so time to walk off our dinner while looking at more cherry blossoms.


We also treated ourselves to some Australian sparkling wine.  Uh, no, we did not drink all of those bottles!!
オストラリア産スパークリングワインも飲みました。 あの空瓶全部飲んだたわけがないですよ。

While wandering around, I ran into a former co-worker from my previous place of employment.

We decided to have one more drink before heading back home and came upon a small Okinawan restaurant.  We ordered ourselves another glass of wine and also received a sata andagi as service. I suppose the blossoms will be gone when I meet my friends for hanami in a couple of weeks.

帰る前にもう一本飲もうと小さな沖縄料理店を発見。そこでまたワインを飲んで、サービスで沖縄名物スイーツのサタアンダギを貰いました。 友達で花見するときは花見じゃなくて、もう葉見になってるじゃないかな。

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Taishido Autumn Festival 2014 / 太子堂秋祭り 2014

Every year around autumn, we have a local festival - the Taishido Autumn Festival.  The one we always go to is held at the Taishido Hachimangu Shrine.  If you've been to a Japanese summer festival or almost any festival for that matter, you will know there will be lots of food stalls, perhaps a mikoshi (portable shrine) parade and lots and lots of people.  So we spent this particular day just walking around our neighborhood.


When Mikako and I got married, one of the apartments we looked at was located right across the street from this shrine.  We've passed by it many times but this was the first time that I saw it was actually open to the public.



On the same day as the Taishido Autumn Festival, there was also a small wine festival happening near the station.  They were actually serving wine for free too!


This chicken specialty shop was doing brisk business today.


This fish shop was doing a tuna cutting show and giving out some free maguro.  You be we went here too.

The following pictures are the various food stalls set up along the street in the Taishido neighborhood.


Takoyaki Booth / たこ焼き屋台
Banana chocolate booth / バナナチョコ屋台
Okonomiyaki booth / お好み焼き屋台
Taishido Hachimangu / 太子堂八幡宮
Taiko drums / 太鼓
More food stalls, this was was the Taiwan Food Booth selling stir-fried noodles.

Turkish doner kebabs have become a popular staple at Japanese festivals.

Enjoying myself a Turkish doner kebab.


Back in Sangejaya, we saw Akemi Ishii (former idol) rehearsing for an afternoon performance.

A great time is always had at festivals.