Series Shimokitazawa ....What's coming up ?

OK, there is an Italian restaurant near my place.... literally, 2 min.  Next one will be that one... not just Italian food, you can enjoy F1( Formula One )  item as well !

Then.... am going to make an appointment with one of two organic restaurants....

Other shops I'm considering are.... cat cafe... punk shop....mini-mart....cake shop....Japanese sweets shop...set menu homey diner...etc...etc.....

Thank you for reading my blog !

"The Kids Are All Right " Released in Tokyo

Vegan Breakfast 

I totally forgot about my school's gathering.  This is like for the whole schools' ( Jr. high, Sr. high and college ) Almuni Association Meeting and Party.

Last year I attended and it was so nice to see all the friends there, yet this year originally I was planning to attend.

I guess with all the confusion of earthquake and nuke plant / radiation issue, I totally forgot.  I was looking forward to meeting my friend who lives in Paris ( she comes to attend this as the rep of French division ).  Sorry.  I have to write her soon.

What I was doing... ?  House keeping and some work and then went to see this movie in Shibuya.    It was much better than expected.  The script was great.
You can enjoy from different aspects... married couple's growth... gay couple ... love affair. ....family .... artificial insemination ( I remember when I was taking a short English course in California, I visited a sperm bank in Escondido ... not for myself !.... as a field trip of the current topics' class ... ) , independence of a child....etc. etc...

Yesterday was the first release day.  Cine Quinto... located on 8th floor of Parco Part 3.

If you keep the 1/2 ticket, when you come back for your next movie, you can get discount and get the ticket for 1,000 yen.  Isn't this great ?  I didn't know that. ( Regular price is 1,800 yen. )

Oh, yes.  That breakfast.... I'm not really vegan, but trying to watch my condition and had this yesterday... steamed brown rice and miso soup.  Miso soup had potato, bean sprouts, cabbage and boiled soy bean.

PARCO Part 3:
PARCO Part3 in Shibuya 

Vietnamese Sandwich @ Vi Sand Shimokitazawa

Inside the Shop 

Last night I had this dinner with my friend.  Vietnamese sandwich.

Beef & Lemon grass....with a hint of fresh coriander.  mmmm, it was delicious.

I've been to Vietnam only once.
That was 2 week trip with an American female friend and a Japanese male friend.
We flew in separately and gathered in Saigon ( Ho Chi Minh City ).
That was real adventure.... Vietnam was still on imposed embargo of US.  Interestingly, still they preferred to receive payments in US dollars.  We carried Vietnamese dong, but it gets so thick .... the change was dong, but we tried to pay in US dollars.

We stayed in Ho Chi Minh city for a few days and then took a day trip to Cu Chi... to see the tunnels used by Vietnamese people... you can go down and crawl in the tunnel... I guess they are still taking tourists there.  So narrow.  Also, we stopped by @ a temple.... Cao Dai Temple.... the mixture of all the famous religion.  I remember there was one big globe like an eye.   From Ho Chi Minh, we took a train to Nha Trang, a beach town and stayed @ a villa which used to belong to a government ... or officials' beach house.  At the station, there were vendors selling this sandwich... I was shocked... it was sooooo delicious.  The blended delicacy of Vietnamese flavor and French bread....there aren't many Vietnamese sandwich places in Tokyo.   So, I'm glad that they opened this shop here.  ( I guess it was opened in February this year.)

Just FYI, other cities we visited were... Hue, Hoi An, Da Nang.... @ Da Nang, if my memory is correct, we broke up and I flew to Hanoi and stayed there.

Food was good everywhere.... I enjoyed visiting all the beautiful temples, gardens or historical sites.... water puppet show and beautiful French architecture...

Hope I can visit Vietnam someday.... until then.... I need to come and eat here.

Vi-Sand in Shimokitazawa
@ Shimokitazawa station, exit to South side.  You will see McDonald's.  Turn right there.... you will see arcade game shops... on the left there will be DOCOMO shop.
Take a left.  Vi-Sand will be on your left.  They have alcohol also... all 500 yen.
Sandwiches are 550 yen.  They have dinner sets and other side menus as well.

2-12-3 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
11:00-16:00 for lunch.
18:00-23:00 for dinner.
Beef & Lemon Grass Sandwich


Let me try tomorrow again .....

My Mac is not in good mood today.  I was going to upload some pics, but it says iphoto is not functioning !?

Let me try tomorrow..... too bad, I was going to show you some food pics....

Apology for this inconvenience and thank you for stopping by ....


Golden Week is Starting Tomorrow

Actually this moment could be already Golden Week... this is Thursday, but Golden Week is starting tomorrow, so , for most people, this is like Friday night.

For me also.  I need to work on something, but not too busy.  Some plans, but no hurry.

