Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Asparagi and Other Musings

How do you say Asparagus plural?

Is it Asparagi?

The reason I ask is because today, I saw the smallest bunch of Asparagus I have ever seen in my life... It was hardly worthy of the title "bunch".

See that little bunch there...the one with like 4 "asparagi"...

how many people do you think that will feed?

I'm gonna guess a (Japanese) family of four. Especially if you get creative and cut them up then wrap them in bacon like we did...Yummmmmmmmmmm!Everything is small here. Look at these very cute, colorful and TINY snack bags...think super mini bags of Doritos (flavored like shrimp or seaweed)

In Japan you would hardly think of buying a whole watermelon...these slices are more than enough. Partly because no one would eat a whole watermelon and partly because a regular size, whole watermelon is a minimum of $70.All the small stuff aside, let's talk about Japanese food.

If you were a regular Japanese person, you might opt for one of these friendly creatures to feed your family...

Or you might get them all prettied up like this...
Or this...Mmmmmm...this sashimi looks good to me. I'll opt for these two...And this roll with cucumber and salty plums...None of those work for you? How about some frozen food then? There's lots to choose from...Japanese Chow Mein (Yaki-Soba), Dumplings, Pizza's you name it!

If you've got a sweet tooth, my brother has a suggestion for you.

Chococo Cookies = Yum!

Or you could get some candy...
Or something cold...

Or some fresh pastries...made today...

Along side these sweet breads...
To wash it all down, some soda...

Or any kind of ice tea, coffe, juice, water of your choice...

If you're like me, you'll have a little bit of everything. Here's my plate at one point during my home cooked dinner tonight...
Believe me, the items on the plate changed frequently and it was all delicious!

Now it's time to hunt down my immaculate dessert...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tired...So, So Tired

That is how many steps we took yesterday..I am sooooooooo tired today.
I wasn't able to blog last night because I could barely walk.

We spent the day in Roppongi and Ginza, two very hip exciting areas of Tokyo.
My mother is an artist and she has a piece in an artshow in Roppongi at the National Art Center.
The building is really amazing...After we left the show, we walked around Roppongi.

Something I love about Japan is how you can walk amidst super high tech, high rise buildings and in between stumble across so much history...

The little alleyways with old structures, and the temples...these are some of my favorite things.
I like journalistic photography...natural, unposed, spontaneous. But Mango likes it when I say "hey Mango, stop here and smile" that way he can get his "pose" on!

Don't worry Momo, the restaurant is close!
We had lunch in Roppongi at restaurant called Gonpachi. It's most famous for the fact that the famous fight scene from "Kill Bill" was filmed inside.
It has a really cool atmosphere and great food which I will tell you about later!
Next, we went to a very pretty place called Roppongi Hills where we cooled off by the fountain, gazed at Tokyo Tower and...
Took a picture the giant spider alien from War of the Worlds.
After a quick hop on the train, we ended up in Ginza which is a very wealthy and beautiful area to browse and a great place to shop if you are filthy rich! Mango was in heaven!
Momo had a chance to pose with one of her favorite Japanese Characters, Peko-Chan...when she was little, she looked just like her!
There was a lot more to our day, like walking through a tunnel that looked liked Japan from 60 -70 years ago.

It was really cool inside (I'll show you more of that later too!)And before heading home on our super, super, super crowded rush hour train where we were packed like sardines into a time train car that had to be at least a 100 people over capacity, we stopped at this little shrine to give us strength and so Mango could pose.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slip and Slide

Did you know that June is rainy season in Japan?

I did, but that didn't stop me from wearing my favorite flip flops when we went for a walk today...IN THE RAIN!

It really wasn't that bad when we started off...

just a light sprinkle.

Walking through my grandma's neighborhood with the fresh smell of rain was actually quite beautiful.I loved looking at all of the Japanese style houses...imagining which I would love to live in.

I particularly liked this one...the wall, the height, the green...

Momo commented on how quiet Japanese neighborhoods are.

Then she proceeded to talk (loudly) the for the rest of the walk and I told her that neighborhoods were no longer quiet.

Like I said before, the light sprinkle was really nice and added some ambiance to our journey.
On the way home, however, it rained hard.

