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My favorite meat shop in Tokyo – 近江屋牛肉店 Omiya Gyunikuten

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Recently, people buy all the ingredients in the supermarket in Japan and there’re not so much vegetable shop or meat shop.

But there’re still all kinds of specialty stores in the Tsukiji area, and you can get much better quality ingredients there.

I want to share my favorite beef shop today, the name is 近江屋牛肉店 Omiya-Gyuniku ten.
They have 85 years history and handles mainly beef and pork.

This time, I bought Wagyu for steak :)

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All the stores have some specialty at Tsukiji outer market and they sell several kinds of the things (for example, 10 parts of chicken etc) but if you ask them, they usually have much more variation at the back.

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If you live in Tokyo and plan to have good beef or pork, I def suggest you to go to this store rather than going to the restaurant.
You can get better quality one with much cheaper price!

近江屋牛肉店 Omiya Gyuniku ten
(at the Tsukiji outer market)

http://www.tsukiji.or.jp/search/shoplist/cat-b/cat-4/274.html

https://www.google.co.jp/maps/preview#!q=%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E9%83%BD%E4%B8%AD%E5%A4%AE%E5%8C%BA%E7%AF%89%E5%9C%B04%E4%B8%81%E7%9B%AE14%E7%95%AA1%E5%8F%B7

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Hokkaido foods <3

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My mom originally from Hokkaido, so my cooking (food) roots is also from Hokkaido..
We use many kinds of northern seafood, lot of potatoes/pumpkins, kelp, daily for example :)
(You can think about the UK weather)

Most of the cheese are imported from other countries in the supermarket if you can find many kinds of them, but in Hokkaido, you can find these kinds of cheeses and all of them are made in Hokkaido!
If you know how poor Japanese cheese selection we have in Tokyo, it’s quite amazing.
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And every time I go back there, I go to this Sushi restaurant, “Hana-maru” in Sapporo city..
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The best bakery in Japan, “Ange”
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But east side of Hokkaido, you can find more deer meat.
We ate deer almost everyday, it’s like lean beef and so tasty :)
(The picture is at Ainu minority restaurant)
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And if you have any chance to go to Hokkaido, I suggest you to
– rent a car, it makes you much easier to travel! For example, it took us 8 hours to drive from Sapporo to east side of Hokkaido, but we enjoyed the small cities on a way and there’re only one train a day..
-stay in a pension, which is normally owned by one couple and is like small regular house. They offer you Home-made Dinner and breakfast, and the house is located in the nature often. You can taste better food than the restaurant, and they always have great hospitality so you can relax like at home!

This food is from the pension we stayed..
The owner (is usually chef) cooked Italian course, and this is the club meat pasta with tomato cream sauce, and he makes the fresh pasta with Hokkaido flour everyday.
We had Lasana, appetizer, dessert, meat, fish so on.
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Maybe I love Hokkaido too much, ( I wanna move there to have a small farm and pension in the future..) but I really want you to try there if you have chance, you will love the nature and the foods :)

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From East side of Hokkaido

We just came back from Hokkaido, my second home town and the northernmost island in Japan.

Hokkaido is huge, it takes about 1 month if you want to see each parts of Hokkaido, so we spent one week in the east side of Hokkaido (we call it as Doto)
And It was just beautiful.

This area, as called Bihoro 美幌, is very famous for potato, onion, beats, and wheat.

And of course the daily products as same as the other places in Hokkaido :)

We visited a daily farm,

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and the wheat/onion/beats farms etc..

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Japanese wheats tastes so nice, but usually I don’t see any Japanese wheat flour in the market (most of them are imported from US) because it’s super popular and nice bakery or nice restaurants buy them all, and there’re no left for us…
You can get beats sugar (it’s good for your health!) at any big market, and all of them came from Hokkaido :)

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I love Hokkaido not because all my relatives are there, because the air and the water is so nice, you can smell green, and all the good foods are here.
If you live in Tokyo or main island and want to escape from the heat, it’s the nice place for you, there’re no humidity!

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It’s the closest place to Russia, if you take a boat for one hour on this sea, ten you can arrive the RUssian island.. :)
In summer time, almost everyday you can watch the wheal.

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Japanese fireworks and Yatai foods!

Summer season, we have fireworks almost every weekend at somewhere in Tokyo ( or other places as well)
we just went one of them this weekend, and we felt summer finally!

Most of the fireworks festivals have more than 10.000 shots, and fireworks professionals have been working hard for summer time.

Befor we watch them, one of the things we’re looking for on fireworks day is, street food (Yatai)!

Many kinds of Yakitori.. (chicken on skewer)
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Takoyaki.. (octopus ball)

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Yakitori again..

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Motsuni.. (organ stew with root vegetables)

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we ate all of them, and went back to the stores for round two!

The firewirks were beautiful after we filled our stomach..

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One of the picture is Pokemon fireworks :)
There’re some more fireworks, so please try one if you’re in Japan this month!
(and plaese make sure to be hungry before you go)

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Visited Bamboo shoot (Takenoko) village (Food)

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This weekend, I visited Chiba prefecture, Otaki village which is located east of Tokyo.

