Tosa Dog

Today I want to write about the biggest dogs in Japan. They are a family of Mastiff.

I have a female three year-old black Labrador Retriever, Coco, and a Tosa Dog is her male friend. I have known about Tosa dogs, but until Coco has made friends with the male Tosa Dog, Gun, I have never seen a Tosa dog in person before. I think this is really cool that Coco has a Tosa friend! They are a definitely rare sort.  Japanese people prefer tiny dogs like toy poodles.

When I saw Gun for the first time with Coco, I was very scared and avoided to follow his way.  Coco is very powerful, and I thought I might not control her when she got excited to see Gun.  Gun’s owner realized that I was afraid of him, and he approached us. We made friends then.

When I touched Gun, I was so nervous even though the owner told me that Gun was well controlled and never bit me. I still remember the feelings very well. Gun has a huge head. I have heard Gun killed a Boxer two years ago when they fought. I am happy that Coco and Gun made good friends.

In Japan, if people want to own Tosa dogs, they need a permission from a Police department. That’s because they are very dangerous dogs. We have heard about news that the dogs kill their owners or family members. They are fighting dogs in the Shikoku area. The Gun’s owner loves big dogs, especially Tosa Dogs. Gun is his eighth dog. According to him, since he got older, he retired Dog fights. He was used to doing the business. I am glad Gun is not a fighting dog. I can’t support all kind of animal fights. The owner has another dog, a female Mastiff, named Sakura. She is much bigger than Gun! He sometimes takes two of them together for a walk. I can’t believe how he can control two extremely huge dogs together. Sakura is one and a half years old and much more energetic than Gun.

Gun is three years old too and very skinny. Coco is much energetic than Gun. Although I really want to take some photos of Gun with Coco, I have to apologize that there is no photos of them. I walk in the evening, and plus they are very playful. It’s hard for me to take their photos in dark, but when I take some, I will update them.

I know big dogs’ life spam is always shorter than small dogs’. Gun’s owner said Tosa’s life spam is around 8 years. I really hope Coco and Gun can hang out as long as they can.

If you want to get more information about Tosa, you can get it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tosa_(dog)

The word, Tosa means an old term of one of prefectures, Kouchi Ken in the Sikoku area. The Tosa Dogs are originally from there. In the Edo period, dog fights were one of the entertaining events for Shoguns.

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We still have dog fights, and the champions wear these kinds of costumes to show off.

These costumes are very similar as Yokozuna, the champions of Sumo wrestlers.

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化粧まわし

It’s getting cooler in Japan, and I am very happy with this comfy weather. I will see you around in two weeks!

Have a lovely week or weekend!

-Yumi x

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Eel Foods

Hello there! How have you been? We are in the midvv summer, and every day is so hot and humid. To cheer ourselves up, we eat eels in summer. Well, it means Japanese summer is too tough, and many people lose their appetite. It’s easy for us to get sick. To stay healthy, we eat eels.

A couple of days ago, my family and my parents went to the biggest eel restaurant in my hometown. We ate eels until we got stuffed, lol. I think my family, my parents and I can stay healthy during this summer thanks to the eels.

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Since the restaurant has a beautiful garden, I took some photos with some foods. I think eel foods are very fascinating for you to see because I don’t see eel foods so often out of Japan. I hope this blog entry is interesting for you to know about our food culture. As I repeat mentioning, our food culture depends on the seasons a lot. Eels are definitely summer food for us.

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appetizer with some cherry blossom tea

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grilled ell with koi fish sasimi

I love eating koi fish sasimi with sour miso sauce. It’s so yummy.

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Umaki, egg omelet with grilled eel

Umaki is my favorite too!!

 

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Koikoku, miso soup with koi fish

Koikoku is my favorite too. It’s sweeter than regular and has much richer flavor than the regular one. We have another good restaurant for Koikoku close to my hubby’s parents’ house. When I get there, I will introduce the foods there.

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Koi-no-amani

It might be gross for you, but this is another one of my favorite. The fish is koi with sweet tasting soy sauce flavor. It’s hard for people to get Koi fish from a market for the amani, but I cook other fish with amani. The only thing that I don’t like is the fish part, though. My hubby loves amani with fish eggs.

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Unadon ( Una-jyu)  with some Japanese pickles

This is my best favorite food! I love grilled unagi with some rice!

 

Yuzu flavor ice cream. Yuzu is a citrous fruit.

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On this day my dad found a dragonfly. According to him, the dragonfly was a rare sort. I forgot the name, but I took some pics with him. He seemed to be very happy with good foods and the rare dragonfly.

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The restaurant has a koi pound.  I guess we ate some koi fish from the pond, the fresh ones, lol.  Poor fish……

I hope you enjoyed the blog entry!

 

See you in two weeks again!!

-Yumi x

 

How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioner

Hello, there! How are you doing? I hope everybody is having a good day.

In Japan, the rainy reason was over, and the really muggy summer has come! I personally don’t like using air conditioner because the cold air makes me feel very sluggish.  I prefer sweating. I always try not to use air conditioner until I really can’t bear. I especially don’t use it day time.  However, my hubby can’t stand without air conditioner. So, when I am with him, I have no choice.

We have some ideas to spend summer time without air conditioner, and today I want to show them with you.

Sudare

すだれ

We put a screen, called ‘Sudare’ made of thin strips of wood in front of a house or back side of a house to shut down sunshine. We have put this screen in front of our bathroom window. We can open the window to get cool wind, and nobody can peek us. Some shops put this the entrance of their shops like the picture.

Uchiwa

うちわ

This is our very traditional tool ( a fan) , called uchiwa. We can buy lots of pretty ones. We have both modern designs and traditional ones. I prefer traditional ones. This is very popular for summer festivals with a summer kimono, Yukata.

