After a funeral.

 After hearing an information that one of my relatives's gone, I immediately got back to my hometown to attend a funeral. It was weird for me, since I've never even met her in my entire life. She was 95-year-old, I wore my suits for the first time in 3 years or so, surrounded many relatives that I don't know who's who. I checked out many displays in the hall where the funeral took place. Buddhism things, candles here and there and fruits such as banana and melon. I've been several funerals before though, it was the first time to see the fruits. The style of funerals in this country deeply depend on their religions, areas they live and even their personal intention before they died. 'Life's always hard.' I just told myself.

 Well, I'll see my grandmother tomorrow :)


Eating Nabe, a Japanese hot pot dish

 It's "Nabe",  Japanese hot pot dishes. Many Japanese enjoy taking it with their family, especially in cold winters. Of course you can eat it in restaurants (it usually costs from 2,000yen, or about 20US$ for one person), however, it's something familiar to most of them and many people like cooking it in their home. Here, I cooked my own nabe :D

 What does nabe mean by the way? Originally, the word means a pan used for the meal. My milky colored pan is made from soils by the way. I like the pan with the material because it stays hot and keeps ingredient warm with low heat, oh, it also has foods inside it stable ;) One more thing. It's extremely cheap to get it. My pan was 780yen (about 8US$)! And because I had a coupon to be available, it became 280yen (around 3US$). Everything is fine, don't you think? :) Well, let's start, shall we? :D

 One huge reason why nabe is so popular and obsess people is that it's really, really easy to cook. All you have to do is just chop ingredients, that's all. Still, I precooked carrots. Hmmm... It seemed I was too much free time to think things simple, haha.

 Here's other ingredients. Can you see the right one? It's a soup for nabe. You can cook from first, like mixing soy paste, alcohol, salt and stuff but I took the ready-made one, yes, I was too tired at that time :S

 What's this?! It's sliced and banded konjac (We call it "kon-nyaku" by the way.). Truth be told, I was terrible with it when I was a kid. Gum-like texture yet the taste was almost nothing, I had thought. I chewed it, but couldn't think I was eating something. It was terrible food to see in my old days :)

 And what about it? If you wonder, then see this post ("Visiting Tama Zoo, in Tokyo.") . It's made from soy after all, however, I can't see how soy changes like this =)

 I like it so much by the way, that's why I took two photos :D

 And champignons as well ;) I cut their surface partly to make them look more beautiful. Japanese like foods looks good by the way, they always try to do it by cutting, placing on plates carefully and such.

 After pouring the sauce and boiled it, I put chopped salmons, vegetables and wait moments.

 Wow, gorgeous! I like waiting meals ready to be eaten, it's kind of a dilemma for me. I really want to eat as soon as possible, yet I enjoy waiting for meals get better at the same time.

 If you have enough vegetables and fish, pork, chicken or anything in your fridge, why don't you try to cook nabe?  It must be nice and fun, would be fascinated! ;)



 After breaking my iPhone which I've used over two and a half years, I realized how much relying on it. The weather to forecast, rail maps to check which trains I have to get on, calender to manage my schedule, films to watch, even as a watch to know what time it is now. True, it's so inconvenient. On the other hand, I somehow feel free without it. No need to answer calls from anyone, no, it never rings since I don't have a smart phone, no worry about anything anymore. Probably I can buy the newest one tomorrow though, let me forget that idea for now. For the first time in 10 years, finally I came back to the place without any noises. My mental is currently so fragile and I understand it deeply.
 It's Friday's evening after all. Devastated weekdays's finally gone. Let's start fine weekends, shall we? :)


Exhausted night.

 Sometimes I just have moments when deeply depressed and unable to think ahead.


A quiet day.

 Last week I took an expressway to the sea. It's been a real long time since I saw it last time and I just thought it would have been quite a nice idea to go for watching. It was only one hour drive to get there. This is one of the big reasons why I like my hometown Nagoya: easy to access both sea and mountains by car. When you feel like tasting fresh fish, head to the south. You can eat as mush as you can. If you get tired of something, like routine for the work you tackle with, go to the mountains. They have rivers, places to climb and eat. That day I felt like seeing the sea as I told you, so I did it :)

 After arriving, they led me to a room. Some dishes were already prepared, and while I was eating them, they brought other meals.