It took about 3~4 hours to get there, so I wake up very early in the morning, but was very excited!

There’re some places are famous for Take-noko (Bamboo shoot), and this village ones are super tasty and no harshness.

(Usually you have to remove the harshness for 1~2 hours before you cook them).

So it means, you don’t need to do the preparation of the bamboo shoot, you can just cook them directly :)
I’ve never tasted that good bamboo shoot before.. it’s a little bit sweet, and crunchy, rich flavor !!

We can get the packed boiled bamboo shoot anytime in the super matket in Japan, but you won’t eat them once you know the fresh bamboo shoot. The flavor is so different (but the bamboo shoot season is only few months, in spring)

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This time, I had a chance to ask the local people to teach me their specialities.

All of the foods are beyond my expectation, and I’ve even never met them before, and I was so excited again because I felt again that “Locals always know the best way to cook their local ingredients” and “There’re thousands of regions, and food culture in Japan which you don’t have any chance to meet in Tokyo”!!

If you’re the tourist, I really want you to go to the countryside or somewhere which has local culture :)

 

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Bamboo shoot Sushi..
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Bamboo shoot croquette and Bamboo shoot Kara-age

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Pickled Bamboo shoot

 

 

 

 

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Flour Sushi (It’s traditional local speciality of Chiba, and each family have the different shape of flour sometimes :))

 

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Before I met them, we had a Lunch (wild boar who eat bamboo shoot in the Chiba mountain, it’s also their speciality) like this,

 

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But 30 mins, later, I had all the foods with bamboo shoot (croquette, Sushi, pickles, Kata-age etc…) as our second Lunch.
I just love the food which is made with Love, by someone who cherish the ingredients, and these foods always satisfy me much more than fancy restaurants food (I love to eat out, but it’s just different!)

I hope I can keep posting about the Japanese local culture in my blog sometimes and there’re someone enjoy the entry.. :)

 

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Mashiko pottery festival 2014 spring

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I guess most of the readers of my blog are interested in food, and also pottary (if you’re same as me..) so I want to share about the pottery festival which’s held in Mashiko this week.

You can take train to go to Mashiko by train, it takes about 3.5 hours.
I knew that there’re so many great pottery artist and the art pieces there, so we took first train which leaves 5:07 in the morning.

It’s tough, but after we got out of Tokyo central area, we actually enjoyed the scenery from the window.

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When we arrived in Mashiko, 8:30 in the morning, there’re already many people who love pottery!

I was so excited to be there, you can find so many great pieces from hundreds of stores!
You can also talk to each artists.

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The pottery price is varied, you can find 100JPY-20,000JPY ones, but it’s much cheaper than what we can find in Tokyo.
so you must try if you like the Japanese pottery.
They’re absolutely beautiful.
I basically bought modern plates which is based on Japanes design, but you can find very traditional ones, or anything Japanese.

It’s held until May 6th, so if you don’t have any plan on your holiday, it’s nice to go :)

http://kir018242.kir.jp/english/index.html

We had Lunch outside there,

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made our rice bowls,

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and visited some antique shops too :)
There’re several antique faniture shops and it’s very nice!

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Enjoy your holiday!

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Farmer’s market @ Omotesando UNU

I love to talk to the farmers, and buy the organic ingredients, so I often go to the Farmers market on weekend.. :)

Japan is a small country, so it’s difficult to grow the organic vegetables and also they’re very expensive even if you can find them in the organic supermarket..

If you live in Japan and look for the organic foods, it’s nice to go to the Farmers market which held in front of the UN building at Omotesando on weekend !

Many farmers or bakery come there and sell the organic ingredients/foods etc, I love it so much <3

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And there’re many food wagons as well.. one of my favorite thing there.. :)

This is one of my favorite wagon, they serve vegetable bowl, with soy meat Karaage etc.

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There’re so many favorite stores/car food there, so I will keep posting about the recommendation sometimes :)!

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Beautiful lanpshade made by Japanese paper

I had longest working day yesterday, 17hours without any rest :(

Even though I love cooking, I was very exhausted this morning.
So I went to Ginza to walk around to refresh my mind after I made Lunch and some sweets.

And I chanced upon them – Beautiful hand made Lanpshade, made by Japanese paper.

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I fell in love with them, but couldn’t choose one.
But I’ll go back there this week to buy one for our house :) very excited!

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My interest is usually all about cooking and food, so don’t do shopping so much, but this time I just love them so much !!

This Japanese artist have small shop in Ginza Mitsukoski 7F until next week :)

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One of my best favorite Japanese cafe in Tokyo – HIGASHIYA GINZA

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Do you like Japanese sweets and cafe?
This cafe is for you if you’re in Tokyo.

HIGASHIYA GINZA is one of my most favorite cafe in Tokyo’
It’s located in Ginza area, so very convenient place too :)

It’s modern but also traditional Japanese atmosphere.

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We ordered afternooe tea set.

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On the first plate, we have several Japanese kinds of Japanese sweets.
All of them are tiny size, and super tasty!

