Thursday, October 19, 2017

rainy sunday in kyoto

Untitled Sunday was rainy but Satoshi wanted to check out an exhibit at the Kyoto National Museum, so instead of going through similar kraziness like what we experienced with Hokusai, I decided to do my own thing and went on a cafe crawl.

I started at Ichikawaya Coffee. A tiny shop located off of Higashiyama-dori.

At first when I got there, there was a line, but because most parties were couples, I got the only seat left along their window seats.

I ordered their bacon mibuna sandwich. Mibuna is a veg similar to mizuna but with a little more "spiciness" like mustard cabbage. Apparently these days, it is mostly found in Kyoto and the surrounding areas.

The mibuna in this sandwich was pickled, it added a nice zing to the sandwich.

I also liked the nicely toasted milk bread that they used which was a little sweet.

The iced coffee was nice and strong too.

After breakfast, I walked back to the Shijo area. The rain was drizzling off and on.

Untitled After some window shopping, my next stop was Kiln Coffee Shop, the shop that is located under the "super friendly" Kiln...ahem!

I had their gorgonzola cheesecake which was topped with fresh figs.

The gorgonzola cheese wasn't overpowering and there were lots of walnuts in the cheesecake...delicious!

Bummer though there were these 2 inconsiderate Korean tourists sitting next to me that insisted on taking a bazillion photos of each other, while laughing and talking loudly.

Talk about irritating and noisy...

Untitled Late lunch with Satoshi was at Oreno Pan Okumura in Gion.

Meh, we didn't care to much for this place...the food seemed a bit overpriced...maybe that was why this place was super empty?!

Untitled Coffees before riding the train at Arabica Kyoto inside of Fujii Daimaru.

Despite the rain, Satoshi and I both got to do what we wanted.

I hope to be back to both cafes (hopefully with Satoshi in tow!)

Ichikawaya Coffee
396-2 Kanei-cho
Higashiyama, Kyoto
Phone: 075.748.1354
Hours: 9:00-18:00
Closed Tuesdays

Kiln Coffee Shop
194 Sendo-cho, Murakamiju Bldg 1F
Shimogyo, Kyoto
Phone: 075.353.3810
Closed Wednesdays
Hours: 11:00-23:00

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


testing out new wifi Back in June (I think), we received word that our SIM card for our pocket wi-fi would end and that the company we deal with had new SIM plans.

In my opinion, the plan we had was the best because it was a flat monthly rate of 1000 yen (plus tax).

You could use it for however many (bazillion) bytes, but I guess the company was losing money because of that.

So, the new SIM plans would be based on how many bytes you used.

Instead of paying a monthly fee for something we hardly use, we decided to cancel our plan.

In essence by subscribing over the past 5 years, we bought the pocket wifi gadget, so I am on the lookout for a SIM card that will let me use it as I need to.

Right now, though there are only 2 ways to use SIM cards here..1) monthly rate based on usage 2) 7-day or 30-day usage (mainly for tourists)

We really don't need the monthly version.

And the 7-day/30-day version is a junk option too because it starts counting down from the day you activate it and depending on your usage, you could use it up before the 7 or 30 days.

When I was wandering around in Tokyo, the amount of free wifi was limited, but way more than what we have in Osaka and even way more than what we have on Oahu (Hawaii).

Why can't the whole world have some kind of "free" wi-fi connection? First world problems, yeah?!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Untitled Maeshika had purple sweet potato..whoo!

This variety is called Nakamurasaki which literally means "middle purple".

I couldn't remember how much it was, but think it was 270 yen (plus tax).

Untitled When cut the middle is more purplish than the outer edges.

Untitled When cooked though, the whole flesh turns dark purple (love!)

Untitled I made some sweet potato salad with half of the nakamurasaki and a kurisatsu that I steamed.

I mixed 1 teaspoon of curry powder with mayo then folded the potatoes in it.

Not the most aesthetic, but delicious!

Untitled With the other half of the nakamurasaki, I roasted it in the oven and then cut it up and put it into some tapioca coconut milk...mmm!

