Japanese Cuisine in Kyoto

Hello there! How have you been so far? I think I haven’t posted anything on my blog for a while, and I apologize for my laziness. You know once we get lazy, it’s hard for us to start again, right?

Today I want to write about Japanese cuisine in Kyoto and the cuisine is called Kyo-ryori in Japanese.

I went to a Japanese fancy restaurant called Tan-kuma (たん熊)with my husband and two of our mutual friends and ate together. We had a lot of fun there while chitchatting.

DSCF1545

This is called sesame tofu made from sesames.

DSCF1547

Fish soup called sumashi-jiru

 

 

DSCF1550

Fresh raw fish called sashimi

 

DSCF1554

Main dish

 

DSCF1556

My favorite, eel rice! Mmmmm, yummy!

DSCF1557

Dessert: green tea ice cream and kinako mochi with red beans

 

I went to Kyoto again with my other friend on a different day, and she and I ate different Japanese cuisines at another fancy restaurant. The restaurant name is Gion Yuyama. ( 祇園ゆやま)

DSCF1569

Sesame tofu made from sesames

DSCF1566

The restaurant chef. We sat in front of the chef, and we could watch him. It was fascinating.

 

DSCF1571

Main dish

 

DSCF1573

He is cutting tiny fish bones from a hamo ( a kind of fish which we eat in summer in  Kyoto)

 

DSCF1575

Egg plants, okura and oriental melon

 

DSCF1576

Rice with shirasu (dried tiny fish), miso soup and some Japanese pickles

 

DSCF1578

Dessert: Ice cream, sesame flavored pudding and coffee flavored gelatin with water melon

Both restaurants were really good, and I hardly can choose which was better.

Since we were in Kyoto, I want to introduce summer in Kyoto as well.

DSCF1562

The street where we walked was very Kyoto. Each house has some blinds called sudare to block sun shine and keep inside cool.

 

DSCF1563

 

DSCF1564

 

DSCF1565

I think this house is a tea house called ochaya which has geisha and maiko (geisha’s apprentice)  because we can see square wood printed maiko and geisya names above the door.

After that, we went to another place to look around the pottery festival in Kyoto.

DSCF1580

Since I went to the festival last year as well, I didn’t take many photos this time. I am sorry for this.

 

DSCF1581

DSCF1582

 

DSCF1583

I bought some pottery for kintsugi techniques Japanese traditional techniques for pottery)  which I am currently involved in.  I will write about kintsugi techniques on my other blog entry soon. You will see what it is then.

 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog again! I will keep posting, stay tuned!!

 

-Yumi

 

 

Who Is The Most Famous Japanese Person in The World?

Hello there! How have you been so far? Here everyday is cold and we are fed up with this cold weather. We can’t wait for spring.

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine from America and I talked about Japanese people and all the sudden, he asked me who did I think was the most famous Japanese person  in the world, dead or alive.

We talked about what we thought about this for a while but we couldn’t agree with our answers. My friend told me that in the States students don’t study Japanese or Asian history and they don’t know even where Japan is on the map. Well, I agree with him. Japan is a still very mysterious country for westerners.

japan map

I am very curious, when you have to think of one Japanese person (dead or alive), whose name pops up in your mind first. Maybe, some historical people, actors, musicians, artists, athletes  etc. I know you have known of some anime characters like Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Godzilla and so on, but can you think of a real Japanese person?  Just write down one Japanese person’t name as your answer on my comment section and give me the reason why you picked up the person.

Thank you so much for co-operating.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

See you around again in two weeks:)

-Yumi

 

What a depressing business it is in Japan!

Hello there! How have you been so far? It’s almost Christmas and I can’t believe that time goes by so fast! Do you have any plans getting together to spend holiday time with your family?

In Japan we have a very weird service ( business) and I would like to introduce it to you today because you might need this kind of business.

The business is that we can rent people for our occasions. It means if we have a shortage of friends for our wedding, we can hire strangers for our wedding party, or if we need some more people for a funeral, we can hire some for it, or if we need a boyfriend/girlfriend/parent/wife/husband/ for our occasions, we can hire them.

