spicy cod roe & broccoli pasta
Hope you all had nice Christmas or holidays.

In Japan, holiday season is starting now.  Today was the last day for 2012 for many companies.

My company?  I am the owner and the employee, so there are still things that I should work on and there is no official closing day.

Since I need to clean my home/office, toward the end of 2012, my work load will be a little less.   Dec. 31, Jan.1 is off for us.  I will rest completely and celebrate year end and new year.

For us, Japanese, this is the year -end cleaning season.  I tried to polish some furniture, floors although it is not perfect.  Tried to wash curtains as well, yet it was raining, so will do that later.

Why we are doing this at the year end?  To welcome toshigami-sama.  The translation is year god.  We are supposed to welcome new year's god..... so we need to clean our place and purify everywhere.   I probably need to purify myself.... where is this girl friends' pledge?  Three of us were saying, I remember at the beginning of this fall...... " let's work on weight-loss".  None of us saying it now....sigh....I have not worked out lately, so my new year resolution... or one of the resolution will be that ..... work out and weight loss.....

This photo was my lunch today.  Not bad..... for weight loss..........

2 spoons of spicy cod roe ( or mentaiko)
some broccoli
1 table spoon of butter
1 table spoon of mentsuyu or sweetened soy sauce for noodle

1.  While cooking pasta, prepare cod roe sauce.
2.  Cook broccoli.  Don't overcook.  Put the butter into the heated pan and cook broccoli a little.  ( I used microwave to pre-cook broccoli a little. ) Add pinch of salt and pepper.
3.  Put the cod roe in to a deep bowl.
4. When the pasta is done, add the pasta into the pan.  Cook a minute with the broccoli and add mentsuyu.
5.  Put the above 4 into the cod roe bowl.  Stir well.



Soba in Tonjiru ( Pork Miso ) Soup

Soba Noodle in Tonjiru
Pork & vegetable miso soup is one of the typical winter foods in Japan.  Hearty soup is my favorite.

Last night, I made a little too much, so cooked soba noodle and added noodle into this soup.

I can feel the city is getting ready for Christmas and year-end.....  


Kurumafu --- Wheel Shaped Dried Gluten

The answer is this.  There are other shapes also.
This one is like a wheel, so this is called Kuruma ( auto-mobile or wheel ) fu ( bread-like food made of gluten ).

Usually, you are supposed to dip it into water before cooking it.  This time, I tried to make some kind of pizza or cracker type finger food.

It was transformed into  perfect snack( with cheese, dried herb and some salt )for movie watching.

Cook it in oven for 7, 8 min.


Nibbles and Drinks at Cold Night Watching DVD

Pineapple Slices? 
The other day, I was watching a DVD and wanted some nibbles and drinks.

A glass of mulled wine and these.

Can you guess what they are?


Sarabeth's is now in Tokyo

External Appearance of Sarabeth's
 The very first time I visited Sarabeth's Kitchen was probably about 20 years ago; taken by a friend of mine living in Manhattan.

The impression this one of the famous New York restaurants back then was no-frills, earthy place serving comfort food.   Here in Tokyo, the applied interior for younger clients invites you to some friend's dining or kitchen filled with cute, girly articles.

Four of us got there before 9 a.m.;their open, yet there were already about 10 people lined up.

Around 9:05, we were escorted to the inside of the restaurant.

Nice, sophisticated ambiance is very Tokyo, which I felt bit too sophisticated, but we enjoyed it.  Lately, we have pancake places such as Eggs 'n' Things imported from Hawaii or Bills from Australia.  Still, not many places provide these kinds of breakfast.... one of my favorite, Eggs Benedict!
Classic Eggs Benedict

It is located right above JR Shinjuku Station.

If I could claim though, I wish their opening time were 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.

We were sure to come back here.   Next time to try Omelet or Cream of Tomato.



Cookery guru serves wisdom with her soups | The Japan Times Online

Cookery guru serves wisdom with her soups | The Japan Times Online

This is so true...... I enjoy eating out, yet everyday food is important, for it makes you.

A Candy Box from Korea

Korean Candies 
Beautiful Korean candy box was given by a Korean guest I met during the market. 

( There was TIFFCOM, a film and TV market held in Tokyo and I was working on the event. ) 

Crispy rice, Almond cake, Sesame snack.... all are healthy, nutritious ....and less sweet compared to Japanese sweets.  