Uchimizu

打ち水

This is my favorite for summer. We water in front of our house to stay cool. My grandparents did it in summer every single day when the temperature got high, especially evening. So, when I see someone is doing this, this reminds me of my grandparents a lot. When I lived in Nagano prefecture with my family, I saw people did it a lot.

Furin

風鈴

We do make us cool down with pretty sounds. The glass things are called Furin. They make very pretty healing sounds, and I love them. We have one in our house, and I have hanged it every year in summer. When I hear the sounds, they definitely reminds me of summer.

I think each country has their own unique ideas or culture for seasons. These ideas make us enjoy the hot and humid summer.

Thanks as always for reading my blog post. I hope you can expand a little bit your horizons about Japan!

See you in two weeks again!

-Yumi x

 

 

 

 

Desserts for Summer in Japan

Hello there!

How are you spending your weekend? The day before yesterday was the Tanabata in Japan even though my family and I didn’t celebrate it. It was first time for the Tanabata festival not to be a rainy day for years. So, I guess the mystical couple in the sky enjoyed having their romantic time together. You ca learn about mystical couple: http://www.japan-suite.com/blog/2014/7/6/tanabata-story-of-two-star-crossed-loversf

Today I want to introduce our summer desserts to you. In summer you can see these in supermarkets a lot. We love eating cold stuff in summer. Ice cream gets more popular in summer too, but we still love our old-fashioned sweets like these. We keep these desserts in our refrigerator to keep them cool. When we eat them, we can enjoy the cool temperature and the sweet flavor together. Most of them are like jellies, but these sweets are made from vegetable gelatin. This part is different from jellies. ( Jellies are made from animal gelatin.)

My favorite sweet in summer is Warabimochi. I really love Kuromitsu ( the black syrup made from brown sugar) and that’s the reason. It’s so tasty to eat the cold Warabimochi with Kuromitsu.

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My other favorite is Mizsuyoukan.

みずようかん

My previous place where we lived had a popular Mizuyoukan factory three doors down from our house. We loved buying the Mizuyoukan there. I really miss it. Mizsuyoukan is made from some red beans.

We have more sweets for summer.

Anmistu

あんみつ

I don’t like this one, but some people like my hubby loves this, called Kuzsukiri. That’s because it tastes sour. I prefer sweet flavor.

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So, which one do you want to taste first? I hope this summer won’t be extremely muggy, and I can enjoy the season.

Have a lovely weekend! See you around next weekend here again!

-Yumi

 

 

Cherry Blossoms! I Know It’s Too Late!!

Hello there! How have you been?

It’s been a while since I updated my blog last time. I have excuses that I was in the States. I apologize that I couldn’t post anything. You can guess how much I enjoyed my trip in America. I will write about my trip in the States in my other blog soon. So, if you are interested in it, please visit my other blog, my porcelain painting blog. Thank you!

Today I show you cherry blossoms photos this year. Yeah, I know it’s too late, but I can’t ignore this. I took these pictures before going back to the States. I didn’t have time to post them then. I hope you enjoy them.

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These pictures were taken on the way to a grocery store. I love this road in spring because I can see lots of different sorts of cherry blossoms. Which one do you like the best?

Now, the road is full of green. All pick were gone, but I can look forward to seeing the pink next year again before going back to the States!

Thank you for taking a look at my blog! See you here again next week!

Have a lovely weekend!!!

-Yumi

Get Some Potato-chips!

Hi there! How are you doing today?

I am busy for preparing for my studying abroad in the States. I will go back to the States next week.

I want to get some potato-chips in the States when I get there this time.  I am not a huge fan of chips, but there is a reason.

Last year four big typhoons attacked Hokkaido where is the main place for potatoes. We depends on the island to grow potatoes. The area got huge damage and we are lack of potatoes for potato-chips. Then,  several main potato-chips companies made a decision that they would stop making different flavored potato-chips. We still have salty flavor and probably BBQ flavor, but that’s all.

We have no idea when we can get various flavored potato-chips again. I miss soy sauce ones, wasabi flavored ones, fish eggs called mentaiko flavored ones or plum pickles called umeboshi flavored ones or so on……..

Now, the price of potato-chips is getting higher, especially the hard ones for us to get. I saw 5 dollars for one small package, and it’s five times higher! People compete to get potato-chips before they all are gone.

I guess when we want to get some potato-chips, we have to go to Costco to get American chips. Then, we will appreciate that we still can get some chips there!!

You can read an article about our chips here: https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/japan-has-been-hit-by-a-massive-potato-chip-shortage?utm_campaign=trendsus&utm_source=munchiesfbus

I hope I can write one more blog entry before going back to the States!

Have a lovely week, everybody!

-Yumi

Chinese Cuisine in Japan

Hello there! How have you been?

I am sorry for the delay. I wanted to update my blog soon, but I was busy for my family thing. Since I have some spare time, I want to update my blog today.

Today’s entry is about Chinese cuisine in Japan. I know in the States, people don’t think Chinese foods are “cuisine”. In Japan we have both cheap foods and expensive foods in Chinese foods. I want to show the expensive one today.

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I celebrated my husband’s parents’ wedding anniversary with them. My husband took us to a fancy Chinese restaurant. I thought it might be interesting for people who never seen Chinese fancy foods in Japan. I hope you enjoy the food.

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To be honest with you, I am not a big fan of the restaurant. When we lived in Wakayama prefecture, we used to going to our favorite Chinese restaurant. The foods are much better, but we don’t have the restaurant anymore, and we don’t live in Wakayama either.

I like Chinese foods both in Japan and America.

Do you have Chinese cuisines in your country?

Sakura (Cherry blossoms )started blooming! My next blog entry will be about the cherry blossoms!

Have lovely weekdays! See you soon here!!!

-Yumi

 

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