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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!