Some said because Korean teas are sweeter.... I haven't been to Seoul for many years, have to visit and find out. 

Before Afternoon Classes......

Bento Box /Edamame & Umeboshi
This rice is lately my favorite.  When I have classes at some school, I bring lunch box, which is healthy and cost-saving.

Edamame & Umeboshi ( pickled plum) rice.

Umeboshi has antibacterial effectiveness.


Wasanbon---Dry Confectionery

Add caption

A gift from some students group of mine....beautiful dry confectionery.

These are made of wasanbon.....explained in the link above.   Fine-grained sugar brings your mouth, delicate, sophisticated sweetness and melts.....

Shapes are river, gold fish, shell, leaf etc....

Good with green tea.

Garlic Salmon --- Quick & Easy Salmon

Garlic Salmon
This one using mayonnaise...is simply delicious.

If you like soy sauce flavor and garlic, you have to try this.


Salmon: 1 fillet
Soy sauce: 2 tablespoon
Garlic: 1 clove / crushed
Mayonnaise: 2 tablespoons
White wine: 1 tablespoon
Black pepper:  To your taste
Steamed white rice: Some

1.  Heat a frying pan.  Add mayonnaise.
2.  Mayonnaise will start melting.   Add salmon & garlic.
3.  Cook salmon well.  Flip it over.  Cook well.
4.  Add white wine.   Then, add soy sauce.
5.  Place the rice on the plate.  Place the salmon on it.  Put garlic flavored sauce over it.


Writing @ Open Source Cafe, Shimokitazawa

Open Source Cafe 
Finally, we are enjoying this fall weather.... it's been hot unusually.    In September, it was like August, early last week, it was like September...
I'm still wearing short sleeves.

It's such a pleasant weather today..... I can feel dopamine is secreting from my brain....nice day!

Unfortunately,  few cafes or restaurants are providing Wi-Fi in Japan, though gradually some are starting equipped with it.  

Here, I don't have to bring my cable, router etc.

Tartar Sauce on Steamed Potato

It's national holiday today.   Health-sports day.
Instead of doing sports, I am writing this blog ...feeling relaxed.

There are things including work listed up.....hoping I can work on them today.  Before working on them.... let me enjoy this....

For a while, I felt rushed by work....I've been enjoying them, yet it requires concentration...I'd like to do best for our clients.

Since last night, somehow I wanted to eat tartar sauce.... no TV influence.... do you get this kind of inspiration once in a while?  No books is suggesting tartar sauce... I wonder where this came from....Anyways, I decided to make the sauce first.

Today's Tartar Sauce:

Fresh parsley---Chopped / 2 tablespoons.
Fresh lemon juice ---1 tablespoon.
Onion---Chopped. /1/4 medium onion.
Pickles---Bottled pickles with dill relish / 2 table spoons
Boiled egg---Chopped / 1 egg.
Mayonnaise---2 tablespoons.
Salt & Pepper--- A pinch.

Just stir the above all ingredients in a bowl.  Put some on steamed potato.


Pancake is In ?!?!

Banana, Caramel, Ice Cream Pancake!
I haven't written for a while, then today, I realized that I cannot upload the photo from iPhoto anymore?

It seems like everything has to be controlled within google service?

hmmm.  Hope they can change it.

Anyways, I was going to write about trends in Japan.

Pancake has been popular here.... when this trend began ....?  Perhaps when " Eggs 'n' Things " arrived here.  There seems  to be still long lines to get in there... I cannot wait in lines .... one hour.... no, thank you....

Also, Australian pancake restaurant " Bills" is also here.  Haven't tried this place either.

This photo is from my neighbor place... " Deli & Bakery".   Cooking pancake at home is also nice, but these ice cream, caramel sauce..... extra toppings is something I enjoy when I eat out.

Yesterday was....

Cookie from Friends 
Ah, I am not a good blogger this year.
Thanks to my clients, though, from one to the next, work comes in.  It's been busy, quick summer for me.

Yesterday was my birthday.  :-)
My friends gave me some nice gifts and this is a cookie.  Too cute and I cannot eat this.


Healthy Ethiopian Dish @ Safari African Restaurant

I was working on research ..... started from U.S., U.K. and then Europe etc..... today I worked on some African countries.

Lucky me.  I visited this place and tried some dishes.  The first dish was this salad.

