6/04/2011

After the Gathering..... @ Outback Steak House

Small Size Barbecued Rib
http://www.outbacksteakhouse.co.jp/en/index.html
I excused myself from the gathering since I had early start next morning.... then on the way to the station I felt I needed to eat.

It was already around 11:30 p.m... but.... I decided to have something before going home.

Not exactly American, the place is Aussie cuisine restaurant as you know.... Outback Steak House.  They had this small barbecued rib.
No hesitation.... I love barbecued rib !  It healed my hunger..... 

Film Industry Gathering @ Suji's Roppongi

Tokyo Tower & Suji's
The other day, there was a gathering @ Suji's Roppongi.

If you miss American cuisine, this is the place that you can feel @ home.

Unfortunately, I missed the dinner there that night.  I had to work till 8:30 p.m. and when I got to Suji's it was already around 10 p.m.  Still I enjoyed a glass of red wine and meeting with people.

It was nice to see some familiar faces and also new faces.... then there was a great magic show.... oh, he was so good.  You choose a card and the card comes out of his mouth or his pocket.... when did he move the card ???????

Suji's
http://www.sujis.net/sub24_3.htmPHPSESSID=bf543c24ff21821c52cbdfa84bb560da

Series Shimokitazawa VII-VIII Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Shelf of Fruits
Let me finish Kitazawa Kajuen by introducing their location and website.

http://www.rakuten.co.jp/kitazawa-kajuen/
( only in Japanese )
This is their internet shop on Rakuten.

Address:
Kitazawa 2-37-17 1F, Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo, Japan
TEL: 03-3481-8900 FAX:6407-8028
From Shimokitazawa Station:
If you exit from the central exit, take a right.  Go down the stairs and turn right again.  Keep walking till you hit the end of the street ( on the way, you will see Bank of Yokohama on your left and TOMODS drugstore on your right. )

Take a left and turn right immediately after that... that's the corner of Shimokitazawa Law Office.. The street is very narrow... You will enjoy walking in the real residential area of Shimokitazawa.  On your right, you will see a small Kimono shop.  When you come out to the street and small intersection, that is Ichiban Gai ( 1st avenue ).  Take a left there.  In a few minutes, you will see Kitazawa Kajuen on your left.

Ichiban Gai ( 1st Avenue ) is filled with interesting shops.  Enjoy strolling around.

You can drink the juice in the shop or ask to make it " to go ".
Actually, I had their grapefruit juice ( white grapefruit today) today.
It's the end of season and very sweet... well ripe and refreshing.  Mr. Kitazawa knows fruits and if you ask for the best of the season, he will suggest the best for you.




Thanks for reading.

6/03/2011

Sleepy Week....

Is this probably weather ?  It's been hectic week, but I am good at handling these fatigue.... usually.  Yesterday it was cold... like April.  Then it was very warm today.  My body cannot cope with it probably.  Thank god.  It's weekend.  I should get good sleep now.  Good night, will try to write some more over this weekend.  Thanks for reading as always.

Series Shimokitazawa VII-VII Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Fresh Juice 

Lately I've been drinking Kitazawa Kajuen's fresh juice several times a week.

Freshly squeezed juices and some yogurt drink.   I've tried orange juice, strawberry and yogurt, mango juice, kiwi juice, apple juice ( 50 yen of apple juice price... goes to a charity for Tohoku quake & tsunami ),ruby grapefruit juice and special orange and pineapple juice... worthwhile to try this orange and pineapple....not on the menu and you'd need add extra 50 yen or so,but worthwhile to ask for....  The price of these are around 400 yen to 500 yen.....depending on the fruit.   The glass is big, probably twice of the glass that I usually drink at kiosk or other places.

6/02/2011

Series Shimokitazawa VII-VI Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Gambare Tohoku!!!
The sticker on the cherry package says " Gambare Tohoku !!! meaning Hold on, Tohoku Region ! "

"We can arrange various kinds of package  depending on the request.
As to organic or not .... we do carry organic fruits, but we have conventional or regular fruits also. Organic flavor is too mild or not flavorful enough for some people... that is the reason.  "
A few more posts for Kitazawa Kajuen including direction and website.

