日本での一年間

January 19, 2012

Kit Kat Flavors 5

There are almost always new and interesting Kit Kat flavors for sale in Japan.

Gateau du Mont-Blanc flavor Kit Kats. Found at my local Convenience store. Made with "marron" (chestnut) flavoring.

Strawberry Hazelnut flavor Kit Kats. Found at my local convenience store.

Cookies & Cream flavor Kit Kats. Found at my local convenience store.

More flavors after the jump. (more…)

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January 10, 2012

Anything Asian Restaurant?

Filed under: Cuisine, Domestic, Food, Tokyo places, Trips — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — myyearinjapan @ 12:55 am

Seen in Kameido in Tokyo. This is what happens when you can’t decide what country’s cuisine you’d like your restaurant to serve and rather than making a decision, you just toss everything in at once. This place seems quite a bit confused.

Asian food from all over Asia. The sign claims that the food is made by chefs hailing from Asia! How does the food look to you?

The countries/regions represented are Nepal, India, Tibet, Thailand, and Vietnam. It turns out that all these places have differnt cuisines. So... do they have chefs from each place on working at all times during open hours?

December 13, 2011

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine

Japan loves its UNESCO World Heritage sites. And throughout the country there are 16 designated World Heritage sites. (Not too many compared to some other countries, but not too shabby either.) The Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine became a World Heritage site in 2007. The silver mine area is nestled in the mountains about 2 1/2 hours north of Hiroshima in Oda city, Shimane prefecture.

The silver was discovered in 1526 and the mines were in operation for the next 400 years. When production in the mines were at their peak in the 17th century, 1/3 of the world’s silver was extracted here. But the area is not industrial. It is well-off the beaten path and you feels more like a mountain valley than a once prosperous silver town. Perhaps that is why the official UNESCO name for the site is “Iwamai Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape.”

I went to visit the mine on a rainy day in May.

Like most people who visit the mine, I began with a visit to the World Heritage Center. I was driving to the mine by myself and I got lost for a while on the rural back roads. There is virtually no English signage leading people to the mines and even the Japanese signs are confusing.  Eventually, I found the World Heritage Center, parked my car and went inside. Inside is a small museum about the mines, a 3D model of the region and several peppy volunteers, happy to give information about the mines and offer sample itineraries, based on the amount of time you have available. (I was a bit surprised to discover that there are no staff members there who speak any English.) They pointed me towards the bus that runs between the Center and the center of the old mining town every 15 minutes.

The mountains surrounding the mines.

Looking down the main road of the tiny mining town.

Lots of old style architechture around the silver mines. It feels like stepping into the past. Can you see the rain pouring down in this picture?

More on the silver mine after the jump

(more…)

August 29, 2011

Bangkok Find: Reacting Trash Can

Inside the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, my friend and I found a a trash can with a video screen on it. And whenever you throw something into the bin, you can see your trash on the video screen. Kind of.

Inside the art and culture centre.

The trash can.

(more…)

August 24, 2011

Thai Food

I didn’t need to got o Thailand to find out that I like Thai food. And the food in Thailand did not disappoint. Here are some examples of food that I saw and food that I ate.

Of course, Pad Thai. My first meal in Thailand.

All the necessary condiments to adjust the flavor of your food. (clockwise from top left) Chili pepper flakes to add spicy kick, chili peppers in rice vinegar, sugar for sweetness, and nampla fish sauce.

Thai iced tea. It was so hot the whole time I was in Thailand. I couldn't imagine having hot tea. While walking around, I kept popping into 7-elevens to get water. I tried the green tea and was amazed at how sweet it is! In Japan, putting sugar in green tea is a big no-no.

Foi Thong

Foi Thong was what I brought back as a souvenir for my co-workers. Foi Thong means “Golden Threads.” Foi Thong is based off  of a Portuguese dessert and there are several similar dishes to Foi Thong found in places like Japan and Brazil.  A woman of mixed Portuguese and Japanese ancestry who lived in Thailand in the 17th century is credited with introducing the dessert in Thailand.

(more…)

June 1, 2011

Cheung Chau (Part 3)

Yesterday and the day before, I posted pictures of Cheung Chau island in Hong Kong and today I have a few more pictures to share from Cheung Chau.

I visited Cheung Chau a couple weeks before their biggest event of the year, the bun festival. During the bun festival, a big wooden structure is built and covered with buns. Then people start to climb up the mountain and grab as many buns as they can. Sounds like fun!

Bao (steamed bun) Moutian, a wooden structure used in the Cheung Chau Bao Festival.

Temples, beaches, and boats still to come! (more…)

May 31, 2011

Cheung Chau Island (Part 2 – Food and Drink)

Yesterday I wrote a post about taking a day trip to Cheung Chau Island while I was in Hong Kong. But I didn’t show you everything, so today, I bring you more Cheung Chau fun!

First, I have some pictures of the dim sum I ate for brunch on Cheung Chau.

Look at all those steaming backets filled with various goodies.

In the full post: chicken feet, shrimp dumplings and gaiwan cups. (more…)

May 30, 2011

Cheung Chau Island (Part 1)

During my first full day in Hong Kong, my friend took me to one of the outlying islands of Hong Kong, Cheung Chau island (長州). Hong Kong is basically made up of 4 areas: Kowloon and the New Territories on the mainland, Hong Kong Island across the bay, and the Outlying Islands, the other 232 or so islands. Cheung Chau is one of the easier to get to islands and fairly small island, making it easy to go to for a day trip. It mostly functions as a little fishing port. Fishing is the main industry for the 30,000 people who live on (and around) the island. (But “around the island,” I mean that some people live in their boats.) It takes about an hour and 4 USD to get to Cheung Chau from Central port in downtown Hong Kong.

Cheung Chau Port. Unlike Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, this island has no high-rises, making it less overwhelming. But it is by no means laid back. We were swimming through massive crowds all day long.

So many people! Rumor has it that many Hong Kongers get the idea that it might be nice to getaway for a relaxing weekend trip to this island. But with so many people, visiting Cheung Chau is not at all relaxing.

Starfish for sale. I asked my friend if people eat starfish. She told me that they use it to flavor soups.

Click to see more more more pictures! (more…)

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