Dressed with some fresh dressing, lentil, tomato, onion etc..... well-balanced healthy salad soothed my body which was tired from never-ending summer heat.

Before I forget, let me advise you the details of the place.  You can enjoy Pan African cuisine.

BELLZU AKASAKA 2F, 3-13-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Lunch:11:00-15:00 Dinner:17:00-23:00

2 min. from Akasaka Station of Chiyoda Line.

Cafe Nature @ Odakyu Department Store


Anmitsu is explained in here.

Cafe Nature is located on 2F of Odakyu Department Store.

Ice cream and sweet bean jam are topped.

London Paralympic Games are starting today. I've been tied up with the preparation to help the broadcast.

Very sleepy today....


Sardine with Cod Roe

Mentai Iwashi 
I probably posted this sardine while ago.

Spicy cod roe is stuffed in the middle of this sardine.  Simply grilled.   The white stuff above the sardine is grated daikon radish.   The fish is quite salty, so I like to eat this kind of fish with radish.  Also, it helps digestion.

The miso soup also has chopped daikon radish.
The rice is brown rice.

Currently, I am studying something.  It's a secret :-)
Studying takes time and also in the past two weeks, Olympic games took up  my time.

Because of time difference, soccer game, swimming, etc... were aired from mid night.  Or 3:45 a.m. !

Now finally I am out of this "domestic " jet lag."


Hefty Summer Salad

Calamari & Avocado Salad
Summer is getting hotter and hotter every year.
Almost everyday, approximately over 400
people are carried to hospital due to heat stroke.

My cat's appetite is poor now.

I bought this calamari from a supermarket.
Sliced avocado, placed diced tomato on the bed of lettuce.

Refreshing summer salad.

London Olympic Games has begun.  How is your country doing?


Japanese Wrapping

Sweet Jelly in Square Basket 
If you've been to Japan, you have experienced it.
When you shop at shops, department stores, things are carefully wrapped.

Lately, if it is for my own use, I try to decline, for saving papers, plastic bags.    Trying to choose eco-friendly way.

This was a gift from my friend's mother.
Summery, basket container!

It seems they were already packaged in this basket.  After eating sweets, you can use this for something....as stationary case, tray for letters, greeting cards etc...


Marine Day --- Holiday in Japan

We are still in rainy season, yet this weather is already mid summer!  Very hot and when I walk, it feels like being grilled..... dehydrated, burned.

This is Marine Day holiday.  Am I supposed to be lying on the beach?

New project came in, so I have to work today.  It feels good though.  I'm healthy enough ( haven't done any check-up lately, so I need to do) , working @ OSS Cafe near my place.  In air-conditioned, cool, comfortable room.

I like to remind myself though, there are things we need to pay attention to.
This article is explaining about a part of Japan, where needs more attention and help.



How French People Eat

Ham & Cucumber Sandwich
As I love eating, I love reading about food and other countries' eating habits, customs as well.

At the moment, I'm reading a book written by a Japanese woman who lived in Paris for a while.

Easily influenced, the book made me want to eat something French.

Yesterday, I made this sandwich for breakfast.

Now, there is another one I have to try..... according to her, French moms make chocolate sandwich.... instead of ham and cucumber here, they simply put a sheet of chocolate.

Can't wait.


Summer Solstice 2012

This was June 21, 2012.  My neighbor and co-working space, OSS Cafe held solstice day special.  Opened at 4:30.

Being there @ 4:30 was a little hard for me.
I showed up around 5:30 a.m.  :-)

Slices of watermelon....was my breakfast.

It seems they prepared hearty soup and biscuits, yet while I went back home to pick up some notebooks, they were gone.

Several people were @ cafe to enjoy the day.


Sensational Shaved Ice

shaved ice/ green tea flavor 
What a shame.  I've been living in this town, Shimokitazawa over 10 years.

Till yesterday, I hadn't had chance to try their famous shaved ice.

During summer time, I saw long lines originated from the shop front.... I always wondered what it was.

It took us 90 min. to get in the shop.  Another 15 min. to get this.

Fluffy, finely textured shaved ice melted in my mouth with authentic green tea flavor.

Yes, authentic.....this shop is located on 2nd floor.  On the 1st floor, they are selling green teas.  This shop has prestigious Tea Masters and in this cafe, you will see many trophies they won at competitions.