Are you interested in this kind of business? If you are short of friends for your Christmas party, you might be able to get more people for it! Of course, if you want to hire people, you have to pay, but you can get people whom you want for your occasion.  I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but you can receive more details here:

http://family-romance.com/

 

 

What do you think about this business? Do you want a fake boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife to show off? It’s possible!

I think it’s a depressing business if people need to show off. I don’t understand why people can’t show their true situation. I don’t want to use this business and I am not interested in showing off something either. However, there is a business because people need this.

This business reminds me of Instagram, Facebook or Twitter because people love showing off what they have or do on them. I have seen so many people have posted Christmas trees or decorations on Facebook. It just looks like a competition. I guess people need this business for the social network sites to make their occasions seem to be better. It’s a new business and very smart, lol. to use people’s mind (pride, lol).

Thank you for reading. I hope we can see around again in this year!!

Have a lovely week!

-Yumi

China Fair in Kyoto

Hello there! How have  you been so far? I think you forgot that I have blogs, lol. Yes, I myself almost forgot about them as well, lol. Well, I had lost interest in blogging for a while. Since I have been away from this blog for months, I have no idea what I should write. Then, I found that writing about a china festival inKyoto might be interesting.

This summer was really hot, and I avoided going out. I rarely went out, and this festival was one of those rare times. I don’t know why people in Kyoto hold the china (porcelain) festival in summer because summer in Kyoto is one of the muggiest places in Japan.

Anyway, the festival is held every summer, and many people have visited there because it opens from the morning to evening. I suggest to go there in the evening because it’s much cooler. You will be very comfy.

DSCF0409

DSCF0411

You can see lots of stands where people are selling their hand-made porcelain on the streets. If you love porcelain, the place is heaven.

DSCF0412

DSCF0413

 

DSCF0414

They don’t sell Western porcelain at all. All are Japanese styles.

DSCF0415

 

DSCF0418

 

DSCF0417

 

DSCF0416

 

DSCF0420

Usually, our pottery shops are just like this.

DSCF0419

These are incense plates with Chinese zodiacs. I know you think they are very Japanese.

DSCF0421

Another pottery shop.

DSCF0422

I love the pottery designs and took this photo.  For some reason the designs remind me of one of my favorite painters, Klimt :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Klimt

DSCF0423

My husband and I visited a temple for pottery. These statues are made from porcelain dishes. Isn’t it cool? I don’t know what the left side is, but I think the right side is a samurai.

DSCF0425

I prayed to the God of pottery to improve my painting skills on porcelain, of course.

I have reblogged this blog entry on my other blog, my porcelain painting blog. I will start posting the blog soon as well.

See you around in two weeks!

-Yumi

 

Getting Bigger!

Hello there! How have you been? We have been suffering from the crazy summer. We had an M6.1 earthquake, crazy rain which caused floods and land slides and killed around 300 people and the HEAT WEAVES! According to our government, the heats is a disaster. So, we have been under the disaster more than one month! Every day is around 38 degree Celsius. Last month ( in July) around 400 people died because of the hearts. I guess we will more 300 people lose this month. Then, we had a typhoon. Another one is heading to Japan right now. I feel like we won a disaster lottery. I hope your weather is not such miserable like ours.

Today, I want to write about food portions in Japan. I usually post fancy restaurants’ photos and you don’t know that our food portions are getting larger.  Big portions are very popular among young people. I think we love adopting American culture, and the food portions are called  めがもり、mega-mori or deka-mori, でかもりin Japanese. It means big portion, of course. You can see how much they are large.

メガ盛り2

 

メガ盛り3

 

1メガ盛り

I have never tried out mega-mori, but I can guess the portions are close to American ones.

Of course, it’s easy for you to guess what’s going on our people, right? Yes, we are getting bigger too.

マツコ

He is s very popular Japanese drag queen. He is called Matsuko (Actually, Matuko is a female name in Japanese.)

わたなべなおみ

Her name is Naomi Watanabe and she is also very popular TV person. She is a comedienne and actress. She is good at impersonating Beyonce! ( She doesn’t sing, though)

 

A couple of days ago, my husband and I went to a steak restaurant, and we saw lots of over weight people there. This made us think we had to exercise after we ate the dinner, lol.  My husband is big ( He is over weight, but he has lots of masculines and that’s why.) , but he looked normal then to me, lol.