Hope I can write much more during this holiday....

Thanks for reading.

Vegetarian Dinner of One Day

Steamed Lentil, Cabbage, Tomato with Lemon Juice, Soy Sauce and Olive Oil.

Cut veggies and add boiled lentil. ( wash and add into boiled water. )

Heat pan and add cabbage and lentil.
Pour 1/2 cup of water and cover the lid.
Steam till they are cooked.

Place brown rice into the plate and put cabbage and lentil in the plate.  Put tomato on it.  Pour lemon juice and soy sauce, then olive oil.

Sometimes I feel " I need to eat beef."  Some another time I feel " I need to eat vegetable only...."  I think I am listening to my body.... it knows what I need...

Series Shimokitazawa IV-IV " fino!" Price List & Direction

Here is the direction to fino:

At Shimokitazawa station, exit from west exit. Take a right and go up the staircase.
You will be on the ground.  Then turn right ( you are in front of Hakuyosha--- Dry Cleaning Shop ).  Jeansmate will be on your right.  Keep on going.... for about 5 min.

Then, there will be a coin parking on your right. You are at the intersection with traffic light.  Turn right.  You will see Fino window on your right.... Fino is located on 2nd floor.

TEL:03-6416-8774 ( reservation is recommended )
Address:2F, 2-40-15 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00-20:00
Closed: on Tuesdays and 3rd Monday

Cut including quick blow: 2,100 yen
Cut ( for Jr. High, Sr.High and College Students ) 1,900 yen
Cut ( for Elementary School Students and over 65 years old ) 1,800 yen
Shampoo 1,000 yen and up

Coloring ( Shampoo & Styling ) 6,000 yen and up
Treatment 3,000 yen and up ( ingredient is kelp...)
Perm:( Shampoo & Styling is included ) 6,000 yen and up

Thank you for reading.


This is the dinner of Saturday.

I was still full from big course lunch.

Yet, wanted to have something...

Prepare steamed white rice or cold rice could work, if you have some left over in your fridge.

I usually use Nagatanien's ochazuke pack, which you can find at supermarket.  ( try Asian market )   Put that pack over the rice and pour hot green tea over it. ( ochazuke's cha means tea ).  Bolt down the rice with tea.

Nagatanien's Ochazuke Page

Series Shimokitazawa IV-III Hair Salon "fino!"

illustration and butterfly ornament

There are only two chairs for cutting and another two for shampoo.

Small, cozy ambiance.

Before opening this shop here, his shop was on the other side of the station of Shimokitazawa.  That rent of that place was limited for 2 years.  He was looking for a place before the end of the contract and found here.

Why he chose Shimokitazawa ?
" Well, I have many friends here.  When I open the shop, Shimokitazawa will be the location. I had decided.  "

"This is homey town.  Friends, acquaintances are here and it's entertaining. "

" There are actually many foreign people here.... living or visiting... various nationality here.  When you come to Tokyo, don't forget to visit this town ! "

I will give you the direction to "fino!" tomorrow.  During your visit, if you'd like to have reasonable, yet professional, relaxing shampoo time, this is the place !

Series Shimokitazawa IV-II Hair Salon " fino !"

Mr. 'fino !'
The owner, hair stylist is on the left.
He says " I'm not a good talker....". embarrassingly.

That's fine for clients.  He doesn't talk much, he talks moderately and I think clients would feel relaxed.  They would listen to him. ( I would)

Without talking, his salon shows his policy.
Simple, comfortable, quiet, adult-oriented.

I explained why I needed the shampoo, the first time I visited his place.

Quietly, he nodded and sympathized.

One time, probably I looked tired and tense.  He felt it.  He suggested ( in moderation) me taking that evening off... not to work any more.  He was right.
If I continued, I would have felt even more tired with less productivity.  Insightful advice.

The shampoo is reasonable, but it doesn't mean his job is cheap.  He takes enough time and makes sure if he shampooed enough.  Plus, if you'd like, for 500 yen, he gives you extra head massage for 5 min.
That's also relaxing.   I've visited fino! about 4 times to date.  Last time, I tried this 5 min. massage.  Still, this total price for 4 times is almost same as 1 shampoo & blow-dry at other salon prices.

There are latest magazines near the entrance in case you have to wait while he is cleaning the floor.... sweeping the floor of the hair from previous customer.

Cooking magazine, travel magazine.... also post cards are adding some colors.

Inside the Salon


Series Shimokitazawa IV-I Hair Salon " fino !"

fino !
Thanks for waiting !
This is 'fino !' located just 3 minutes from my place.

The owner, hair stylist is working in this salon alone, so when you visit, mostly you're the only customer.... therefore, you can relax and it's like almost your private salon. 