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On the second plate, we had rice ball, spinach salad, and pickles.

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And you can choose the tea from several kinds of Japanese tea :)
I love their potery also…

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The atmosphere was super nice too..

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After I came back home, I had EBISU beer (special edition with Joel Robuchon) which was offered by Sapporo beer.
It’s nice day!

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HIGASHIYA GINZA
address: 1-7-7, Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
PORA building 2F
Ginza/ Ginza ichome station, few minutes walk

東京都中央区銀座1-7-7 2F

http://www.higashiya.com/

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Japanese rice crackers store in Tokyo – Mochi kichi

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Do you know Osenbei is very popular Japanese snack?
It’s rice cracker and you can find it at any shop in Japan.

What is Senbei

I usually don’t eat them so much because I love chocolate more than crackers, (actually I’m very obsessed with chocolate) but this store’s Osenbei are sooo good!
If you’ve never had good Osenbei, or you like it, please try this store’s one!

They offer many kinds of Osenbei (Japanese rice crackers), like soy sauce taste, salt, mayonnaise, hard texture, soft texture, baked, deep-fried etc…
All of them are so tasty, I think because they use very good rice to make them.

They have also crunch chocolate with rice crackers- this one is my favorite now, salty-sweet taste is always nice!

Please try it if you come to Tsukiji area, they’re good small gifts for your friends :)

Mochi Kichi もち吉 HP

もち吉

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Japanese Curry restaurant at Tsukiji fishmarket – 中英 “Nakaei”

Tsukiji fish market is famous for seafood, there’re many sushi restaurants and most of tourists line up for Sushi.
But do you know there’re many kinds of restaurant in Tsukiji inner market instead of sushi?

If you go there, I suggest you to try something non-sushi restaurant which’re full with locals.
You will see no locals go to sushi restaurant, and you know, the workers of fish market knows what’s good quality ingredients, so the restaurant which uses bad stuffs can’t keep their restaurant there for long time.
So therefore there’re only good ones leave.

On the other day, we try one of them, Japanes curry restaurant.

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The restaurant is called as Naka
ei 中英 and located at the inner market.

It’s very old restaurant, their history is already 100years.

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small place

Their menu is very simple and good price. “indian curry” “beef curry” “hayashi rice” are 500JPY.
But please don’t expect indian curry, it’s totally Japanese curry but which I love!

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I ordered ” ai gake” which means half and half,this time I choose Indian curry and hayashi rice.
It’s very tasty, but the Indian curry is a little spicy for me so I might order only Hayashi next time.

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What you find on New year’s day at shrine – chikara udon, udon with mochi, obanyaki, hiroshimayaki, jaga butter

On New year’s day, my French friends came to my house and I had a great time! He taught me how to make Buche de Noel and we had it and New Year food.. :) It was super tasty!! 20140104-161518.jpg 20140104-161539.jpg Chikara- Udon( Udon noodle with Mochi) 20140104-161608.jpg We had a lot of foods (much more than pictures) then went to shrine to make a wish. Usually there’re no store at the shrine, but since there’re so many people on this special day, there’re Yatai ( small shops) there like Matsuri (festival). small sweet pancake 20140104-162015.jpg fresh small apple candy 20140104-162037.jpg potato butter 20140104-162207.jpg Hiroshima-yaki(Okonomiyaki plus noodles) 20140104-162317.jpg 20140104-162335.jpg 20140104-162406.jpg It’s a pity that we’re too full to have snacks there, but obviously it’s one of the things we’re looking forward to!

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Tsukiji Bon-Odori summer festival (Honganji Natsu Matsuri) in Tokyo

This afternoon, I was at starbucks at Tsukiji for a coffee and I heard drum sounds..
And I found there’s a Bon-Odori festival at temple (Hongan-ji)  next to Tsukiji outer fish market! (and it’s in front of starbucks)

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Bon-odori (盆踊り) is one of the typical Japanese festival in summer and it’s usually held at small park or temple for local people.

In summer, during July-August, there’re fireworks and Bon-odori at many places in Japan- usually it held on weekend- and we feel summer season when we see the fireworks or hear the Japanese drum sounds.

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Even the small kids wear special clothes and beat the Japanese drum! So cool and cute!

On this festival day, people wear Yukata (Japanese summer Kimono) and grab good food with friends or family! :)

I think Japanese people love to eat outside.. We always need some excuse to do that (Hanami in spring, Bon-odori in summer…) and we drink and eat outside all the year..! But it’s really fun!

At Tsukiji outer market, there are many good fish store, butchers (chicken and pork stores are separated ) etc.. and today, they open their small food shop at the temple.

Yakitori from Chicken shop (Tori Fuji)

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Small Okonomiyaki

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Grilled smelt with salt from Sushi restaurant

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Grilled squid and shrimp

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Fried noodle (Yakisoba)

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And around the drums, there’re seats for people to sit down and grab drink/food :)

If you have chance to come to Japan in summer, it’s very humid and hot here but it’s good way for you to spend some time as local people.. :)

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