Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend highlight

This week was the autumn festival for the small shrine that is close to our store. Exciting to see the procession pass in front of our store!

The idea of the deity from the shrine is actually taken around the neighborhood in the carriage is interesting to me.
It was really interesting this year because it was the first time I noticed the procession.

Usually the focal point of the festival and the parade is the mikoshi and the people who are carrying the mikoshi. There is an energy around the people carrying the mikoshi with their voices and rhythms, however large or small it maybe. It is an exciting thing to see.

Most fancy outfit I think~

the priest of Onden Jinjya in the red. Musicians in gold.

There are probably specific meanings to each persons purpose and duty and I would like to know what they all mean.
The shrines' priest was there and a tengu, which is considered to be a mythical creature, there were two people playing wind instruments which are old Japanese instruments and really set the mood where those traditional outfits made sense. 

I think I like seeing the old traditional atmosphere right in the middle of today's surroundings. It reminds me how colorful people's outfits were, and how that vibrant colors look good in a gloomy and almost raining, humid weather.  These events takes place once a year and I feel lucky having to see the event. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Little greens

At the store we have edible greens. All the plants are actually edible. Herbs like basil and rosemary, parsley and shiso. Kumquat has green little fruits and will turn orange in December I think. There is another citrus that is getting close to harvest. That will be great on cooked fish. 

My favorite this year is the chives. It has appeared on our dinner table pretty often.  This is after we had cut them and used them in our cooking. It’s great that it grows so quickly and I just love the extra little something it adds to the dish. 

We add a little to our sashimi, this is red snapper, which is one of my favorites. We’ve had it with salmon and other fish. Bonito was very good too. Usually bonito is accompanied with grated ginger but chives will be great too. 

My other favorite is a simple carrot dish. The carrots are sliced and then tossed with salt so the flavor of the carrots are more concentrated. Then olive oil is added with chives. I like the texture of the thinly sliced carrots and the simple flavor. I could eat so much of it!

Thank you again Georges for these dishes~ the basil seem to want to be eaten soon! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Making one of a kind rings

I love rings.
I think I enjoy making rings the most and also enjoy wearing them the most.

It's fun to be able to see it on your hand and change what you wear everyday like you would your clothes.

A recent ring I made is one of those bigger rings that will make an impression.

It is a ring from my Arabesque Trois Collection, a flower motif with swirl designs on the petal. This time I came across a nice labradorite as my center stone. A nice blue color depending on the light and is cut so that there is a nice big flat surface.

Before I set the stone. 

 The back of the ring

Ever since opening our store in Jingumae (which is between Shibuya and Harajuku) I've started making one of a kind rings. It is great because stones are always unique in color and shape, cut and size. To design a ring just for that stone has been a greasing learning experience. I often come up with other new designs and idea when I'm working on one ring. Can't wait to share them~!

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Manmade Forest

Meiji Shrine is one of the many tourist spots and also a very popular shrine to visit.
I have been learning so much more now that I pass by the Shrine everyday to get to the store, but there are so much I didn’t know about.

Recently I learned that the all the trees around the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku was planted 100 years ago, as a plan to grow a forest.
I watched a very interesting TV program about this and since then, changed how I look at the forest.

It turns out that 100 years ago, there was nothing there, just a hill with no trees. It was a big experiment, a project to plant trees that was true to the area and have them just grow on its own. No one was to take care of them, no one was to step into the forest, it was to survive on it's own, and that was the rule from one hundred years ago.

I go there sometimes to see if I can see the hawk, that now lives there, flying by or see any “tanuki” which is like a racoon, that might pass by.

This day I was only able to meet the spiders that live there, making webs and shuffling through the leaves.

It is just really nice to sit and look at the tall trees in the middle of your day in Tokyo. I like to find a place that takes you away from your normal surroundings, in any place that I live. In LA there was a spot looking out to the ocean right by the airport where I could watch the airplanes taking off. I think I found my spot in Harajuku when I need the trees and birds and the quiet. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


The other morning I saw a rainbow!! 

It was special because it was one of those rare moments I didn't go back to sleep, even though it was before I was planning to wake up. It was 4:30 am. and when I looked outside the sun was coming up and decided to really look at the morning skies. 

It was hard to notice at first because the colors were very close to the clouds surrounding it. But there it was. Arc of colors. 

I heard the day before people saw a double rainbow right before the sun set. It must be the moisture in the air?? 

Rainbows just makes you smile. I wonder if I'll see another sunrise rainbow?

Summer eatings

Ramen seems to be favorites among the Japanese and lately it seems it is popular in other parts of the world.

What is exciting to me is that in the summer time there are the cold noodles that they would serve only in the summer times.

This place close to our home has nice presentation. Well I just like it when they use ice to imply how "cold" the noodles are. And the slice of citrus fruit is a nice detail. 

Hiyashi chuka is what they are usually called. Chines yellow noodles and few types of toppings that are neatly places. The dish is usually open to interpretation and the style varies from restaurants to restaurant. Some places have twenty different toppings or some stick to the traditional. It really makes you want to try different cold noodles out there.  

And when you are in a hurry, you can get them at convenience stores. They say more people have them when the temperature outside is above 26 degrees. And yes lately that is all I want!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Blues and pinks and green edamame

Hydrangea are in full bloom, everywhere. 

You can see hydrangeas bloom almost at every corner in Tokyo. Seem to make the humid rainy season more enjoyable and something to look forward to. 

There are so many types and colors and sometimes the color is mixed pink to blue. The other day while driving by the tamagawajosui, which is a man made stream which was made to bring water to Tokyo back in the day, I discovered so many hydrangeas planted there! It was great to see the different colors along the long stretch.  I wouldn't have known if I didn't drive at this time. 

Around this time I get inspired by the vibrant colors and choose clothes that are the shades close to the hydrangeas. 

So this is my skirt, and a daifuku. 

Daifuku is rice cake, very soft and usually has red bean inside. They are one of the confectionary that is less sweet. This seasonal daifuku has edamame inside made to a paste with little chunks still remaining. A little sweet and I bit salty. So glad I am here to taste this because I do love edamame. So many things that are seasonal to enjoy by taste and also through scenery, I am still not bored with you Tokyo~!