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Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Tia!

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Da Kitchen, Honolulu

My co-worker Tysha's daughter recently turned one so it was time for a celebration!  We all gathered around at Da Kitchen, a local restaurant in Moilili...























Saturday, November 24, 2012

Awesome finds in Japan

If you saw my other post you'll know that I came home with a crapload of omiyage for my family and friends.  While shopping around in Japan I came across some great finds that I figure if I don't blog it I'll forget what I got and where I got it...

If you know me, I'm kinda an ume freak.  I love ume snacks, I don't know why.  While in Kyoto I ran across this ume shop twice.  I never did take a picture of the name of the store...damn!  But we saw it once in Arashiyama (about 1/2 an hour out of Kyoto) and once in the Gion district.  It's kind of a fancier store, the girl behind the counter will hand you out samples of all different kinds of ume.

This ume jelly was AMAZING.  I have no idea what to eat it with, the picture showed spreading it on bread.  I think that would taste weird.  I'll probably just eat it with a spoon.

This is from the same store, it's ume with garlic.  It's delicious!

This is some kind of hot sauce and pepper.  I bought this for Randy, I can't eat the stuff.  I'm a wimp.  I think this is from Nishiki Market in Kyoto.

My friend Ryuji told me I could get some really good ume in Osaka that's pretty affordable.  "it's everywhere! You won't have any trouble finding it..."  Jalna and I went to Doguyasuji, a restaurant supply shopping district and I figured it wouldn't be a problem finding it around there.  We walked around for about 2 hours before we ran across this little lady that had a pile of ume in the corner of her shop.  It was worth the wait.  It's yummy.  
This is a sweet ume...I learned "amae" means sweet in Japanese.  I think the lower the percentage, the sweeter it is??  anyone?  This one is 8%

This is the actual ume that Ryuji recommended.  I didn't open it yet because I still have to finish my other container.  This one is 11%.  By the way, we found it all over the place in Tokyo...grrr...

This was the best Konbu i've ever eaten.  I think this small package cost 1350¥ but it's soooo worth it.  I'm afraid to open it cause I'll eat it all in one sitting.  I have no idea where I bought it :(  Hopefully Jalna will remember.

This is some ume and konbu candy.  I found this in Tsukiji a few years ago and I had to make sure to pop in and buy me some more...It's on the streetside around the corner from the busy ramen restaurant.  I think it's a konbu store.

I'm not sure who let me sample this first but this candy wrapper has been up on my bulletin board for the past few years and it must've been good for me to save it.  This one was hard to find.  We checked all the candy stores in Kyoto and Tokyo and were out of luck.  We happened to find it in a Family Mart and also a pharmacy in a little town called Araiyakushimae.  So bizarre because this was a last minute trip and we haven't even heard of that place until then!

If you like kinako mochi then you'll love this candy!

I can't really call this my find, my co-worker Joanne brought this back for me a few years ago and I was hooked.  She told me she got it from Takashimaya, basement level, Nihonbashi stop (Ginza, Tozai or Asakusa Line)  Between Jalna and I we brought back 11 bags!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Did I tell you that I did a little shopping while in Japan??


Monday, November 19, 2012

Tokyo Day 3

Monday, November 19, 2012

This was our last full day in Japan so we went to Shibuya for some last minute shopping...I don't know why I need to shop some more but I can't leave Tokyo without going to Tokyu Hands and The Loft!  We took the 9:00 train to Shibuya because I wanted Jalna to experience the train during the morning rush hour.  Boy, did she experience it!  It was hilarious.  I was literally crying because I was laughing so hard.  We were pushed and shoved in every direction and the guy next to her was elbowing and knee'd her because she got shoved into him.  I wish I had a video camera to show you how crazy it was.  Anyways, Shibuya Station is one of the busiest (if not the busiest!) in Tokyo.  Shibuya Crossing, right outside of the Hachiko gate can get very crowded at times.  We went to the Starbucks across the street to see if we could get a good vantage point.

I was hoping it would be busier so we left to go shopping at my two favorite stores and will try again later.


We played 1000¥ to try and win one of these!  I swear that game is juk juk.  There's no way you can grab one of those.

We went back to the intersection at 2:30 from a different vantage point (because Starbucks was crowded).  This is on the second floor of Shibuya station.


Where the heck are all these people going at 2:30 in the afternoon????  We wanted to stay until the evening rush hour but we were pooped.  We go home tomorrow sure to check Jalna's blog in a few days!  She's gonna have a lot to share with you!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tokyo Day 2

Sunday, November 18, 2012
Ueno Park

Sorry, it was pouring cats and dogs yesterday so I didn't take any pictures.  Surprisingly Jalna and I woke up to a BEAUUUUUTIFUL morning, not a cloud in the sky.  Today was a shopping day, and we headed for Ameyoko in the Ueno district.  Because I normally come here in the spring, I always go to Ueno to check out their cherry blossom festival.  It's gorgeous there, so I wanted to see what it would be like in the fall.






I wanted to try and catch the same shot I took in 2010... oops.  I think I was in the wrong spot. :(



It was different, very pretty, but I think I like it better in the spring.

Off to Ameyoko!


Jalna's trying to figure out what she wants to eat for dinner.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Negishi


They're famous for their beef tongue...yummmmmm

After dinner we went on a mission to find Sukibayashi Jiro so I could take a picture of the restaurant.  We hunted and hunted and hunted...then we finally found out why.  I knew the restaurant was gonna be closed, but not the whole building!!

That's ok, the next time I go I will hopefully be a customer!!

Off to Shibuya tomorrow!