Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marunouchi Tokyo (March 17th, 2011)

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After Character Street I decided to see if I could walk to the Imperial Palace. I didn't know how far it was. While the area around Tokyo Station was interesting and a bit imposing, Tokyo Station was covered because they were refurbishing it. How sad, I would have liked to have seen it.

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Marunouchi reminded me of a typical Tokyo skyline. Big buildings and lots of signs. Not as many people walking though. What was a sunny day grew cloudy and cold.

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But this was cute. Yamato Transport kitties in a box! I wish they were for sale but I could not see anywhere that they were. Want to see more? I can say there were some interesting structures in between the staid buildings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I finally reach Character Street! (March 17th, 2011)

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There was a place I had wanted to stop at every time I have been in Tokyo. Since things were not working out with the reduced train service, rolling black outs and stores not being open, I decided it was time to try and see if at least this place would be open. So I started out from Hamamatsucho Station. Had to get a photo of their sign with the Manneken Pis on it.

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My destination Tokyo Station. After having been in the station a few times I find it less intimidating. Even with the disasters and all there were still a lot of people traveling through here.

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Low light meant photos didn't turn out well but I had to take a photo of this baumkuchen baking at a shop at the station. There is some serious shopping and eating at Tokyo Station. Definitely worth strolling around if you go to Tokyo or are passing through and have a few hours. I picked up a tiny sake set and a few other things but did not know about the Kit Kat store. Means I have to go back right? But there was someplace specific I was trying to find so keep reading to see just where it is located and what it is.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Stroll: Long Beach murals

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The one thing about the Long Beach area in Southern California is there is a lot of random art in the most surprising places. I'm surprised the city never put together an on-line map to it all.

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I use to have information about this mural. It was painted by Jane Boyd in 1977. She painted a few other murals in the area. "Flight of the Egrets" is located on the beach near the end of Cherry Avenue below Bixby Park. Interested to learn what was originally here and see more art?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Food for Friday: Poko Montreal Bagels (March 2011)

poko panda

Places like Poko Montreal Bagels are part of the reason I wish I was in Tokyo. Both of my trips there I stopped in a couple of times. Poko is the dog and his wooden version gets dressed appropriately. In March it was to celebrate the pandas at Ueno Zoo. I was very sad the day I saw the closed sign because they were open the day before. But happy that they were open on March 17th.

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In March this year I did eat inside besides getting bagels and scones to go. And Poko tote bags. But to see these you have to keep reading.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My earthquake supplies & the NHK

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Thought I would make a post about how I dealt with food during the days right after the big quake and tsunami. The problem I found was at Haneda Airport they were not prepared to deal with thousands of people staying there. Even before this there were complaints that the restaurants all stopped serving food at 10 pm so late night travelers were stuck with no options.

From now on when I travel I will take some granola bars. Because all I had to eat were Cadbury Creme Eggs. I only ate a few that night because they are really sweet. I did find a beverage vending machine with a few drinks left. Haneda International Airport needs to come up with a better plan.

The two miso soups I found in a 7-11 near Shiba Park (Shiba koen). What happened in Tokyo is most people were stuck at their work so they cleaned out all the konbini and most of the restaurants. Which meant me the visitor had a hard time finding anything at all to eat the first day or so. The soups were sitting on the shelf all by themselves. Must have been found long after the locusts, I mean the salary people, had bought everything up.

The item on the left is a bag of bagel chips. Eating places were open on random days for about the first week. One day that I found Poko Bagels open I stopped in and bought a few. When I mentioned I flew in the day of the quake the very nice people there offered me the bag of bagel chips.

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The first few days the news was on all the time. It was interesting to compare NHK's broadcast to American ones. American they would have whipped up computer animation to show what was going on. Not in Japan. It was really interesting to see the models they created of Fukushima Dai-ichi. Actually was scary to see at the time also.


Although the addition of pumper trucks complete with stream of water was amusing.


In case you don't understand Japanese, when you see the newscasters wearing safety helmets it means there was an earthquake happening.