We ordered extra condensed milk...I would call it " petite luxury", meaning I can't afford or wouldn't have desire for luxury items, restaurants, yet I need to spoil myself as reward once in a while.

Truly, it was sensational experience.  Before this, we were all exhausted.  Additionally, we had to wait.  All these pain was gone, when we got up after eating this.  Five of us were smiling and satisfied.

Shimokita Chaen Ohyama
Address: 2-30-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Closed on Mondays.
Open: 2p.m. - 6p.m.

3 min. from Shimokitazwa Station. It's on North side.  Go out to Peacock store side.  When you come down the stairs, take a right.  Yokohama Bank will be on your left.  The next building has the shop and cafe.  1) To go to the tea shop, take a left at Yokohama Bank.  The shop selling green teas will be on your right.
2) To go to this tea salon ( cafe ), After passing Yokohama Bank, go straight.
There is a stairs going up on your left.  Take that.  ( Thai restaurant is located on the same floor.)  The entrance is very small.  Yet, usually there is a line even before opening.


I'm Fine!

I'm surprised that I've been quiet for this long time.  It's been hectic and I'm fine.
Thanks for checking!  I do appreciate your stopping by here.

Will try to come back soon.

Just a quick note to let you know, I am still alive and haven't been hurt in any ways.


Thai Dishes @ Friends' Place

Happy Birthday!

I forgot to take the picture of the very last dish....Thai green curry with eggplant.

Very hot, but very good.

Authentic Thai food weekend.

Of course, I needed to skip the dinner.

Thai Dishes for One Year Old Birthday Party

miso paste & blue cheese paste

Vegetable dips were also delicious.  This miso dip had a little garlic in it and the blue cheese had some lemon juice....nice starter.

The fried shrimp roll was good with sweet chili sauce.

One year baby girl.... I wonder if she knew it was for her.....but when she gets older, she will see the pictures from this party and feel how we celebrated her birthday and love her.

shrimp roll


Thai Dishes @ Friends' Place

Crunchy  Thai Snack
I eat everyday..... simply this is lucky thing.
Additionally, I love all sorts of food.... there is almost none I cannot eat..... ( maybe there are some.... but I haven't encountered yet.)   This is also lucky thing.

A friend of mine, Thai friend living in Tokyo invited me to her home yesterday..... the home her husband, she and two kids are living in.

It was her baby girl's 1 year birthday party....delicious Thai dishes were served.... with wines and beers... Scrumptious!

This is deep fried won-ton like snack.... served with sweet chili sauce.  On the corner of the plate, you can see one of her ( for her this is probably too easy) carving works.....carved carrot and cucumber.  The filling was fried minced pork..... with a hint of garlic.  Yum.

Kokonotsuido in Futako Tamagawa

appetizer &  aperitif

 This restaurant, " Kokonotsuido" (meaning 9 wells)has several shops in Tokyo area.


The one we had lunch the other day is located on the basement floor of east building of Tamagawa  Takashimaya Department store.

At first, we heard that this is bento box... another cousin arranged this and made a reservation chose this because others were too expensive.

It turned out the name of Bento is just the name of the course, this was beautiful course menu of delicacy using all the seasonal ingredients.... unfortunately, my phone's battery was gone when I tried to take more pictures..... please enjoy these and if you have a chance, please try their lunch or dinner.  All of us were very happy with this place and their food.

tatami room 


Will Be Back Soon!

If you check my blog regularly, apology for this silence.  I haven't had enough time to sit in front of computer to write.  I will come back soon, hopefully this weekend.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  As you can imagine, lately, my food is not so interesting....some sandwich or instant noodles from convenience store.

You are what you eat....yes, truly.


My Cousin from New York

Center of the Restaurant
This is a good place to take foreign guests.  The entrance is narrow and you wouldn't expect this inside.

Nice decor is relaxing and you will forget where you are.
Can't believe that this is located in the basement of a department store.

Food was excellent, too!


Lunch @ Annual Alumni Event

This BENTO was provided to the attendees.  There were about 200 people at the party!?

The center, plum flower shaped ones are rice.
On the top, there is umeboshi-pickled plum.

The top left is broiled salmon.  The center... I forgot.  The right top is some kind of vegetable.

