Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm hungry

Know what I could go for right now?


No, not this:

I want ramen.

No, DEFINITELY not this:

I want ramen.

You know...



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Friday, September 25, 2009

An attempt at mental re-alignment 2

Near the end of my time in Kagoshima, Itakura-sensei, one of the teachers at Higashiichiki Middle School, invited me to join her and her family on an outing. We drove off into the countryside around Lake Ikeda and the volcano Kaimondake, south of Kagoshima City.

That's Misato, Itakura-sensei's daughter, enjoying a fine meal...

This was at a restaurant called "Hanamizuki", which means flower-water-trees. Their specialty is nagashi sōmen, cold noodles taken from flowing water and dipped in a light sauce. Traditionally, they are served in a long channel made from bamboo, but in a restaurant like this with many many separate tables, that's impractical. In the center of the table there is a circular basin with water swirling around it. It takes some practice to snare a mouthful of noodles with chopsticks, but it was fun. Yummy.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

And so, it came down to this.

Breakfast, on my last full day in Japan.

I had just gotten off the overnight bus from Tottori to Tokyo, and navigated the trains to drop off my bags at the hotel...and it was still before 7 AM. It was either this restaurant (note name on check), or McDonalds.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

What is it?

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. It's been...stressful lately.

What do you think this might be?
Is it some bizarre science-fiction foodstuff, perhaps? Soylent green, pink, and yellow?

Nope. It's Vegetable Chocolate.
Not bad. Didn't really taste like the named vegetables, though.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

McDonald's Japan tries their hand at viral marketing

Well, McDonald's Japan is looking to introduce a new kind of hamburger in 2009. In order to create some buzz about it, they opened up two special stores in November of 2008. These stores, in Omotesando and Shibuya, were decorated solely in black and red, with tasteful trendy furniture (sofas, even!) and absolutely no McDonald's logos anywhere. The menu consisted of two value sets; A single or a double burger, fries and either Coke or coffee.

What is this newfangled special burger?

More info here.
Pictures can be seen here.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Apropos of nothing, first in a series

Apropos of Nothing: Random stories of little import that I find interesting/amusing.

On our travels around Kyushu, we (the JET gang) once visited a shop called Fukusaya, which specializes in "castella", a kind of sponge cake first brought to Japan by the Portugese way back when. (I think we were in Fukuoka at the time. Airport code for Fukuoka airport: FUK)

Fukusaya (福砂屋) was founded in 1624 in Nagasaki, and has been making castella ever since. They're probably the most famous makers of castella in the country. Naturally, we all bought some to bring back to our various offices/school boards/etc.

When I presented the staff at one of the schools I worked at with some castella, they were very impressed. One of the teachers asked the English teacher if I knew that Fukusaya was famous.

She said, "Of course not."

I fired back from across the room, "YES I DID," in passable Japanese.

I'm not sure, but I think that it was at this point that the rest of the staff began to have a higher opinion of me.

It's the little victories in life that make it worthwhile.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

McDonalds Japan goes upscale (?!)

Have these hit the States yet?

Gourmet coffee and espresso drinks. Croissant sandwiches and other pastries. Savory soups. NO hamburgers or french fries...

McCafes have opened up in a number of countries, if Google Image Search is to be believed.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

I could go for a good steak right about now.

I had lunch at a local "family restaurant" today. THe place was called "Tomato & Onion", and I had the privilege of having a 7 ounce steak, Aussie beef, for about 15 bucks.

On the upside, it was RARE. A couple of my students (adults) who had recently traveled to Las Vegas were very surprised and somewhat annoyed that they couldn't get a truly rare steak in the States. After all, this is the country where raw fish is ubiquitous, and raw chicken is not unheard of.