But I just used this. My trusty earthquake monitor. Actually because I ended up feeling like things were shaking even when they weren't, this was good to have. It took a day home to regain my land legs. There is even a phrase for feeling earthquakes are happening when they are not. It's called jinshin yoi, earthquake sickness. I've been in earthquakes but never had experienced that before. Have you been in an earthquake before?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Damn good sushi (March 16th, 2011)

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Speaking of that sushi place in Asakusabashi, here is what I bought. Plus more after the cut.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Asakusabashi (March 16th, 2011)

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March 16th was not a good day. There were warnings about the direction of radiation, a cold wind was blowing in from the bay, I could not find the Jenny doll store because the directions were not up to date, and my feet were starting to hurt. And not stop hurting.

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But I did look a little bit while I walked beside the elevated train track in Asakusabashi. Want to know what you can see there?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Stroll: Long Beach Art

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Took the day off yesterday from posting. Today I will show you a few of the public art works that have been displayed in Long Beach, California.

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It's been a few years since I lived in Long Beach. Some interesting things to see there. More to see if you keep looking.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food for Friday: Yes I ate this (Tokyo March 16th, 2011)

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I wish I knew what the name of this izakaya. It's on Daiichi-Keihin in Shiba, Tokyo. But I kept seeing it and finally got up the nerve to go in for lunch since it was open on March 16th.

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I was the only customer besides a small group of men at a table. Of course I forgot, they allow smoking and they were smoking. Will remember from now on.

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A few of the specials on the wall. It actually wasn't that hard to order from the menu. A lot of restaurants will have photos if not also attempt English translations. It helped that I can read hiragana too. Want to see what I ordered?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Konbini goodness (March 2011)

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I'm not remembering what days these were from. Or where all they came from. But the really good sushi above may have been from the 7-11 which was the first konbini I found real food a couple days after 3/11. I was so glad. I love the little bottle of soy sauce.

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This probably came from the Sunkus by my hotel. Since the first couple of days after the quake most places were closed, I walked around a lot more than usual and found this over by where a lot of offices are. Another happy find of food! Want to see more?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Harajuku visit to h.NAOTO (March 15th, 2011)

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The streets of Harajuku. Get away from the crowds and you can find lots of trendy fashion shops. Although there were cones around this one building I did not see any damage. I think I was still trying to comprehend 9.0 earthquake yet no visible damage here. Actually later on I found out that a number of older buildings in Tokyo had cracks on the inside and some are being refurbished or torn down like Radio Kaikan in Akihabara.

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And higher end stores on Omotesando. The normally busy Omotesando wasn't so busy.

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Lots of stores but so many closed. Pretty window decorations at a jewelry store.

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Just where to go with so many places closed?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Harajuku (March 15th, 2011)

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This plaza in Harajuku is usually filled with people traveling to work, shopping, meeting others and sometimes those who want to be seen. But with major disasters still happening, being seen was no longer a priority.

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Lights off.

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Major stores closed. I wondered what I would find on the streets around Harajuku.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Stroll: Long Beach California

The Bluffs

Just a few photos today from along the bluffs of Long Beach, California.


And across the water looking at downtown.

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Sunset at Belmont Shore Pier. Plus more if you want to keep looking.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Food for Friday: Sake and Meiji Jingu Vistor Center

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Across from the wall of wine is the casks of sake for Meiji Shrine.

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Very impressive.

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I couldn't help but take photos of some of the art work on the casks. Also, if you keep reading you can see where you can get a bite to eat at the shrine.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meiji Shrine Wine (March 15th, 2011)

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I wasn't surprised that Meiji Jingu would have ceremonial sake. I've seen this at other shrines and temples. I was surprised to see this row of casks of wine.

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Considering how difficult it was to find alcohol in the stores after the earthquake, I couldn't help but wish just a little for a little of this to take with me. However, they were empty.

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So where did all this wine come from?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Meiji Jingu (March 15th, 2011) Inner Courtyard

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As you can see, the inner courtyard of Meiji Shrine was almost empty.

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Very empty.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meiji Jingu (March 15th, 2011) Ema and Trees

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In the inner courtyard at Meiji Shrine there are amazing trees. I am guessing they are very sacred.

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This tree oversees where people place their ema. Would you like to know more?