Friday, September 30, 2011
This is a little out of place but that same day, March 13th, I went back to MOS Burger after visiting the garden. I was hoping very much that they would be open. Not only because I was hungry but it would be comforting to eat at a place I had liked before.
I was in luck! Order 25 was mine. Want to see what I got?
Thursday, September 29, 2011
What a pleasant surprise it was to find this grove of ume trees.
I'd seen ume blossoms before, but not like this. I'm sure they might have been even more earlier in the year, but for me some of these trees were gorgeous.
Not just the blooms but the dark sculpted branches against the sky. For ume like sakura put out blooms before leaves. Thus we get to see their flowers with no distractions. I couldn't help but get closer to take photos.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Another surprise was walking down from one hill to see another covered with daffodils. I couldn't help but take some photos.
Monday, September 26, 2011
I found out this were the stone pillars of a tea house built by Okubo Datatomo, the daimyo who created this garden. Before being a part of the tea house the pillars were gate posts at a fortress that once belonged to a retainer of the Late Hojo clan. Would you like to see more?
Sunday, September 25, 2011
It's a little odd to see a walkway start from a sunken parking lot just off of Pacific Coast Highway. Stuck in between shopping areas and going under the highway it's a little creepy at the start.
But continue along the bark covered path and you will see it's a nice place to stroll.
Friday, September 23, 2011
The other day I realized I haven't posted a fish taco review in a while. So here's a quick one from the Baja Fresh in Manhattan Beach. It's been a little while since we were there so things might have changed but it looks like their grilled and crisp Mahi Mahi tacos are still on the menu.
The food isn't bad at Baja Fresh. At least at this location the food was just like their name, fresh. Their black beans were quite good.
Overall for Mexican fast food chains it wasn't bad. My only complaint is that so many places are doing the same thing now. Why does everyone have to make the grilled fish tacos blackened or Cajun now? Is it to hide the quality of the fish? I realize it's a trend but the best fish tacos I remember are not like this. Plus it's bad when it's not noted on the menu. Not everyone can eat spicy food and I'd much rather be able to taste the fish and add whatever salsa I want. Even the crispy was a bit spicy. So if you like your fish tacos that way, Baja Fresh would be one place to stop by. Me, I'm still looking.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I believe this is Oyama hill, the highest point in the garden.
They say this vantage point by the stone lantern is good for snow viewing. I was happy to have the blue sky above.
There is so much to see in this garden. One path leads to another bridge and you find more beautiful vistas, plants and more.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Did I mention the animals in the garden? Besides the koi and the carp there were many turtles and even more birds. Including one amazing type of bird that I seem to have a habit of seeing in different places I have visited not, just in Japan.
But you will have to look further in this post to see this bird.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Like I wrote before, the view changes depending on where you are in the garden. Walking across the different islands, standing on different bridges. So much to see.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I'm constantly looking for new parks that are different from the usual ones in Southern California.
Although small, Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden definitely is a nice change!
It's planted with native low moisture plants in a setting that is suppose to mimic our Mediterranean climate. Like this Cleavland Sage. A few more of these are just below.
Friday, September 16, 2011
So back in September 2010, we started something that kind of turned into a tradition. One of my favorite places to shop around here is Mitsuwa Market. One the best things about Mitsuwa is they like to have food fairs. My favorite fair is their Hokkaido one. So many great things for sale from Hokkaido flown in just for this. The vendors set up in stalls and even before the last day they sell out.
One of the most anticipated vendors is the ramen! Each time it's different. So for our first try we got the chance to taste Ramen Shingen's koku miso ramen. Want to see what it looked like?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
One thing that you would think would detract from the garden is all the high rise buildings surrounding it. Yet this makes it feel like a little pocket of wonderfulness in the midst of this vast city.
So much in this little pocket of Edo that has been carefully taken care of all these years. Not just a place for people but for animals like the fish, birds and turtles living in the pond. So much to see in this garden, the view changes as you walk around it.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
So what does one do when you go to a foreign country and things go wrong and almost everything gets shut down?
One thing would be to find a place that doesn't require electricity to be open.
Which is what I did the afternoon of March 13th. I went to a place I didn't get to during my trip back in December, 2010. Lucky me it was open. So would you like to see the Kyu Shiba Riky Garden?
Monday, September 12, 2011
I was at a loss as to what to do. Shopping and most sight seeing was out of the question since everything was closed and transportation was definitely cut back.
One thing I had wondered about was how Odaiba had fared. I had heard people claiming buildings burned out there, one person even said it was the Fuji TV building. Odaiba is a man-made island out in Tokyo Bay. Liquefaction would definitely be an issue and if you saw the anime "Tokyo 8.0" you know what I'm talking about. So want to see what it looked like after the big quake?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wonder why there is a man holding a peregrine falcon at a large resort at the ocean in California?
Such an amazing bird. But why here? To entertain guests?
So why such beautiful birds like this eagle and Eurasian Eagle Owl?
Friday, September 9, 2011
Count me surprised when I found out there was a kaiten zushi near me. That's conveyor belt sushi restaurant.
Yes there is in Gardena and here comes the sushi train at Sushi Sumo.
So come sit down and let's see what rolls down the track.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Since I didn't know exactly where the entrance of the place I was going to was, I got a little walk in. You wouldn't expect this nice shady street was right next to the Inner Circular Route Express Way.
And Hamamatsucho Station. Want to see what else is there?
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Oh thank heaven for 7-11. It's amusing to me that the convenience store I'm so use to back home was the place I finally found some fresh food to take back to my hotel. The market I was directed to was closed but thankfully 7-11 had just received a delivery of bento, salads and such. Which was quickly selling. You can see I wasn't the only one looking for something to eat.
I finally figured out what the banners and signs in this area were about.
Monday, September 5, 2011
March 13th and the news was not good. But I didn't fly all the way to Japan to sit in a room watching news. One thing to remember, I couldn't do anything to help, very few people were in a position to help at that time. Plus one had to eat. So after receiving a little information from home where a market might be, I headed out. At least a few trains were running even if very few people were out.
Going a different way I got to see some new things. One of the things I love about Tokyo is how inventive architecture is seen as a good thing. You never know what you will find.
The old with the new. Traditional with not so traditional. And even in the most densely packed places there still is some green.