So hard that my umbrella failed me and despite holding it over my head the whole way, I was soaking wet.

Dripping hair-soaking wet.

And my flip flops became my own personal slip and slides.

I didn't get any pics of that part of the walk.

I was just trying desperately to walk upright, not break my leg and get home...

According to my pedometer I walked 9,688 steps...
Too bad there wasn't a way to measure slips and slides.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Of Bib's and Barbeque's

It's Saturday night here in Japan and we just came home from a very delicious and fun dinner.

We had something called Yakiniku ortherwise known as Korean Barbeque.

The fun is in the way the food is presented and prepared...

You order all of your meats a veggies raw, then you cook them in front of you on a small bbq pit that is built into the table.You also get rice and soups and salads and many other interesting side dishes to go with your flavorful bbq meats.
To make it even more exciting (and less messy), this restaurant also gave out bibs...

Momo and Mango both enjoyed wearing their bibs and a few food stain disasters were averted due to how they covered the wearers lap...

I really think I should get Momo and Mango to wear bibs more often...

Or maybe just Mango seeing as he didn't wnat to take his off!

Stay tuned for more of our Japanese adventures...I'll be posting more shortly!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Walking in Japan

Did I tell you that my hubby He Who Must Not Be Named (HWMNBN) did not come with us to Japan? Poor guy...he's at home working hard to support our adventures.

Anyways, I am going to post a lot of pics everyday to keep him (and you) informed about what we're up to. This is a really long post but if you like my weirdo kids and/or are interested in Japan...read on!

Today we were out ALL DAY walking around two of our favorite areas in Tokyo called Harajuku (of Gwen Stefani fame) and Shibuya.

We started off on the kyuko (express train) which was not crowded at all and only took about 35 minutes

We got off the train at Omotesando in Harajuku. The street is really gorgeous and has TONS of designer stores.

It's actually called the Champs Elysees of Japan.
One of our favorite stores on Omotesando is Kiddy Land, where you can find every weird gizmo, gadget and toy you could imagine.

Mango and my brother liked the electronic gadgets...

While Momo was obsessed with the stuffed animals.

These are her people...see how they are all stunned by her presence!

After Momo bid her farewells to the stuffed population at Kiddy Land, we visited a few more stores then hit the road for some more walking.

When we got hungry we stopped into this little "go-around" sushi shop where you sit at a table and watch sushi come around on a conveyer belt.

You pick whatever you want and at the end you are charged by the number of plates you have. Momo and Mango had a field day...

I think we ended up with like 20 plates!

Then, with our stomachs full, we set off to Shibuya.

The walk was about 20 minutes and the hot Japanese sun was beating down on us all the way.
I think the heat made Momo a little loopy...
You know how she gets a little "weird"?

Well, she got real weird...

And we had to take a break for a minute so she could compose herself...

Mango had a sip of Japanese soda while he watched Momo weird out on us...

Momo never did fully recover... but we kept on trekking.

We're used to her weirdness and weren't the least bit suprised when she bought a big pink bow and proceeded to swagger down the streets of Shibuya like the gangsta she is...

To top of her look she bought some crazy 80's sunglasses ...

They actually were quite cute!

Mango had to get in on the action and he "mango-fied" his look with some aviator glassesA little more walking...and stopping...and talking...and shopping...Then we ended up in a game center where Mango tried diligently to win a prize but came out empty handed.

Momo on the other hand scored a really cool stuffed animal and a huge tin of candy thanks to some "skills" she learned from HWMNBM.

"You have to tip it in mom, that's what dad taught me"

And she was right... She won...The game center people even came out to congratulate her for winning. Seems as though they have made it a lot harder to win lately and they were surprised that this little girl could win...twice!
After the game center we walked and shopped for a few more hours then we headed back to the train station.

Unfortunately for us, it was rush hour and we had to go through the "most crowded crosswalk in the world" literally, it is the most crowded crosswalk you will ever see...
The train was PACKED and I couldn't snap a shot hold on to Momo and secure a spot all at the same time but I will try to get a busy train pic at some point.

By the time we stopped at the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner Mango was tired
and Momo was done...

I don't blame her though because we walked a lot today...

13,091 steps to be exact!