Long Day--- Will Write Tomorrow

I got up 5 am this morning and just came back... it's 0:37am.
Am falling asleep.... will write tomorrow again.  Thanks for comments !

At 10:00 p.m. I arrived @ Roppongi station.... then joined the gathering.... met nice people there.... glad that I pushed myself to go there.

Going to bed now.  See U tomorrow.

5/31/2011

Series Shimokitazawa VII-V Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Gift Packages/Baskets



Here are samples, pre-decorated baskets.... you can make your own....ask Mr. Kitazawa.

" I also enjoy talking to producers of these fruits.  Their mindset, care.... comes out later in their fruits.... it's like raising children. "
Mango Cup / Fruit Basket

Remind me if I forget..... Japanese Curry

It's easy.  Just wanted to show you just in case.... you don't know.
Will show you within this week.  I remember I said that.  Thank you.

( My favorite is JAVA curry.  spicy ! )

5/30/2011

Series Shimokitazawa VII-IV/ Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Cooper & Sweetie

More talk from Kitazawa Kajuen tomorrow !  Please come check !!

Thank you. 

Series Shimokitazawa VII-III/ Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Kitazawa Family !
Let me introduce Mr. & Mrs. Kitazawa and their daughters.

It was very kind of them... taking time for me.  I thought children of fruit shop would always eat fruits... that' s not true.
I learned.. I don't mind to become their daughter and keep eating anything left....
( I 'm sure they do mind :-))

Nice friendly people.  Oh, I have to show their lovely dogs also.  Later... next post will be their turn.

How Mr. Kitazawa started his shop ?
His father had fruit shop, whose history is 55 years.  Mr. Kitazawa started his fruit specialist career as the middle person of fruits market.  When he was young ( he looks still young ) he didn't think he would be involved into fruit business this deep.... " I didn't imagine this....after working @ market, I started helping my father's business.... mainly in charge of gift packages such as decoration  for Buddhist rites.  "   He also started e-commerce.... opened a shop on RAKUTEN... a major Japanese e-commerce market.  ( I will introduce their website of the shop later. )  Basically, he managed both shop and internet shop.

Why moved to Shimokitazawa ?
" Well, my father's shop was located in Jujo--- one of the famous, conventional shopping avenue and Ebisu...and... another... a previous contract of the shop place was ending.... for renewal.... chose Shimokitazawa... in this area... I mean both Keio line and Odakyu line... we already had customers from internet... What I wanted to do was to sell on the net and also to sell to the customers directly... face to face. "

I totally understand.  That is why I started this Series... with internet dissemination, we tend to lose opportunities to talk, sell and buy in person....

" After we came.... we felt so comfortable.  Friendly people here... and the relationships with people around us reminds us our hometown.... which is east side of Tokyo.  "  Good to hear that.  Often, people think that the west side of Tokyo is bit snobbish... not at all.

Fruits.... who eat them ?
" Our specialty is package fruits.  " Yes, you can buy everyday fruits probably @ super market also, but when you'd like to send something nice to your friend or clients who were hospitalized or for any special occasion.... you'd like to choose something nicer.... with nice decoration.  Mr. Kitazawa knows it.

" I always ask who is going to eat them.  That's important.  Men.... tend to prefer citrus such as grapefruits... also tropical ones such as mango.  Surprised ?  Women like apples....and citrus as well... senior people cannot handle tropical fruits. Usually. It depends on his/her history.  "  Right !  My father likes mango... because he was born in Manila ... he is Japanese... also he used to import dried mango !

"For example, one customer told me... he doesn't like Papaya.... it reminds him his experience during war.... that painful experience... "  Then, of course, it's smell is in his memory with the smell or flavor....

" Therefore, I try to ask about the preference and also the age, gender, the condition of the person.... trying to choose the best ..."

Let me show you the dogs who were relaxed on the floor.

5/29/2011

Nuke Power Plant .... Worries, Discussion, Awareness, Energy Shift

We are still watching Fukushima plant hoping that they succeed in cooling down the system shortly.... now another worry is Fukui prefecture.  Lately... people are paying attention to other nuke reactors in Japan.