The middle left is fish sausage ( kamaboko ) and some meat ball.  The down left is cooked potato, carrot and some others.  The pink ball.... we wondered....the inside was sort of fish ball.  The shell was ...we were not sure.  The color is so vivid!

Then shrimp tempura.   There was also a small packet of sweets.  I sat with same class mates.... my year had about 12 people.
We kept talking and were scolded three times..... actually, we were not the only group.  The teacher making speech sighed...." Well, we had to scold you while you were in the school.  After so many years after graduation, I still have to say the same... "  lol.


Alumni Association Event

st. margaret's
The other day, I attended Alumni Association Event, which is annually scheduled around this time of year.

This is more official than other re-unions.  Any alum can attend this.  The event includes accounting report etc...

For other re-unions, we use ordinary restaurants, but this official one is always held at school.

Nice to see the school where I spent my young days.

Nothing gorgeous, but we had lunch time after the official meeting.
Will show you the BENTO box we had.   Please come back !  Thanks for visiting my blog.


Uncle S's Memorial Service---@ Grave in Kodaira

The monk chanting sutra
Before the lunch, we visited the grave, which is our family's.  My father, grandfather, grandmother, my father's sisters & brothers and some more ancestors who I haven't even met are sleeping in here.  ( It is the law to cremate and turn deceased into ashes )  Their bones are placed in potteries and placed underneath of this grave stone.

On the surface, it says " Watanabe Famliy ".

On the left, there is a flat square stone. It has all the names of the deceased people in the family.

Uncle S's Memorial Service---VI

We have many cousins and their children

This time, there were young ones, who are children of my cousins.

Then over there, you can see some of my aunts and uncles.

3 generations together.



Uncle S's 13th Memorial Service---V

Cooked Bamboo Shoot

A few more dishes.  Please bear with me.
The Bamboo shoot is our typical spring food.
Fresh smell and hard-to describe texture....

Clear soup had pretty gluten ball..

Clear Soup with Chicken Ball


Uncle S's 13th Memorial Service ---IV

Next was tempura.  Only salt ( pink salt ) was served with it.   Enjoyed the crispy texture.

This side which comes with fish..... I don't know wat it was, but it was a jelly and cheese like stuff. :-)

We were too busy talking and forgot to ask.

Broiled Fish


Uncle S's 13th Memorial Service ---III

Table Setting
This was comfortable arrangement.  Usually, on tatami room, we have to sit on our heels.

In this room, they had this low Western style chairs and therefore, we didn't have to sit on the floor.

I have very bad knee, so this setting saved me.

Uncle S's 13th Memorial Service---II

This restaurant near the cemetery serves nice food.  Beautifully presented dishes were all good.

We talked about this uncle, memories.... for the first 15 min., then we started talking about other things....sorry, uncle S. :-)

I remember I won 500 yen from this uncle.
Our family used to play Russian Poker.... for fun.
Not serious casino at all.  Also for very small money... should be statute of limitation!


Uncle S's 13th Memorial Service

The left top is vinegared food; sliced cucumber. seaweed. edible flower.

The middle plate has boiled shrimp, cooked scallop, shrimp in salted bonito offal.

After the service, we were hungry, yet finding the parking lot for this restaurant was tough.


Uncle's Memorial Service

It was such a feast.  17 of us had Japanese traditional course menu for my uncle's memorial service.  The lunch started around noon.  At 9 p.m., I feel full still.

Will upload the photo tomorrow.  Thanks for checking.


Chicken Cooked in Tomato Sauce
Lately, it's been a little hectic.  As mentioned before, new season started and especially for teaching, April is a new season and I have a few new classes which has just started.

My cooking is becoming simple, quick ones.

The photo is chicken cooked in tomato sauce.  Very easy.

Two cloves of garlic, sliced.
Some chicken thigh.
1/3 canned tomato.
Tea spoonful Olive oil.
Asparagus or any green vegetable as a side.
A pinch of salt.
A table spoonful white wine.
Some rosemary. ( I used dried Italian herb mix.)

1. Make a slit in the chicken and place sliced garlic in there.
2. Heat the pan and pour the olive oil.
3. Start cooking chicken.  Brown the surface.
4. Add rosemary and white wine.
5. Add canned tomato.  Cook well till the sauce gets 1/3 of the original.
6.  Season with salt.... add some more salt to your taste.



Simple Dinner with Sweet Potato.

