Kasama & Mashiko

I think these are both from Kasama city, Ibaragi prefecture.  Every May and November both Kasama and Mashiko have Pottery Festival & Market and I have been to both ( They are located close.  One in Ibaragi and one in Tochigi
Only 20 min. apart by car. ) twice.

I don't know price wise if they offer better price at the festival, but it is certainly fun to check out all the shops and find the ones you like.  The both are good for various kinds of food.  Sometimes for main dish , sometimes for snacks....
The bottom is pretty flat.  Usually I use this for pasta, salad.... In Japan, there are several places famous for potteries.  The ones from these two areas are not colorful, fancy, but good for everyday use.    If you don't have a car, you can take trains to get there.  There are always many shops , so you do not have to wait till the festival season.  Maybe one weekend, you could make one day trip from Tokyo, if you leave early enough.  Yes, if you bought too many , you can ask for delivery service.  


Cheese and Rice Cakes

For quick breakfast.  I grilled two pieces of rice cakes. 

Then wrap them with sliced cheese ( sheets of cheese ) and nori ( seaweed ).  

Ramen Noodle for Lunch

Somehow Japanese are crazy about Ramen noodles.       There is even a Ramen data base company.  Some people always look for the best shop.  I like them also.  Sometimes I have Ramen at shops and sometimes I use package noodle and cook at home.  These two are the lunch lately I had at home.  The top is with half boiled egg and chopped green onion topping.  The bottom is Komatsuna ( spinach like green veggie ) and scramble egg topping.    Both are from same pakage, soy sauce flavour.  There are Miso flavour, Tonkotsu flavour ( mainly from Kyushu the southern island ,which has pork bone soup stock ) , salt etc. etc.   


It is about time for Curry Rice

This year was special for me since I didn't have new year's feast.  Still I had mochi ( rice cakes ) and Ozoni ( the chicken soup for new year, which has various kinds of vegetable and rice cakes ). 

It is about time to have curry rice. 

I used pre-cooked package and heated frozen rice ( I cooked a few days before this ).  The right is daikon radish salad with Ponzu ( lemon flavoured soy sauce ) and on the top, I sprinkled sliced Yuzu lemon.  Also, poured spoonful olive oil.  

Natto Mochi & Chinese Cabbage Soup with Ginger

Yesterday's lunch.  Fermented beans, chopped green onion ( with the sauce of natto --- included in the package ) and Mochi ( rice cake )  .  

The right is Chinese Cabbage soup with sliced ginger.  I used some   chicken soup powder.
It warmed me up ! 

The lower photo is rice cake being grilled. 
When you cook it till the surface turns golden brown, it tastes good.  

Shibuya --- Street View

After visiting the shrine, I went to Shibuya.  Just wanted to show you the street view.  

Hatsumode --- New Year's Visit to the Local Shrine

Visited local shrine yesterday thanking last year's luck and wishing new year's prosperity and world peace.

I thought there won't be many people, but there was a line like the photo.  Yes, the economy is getting tough here influenced by global financial crisis and it is understandable that people make wishes for better life.