I really like onigiri. Each time I’ve been to Japan, I’ve eaten at least one per day. They are a cheap snack you can get in all convenience stores and keep in your bag for when you need a quick energy boost. Traditionally, they are palm-sized triangles of rice with fish or other things in the middle, with a rectangular piece of seaweed wrapped around it. This recipe is for a smaller bite-sized version using Japanese style pickled vegetables.
First step is to decide what you want to put in your onigiri (rice balls). Today I have rice mixed with pickled vegetables, but you can also have rice with salmon in the middle or algae or anything else you want.
On my travels to various parts of Asia, I often stop and take photos of interesting signs or pieces of English that I find interesting. Here’s a list of life lessons that we can glean from signs I’ve come across in 2013.
We all need money…
…but it isn’t worth going to jail.
Earlier this week, I went to Menya Musashi at the Star Vista (Buona Vista MRT station). It had been a while since I had a good bowl of ramen. I didn’t even have ramen when I was in Japan a few months ago in June, but finally got my fix.
I ordered the tomato tontoro (see photo)! It’s a new menu item that features a tomato based broth. It also has a scoop of mashed potatoes, slices of tomato, 2 slices of meat, half an egg, a sheet of seaweed, and scallions. I’ve only had broth this tasty in Japan, so I was really happy with my choice. The noodles were good, but nothing too outstanding. The real story is in the broth! It is thick, but not so much so that it is too rich to sip from the spoon and not feel gross. The rest of their menu is based on their 3 main broths: black, white, and red. The white is a tonkotsu broth made from pork bones, giving it a deep flavor. Next time, I think I would try the black. Continue Reading
When I was in Japan in June, I took a 2 day trip to Hakone which is in the nearby mountains. Lake Ashi is a crater lake surrounded by mountains. Going for the lake itself is worth the trip from Tokyo! I went in June for 2 days, 1 night, and enjoyed the ferries from dock to dock. It takes a few hours by train and other transportation to get from Shinjuku to the lake, but totally worth it! You can get the Hakone Pass for 2 or 3 days which allows you to take the train and then the cable car, ropeway, and the main ferry company. It is beside Mount Hakone which is a volcano that last erupted 3000 years ago, when it formed a caldera that has gradually filled with water over the years. The lake was really the main draw for me. It was relaxing to just be on the water and breath in the fresh air. It got a bit breezy and chilly, but I didn’t mind. It was glorious to be on a boat on a beautiful lake and see green mountains all around! I spent most of my free time taking the ferry from dock to dock, and had just enough time to check out the Hakone Shrine (箱根神社, Hakone Jinja) before catching the last ferry back to where I stayed.
Fun stuff and a quick lunch at Tokyu Hands Department Store in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan! And possibly the best mechanical pencil ever!
Tokyu Hands is a department store in Japan that has sections of floors dedicated to various things you might need. I swear that half a floor was filled with pens, pencils, and other writing implements. Another half of a floor was dedicated to paper and paper goods. They also have DIY, kitchen, model planes and vehicles, and several other categories. According to their website, sushi goods, health related goods, train related goods, hot/cold insulated boxes for food, and grooming goods are the top 5 most popular among customers. But they do seem to have a bit of everything!
Update: They also have 2 locations in Singapore now.