Minced Meat & Sweet Potato /Loquat
Loquat....I just checked this name in English....the orange fruits which we call BIWA in Japanese.  Juicy, fresh flavor, not to sweet.

Between brown rice and miso soup, the main dish is cooked ground pork and sweet potato.

Very simple dinner of one night.  Healthy though.

Sweet potato --- 1 or 2 pieces... depending on the size.
Ground pork  --- 100 g or as you like.

A table spoon of oil ( I used grape seed oil. you can use any such as olive oil.)
A pinch of salt
A table spoon of sake or white wine
A tea spoon of soy sauce
A tea spoon of brown sugar ( or sugar, maple syrup, honey...)
A 1/2 cup of water
A tea spoon of dashi powder ( or granulated powder of soup stock)

1.  Put the oil in the heated pan.
     Start cooking ground pork in a heated pan at medium heat.
     When the color changed, add the cut sweet potato.
2.  Add a pinch of salt, sugar, sake, dashi powder and water.
3.  Keep cooking.  If the potato is well cooked and the liquid in the pan is boiled down, ready to serve.

Sweet, soy sauce flavored potato.  Enjoy!


Baby Octopus Pasta --- Spring Food

Ocellated octopus pasta
Baby octopus...just because it's tiny version of octopus, I would call it.  The official name is ocellated octopus apparently.

You can see several on this plate... especially the one sitting on the right....shrinking.... ( sorry that you are killed for this, but thank you for giving me your nutrition.  I appreciate fruits of the sea.)

One of many foods which makes us feel that we are in Spring.

The left is yesterday's lunch at Tapas & Tapas in Shimokitazawa.

They are operating many restaurants in Tokyo area.  The lunch includes free drinks.  ( I had iced Chinese tea and coffee.)  Their specialty is variety of pasta.

I can hear gusty wind growling and it seems raining  , too.  With this strong wind and rain, cherry blossoms will be gone.  Sad, but after cherry blossom, usually temperature goes up and we will have real spring.

April is Japan's new fiscal year also.  I have a meeting in business district today, so looking forward to seeing brand-new office workers.  Somehow, I can tell or you can tell also, I think.... those fresh faces with new suits are noticeable..... probably their suits do not fit them well enough yet. :-)

As little bit senior person, ( just a little :-))  I would like to send hearty cheers to them.  There should be many difficulties, obstacles and times that you might get depressed, but you are our hope, young people!  Enjoy your work and study!


Experimental Oyster Sautee

Sauteed Oyster
This was more like lightly fried than saute, maybe.

It was successful!  These plump oysters....wash them first, then dress them in flour.

Put some ( I used a spoonful ) butter and olive oil into the heated pan.  Add some grated garlic, which is the key.

Add oysters at low heat.  Cook well.  Sprinkle a pinch of salt.  When the oysters are well cooked, turn off the heat.

Pour a spoonful soy sauce into the pan and dress the oysters with it.

The outside is crispy, inside is fluffy oysters are done!  This was really well made!
Please try!  The side is sauteed green vegetable and sliced tomato. :-)


Cherry Blossoms Started Blooming

Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday, we had terrible gusty winds, which was almost 25 or 30 mps. ( American people, this is not mile....instead of mile, this is meter.)

We felt like unseasonal typhoon was hitting Japan.  I came back around 5 pm holding an umbrella whose bones were little bended by blast.   It was also raining.

Today, the sky was clear blue and sun came out.
Usually, cherry blossoms bloom around the last week of March, but this year, we had unusual weather, so its blooming was slow.

20% Blooming
It seems after the storm, cherry thought " oh, it's gone now, safe enough to show our flowers."

Near my place, there is little stream where cherry trees are set along with.

Lovely, refreshing afternoon.  I needed to get some food stuff at supermarket and enjoyed walking the area watching these seasonal flowers.

Cherry blossoms are so important for Japanese, when we can see this flower, we feel Spring Has Come!  Also, it lasts only for a week at the longest.  This fragile, delicacy is also precious.


"Life is like a Cup of Coffee "

This was inspiring, something you probably know,but often forget.
                         Thanks to my friend, who uploaded this on FB.

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Omurice & English Teaching

Omu Rice

This is today's lunch.  As usual, let me use wikipedia for the explanation on OMURICE.

