If you are Train Buff…. TOBU TRAIN MUSEUM 東武博物館

Besides the big train museum in Saitama prefecture that everyone else know, TOBU TRAIN MUSEUM is must to go place in East Tokyo if you are Train geeks!!  Check out their HP here in English:TOBU MUSEUM

DSC_0783

 

TOKYO TRAINS: As you know, Tokyo is super convenient with its super transportations, Trains!! You can get to go almost everywhere by train.  If you live in Tokyo, you don’t have to own cars, you can go anywhere by train and on foot. How many stations in Tokyo? I am not sure but it says there are  635 stations in Tokyo and 495 stations in Tokyo 23 wards !!

See here for almost all stations   tokyo_railway

Anyways, TOBU  line goes from ASAKUSA to NIKKO, they are famous for its SPACIAtob_001.   Though it is not JR (JR is biggest railway company used to be owned by a company), there are many TOBU fans!

Where: There is small tiny station called HIGASHI-MUKOUJIMA in TOBU sky tree line.  The museum is attached to that station. If you have 1 hour, you can look all the exhibitions and things there.  The place is always filled with small boys and their mon and dad…!!

HOW TO GO: You take TOBU SKY TREE LINE, get off at HIGASHI-MUKOUJIMA and from the exist you take right turn and see the MacDonald’s at your left, keep walking 30 sec! you see it on your right!

DSC_0754DSC_0755DSC_0756DSC_0764DSC_0765DSC_0767DSC_0769DSC_0770DSC_0773DSC_0774DSC_0775DSC_0777DSC_0778DSC_0779DSC_0780DSC_0784DSC_0785DSC_0786

 

 

Best Sea food don (kaisen-don) in Akihabara @SANHOREさんほれ

Sea food don: a bowl of rice with sashimi on top.

There are some really good SASHIMI place in Akihabara, I cannot decide the best one.  But as far as for the Sea food don, I think this one is the best @ small Japanese food place called SANHORE.

DSC_0835

I went to eat there for lunch but sea food don for lunch was already sold out so, we instead I ordered the ones for night menu, this cost more than 3,000yen, and it tasted..OMG it took me to heaven!!!  Look those TORO (tuna), it was soooo thick and creamy!!

They do not have English menu, totally for locals and their fans.  What they usually serve is  FUGU (Blowfish) for winter and UNAGI (Eel) for summer. (Too expensive I will not have a chance…) For lunch, there are reasonable menu like KATSUDON, a bowl of rice topped with slices of deep-fried pork like this at 750yen.

DSC_0834

SANHORE MAP PAGE

ADDRESS: 37-1, Kanda, Sakuma-cho, Chiyodaku, 101-0025

 

 

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!

DSC_0697
Cute tiny tiny cholocates (but shape is cake!!!) how cute they are!
DSC_0698
Even box is cute…

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).

dsc_0527

dsc_0531
Chikuzen-ni 筑前煮 notice the vegetables are all Root vegetable, wishing for prosperity
dsc_0532
Namasu なます (Carrots and radish seasoned in vinegar for PEACE)
dsc_0533
My mom’s special roast beef ( I don’t think beef never be the part of traditional OSECHI feast..though sooo yummy)
dsc_0534
KOBUMAKI (kelp roll, inside is fish) looks strange but sooooo yummy
dsc_0550
A HAPPY NEW YEAR in KANJI and KAGAMI-MOCHI (かがみもち)
dsc_0552
DATEMAKI あ

dsc_0553

dsc_0554
KAZUNOKO数の子 (fish egg…like cabia)、KUROMAME黒豆 (sweet black beans)、UNIうに(sea urchin)

dsc_0555dsc_0556dsc_0557

dsc_0465
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..

Cute Cosplayers @Tokyo Comic Con (Dec 2nd ~Dec 4th, 2016)

bty
Cosplayers sooo cute!
1480886988354
Chubaka and us!

I went to Tokyo Comic Con at Makuhari Messe on Dec 2nd-Dce 4th.  It was part of my job though,  the company I work for had a booth and we took a part in this fun event!  My job was to explain the products to English speaking visitors and to gather as many people to our booth.  Our product, Drobo is super user friendly storage products from the US and we are the sole agent in Japan.I went to Tokyo Comic Con at Makuhari Messe on Dec 2nd-Dce.  It was part of my job though,  the company I work for had a booth and we took a part in this fun event!  My job was to explain the products to English speaking visitors and to gather as many people as possible to our booth. How many time I screamed…”Cosplayers!! photo shooting !!”  Our product, Drobo is super user friendly storage products from the US and the company I work for, is the sole agent in Japan.