Maybe you are not interested... maybe you are... so, let me share just a few basic information with you here today.

--- Nuke Plant Ginza
Have you been to Ginza ?  Ginza is famous and probably one of the most prestigious shopping district in Tokyo.  Brand shops and departments are lined up. Nuke Plant Ginza means there are so many of them and/or there was that much investment there.

Total 14 units along with Wakasa Bay, Fukui prefecture--- 2 @ Tsuruga, 3 @ Mihama, 4 @ Ohoi, 4 @ Takahama and 1 Monju.   Monju is fast breeder reactor.

--- Why people are worried about Monju now ?
Monju is people's concern now.  The plant has been sitting there for over 16 years, yet has not produced any electric power yet.  It is said the cost of maintaining the plant is 50 billion yen a year.   In 1995, sodium coolant leaked from the system and it reacted with oxygen and moisture in the air ( that is the nature of this sodium ) , which caused fire.  Similar to Dounreay/UKaccident.

Then in 2010, when they were trying to lift in-vessel transfer device, it fell into containment vessel and stuck there.  They have tried to pull it out over 20 times and still have not succeeded.  on May 24, they started working on this pullout again.

To me, it seems there is something more complicated... the manager  who was in charge of the in-vessel transfer device committed suicide this February.
Also, it seems the reaction of those elements used in the plant is quite sensitive and I wonder if it is real safe enough.

--- Financial Support, Employment Opportunities...
For rural cities such as Tsuruga, the financial support of nuke power plant is huge.
Annual revenue including grants, nuclear fuel tax is 1/4 of general revenue.  Sounds like local people are worried about the plant after seeing Fukushima, yet it is not allowed to mention it openly, for they might lose their jobs.

Thank you for reading.

Eggplant/ Red Bell Pepper/ Chicken Curry Rice

Lunch of May 29,2011
The green drink is green barley drink.  ( It comes in a box... the box has packets of green barley powder.  )

In Summer, I eat this kind of Japanese curry often.  Its stimulation.... mmmm... stimulates my brain. ( it doesn't mean I become smart... but at least it wakes me up.  good stimulation for my sleeping brain ) :-) 


Shall I show the process ?  Probably you have made already...... just in case, I will show the process.  Hope you can find Japanese curry boxes @ markets.

Will try to explain how to cook basic Japanese curry.  You can try different ingredients.  



Series Shimokitazawa VII-II/ Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

Grapefruit from Kitazawa Kajuen 
Let me add one more pic.... for Kitazawa Kajuen today.

This is displayed in their display case.
So far, I have seen grapefruits ( both white and ruby ), cut pineapple.... I guess depending on the season, it varies.

When I am too tired or busy, this is helpful.  It has plenty juice and fruit itself.

Instead of drinking soda, try this !  Much healthier.  It has slight bitterness which I like and also very sweet.    mmmmm.  Before judging something, you have to try things at least once.... is usually my policy.  This time, I felt I was right.  ( I didn't think it was this good. )  

Series Shimokitazawa VII-I / Kitazawa Kajuen ( Orchard )

The entrance of Kitazawa Kajuen.

5 min. walk from my place.

On the left of the entrance, there are bananas.  Inside various kinds of fruits are displayed.... Japanese and foreign.

At first, I thought I usually buy fruits @ supermarkets and probably wouldn't have to buy here.   Then, I heard that they have freshly squeezed juice.... so, I tried.

The first juice I tried was navel orange juice.   Mr. Kitazawa, the owner of shop advised me that I should try the seasonal navel orange juice, which has peachy smell and texture.  Yes, it was thick, flavorful ....rich fragrance of orange.
If I was told that it was peach, I could have believed that....

Since then, I have tried several different juices.... all so good.  The portion is big enough, so 350 or 400 yen feels reasonable for me, plus, I look forward to seeing my skin later this year.... if I keep drinking their juice..... maybe it improves my skin condition !???

Later, I met Kitazawa family.  I enjoyed talking to them.... including dogs.  I will introduce them tomorrow.