This shop's omurice was sitting in beef stew like dark sauce.  The eggs were half cooked, so it melts in your mouth.  Scrumptious.

In my profile, I am introducing myself as media consultant.  Yes, I still do.  Along with media business, I teach English also.

If it were 6 years ago, I thought " English teacher? that is because your business is not good and doing that as part time? "
Well, English teaching certainly makes some part of my company's profits, yet I am now doing it because I feel it is fun and meaningful.  It came to me by coincidence.

This spring makes my 5th year of English teaching experience.  4 years ago, I was asked by a private college to teach a class a week, which provides the combined education of English and Movie/Media businesses.  I had been in movie, TV and content businesses and always used English, so it made sense.  At the same time, another friend of mine asked me if I was interested in teaching English..... this was more for interpretation class.... to teach how to interprete.  Yes, I sometimes do interpreter, translator mainly for entertainment/media businesses, but I was not sure if I could teach.  Teaching is totally different from learning and/or using it as a tool.  This friend said I would fit in the job and I have that talent.  I decided to try anyways.  He says I have competence to carry entertaining class.

For the first year, it was hard.  It took time for me to come to a decision of everything.... what kind of material I should pick for the next class.... how to explain about this and that.....now I get used to do all this work.  It still requires time and energy, but I can handle it.  I always wanted to polish my English..... good enough to carry out the projects and strike deals, yet not sophisticated enough.  Still not good enough, to be called sophisticated, I am still studying.  However, if I didn't get this opportunity, I wouldn't have pursued to brush up my English.  Teaching is learning.  I decided to polish my English more and concentrate on this for a while.

Also, I found teaching brings me unexpected pleasure.  When somebody, who couldn't speak English, struggling shows glowing happiness on his/her face with delight to understand something new or to get better, it makes me so happy.

Each student's character, mindset, strength, weakness.....these are also vary.
It is a learning opportunity about human being also.

Therefore, I am now taking more time to teach English.  In January, I took TOEIC test, which is a kind of practical, business English test.  My score was not perfect, but high enough, 985.  The previous score was 955, so maybe little, but my competence got little better, I guess.  ( Perfect score is 990)

Every Sunday, I have two classes, which was also started by coincidence.
The co-working space near my place asked me to start a class.  Now, with more students, I have two classes.  They are trying to get better and I can help them.
Simply, I feel it is fun and these students are nice, unique, fun people to be with.
Almost every time, we go out for lunch together after the classes.  The photo is today's lunch in Shimokitazawa.

Thanks to them.  A student noticed my computer is so slow.  He bought a memory pack and today he adjusted hardware with new memory.  I get so much from this class.

This lunch place is " es cafe dining".  For lunch, this OMURICE, small salad, a drink costs 1,000 yen.


Hectic Saturday Afternoon

7/11's Cereal

Lunch and Favorite Novel
This afternoon was supposed to be relaxing break after hectic week.

How should I put it!?  Have you seen "Brothers &Sisters"?

Some images of that TV series came to my mind.  I was trying to adjust some family issue and talked to some aunts about it.

First, it seemed I managed it somehow....then it resulted in several hour long phone calls!

I talked to one aunt.  She was actually on the phone with another aunt.  When I called this another aunt, the talk on the issue continued.  Then, I was supposed to call the third aunt, but I was tired, so was going to call this aunt later today, but because another aunt had already called the third aunt, third aunt called me and she started blaming me and I talked her back !!!  I thought " this might end our good relationship!", but after that we kept talking and she understood the situation.  phew.  It was supposed to be quite simple issue.
Women's talk fly so fast!  The longest talk took me an hour and a half, but we had good talk and she told me inspiring story, which is her own experience.   At the end, we laughed and comforted each other.

My aunts all have different characters and they all have their own opinion.  Strong women!  They are straightforward.  It is stressful once in a while, but I enjoy communicating with them.

So, the top is my breakfast.  Seven-Eleven's cereal.  Lunch was pasta with onion, green pepper, chicken breast and canned tomato.  I found one of my favorite author's new book at the bookstore and read half way.  ( The setting is in Edo Era....when people were still wearing kimono.  The protagonist is female chef.... which is totally fiction, but this is fiction anyways!  She chooses her life now....if she marries to the man she loves or her career as a cook.  )

Then this phone call storm started.  Ahhhh.  Let me go back to the book now.
I need to escape from reality for a while.  :-)