Friday, May 28, 2010


If you are into manga or J-Pop culture you may find this news from Mainichi interesting, a new group of six "miko" (shrine maiden) called 'Konohanasakuya' has announced its debut in Tokyo. The members, who are TV personalities and models, clad in traditional red-and-white miko costumes and the group is the first of its kind to make a debut in the show business world in Japan.

Konohanasakuya-hime, in Japanaese mythology, is the blossom prince and symbol of delicate earthly life, She is the daughter of the mountain god Ohoyamatsumi, she is often considered an avatar of Japanese life especially since her symbol is the sakura. I also found that the name of 'Konohanasakuya' is also used for a manga.

(Konohanasakuya group)

(Pictures courtesy of Mainichi News)

When I saw their pictures, the first thing that crossed my mind was Kikyo! Yes they look like Kikyo from InuYasha :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A beautiful Okonomiyaki

I've got a few posts about Okonomiyaki, and here is another one, my latest Okonomiyaki from Ju Ge Mu and Shimbashi. First time I went to Ju Ge Mu and Shimbashi I tried their famous Soba and did plan to go back there for their Oknomiyaki. I rarely venture up north there only to find something to eat, but for Japanese food? furthermore it's Okonomiyaki, one of my favorite foods.

It was a beautiful Okonomiyaki! The most beautiful okonomiyaki I had to admit, even more beautiful than the ones I got in Japan, and it tastes great too! but if I have to choose, my favorite Okonomiyaki in town is still the one from Emon.

Beautiful Okonomiyaki

To accompany my seafood Okonomiyaki, I picked croquette set and a glass of Umeshu, my favorite Japanese wine.

Croquette set

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Yubari Melon

Yubari is a small town close to Sapporo, Hokkaido. It used to be a coal mining town but that's not what makes this town special. Yubari is famous for its orange-fleshed melon called Yubari melon, a melon priced from 6,000 to 15,000 Yen or could reach 20,000 for the good ones.

Yubari melon's price record at auction was established in 2008 at 2.5 million Yen for one set of two melons. This year's first auction of Yubari melons was held last Monday at the Sapporo City Central Wholesale Market, with two melons selling for 1.5 million Yen, triple last year's highest price.
(Source: Mainichi News)

(A pair of Yubari melons, picture courtesy of : msnbc)

On my visit to Hokkaido last year this luxury fruit wasn't in season but even if it were, I am not sure if I could afford to try this most expensive melon in the world.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Guilty-free Japanese food

I read this interesting article on Sydney Morning Herald couple days ago,

Sydney chef Yukako Ichikawa cooked up a radical solution to food waste after a favorable newspaper review brought too many of the wrong kinds of diners to her restaurant door. Six weeks ago, at Wafu, her 30-seat restaurant in Surry Hills, she began offering a 30 per cent discount to patrons who ate all the food they had ordered.
She and her staffs tell dinners that if they do not leave clean plates, they will not be welcome back. "Finishing your meal requires that everything is eaten except lemon slices, gari (sushi ginger) and wasabi." says the menu which is tagged "guilty-free Japanese food". "Please also note that vegetables and salad on the side are not decorations; they are part of the meal too," it says.

Launching a campaign this week, the NSW Environment Minister, Frank Sartor, deplored the 800,000 tonnes of food waste generated annually in the state's households, on top of 300,000 tonnes dumped by businesses

Those buying her takeaway food, which is organic and free of gluten, dairy, sugar and eggs, must bring their own containers.
Her toughness has inspired some bad reviews, but some of her regular customer simply say " She is laying out her philosophy and methodology."

I've never been to this Japanese eatery but surely I'd love to try their 'guilty-free' Japanese food, and I'll keep in mind not to order too much otherwise..

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Eating is fun!

My love for Japanese food is not merely for their great taste, freshness and healthiness but also for their creativity in decorating and presenting the food which makes eating is more fun. I am always fascinated with any Japanese food, not only sushi and sashimi or bento box, but also the light meal such as Japanese-style sandwich or burger. One day we found a book about decorating bread meal including burger or sandwich style on the shelf in Kinokuniya, actually they call it 'mook', between magazine and book. This 'mook' is in Japanese with no english at all but it's very easy to understand and follow the steps in creating delightful light meals made from bread, sausage, ham etc. One thing is I don't know the title nor the author but I found this mook sold on rakuten for 980 yen and it's called 'Heart for sand painting and set pretty big pan', not sure whether it's a proper translation since I only use google translate :) After browsing around, found two cool foodie blogs that may belong to the authors, Momoka and Ichigo.

Here is the mook:

One of the funny birthday breads on the book

And here is one of our creations , well I should say my wife's creation, she did the best for this :)

I call it 'tanning crab', copied from the book
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Silkworm Island at World Expo 2010

Yesterday I watched the broadcast of the opening ceremony of World Expo in Shanghai, and as predicted before it was a spectacular show with Jacky Chan and Andrea Bocelli among the performers and the expo itself considered as the biggest world fair ever.

Among hundreds of spectacular pavilions, Japan pavilion at World Expo in Shanghai is one of the most famous pavilions at the expo . The Japan pavilion is the largest overseas venue ever built by Japanese government. Nicknamed as 'purple silkworm island' with the symbol mark 'smile to smile, the Japan pavilion will have an estimated 3,000,000 visitors during expo. A robot violinist will make its debut in the second section in the pavilion. Other robots capable of taking care of the old will be on the show as well. After enjoying the exhibition, visitors also can enjoy top Japanese cuisine.

An artist impression of Japan pavilion at Shanghai World Expo.
(picture courtesy of Shanghai World Expo)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I had been busy with a few stressful things needs to be sorted out yet I managed to escape to a small nice town of Port Macquarie in the mid north coast region of NSW last weekend. Nothing much to do apart beaches, tomato and strawberry farm, wineries, and Timbertown. What's that Timbertown? Well it's sort of large theme park, actually it's an entire village of an authentic heritage township located in Wauchope, about 20 minutes drive from Port Macquarie downtown. It's a unique village where you can experience life in the 1880's where the bullocks team still hauls its heavy load and steam powered sawing machine still working. You'll need $5 only for the admission fee, enjoy free wine tasting in the cellar and if you'd like to bring home a bottle or two it costs around $10-$15 per bottle.

The entrance to Timbertown

The steam train

Three-holer Dunny

The bullocks transporting heavy timbers

A bottle of local wine I brought home

Besides Timbertown, there is a Ricardoes tomatoes and strawberries farm located about 10 minutes drive from Port Macquarie downtown. Unfortunately we were not allowed to go inside the tomato farm but we still can go into the strawberry farm and pick the strawberry we'd like to buy.