Mount Fuji.

Yesterday I went back to my hometown Nagoya from Tokyo by bus. On the way back to Nagoya, I saw mount Fuji. It is the highest mountain in my country and all of Japanese love it ;) I pass by mount Fuji more than 20 times a year, but it is not easy to see this because of the weather. And now, I plan to climb up to this mountain in August. Sure, it must be hard, but I will do my best!


Mount Takao.

I climbed up Mount Takao, located in the west in Tokyo last weekend. I basically do not like some sort of exercise things like Jogging, climbing and so on... I wasn't interested those things at all just before I decided to climb Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in my country recently.


Curry in Japan.

Curry, originally invented in  India, is also quite popular food in Japan. You can find many cafes and restaurants that serve Indian curry or curry that is developed in Japan. Curry is first introduced to Japan from British in Meiji period, and many people considered it as "the symbol of European food" at that time. However, these days it seems there is a trend that people prefer to eat Indian curry. I can't tell which is better; they both are so taste great!


Korean style food?

I cooked Korean food. But I'm not sure if it's truly Korean since I've never been there. So I call this dish Korean "style". Korean foods are quite popular among Japanese these days. There is "Shin-okubo", Korean town near Shinjuku, Tokyo. I sometime go and eat it. And there are many kind of recipe books about it. I really like Korean foods! I love hot, spicy things! I would like to introduce Shin-okubo in the near future ;)


Jindaiji temple.

Yesterday I visited Jindaiji temple, located in Chofu city in Tokyo.

It's a temple, but not just temple.

Around Jindaiji temple, there are lots of restaurants which serve "Soba", or buckwheat noodle. I love it, but I didn't eat this time because it was just before payday and I didn't have enough money...

There are also many souvenir shops. Those ornaments are raccoon dogs. This kind of ornaments are believed to be symbols of good luck.

Inside the temple, you sometime can find people of the temple ringing the big bell. It was really attractive atmosphere.

Almost all temple have this small water place inside it. Prayers wash their hand before praying. Maybe washing their hands may mean washing their hearts as well?

Actually, it's in the middle of the rainy season in my country. But not rain everyday. I sometime find sunny day and go out like yesterday :)


Usual dinner for me.

This is my usual dinner ; from above, miso soup, rice, and main dish that was "Tonkatsu", or fried pork. I love tonkatsu, sometime I feel like cooking and eat it !


Ramen museum ( noodle museum) in Shin-Yokohama.

Last weekend I went to Ramen museum(noodle museum) in Shin-Yokohama. It was rainy day, but I felt like taking pictures outside. Since Ramen museum is in the building (actually underground), so it was best for me to take it.

I came here because I like ramen for sure. But....look!

This whole place was old-fashioned decoration, I love old things more than anything!

("Let's go to the Ramen museum!" he says.)

You probably feel as if you travel back in time to Showa era, that started from 1926 to 1989. Especially this building looks 1970's style.

Most (maybe every) ramen shop in the Ramen museum has half-portion ramen. Oh I didn't tell you that this museum has several ramen shop inside. Yet I found 9 shops, I only tasted two of them.

It's ramen, sorry for my poor skill of taking picture....

Anyway, it's located near Shin-Yokohama station, where is famous for stopping Shinkansen (Bullet train). How about drop by this tasty museum when you travel by Bullet train? :)


Kappa-bashi, wholesaler street for cooking devices.

Last week I visited Kappa-bashi, known as the district for cooking devices. Of course you know, I love cooking. When I was back in my hometown Nagoya, it was difficult to find things like frying pan, dish and all that are used in restaurants. Since I had a part time job in the small restaurant for five year during I was a university student, it suited me to use things for restaurant.

I didn't have a particular reason for coming here, but I sometime feel like giving those things  a second look. It reminds me of the time when I was dedicated to work hardly to improve my skill of cooking.

There are many kinds of dish sold here in Kappa-bashi. I wasn't interested in cooking Japanese food until I came here in Tokyo, but I rather learn to cook it recently. I chose and bought chopsticks.
I found many foreigner here in Kappa-bashi. Actually, it seemed more foreigner than Japanese. Probably because it's easy to access from Asakusa, famous tourist spot in Tokyo. You can walk 10 minutes or so to come from Asakusa to Kappa-bashi by walk.

You can see Sky Tree from there clearly. It opened last month, tourist gathering at there. I don't like people crowded, I would like to go and see Sky Tree maybe next year:)


about sardine in Japan.

It is said that sardines were really cheap fish past decades in my country. I don't know the reason (climate change?), but they gradually got expensive and now -surely it depends on the season and species, though- I bought it about $3.5 for 4 pieces in the supermarket. My wife and I prefer to eat fish in raw, we (mostly, I) sometime cook them. This dish is called "nimono", or cooked dish.  You just need some seasonings and water, just put them and fish in the pot and wait for a while. That's all you need. This sardine tasted a bit sour since I put much rice vinegar in it. I love it !


About my hometown, Nagoya.

Let me introduce the place called "Nagoya" today. Most people probably don't know it, but actually it's the 4th biggest city in my country. If you have experience to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto by train or bus, you might pass this industrial city. Many people just ignore it and pass to go other destination, but hey, my hometown also worth visiting!

Not like Tokyo, Nagoya is a small city. Yet it has a district named "Bunka-no-michi" or Road of Culture, if you translate in English. Many buildings those were built old time is placed.

 It's a former court, now became a tourist spot. I went there in the summer day. Hot, and humid day as usual in that season in my country. But inside of it was amazingly cool maybe because of the stones used to build.

 This house is nearby that former court, walk by 10 minutes. This kind of unique buildings, not completely western style, nor Japanese were the trend at that time? I don't know ;)

I always love old houses and buildings, it evokes the image of thing that was all gone.

In any case, since I come back to Nagoya once a month (actually, I just came back to my current home West Tokyo today!), I would like to tell you about this tiny city and neighboring spot like Gifu prefecture or Mie prefecture in another time:)


Natto, a kind of the traditional food in Japan.

This is a Japanese traditional food "natto" and something else on the rice. Natto is fermented beans. Don't you think "fermented beans!"? Yes, it's fermented enough for many people to dislike it. Quite a lot of Japanese don't like it even if they are adults. I hate it when I was a child; it was disgusting, smell bad, even more it was sticky. Since some people don't like it, my parents didn't force me to eat it.
However, in the past several years, I realized I like, no, I love it. Yet I don't eat it by itself, I prefer to eat it with other ingredients like Japanese radish, green onion and so on. You may not like it for the first time you eat, but if you taste it several times, you become an addict it! Also, It's very cheap. Of course there are wide range from expensive ones to cheap ones, but most of them are about $1.3 for 3 portion.


Syria, 2010.

I took this picture in Damascus, capital city in Syria nearly the end of the August, 2010. It was quite a hot day, the temperature was almost 40C. I walked without a map as I usually do when I am abroad. And all of sudden, I found this place. Old, duty, yet I can't help adoring it. I sat down in the shade, thought of anything else. Time passed 5 minutes or so. Then, the women walk across my eyesight. She seemed not to realize me. I held my camera and....