Besides  work…!

Event was awesome!!!!

bty
sooo cute~~!
bty
with Drobo girls and desiner TAKAHASHI-san
dsc_0432
Photo Shoot
dsc_0436
Kinniku man and R2D2
dsc_0439
my friend, she is he!! Kakoii!! Gooood looking guy but he is she!!
dsc_0442
from Death Note
dsc_0446
De lorean!! Back to the future!!
dsc_0447
Night Rider..
dsc_0452
Me and KINNIKUMAN筋肉マン
dsc_0453
People are in costumes
dsc_0454
Yuriko Tiger-chan, Kawaii

 

 

Anyways,  what was the fun part is that we called those soooo cute cos-players to promote our products and we did photo shoot sessions!! I was amazed!!! They were soooo cute.  The artist HIROYUKI-MITSUME TAKAHASHI designed the costume and it was just soo cute!! Gosh how many times I used the word “cute” but it was really KAWAII.

There are many other cos-playesrs and visitors also came with their costume. There were STARWARS booth, there were batmans,,, it was fabulous event!

dsc_0441
Batman
bty
Our booth “Drobo”

 

 

 

 

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.

 

dsc_0375
Just so nice. There is a resturants and cafe too.
dsc_0331
Yanagi tree in Japanese garden
dsc_0330
Japanese garden
dsc_0329
Garden
dsc_0328
KOYO 紅葉
dsc_0327
So across the street, there is Imerial palace (former Edo castle) from Hibiya Park
dsc_0326
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.
dsc_0325
Office buildings..also…
dsc_0324
KOYO season has come in Tokyo. Leaves started to turn colors.
dsc_0323
Central Tokyo but peaceful moment. Yes, there is teniss courts!
dsc_0322
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 

dsc_0310
In side…. KURO AMA (brand name)
dsc_0308
KURO-AMA only..
dsc_0264
Above is Fuji-kaki and below is KURO-AMA~!
dsc_0263
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.

 

 

 

 

Small Trip from Tokyo (HAKONE 箱根)

Photo from my HAKONE (箱根)trip.

 

dsc_0201
ONSEN (in YUKATA)
dsc_0202
OWAKUDANI KITTY

dsc_0203dsc_0204

dsc_0206
GAS!! OWAKUDANI~~~!!

dsc_0211

dsc_0212
GAS!
dsc_0215
This goes to 早雲山 Souunzan (ropeway stop) where you can transfere to Hakone train to go to Goura and Hakone yumoto station. you see volucanic view just infront of you.
dsc_0216
Let’s get on the Ropeway!
dsc_0217
Mt. Fuji…. beautiful

dsc_0219

dsc_0220
From Ropeway, that’s OWAKUDANI!!

dsc_0227

dsc_0229
Hello~!
dsc_0231
Pirates ship…..ummm but kids love it
dsc_0232
Just nice and beautiful
dsc_0233
Lake Ashino 遊覧船 Pirates ship (…why?) regulary depart hourly to the other side of the lake. taking 30min and another 30 min to come back.
dsc_0234
Everybody seems to try KUROTAMAGO

dsc_0235

dsc_0236
Hot, Good! but inside is normal ! haha

dsc_0241

Hakone (箱根)is about 90min away (by the express train called Romance Car) from Shinjuku Station and it’s very popular tourist spot (area) for families and couples in Japan.

BECAUSE OF…..(and why I wanted to go to HAKONE)

  1. ONSEN (hot springs) area (Onsen makes you beautiful and healthy) and Onsen Ryokan’s (Hotels and Inns) hospitality…best…
  2. Nice KOHYOU (the leaves turning yellow and red…*No translation in English)
  3. OWAKUDANI ( Terrific “Volucanic view” at the mountain top…) and KUROTAMAGO (Black egg)
  4. OSHINO Lake (wonderful view)
  5. Accesibility (about 90min from Shinjuku by Romance car)
  6. Hakone Chokoku-no mori Art Musium (*Fantastic art experience spot!) 箱根彫刻の森美術館 Hakone Chokokuno-mori

Here is Hakone Owakudani (Owakudani-Ashinoko) tourist Map Hakone ropeway nice map