SAKANAYA, Best of best Kaisen-don in Kitasenju, Local town in East Tokyo

If you love Japanese food, especially SASHIMI and KAISENDON, you must visit this place in Kitasenju.  Kitasenju is located in East Tokyo where has (almost) no tourist from overseas but it is very interesting small city that you can enjoy sightseeing and food places. Inkednarita-express-map

I mean look this SHOUTENGAI (shopping street).  Although Kitasenju station got 2 major shopping malls called LUMINE and MARUI, the shopping streets are still vivid.

Our one destination on this day was here SAKANAYA (さかなや)

They serve delicious sea food and they are very famous for its KAISENDON (sea food bowl). OMG…..it was too too too yummy.  That was the best KAISEDON I have ever had in my entire life!!! SAKANAYA is truly famous, we had to wait about 40 min or so. To kill time, we went to the city library near by.  I took the photo from there with sky tree and it captured most of the city.  I love this city where I grew up.

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This is outsiede of SAKANAYA, you can see many people are waiting.  Look at the cute NOREN (like a traditional common curtain to enter the food place) with fish picture. DSC_0943DSC_0948

At the last here is the KAISENDON, it is gorgeous and they serves only 20 sets a day, price is only 1,500yen!! You should go before 12:00 (they open at 11:30) and wait in the line !!!

Adress: 4-11-6, Senju, Adachiku, Tokyo 東京都足立区千住4-11-6

 

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How amazing “White Day” gift

You know Valentine’s day…on Feb 14th. In Japan, women give cholocates to men. I do not know why this is happening in Japan but it is the tradition…. Usually this is the day that girls ask boys out.. I mean she says that she like him. But in other countries (now I know), it is totally opposite. Why JAPAN~~??

Anyways, as a follow-up event of Valentine’s day in Japan, we have “White Day” where boys give girls something, candies or caramels..or even better present.

I got many candies from our co-workers, (yes because I gave cholocate to the) and among thier present, this one was cutest! Sooooo Cute!

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Cute tiny tiny cholocates (but shape is cake!!!) how cute they are!
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Even box is cute…

陳家私菜 (四川麻婆豆腐) Best Chinese (Sichuan) Place in Akihabara !!!!

 

If you would like to taset real Sichuan (super hot) cousine, you must visit this place!  Price is very reasonalble, you get 2 piece of fried chiken (kara-age) , salad, dessart, and rice along with your main dish at lunch and cost around 850yen.

Their wonderful spice (I don’t know which pepper they use or anything though) make my body really hot from deep inside…and it is soooo addictive!!!!

HP: 刀削麺陳家私菜

 

Wired art at river side Asakusa 隅田川の変なアート@浅草

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Lots of lot of tourists and people at Asakusa usually, especially to the famous Sensouji temple.  But where I recommend is this river side, you see not so many people and it is the photo place! (for SKY TREE and Sumida River).

 

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Asahi beer’s Office building (this looks like glass of beer right?) and the soul represents their employe’s enthusiasm but totally looks like a poop…

 

 

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Sumida River

 

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Girls in Kimono, they were from China.

This river side has weired…object..art….Here…

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What is this?!!!!
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This inside….say hi!!
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ahahahaha
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ahahaha
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fun!
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Weired!!

What we eat on New Year’s Day in Japan

Here are the things we (typical Japanese people, I think…) eat on new year’s day.  Because of the space issue, we could not make all OSECHI (Japanese traditional New Year’s day feast) and put them in traditional lunch boxes (ju-bako).

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Chikuzen-ni 筑前煮 notice the vegetables are all Root vegetable, wishing for prosperity
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Namasu なます (Carrots and radish seasoned in vinegar for PEACE)
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My mom’s special roast beef ( I don’t think beef never be the part of traditional OSECHI feast..though sooo yummy)
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KOBUMAKI (kelp roll, inside is fish) looks strange but sooooo yummy
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A HAPPY NEW YEAR in KANJI and KAGAMI-MOCHI (かがみもち)
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DATEMAKI あ

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KAZUNOKO数の子 (fish egg…like cabia)、KUROMAME黒豆 (sweet black beans)、UNIうに(sea urchin)

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刺身SASHIMI

 

Here are some of the OSECHI and its meanings that I know.

Kobumaki (kelp-roll)昆布巻き:Meaning “joyful”. First words “kobu” sounds the same with “YOROKOBU 喜ぶ(being pleased, feeling happy) ” ‘s KOBU.

Chikuzenni 筑前煮:Wish for “prosperity of decendants” becauuse this dish has all the root vegies like carrots, lotus roots, potatos….

Datemaki 伊達巻:It is kind of rolle egg (sweet), because of its shape is like traditional book (rolled paper), this is for the knowlege and learning..

Lights ups in East Tokyo (Christmas ~ New Year) Sky Tree and Takenozuka竹ノ塚駅光の祭典2016

There are tons of Christmas events in Tokyo…. All I wanted to visit but I had no time to do it being a “working mom”. (Got full-time job and raising a son)  My son and I went to two of those christmas (and new year) light ups in Eastern Tokyo.  One was at famous SKY TREE and the other was at TAKENOZUKA(竹ノ塚) station and to  its park which is located about 1km away from there and called MOTOFUCHIE-parkHikarino Saiten光の祭典.