When I found this place, I wanted to try this place ,but since I had another salon I visit for my hair cut,  I didn't have a chance.  

The chance came.... after that big earthquake.  As mentioned before, I was scared to shampoo after March 11.  Of course, I have to shampoo ( which is every other day during Winter and everyday during Summer .) and I'd been doing it very quickly feeling little uneasy.... thinking " if the quake hit now.... ".. 

I decided to try this salon.  The price was attractively reasonable.  It depends on the length. My hair is now long.  It's still 1150 yen.  equivalent to ( based on current forex) US$14.  no tip in Japan.  So, this is all you pay for both shampoo ( 1st and 2nd shampoo ) and blow-dry.   If you go to other salon in this area, easily it would cost 3,500 yen or 5,000 yen.  

I will start introducing the salon....Look forward to it !  

Re-Union of High School Basketball Club @ Mikasa Kaikan IV

There is another pic, so just one more post for this gathering.

All the year spoke in front of the people.

Thanked to Ms. Endo and other two coaches who were attending the gathering as graduates.

Back in 80's, we couldn't drink water during the training.  It was prohibited.

They didn't know it was no good scientifically.  Therefore, especially during Summer Training, which lasted for 3 hours in the morning, no water, no sports drink.
After the training, it was easy to finish drinking over 1 litter water. 

I remember my mother used to ask me " what are you doing everyday for basketball?  this T-shirt, I can squeeze...." that was my sweat !   clammy !  

Also, I remember I was told by a coach that we shouldn't swim... since the muscle used for swimming is different from basketball.  Really ?  I loved swimming, but followed her words.  

Also, I used to take piano lessons.  I often sprained my fingers from basketball.
My piano instructor told me that I should choose either piano or basketball.
I chose basketball.  I knew I could play piano later when I got older, but that was the only time I could play basketball with team mates.   I could have played basketball after high school ... still the best performance would be probably only during high school.  

I still have no regrets for my decision.  I learned a lot there.  I started playing piano again when I got much older.  I can't play basketball now because of bad knees, but I sometimes play piano.  I feel I was right. 


Re-Union of High School Basketball Club @ Mikasa Kaikan III

Charolais Veal Poele/ Spring Cabbage on the Side
The food at Mikasa Kaikan was very good.
I don't remember when I came here....
Not everyday place in many ways.

Semi-formal, Ginza, dining.....price-wise also... not everyday.. this was also course menu.

Good food and good service.

This lunch gathering was from 12:00 o'clock.  Before this and after this, our class had coffee and soft drinks and kept chatting and exchanged information.

One thing, a friend brought up was interesting since I remember I just talked about this at some other opportunities with other female friends.

That is " we were on border line or we are in that generation."  What generation ?
It is " Equal Employment Opportunity Law".  That was enacted in 1986.

Also, have you read ' Cinderella Complex ' ?  ( Written by Colette Dowling and published in 1981 )   Our generation or many girls, female friends including me felt that we need to empower ourselves and need to do our best for the following generation.

When we worked hard, it was not only for ourselves.

Do we see glass ceiling yet ?  Yes,  I still hear and see that in corporate world.
However, the situation has been much improved.... compared to the time of our graduation.... 80's.

Re-Union of High School Basketball Club @ Mikasa Kaikan II

Sea Bream Roti wrapped in Dried Kelp Red Caviar Sauce
This Mikasa Kaikan is often used for this kind of gathering.

This is French ?  I guess.

They have all the cuisine in one building.

Re-Union of High School Basketball Club @ Mikasa Kaikan

Hokkaido Scallop & Udo Salad Kishu Plum Dressing
There were about 50 people.
My table had 7 people who were all my class mates @ school.

We felt so odd there since we were the youngest year in the gathering !

In everyday life we feel we are middle aged, so it was odd !

It seems the message was delivered only up to our year and younger people didn't get the message this time.
Our team was not very strong.... also, people in other years especially those senpai ( senior people ) who were both good at basketball and study seemed to be well connected and in touch frequently, we were very bad.... actually, to find some of the friends, I needed to ask a friend of mine who lives in Paris " do you know where she is !? " !!!  We were joking " when it comes to food, party, we are the first ones to come !" :-)

It was nice to catch up with each other @ this table.... then hearing about other people and talking to other senpai.  Hope we can do this every year from now on.

This was the first time to get together as " basketball club " after graduation.

Thanks to Ms. Endo, who used to be our head coach again.  She passed away last December and therefore we started talking about this some senior people started contacting people to hold this party.

One regret is that we didn't have this while she was still alive.  She connected all of us again here.... hoping she was watching this and with us.

While we thanked to Ms. Endo seriously, we remembered all the silly things we did when we were young..... it was great Saturday.