Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Yesterday I went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, or simply called Shinjuku Gyoen by myself. Truth be told, I have been there more than 10 times but always surprised how big it is and how change the nature is. I myself had been stranger here in Tokyo until I moved here in early 2011 ( just before the terrible earthquake devastated north and east Japan). Before that, speaking of Tokyo for me was the place where massive people walking here and there. "Tokyo is NOT a place to live!" I thought whenever watching it on TV. But here is something TV never show; there's a plenty of parks!

Shinjuku is a big, huge city in Tokyo. There are tall buildings crowded in the center of the city, countless people working. And in the middle of that, this garden located! You can see Sakura. or cherry blossom in the spring, enjoy having lunch boxes and frinks under that. Also, you are able to see the color of leaves changing from green to yellow or red in the autumn. Everything happens such the business district. I can't imagine!

There are other adorable parks here in Tokyo, but maybe it's next time;)


Sakura in the Meguro-river.

Cherry blossom, definitely the most popular flower in Japan is called "Sakura" in our language. Surely it is popular because of its beauty, but also many of us are impressed the thing that Sakura only blooms for a short time. Japanese like fleeting things, including me.

Most of us love cherry blossom. And as I explained, since you can enjoy seeing it for a short time, many people rush into the famous place for that. Here, Meguro-river is one of them in Tokyo. Countless number of cherry blossoms are along the river and so were countless number of people :) It's so great, unforgettable scenery.

I went to there twice early in the April. First time, it was full bloom there. You must have been surprised how beautiful it is if you came at that moment.

But second time I went, though it was only three days later, they already started falling. Well, don't be disappointed. Falling cherry blossom is touching as well and some people likes it better than its full bloom.

Since many people gather and enjoy taking a walk there, naturally many restaurants and stores sell drinks and foods at the stall alongside the river. I drunk a sparkling wine and kabab.

While I don't tend to drink outside because I don't like seeing people get drunk, I felt like drinking with this goodly place. So I did. That was a wonderful experience for me !


Something about Ramen.

Ramen, probably invented in China once upon a time, is famous and familiar noodle in Japan. You can find small restaurants which serve Ramen everywhere in my country. Although I rather like cooking European foods like pasta or pizza, sometime I feel like eating Ramen.
If you start with making noodle itself, that's a quite long way to goal (surely it must be great experience though). Instead, most of people in my country go and buy it in the supermarket. Then, how about soup? It's a key of success to make Ramen, isn't it? Well, mostly we buy it again. Only we need to prepare is just topping like boiled egg and pork, and green onion.
One reason why we don't make noodle and soup is that it takes too much time and difficult to close to the taste that of in restaurants. Also, Ramen is not expensive if you go and eat in the restaurant. It's usually from $8-$10, depends on the restaurant and toppings you choose.
But here is a thing; some people consider Ramen restaurant for men. Truly, many women, especially young women don't want to go there alone. Such people may buy it in the supermarket and cook it by themselves like me;)



Sound strange, but Oyako-don is one of my favorite food. Easy to cook, not so many ingredients you need, and moreover, it is very delicious. Only you prepare is rice, egg, chicken, onion, and if available, "mitsuba", it's kind of a herb; good flavor when you look carefully. they are green leaves you can see on the picture above.
 Can you imagine why we call it "Oyako-don"? The word "Oyako" means "parent and child". Black humor, I always think when I cook this.



This photograph is taken in Hokokuji-temple, located in Kamakura. Kamakura is a historical place where is not far from Tokyo, takes about one and half hours by train. Therefore, many people especially living in Tokyo visit there for sightseeing.

I took it in Sugimotodera-temple in the morning, it is near Hokokuji-temple as I mentioned before. Kamakura was famous for the capital city when there was the Kamakura shogunate existed between 12-14 century. A lot of temple you can find there. They range from huge and small. I rather like small ones anyway;)

You may think it is quite creepy; a plenty of something are staring at you. they are called "Jizo" in Japanese. I don't know well, but they often stand by the country road, usually alone, protected by small wooden roof. You don't have to be afraid them; it seems that Jizo is respected and familiar because they are considered to protect our child. Some people, generally older men and women, give flowers or foods and pray.

Most people come up with Kyoto as the old city in Japan. That's true, probably worth visiting there more than Kamakura. However, if you have a chance to travel in  Japan, you can't miss Kamakura. Enable to be one day trip from Tokyo, not so many tourist, and silent place :)


First post, about Tsukiji market.

Today I announce that I start a new blog. This blog introduces what I like, where I went, and what I ate as well as for learning English by writing it. My name is Iko, name after my lovely dog.

And today, I show you a picture which I took in Tsukiji-market (called "Tsukiji Shijo" in Japanese), where is one of the biggest market in Japan, located in Tokyo. As same as other markets in the world, Tsukiji opens very early morning like 4:00am. Although I went to there late in the morning, 9:00am (I first thought it's "early morning"), people in the market already started to close their stores. scrubbing their unique knives and chop-board, washing the floor by blue hoarse, those reminded me of scenes which I saw other country's market. It always attract me a lot ;)

Recently, Tsukiji has a serious trouble with coming too many tourists, who take seller's pictures without any permitting, touching fish they sell and so on. Since most tourists don't understand Japanese, they are baffled when seller got angry. It finally cause tourist not to allow some place to go into. I don't know whether this measure is continued till now or not. But I always think that we should do what people in the place do. So called "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." I hope anyone from the world could enjoy Tsukiji without any problem.