Monday, August 31, 2015

Pork Buns, Kawaii Character Nikuman buns!!

When you visit any convenience stores in Japan, you will see lots of foods near the cashier. One of them are pork, beef, red bean paste or curry buns and they are people’s favorite all year around.
We call them“ Niku man” which niku means meat and man means buns and they are made from flour dough, filled with cooked ground meat or other.

These buns are steamed and often sold as street food originally from China, frequently sold and eaten in cold weather season but now all year around.

Many convenience stores have their unique products such as character buns and you will be surprised that they are not white!! They are sometimes blue, yellow and so on. They are soooo cute and you don’t want to eat them.

You will also find buns at any china towns in Yokohama or Kobe, Chinese restaurants and there are also microwave ready-to-eat buns package sold in supermarket.

When you are getting hungry and need some snacks, why don’t you go to convenience store to get one?!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Auntie Green, MIDORI No OBASAN the crossing guard

A crossing guard, a school crossing patrol officer, school crossing supervisor and sometimes guard or school road patrol and guard is a traffic management volunteer who is normally stationed on busy roadways to aid pedestrians. Often associated with elementary school children, crossing guards temporarily stop the flow of traffic so pedestrians may cross an intersection.

In Japan a crossing guards are called Gakudoyogoin or MIDORI No OBASAN, which means auntie green who usually wear green uniform and this system started in Tokyo in 1959. It was founded as a way to offer employment to widows after World War .

Most of the elementary school in Japan, children make a group who live close to each other and go to school together and elder kids take care of small kids to make sure they walk OK, they chat what is happening today at school and even teach small kids numbers and characters while walking to the school. They learn how to communicate with others and to greet and thank for Auntie Green to guard them every day.

Isn’t it a good system to protect children from any murders? You may bump into those kids walking as a group while you are traveling in Japan. Say hello to them and they will hello back to you!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Day trip from Tokyo, Little Edo, KOEDO KAWAGOE

Kawagoe city, Saitama prefecture is located about 30 minutes by train from Ikebukuro station in Central Tokyo and is good for a day trip to feel the Edo period. Kawagoe is also called Little Edo, the KOEDO town since its main street lined with clay walled warehouse buildings from Edo Period and allows us to imagine the streets from past centuries.

Many traditional candy shops and sweets shops can be found throughout the city in other locations besides the nostalgic candy shop found in Kashiya Yokocho ( Candy shop Alley), which was founded in the early Meiji period.

There are many restaurants serving eel dish here in Kawagoe since it was forbidden to eat pork and other meats during Edo period and the only source of protein was carp, loach and eel caught in Iruma River and Arakawa River. In Addition  Kawagoe is known for its sweet potato. From long ago, sweet potatoes were roasted and eaten as a snack by the common people. During and after war when food was scarce, the sweet potato was an important staple food for many people.

You can feel the Edo period and taste some traditional food there!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Girls’ favorite Nail Salon

When you go abroad, do you look forward to having massage like relaxation things such as foot massage, manicure & pedicure done , shampoo & head massage at hair salon?
Yes, you may! You need to treat yourself good while you are on holiday, don’t you?!

Recently nail salons and eyelash extension are two major beauty interested among ladies in Japan and there are many salons for nails all over in Japan.
You can take a free magazine at stations or convenient stores and look for a discount coupon or you can google any specials of nail salons on internet now.

Actually, prices are vary but skills are excellent.You can just tell what you want or you can choose from thousands of nail samples.
You will feel awesome having nails done in luxury comfort big chair with sometimes automatic massage on in cute room with a cup of tea. You deserve it!

Enjoy having massage, nails and more while you are in Japan! You will enjoy them for sure!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tokyo Toilet Exhibition “Toilet!?-Human Waste & Earth’s Future”

Some one may already know about this special Exhibition held in Tokyo Mirai Kan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo and it has been very popular now.

This exhibit aims to make people more comfortable discussing their bowel movements featuring a giant slide and singing toilet seats. Kids love to take a turd hat and slide this giant toilet slide, touch lots of kind of animals’s turds and see different kind of toilet in history.

Toilets in Japan are clever and sophisticated with a lid that automatically opens and shuts, and with a self-cleaning function. However,some children in Japan have trouble  using the school toilets because of embarrassment or some other reasons. On the other hand, when you see the world, there are still about 2.5 billion people are unable to use toilet and many children lose their lives due to lack of sanitation.

