Plum Blossom Festival @ Hanegi Park / Setagaya / Tokyo

What do you think this is ? Something I had @ the Festival.

Dolls Festival / Hinamatsuri Set @ Tachikawa Station

Last night there was a party. Because of the contract, I cannot disclose the details, but it was nice. Unfortunately, no food pics.

Let me show you this instead. At Tachikawa station, I found this whole set of Hinamatsuri Dolls. Doll Festivals/Girls' Day is held on March 3. Have I written about this already? Well, I don't have time to re-check my past blog, so let me write it.

I used to have smaller version with less dolls ( compact type ) . The meaning is to wish girls' health and happiness and celebrate that day. Usually, I don't know now... probably about 3 weeks before the festival, parents or the daughter start the decoration of the set. If you start early and remove early..... the daughter can find good husband fast. ( I was always slow for both... no wonder ! ..... you are supposed to laugh here, don't hesitate because I cannot see you. )

Social Networking Service

This is my MACBOOK. The other day, I wrote about writing letters, cards etc. Yes, I'd like to stress that those WRITING custom will remain and shouldn't be forgotten. On the other hand, I do enjoy internet and social networking service. Especially when I find my old friends or my old friends find me there, I feel if that weren't there, it would have been impossible to be connected again.

We move, change e-mail address, home address etc.etc.

A friend of mine from my San Diego days ( I stayed and studied in San Diego for 5 months in the past. ) found me on SNS service.
I hadn't met him for over 20 or more years. I thought it was great! Then a few days ago, I found my friend in my friend's network and we are now connected. Last time she stayed at my place, but that is more than 3 years ago. No special reason, but sometimes you lose contacts with friends....for these, I am thankful to internet and social networking service.

Hope you are enjoying both digital/ internet world and real world.


Start of Hay Fever

It was windy, warm day almost like April..... the warm Spring wind also brought nice ( ! ) gift.... hay fever.

My eyes were watery, runny nose bothered me... needed to carry 2,3 tissue packages...

Usually this lasts till the end of April. Attended a party tonight, but cannot write much tonight. I need to take medication now.

Do you have this in this season or fall ? It's been over 20 years now, hope you don't have this.

I' m such a good customer for tissue paper company during this season.


Do You Write ?

This is not about food. What was your new year's resolution this year ? I have several..... one of them is to write three post cards everyday. Well, every year toward Christmas or New Year card season, I tell myself, " OK , I will make data base of people.... not just business, including friends and relatives..( my relatives ties seem to be strong.. 'cause I hear from friends sometimes that they don't get to see each other for very long time.... we get together ... sometimes there are cousins' gathering party. ) .

Then, I cannot complete the DB. There are so many. I don't think I have especially many friends or business networks, but think if you've lived over 30, 40 years.... !!! There are address books and cards here and there... I need to combine them and haven't succeeded ! My problem. I shouldn't say this so loudly, people may think I'm not good at business ! :-)

Well, so to avoid last minute panic, this year I started writing cards. The point is there is no expectation. It's like almost my own meditation or sadhana . If you receive letter or card from me, don't be surprised. ( only if I know you. )

While I enjoy these social media networks, blog, e-mails, I feel "writing " letters, cards custom remain... although I 'm not letter person really , It's always nice to receive cards, letters. There is some time lag from the time you write till it's delivered. It takes time, that's why it's nice. When I write post card, it is not Sales or Expecting anything.. Just to say hello, how are you, thanks for something or even thanks for being there.

I think I try to balance my life between digital life and non-virtual life, trying to fill the gap.

Sweet Dessert --- Kuzuyu / Green Tea Flavor

Have you tried this ? There are other flavor, but I picked this green tea to show you today.
Made of arrow root powder.... this powder is similar to corn starch.... thickens liquid.

It may look like green tea, but it's very thick and has effect to warm you up. Nice dessert for winter.....


Location / Reservation of Maniwa

Lantern, sitting in front of Maniwa.

I have a few more items to show from there, but you probably want to try this place. Let me explain where it is.
The course menu we had is their signature course, you don't have to worry about what to order.
That is 3,150 yen. ( for the quality, variety, very good deal ) There were a few more including dessert ( fruits ), which I haven't shown yet.

Maniwa / Asagaya:

Get off at Asagaya Station of Chuo Line. Exit ( only one exit ) and turn left. That's north exit. ( Right is South)
You will see Burger King. Go straight and cross the taxi stand etc. and go behind Burger King, that's Arcade.
Keep on going and you will see book store on your right, still straight. Then you will hit Nakau, franchised restaurant.
Take a left, go straight. Within 3 min., Maniwa will be on your left.

Hours: 18:00-23:00
Closed:Sundays, First and Third Mondays
Address: 2-10-11 Asagaya Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo

Yuki no Bosha / Sake from Akita @ Maniwa

The next item of Maniwa's course menu was Iburigakko from Akita Prefecture.... Iburigakko is dried radish pickles with smoked flavor. Therefore, we chose ( actually she chose ) this Sake "Yuki no Bosha" , sake from Akita Prefecture. Little sour, mild, yet fresh sake.


Reunion @ Maniwa III

The corse menu continues.... next is potato salad w/ spicy cod roe, meat potato croquette. The stalky stick is the bone from needle fish.... crunchy texture ! ( full of calcium ! )

This old friend is senior from the company I worked right after graduation... I think I met her @ skiing club of the company.
She's been always stylish, intelligent, active and fun... she helped choosing my first ski set... I have been adoring her like my sister or mentor.

It's funny though, for 17 years, I hadn't met her. Now I feel I'm connected to her again.


Reunion @ Maniwa II

Japanse needle fish, surf clam.... the top is seasoned tuna in grated yum.

Maniwa has beer, shochu, sake.... there are nice selections of Sake and Shochu. Depending on your taste, you can switch from beer...... we were still with beer here....

There are only 7 seats in the place. The lady is working in the kitchen and we can see her work. Her hair is tied into low pony tail. She looks so fresh and professional. You would feel her passion and affection to cooking. When you taste the dishes, you will be convinced... that her cooking is real thing.

I have to go back to work again, so let me continue tomorrow.

Reunion @ Maniwa

Appetizer was boiled squid and field mustard with vinegared bean paste. We started with a glass of beer...

Selection of this place shows her good taste of food, ambience... perfect for this reunion... relaxing... cozy... we didn't have to worry about " what to order next ! " and concentrated on our conversation.

Those serving dishes were also beautiful.

Maniwa in Asagaya --- Reunion after 17 years

I was trying to remember when I saw her last time.... it was definitely in New York....that was when I was working at Airlines as interpreter and she was working as expat in New York... that means at least 17 years ago. OMG !

She is still with same company and I have changed my career and industry since then..... Thanks to new year card.

I have lost contact with some people, but somehow, our communication through new year card continued.... Thanks to that.

Every year, we kept saying , " this year, let's meet !" We didn't meet. This year, I thought, " I do things immediately " and called her and e-mailed her. The first call didn't reach her... it seems I left message at wrong number ( oops ! ), but she got back to me by e-mail and finally, we met last night. It was fun night. There were lots to catch up.... how the business is... how our private lives are... talked about her company ( which I left years ago ) , what she learned at business school.... etc.etc...

She picked this nice small Japanese restaurant. The owner/ chef is beautiful lady... we ordered a course menu, which is good deal and strongly recommended.

This is the entrance of Maniwa. There is no menu, price list displayed, so without knowing it, you would hesitate. Actually, it seems quite popular, so you will need to make a reservation.