 Tempura of Shrimp, and pumpkin. Absolutely my favorites :D

Simmered meals as well. Shrimp (again!), eggplant, pork, green broccoli, and a kind of white potato which is sticky.

 And raw fish! You can't come back without tasting it you know ;) The hotel looked really old style, I was surprised to see at first. However, the whole things that were out of  fashion was satisfied with my feeling at that time.

 By the way, I took a public bath in the hotel. "Public" I wrote, but nobody was there. Since it seems no one would come and that's unusual for such a "public" spaces, I took some photos. You can see outside through the window.

 Tiny old fashioned bath, calm sea, bright sunshine and me in the bath. It wasn't bad, I thought. It wasn't bad. A half day trip brought me something new place :)


Japanese restaurant "Maruha-shokudo" in Nagoya.

 Even after moving to Tokyo, I couldn't help going eat in a restaurant called "Maruha-shokudo" repeatedly in Nagoya city. The word shokudo stands for restaurant in Japanese, which rather sounds like oldish. Now that Japanese also call restaurants as "restaurant" like borrowed word, the word shokudo appeared to be widely used before the word "restaurant" came in this country.

To be honest, the restaurant was originally built by a seaside near Nagoya, but you can find four or five of them in and around there, like the airport. I went to one of them which is located in the middle of the city center.

 I took a beer with my friend by the way. I guess only I take a beer outside is here with him. Then...

 Wow, it's sazae, a turban shell!! How big it is! Bigger than my fist :D I've never seen a turban shell like it before :) What do you think the one looks like a snail placed lower right of the photo. Actually it was an entrails of it, sure, it was raw as well, and I ate it all.

Here it's grilled conger. It's like eels, but milder and blander than eels.

 They were tempra made of other kinds of conger.

 We chatted, laughed, talked over many topics including days we spent in our university. Let's see here in the restaurant as soon as possible, shall we? :)


Coming back :)


 To avoid to feel much frustration, I sometimes come back to my hometown, probably once a month.

 Since I had a plenty of time, I took a bus to get back. It was nearly five hour ride, additionally I could be relaxed because there was no one next to my seat, yes, that usually happens when I take it in weekday. Sometimes sleeping, sometimes reading, and sometimes taking a rest.

 I found prices of a variety of vegetables hiked these days due to hot days in summer and typhoons. I began to buy them more carefully, go around as many markets as possible. It was a couple of days ago when an extremely huge and heavy cardboard box contains something suddenly appeared in my apartment. It was from the restaurant where I had worked for five years. When I opened it, I couldn't help but smiling. Rice, I said. I checked and found it as 13kg.
 13kg!! I always buy rice which is really low level, yet 1800yen (or about 19US$) for 5kg. I can survive until next year!! :)

 Well, I'll be back soon :)


Udon, a thick noodle in Japan.

 I'm fond of eating Udon, or noodle which is the sticky shape as you can see in the photo above. Made from wheat flour, therefore, the color is whitish. Like any other foods in this country, it also has wide varieties, thickness and length of noodle, and of course about sauces.  Basically it is said that people in Western part of Japan (such as Osaka) eat it with a bit brown yet transparent sauce, and Eastern part like Tokyo, they usually take it with dark brown one. But why are colors different? This is because of the ingredients of sauces. The sauce of Western is cooked with kelps, while Eastern sauce is from dried fish.

 There are many Udon restaurants available here and there, cheaper and a little bit expensive as well. This picture is a restaurant that is growing rapidly among the country lately. They serve a portion of Udon from 280yen (about 3US$). I personally like eating here, not because of the price, but because of its atmosphere: seeing many chefs making, putting Udon on bowls. It's like an amusement park for me.

 And here, it's... let me see, a bit expensive one. However, typical Udon are not expensive like sushi. I ate this Udon some time ago, it cost about 1,000yen (About 10US$), it means you can taste high quality of Udon with low price.

 That's it for today :) I could talk with many other things about it, like toppings and so forth. But it's for another time, okay? ;)


Depressed days.

 Things aren't good these days. Well... I'm used to it.