I think we will add more over weight people and over weight won’t be a big issue in our society soon.

 

I Miss Spring!

Hello there! It’s getting more muggy here, and I really miss our wonderful spring! How is the weather there? I hope you are having a good one.

Today, I want to show some photos of plum blossoms that I have taken a couple of months ago. Of course, our plum blossoms bloom in early spring. We can’t see them anymore.

I think our cherry blossoms are much popular than the plum blossoms in the world, but actually, they are really cute. I love both of them.  I especially love the rich pink ones.

I took these pictures at a shinto shrine close to our house.

DSCF0076

DSCF0077

DSCF0078

Plum blossoms sometimes have been used to a Shito shrine, temple or family symbols like the flog.

DSCF0079

 

DSCF0080

This pink plum tree was so cute! I really loved this one.

 

DSCF0082

This tree is white. The white one is pretty too, but I prefer the pink one.

 

DSCF0083

Well, this is new. The shinto shrine has a pray spot for kitties. Since I am a cat person, I couldn’t help taking the photo!!

 

DSCF0085

 

DSCF0088DSCF0089

We have lots of different pink colors in our plum blossoms. This one is my favorite color!

 

DSCF0087

Do you know what it is? This is called “omikuji” in Japanese. You can read about omikuji here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-mikuji This is a part of our shinto-ism or Buddhism. We are kind of superstitious and try to know our fortunes.  When I visited here, I tried it out. We usually leave the used omikuji like this in the photo. The white paper things in the photo are all used omikuji.

 

DSCF0092

This plum tree is my favorite one. I really love the rich pink!

 

DSCF0093

Plum blossoms are a good object for painting, and when you look at our ancient paintings, you can see a lot of them on papers, porcelain, woods and so on.

Now, we are having lots of hydrangeas. Which flowers can you see in your place now?

I hope you start a good week! See you in weeks here again!

 

-Yumi

Castella, the Oldest Japanese Cake

Hello there! How did your new year start? Have you set up some goals to achieve for this year? What are your new year’s resolutions?

I have set up some goals that I really want to achieve and made some new year resolutions. I will try my best to reach my goals this year as well, and I will see the result at the end of this year.

Today I want to introduce Japanese oldest cakes to you. I hope this blog entry is interesting for you who are interested in Japanese culture or history.

The cake is called “castella”.   It is around 400 years old. You can read the history here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castella   In the 17 century, the Edo period my country had closed our country from other countries to protect ourselves. It had been keeping in 300 years. During the time we created our own unique culture. Castella was born in the 17 century. Even though, we didn’t open our country to others, we had exchanged stuff with Portugal and Holland.  They brought us guns, Christianity, Western culture like western medicines, western science and so on. Castella was introduced by Portuguese. We had a large port in Nagasaki, the Kusyu erea. They came to the port with Castella. They started living with Japanese people in the area. Some Japanese people learned how to make Castella from them. Since then, Castella is very popular among all aged Japanese people. I love the cake as well.

DSCF9973

Castella texture is different from Western cakes. They are very soft and mild.

 

DSCF9974

I found a very interesting advertizement paper with the Castella box. Since I took some photos of it, I want to share them with you.

DSCF9968

This seems to be very old advertizement of Castella. Since some Japanese characters are very old, I can’t read some words even though I can guess the meaning.

DSCF9969

You can see a Castella factory in the advertizement.

DSCF9970

 

DSCF9971

You can see when the Castella factory opened. It says “since 1624”. Actually, the factory name is “Fukusaya” and it’s in Nagasaki prefecture. I think the Castella factory is the oldest one in Japan, and I really love the castella from the factory. I think the shop’s one is the best!

They have an English HP! http://www.fukusaya.co.jp/global/en/index.html According to the HP, the current shop owner is 16th generation from the first one. I am very amazed! The factory also have very long history with their Castella!!!

When you come to Japan, get some Castella at an airport! You will love them!

See you around in two weeks again!

Have a lovely week, everyone!

-Yumi x

 

-Yumi

Previous Older Entries