TOKYO SKY TREE is locate just 5 stations away (15 min by train) and it is just located near by the station, it is so easy for me to take my 3 years old cute monster!! As you know there was aquarium on the 4th floor, we also went there. But be careful, the fee is very expensive, it cost 2,000 yen for adults and 600 yen for over 3 years old. (Ueno zoo doesn’t charge kids under  10 or so… so compared to Ueno part with its size…i would not recommend to go that much…the only reason we go is it is nearest aquarium to our home.)

Our fun memory of Christmas Eve was surely this event at MOTOFUCHIE-park at TAKENOZUKA (竹ノ塚)station. I believe this event is not known so much in Tokyo, but locally, it is pretty famous. I have known this almost 10 years but I never intended to visit because TAKEOZUKA is not in the central Tokyo and it closer to SAITAMA pref. You know Japanese people tend to like to go to central Tokyo whenever they have events like Christmas.  This year, we were supposed to go to GINZA area (like 5th ave in Manhattan) to see the lights ups but my mom got sick and she couldn’t come. Instead, we chose to go to the nearest lights ups, and that was this place. But it turned out fantastic for kids!! I think we might visit again next year on Christmas eve.

 

TAKENOZUKA station: 12 statioin away (30min)from Asakusa by TOBU Sky tree line

But I really don’t think it would be things to see……except this event….Trust me I live in Adachi-ward (same ward) for 30 years and Adachi-ward doesn’t have much sightseeing spot exept…Public bath!!Sento!!(銭湯) I will get to that later!

 

 

Hibiya Park’s KOYO日比谷公園の紅葉 (leaf turning red and yellow…) in Central Tokyo

Because of my beautiful son, I go to parks……a lot!! Almost every weekend besides my everyday lunch @ Akihabara where I work.

Two major parks I always go are Ueno park and Hibiya park.  Ueno park is located surely old Tokyo and only 5 stations away from my nearest station (15min) and I like the lively atmosphere of “SHITAMACHI”. “SHITAMACHI” literally means downtown but not like the one in the US though, back in Edo period (when Shogun was on throne), all the town people lived “SHITAMACHI” where as BUSHI (who serves shogunate) lived in central area where near to Edo castle. You know if this BUSHI (worrier) got their houses close to Edo castle, their status are higher. In modern days, who lives where high ranked BUSHI got thier big house near Edo castle? Now days, lots of Embassies are located!! Interesting!

So you know how Tokyo’s SHITAMACHI is differet from central area, it is more and more clouded and more and more houses (not office building) and more lively feeling.

Anyway, On the other hand, Hibiya park is located in central Tokyo, just near to Imperial Palace, that’s where Edo castle were at. So Hibiya Park got totally different atmosphere. But I love love love this park too. Mainly, my mom grew up around this area and because of that I played in this park since i was…like 0 years old to..till now.

But I love the quiet and nice atmosphere in Hibiya park.  There is Japanese garden and English garden, then playground. So nice and peaceful.  By Hibiya line, Hibiya station is like 6 or 7 station away from Akihabara. Also it is next to Ginza where I say it is like 5th Ave in Manhattan.

 

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Just so nice. There is a resturants and cafe too.
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Yanagi tree in Japanese garden
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Japanese garden
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Garden
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KOYO 紅葉
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So across the street, there is Imerial palace (former Edo castle) from Hibiya Park
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This is it! Former Edo castle. Now emperor lives there. Castle has gone by the big fire in 1657!! Oh my gosh! it was sooo long ago. I thought it was by war with the US… You can see the stone wall which still remains.
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Office buildings..also…
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KOYO season has come in Tokyo. Leaves started to turn colors.
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Central Tokyo but peaceful moment. Yes, there is teniss courts!
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Small hill ( a couple of tiny hills in Hibiya Park) Looks cute and nice… so peaceful…

 

 

KAKI (Fuyu Persimmons)(柿) in best season”SYUN”旬 

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In side…. KURO AMA (brand name)
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KURO-AMA only..
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Above is Fuji-kaki and below is KURO-AMA~!
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KUROAMA below (from Wakayama pref) and top is Fujigaki from Ehime pref. Wakayama is kind of near Osaka, and Ehime is in SHIKOKU island.

Best season for KAKI (Fuyu Persimmons).  KAKI is like seasonal fruit in Japan, all Japanese people feel Autum when they see stores start selling KAKI.

Japan has 4 distinct seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall and each season has very different characteristics whih also varies from area to area within Japan.  Tokyo (Central Japan)’s summer is hot and humid while Hokkaido’s summer is not so hot and less humid, etc. How strange within this small country (size is about California states), there are so many regional differenes including culture, weather, and language (dialects).

Talking about foods, we are very sensitive for “SYUN” which literally mens “in the best season”.  Like KAKI (of fruits, not oysters, they are best in winter) in the fall, most of Japanese people has some kind of knowledge (memory) of what food is in best in each season and food’s best season. (Is this universal?)

I don’t do cooking…(not quite good at cooking) but even I know some…

Spring is best for Takenoko, Asparagas, Cabbage, and Summer is best for Edamame, Eggplants and Unajyu & Unagi eel(Unagi)!… and moe, see?!

Getting back to the topic of my KAKI. Wow they are gourgeous. KURO-ama黒あま & .Fuji-kaki富士柿 . KURO-ama (black and sweet) is from Wakayama prefecture and it is very exensive brand. My first time to see this beautiful KAKI and surprisingly inside is brown.  Fuji-gaki  was very sweet also but more fruity. Soooo sweet.