Parents and kids can discuss more about their waste and make them feel comfortable after visiting this exhibition. They also have workshops for parents and kids will be held!
Enjoy learning about human waste and toilet!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Anyone like green tea? Let’s try Shizuoka green tea!

Of Japan’s 47 prefectures (provinces), Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Mie are the three major tea producing regions. Shizuoka prefecture, where it has warmer than average climate for mainland Japan provides the perfect growing condition for Japanese green tea. Miles upon miles of green tea fields awaits the connoisseur lucky enough to visit Shizuoka.

Green tea production is a long process, including the growing of tea bushes and the processing of tea leaves.

Green tea plantations date back to 1241,when a monk named Shoichi Kokushi returned from China to Shizuoka with green tea seeds, which were then planted in this area. Tea growing became economically important in Shizuoka after end of Tokugawa Shogunate.

Until now, green tea comes in a number of different varieties suitable for drinking on any occasion and you can enjoy eating green tea flavored food, such as, potato chips, chocolate, ice cream, noodles and so on.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beautiful Kanazawa KENROKUEN Garden

Kenrokuen, located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, is an old private garden and it is one of Japan’s “Three most beautiful landscape gardens” along with KAIRAKUEN in Mito and KORAKUEN in Okayama.

During the Edo period, KENROKUEN was founded and extended over generations by the feudal lords of Kaga, a current southern part of Ishikawa as a typical Daimyo garden.

KENROKUEN futures a variety of flowering trees which provide the garden with a different look for each season. The name KENROKU literally means “Garden of the six sublimities”,referring to spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and broad views, which according to Chinese landscape theory are the six essential attributes that makes a perfect garden.

You can enjoy plum and cherry blossoms in spring, azaleas and irises early in summer, colorful red and yellow leaves in autumn! Enjoy Japan’s one of best garden!

Monday, August 24, 2015

5 Star by SKYTRAX, Tokyo International Airport, HANEDA

Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as “Haneda Airport” or “Tokyo Haneda Airport”, is one of the two primary airports that serve the greater Tokyo area and was selected as 5 Star Airport by SKYTRAX, UK.

When you arrive from overseas, you may land in Narita Internation Airport which is in Chiba prefecture and takes about 1 hour to central Tokyo by train. This Narita International airport has more international flight passengers while Haneda Airport which is located actually in Tokyo has more domestic flight passengers.

Haneda airport is welcomed  60th anniversary in 2015 and it’s grown and expanded for attracting more people. They created Edo style town with more than 40 restaurants and over 30 shops called “ Edo Komichi”where people can enjoy dining and shopping.
Many shops have “Haneda airport Limited Edition”things for confectionaries, souvenir and foods & drinks.

Even though you don’t need to fly out, just visit Haneda Airport to dine or shop!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Let’s visit the world busiest SHINJUKU STATION

Shinjuku station is the world busiest railway station in the world and it is a massive train station complex which includes shopping centers and department stores. It is known as a major railway station in Shinjuku and Shibuya wards in Tokyo, Japan.

This Shinjuku station has more than 36 platforms including an underground arcade and there are over 200 exits! It is a maze! It is the main train station in the western part of central Tokyo and services the sky scraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku (West-Shinjuku). This combined with large number of train lines in Shinjuku station have made it the busiest train station in the world with an average of 3.6 million passenger using per day.

People enjoy shopping, dining out, having flower arrangement lessons, watching movies, etc..  If you are brave enough to check this Shijuku station out, go there in the morning rush hour and you will experience the world busiest railway station!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sarubobo doll and Hida-Takayama

Hida-Takayama, as known as Takayama city is located in Gifu prefecture, a middle of Japan with lots of mountains. This city is famous for preserved old town, historic district lined with wooden merchants’houses dating to the Edo Period.

Takayama is also known for its inhabitants’ expertise in carpentry and it is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and on many of the temples in Kyoto and Nara.

They have a special doll called Sarubobo, the dolls of baby monkeys, curious little fellows which have long been passed down in this Hida Takayama region. Saru means monkey and Bobo means baby in this region. Saru has an additional meaning “to leave” in Japanese, representing how sarubobo are thought to protect their owners from misfortune. They are also said to bring their holders good luck with pregnancy and safe childbirth.

Traditionally, red colored sarubobo were famous and basic and now there are pink for bringing romance, yellow for inviting wealth and green for good health and so on.

You’ll find them in any souvenir shop in this Hida Takayama area.