Monday, October 16, 2017

shopping foodie friday in osaka

Untitled You know how in Osaka we say "kuidaore" (coo-ee-dah-oh-ray = eat until you drop)?

Well Friday was "kaidaore" (kah-ee-dah-oh-ray = shop until you drop) as I got to meet up with Reader V since she is in Osaka at the moment.

If you remember, we first met up with Jalna over the summer.

It was funny because when we first met she said, "I thought you would be at least 200 pounds with all that you eat!"

Anyway, she had a nice amount of items on her shopping list, so we went together to Namba to hang out and to tick some those shopping list items off.

Within minutes of Takashimaya opening we ticked off a couple of the places she wanted to shop at and then headed to MUJI.

We then walked from Namba to Honmachi, stopping for a caramel pudding with coffee jelly (gelatin) break at Starbucks.

And then more shopping at a shop specializing in mainly bags and containers for shops called Shimojima.

(I love this place because I can buy muffin papers and other kitchen things here for reasonable prices.)

Back in Umeda we had lunch at a dashi chazuke shop called En and then had espresso sodas at City Bakery.

It was super grey and raining off and on, but all in all it was a whirlwind shopping day and I am glad we got to meet up.

V was so nice to bring all sorts of goodies for these ulu (breadfruit) chips that I think she said her friend makes.

It was my first time trying ulu this way, so good!

Untitled Cropsticks will be perfect to bring on picnics.

Untitled Kula Strawberry Chili Pepper Jam as pupu (appetizer) sounds good with cream cheese and crackers...

Untitled One of my favorite snacks..Kind Bars...

Untitled And an introduction to Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimba manga character.

I hope she had a nice time and I am glad that we got to tick some of the things on her shopping list off!

Lots of walking, lots of talking and lots of retail therapy!

Thanks for a great day V!

Friday, October 13, 2017

culture shock

Untitled The other day while walking in Osaka, I noticed several cars parked on the street.

We don't have a car so I really don't know how street parking works here, but I think you purchase a ticket from this machine...

Untitled The tickets are printed with the time that it will expire.

Then stick the ticket on the inside of your window.

I'm not sure if the ticket already has the sticky thing on it so that it can be stuck on your window, or if you have to have your own "stickers".

Anyway, I thought it was neat that you don't need to feed individual meters.

I don't know about you but sometimes in the US, I get confused as to which meter is the one that I need to feed.

Do you have parking meters similar to the ones in Japan?

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Untitled We came across Chojugaki recently.

Choju means long life and gaki (kaki) is persimmon in Japanese.

The insides are not as gel-like as the anpo-gaki that we have tried in the past, but still very delicious.

I'm glad we tried this and will keep my eye out for both types.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Because the hotel we were staying at had a "first come first serve" policy for riding their shuttle, we decided to get to the airport early and have breakfast.

Untitled On our way back to Osaka, I was in the right seat at the right time and got a "snowless" Mount Fuji video (click the photo to see it).

krazy lines for culture-ing❤︎ #hokusai #osaka #japan #abenoharukasartmuseum #北斎 #大阪 #あべのハルカス美術館 By 10:00-ish we were standing in this krazy line to see the Hokusai exhibit at the Abeno Harukas Museum.

People cutting in line for tickets and unreal shoving inside to see the different works, put a damper on my enthusiasm.

I tried patiently to see as many works as I could, but gave up towards the end of the exhibit and instead waited for Satoshi to exit the exhibit.

Untitled At 1:00-ish we went up 300 meters (984 feet) to the top of Abeno Harukas (which I think is the tallest building in Japan at the moment)

Untitled definitely not for those afraid of heights...

Untitled Lunch was late but delicious at Piccolo Curry.

This was their special beef and regular beef curries over rice topped with a scrambled egg.

Untitled Dessert was a matcha soft serve made with green tea from the Minami Yamashiro area of Kyoto at Hankyu Umeda Department store.

It was whirlwind 3-day weekend, even though it was quite summery, I'm glad we got to do all that we did.

Piccolo Curry
Abeno Harukas Dining 12F
Tennoji, Osaka
Phone: 06.6654.6063
Hours: 11:00-23:00
Open when Abeno Harukas is