Cooking and eating Oden.

 Many people like eating oden, a Japanese hot meal which is usually eaten in cold seasons like now. You can find it anywhere such as convenience stores, markets and so forth so easily. Eating it outside is fun, especially cold place with someone. But what if you want to cook it in your house? Well, let's do it :)

 It was the first time for me to actually cook it, so I searched some recipe books in my room in advance. There seems to have a variety of kinds, from its sauce to its ingredient. "Every family has its own way to season it." the book says. It must be true, considering the fact that I encounter unique ones when I eat it at other people's home or other regions as well. Sometimes brownish soup, sometimes almost transparent that you could even see the bottom of the pan. Oh, I bought so many kinds of ingredients, by the way.

 To tell the truth, I cooked another one, called "Kansai-style" or the style of the western part of Japan. You may find chopped beefs are stuck. It usually takes sauce from chicken and beef, that's the big different point of the one we eat around Tokyo.

 What's this?! Well, these are called "fukuro", just means a bag. Containing rice cake inside, it really enchants me anytime I eat oden.

 And konjac. Actually I hated it when I was a kid, I really didn't like the texture of it and taste neither. Old memory, haha :)

 We also use it with being sliced and then banded. You can find it many meals if you taste nabe, or hot pot dishes (about nabe, see this post :)).

 First of all I had no idea what the ingredients was, but well, it's only wheat and water :D

 Another mystery here, hmmm... Those brown things are basically called "nerimono". I wrote "basically" because the way of calling varies in regions. Not only this one, but also the ones I introduced in this post. Since oden is widely eaten among this country, many people name it in their own. Naturally, talking about oden with friends from different part of this country is fun. "You put carrot in it?!" "Cooking with soy paste? Are you kidding me?" That's something I find frequently.

 Well, it's about a short story of oden. The fact that many people like it is you can preserve it almost a week if you preserve it rightly. When you eat it, you would do it with many people sitting around the table.  Surely it blows cold air to somewhere ;)


Turning into Autumn 2013.

 As it's getting colder, I found myself cooking in my kitchen like all the day. Sometimes Chinese, sometimes Japanese-like food. The common thing among them is quite simple: I like them all :)

 Boxed lunch, I'm a fan of it very much. I planned to bring it to my work place, however, it didn't work since I left it in front of my entrance, haha. I ate it with dinner on that day. This wooden lunch box always has me cook another meal and it's hard to stop it. You know, wooden things are not easy to live with. You have to care for them like always, and that's exactly what I like, whenever I treat them, I feel like as if I treat myself, difficult and stubborn stuff :D

 Before it's too cold to outing, I went to China Town in Yokohama by the way, it was warm enough to take my coat off.

 Chatting while eating with my friend was fun moments and we promised to see each other sooner rather than later.

 Well, I'm back here soon :)

 (I plan to write something about Japanese food, but not decided what to write yet ;))


A sunny day.

 Opening up the door of my entrance, I found Mt. Fuji lies in the blue sky. "Must be a good day today" I said to myself.

 It was a day off for me, well, the's not exact. I sometimes work but most of the time I spend hours and days reading, learning, and cooking. Many people consider me as strange or dumb person, but this is my way: pursue for something what I really, really believe it as deserving to. I cook because I'm a big fun of cooking and eating alike, I read a lot because I'd like to understand what I haven't touched yet :) Since I'm not cut out to leave something special behind, I live like this no matter how many people say anything.

 Heart of cities in Tokyo is too busy to live. I have to be honest that I'm happy I live outskirt in Tokyo. Only you can hear at dawn is sounds of birds whistling.

 Well, I skip to explain about city centers in Tokyo for now :)

Pickles I cooked :) Ah, it's time for dinner! :D Let's go eat!! :)


Visiting Tsumago, an age-old town in Japan.

 Before the winter comes, I visited Tsumago, a town located in the Chubu region in Japan. Since it's on a mountain and hard to get in while snow covers there, I decided to head to see it :)

 Prior to embarking on a trip there, I ate this :) What do you think it is?! Actually this brownish thing is kind of sticky rice with a sauce based on soy and sugar, which means it's not sweets like cakes yet sweety. Many Japanese foods are cooked with sugar and I like it a lot ;) Oh, the name of this food is "gohei-mochi". You can't find it in Tokyo or other regions but there, it's a local food :D

 Okay, we're here :)

 Unlike last time I was there (I think it was 2009 or so), I found many tourists including people from other countries. Plus, I saw  a  group of coverage for TV, they seem from Europe. It stunned to me such a rural town is now featured.

 Beauty was everywhere, indeed. It's not as-is, they keep maintaining houses and stuff. Most Japanese architectures are made of woods so we can't keep it like forever. That's why we repair it every now and then. Personally, I think it's a good way to do it, elders give their skills to the children like taking over.

 The weather was good enough, but a bit cold due to its high elevation. I regretted coming here with T-shirt like everyday, haha.

 Woods. There is a whole bunch of woods surround the town. So naturally, they make many kinds of things, from box to paper by wood ;)

 What's that?! It was hung up under an eave of a house. Let's look what it's like...

 You can see them along the eave. I hit one of these when I tried to enter the shop, haha.

Sweet chestnut is widely gathered and eaten there. I bought a pack of them of course :D

 They have a place to eat it with green tea though, I didn't eat there since it was getting dark and colder than arrived at Tsumago.

 The sunset, I enjoyed mountains changing their color from green to bright orange.

 By the time I finished seeing, the sun had already gone and became dark. "Next time," I said to myself, "I would like to visit warm and calm season". I drove back to my home by using google maps app :)


Photographs in 2008.

 The year of 2008 was a remarkable one to me. For the first time in my life, I got my own SLR camera. First time I was confused, I still remember. Too many things to follow, complicated rules about taking pictures. I remember this picture was the first or second day of my photography life, I found a golden dog sitting (or sleeping) on a bench during my walk.

 Taking pictures is something fun. It usually doesn't go the way I want. Over exposure or something. Still, 5 years was enough to gradually find my way to live with my camera.

 Sure, it doesn't mean I can take "great pictures". Actually I'm still considering what it's like to be great and the question seems to be never solved since my favorite changes more often than I'd like.

 I don't leave my home in Tokyo or my country without bringing my camera ever since. I found myself that shooting pictures when I travel is like taking an exam. The photos in traveling reflect pictures daily basis such as food photo. Trying to take pictures frequently is a good exercise of mine.

 Photo shooting in dark places, portrait and so on. You can do it in your place as well as on your trip.

 Wow, Russian! Yes, I've learned Russian for a year and a half. I barely speak it now, but I'm proud of brightening days in studying it.

 2008 was also the year as a university student, which means I somehow had plenty time to spend. I'm way busier than that old time, however, I'll keep on taking pictures however it gets busier ;)