- - - 11/30/2005 - - -

TUFS Food Festival

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:00 am

My friend is a student at TUFS (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), and his school had a foreign food festival. I got to try lots of foods from around the world, although my favorite by far were the tofu donuts.

- - - 11/28/2005 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 2:37 am

Since last year I skipped thanksgiving altogether, this year I wanted to try to make one. Of course being in Japan means that I have to make some compromises and substitutions. The first and biggest has to be the fact that I can’t find turkey in Japan. I just don’t think it exists. So my thanksgiving dinner would have to be made with chicken. I can’t make stuffing so I had to eat rice. I also made corn, the frozen kind, and smashed potatoes. Lastly for dessert I ate homemade cranberry muffins. Yet since it was thanksgiving I tried to cook a fusion between American and Japanese cuisine.

Chicken: My chicken was slowly fried in a covered pan to retain the moisture. I made two large chicken breasts. One with a nice basil flavor and one with a stronger roasted garlic flavor.

Smashed Potatoes: I know they are usually called ‘mashed’ potatoes but my version is always ‘smashed’. Also I converged two traditional foods into one, the sweet potatoes and the smashed potatoes to create ‘sweet potato smashed potatoes’. This was actually really good. I used butter and of course soy milk to create creamy and sweet smashed potatoes. Lastly, and in true Andy thanksgiving style, the potatoes were formed into a volcano.

Rice: This was no ordinary rice. It was made with special ingredients and pumpkin. This pumpkin rice was not stuffing but still incredibly delicious.

Corn: Frozen, but when properly cooked and with the correct spices it can be turned into something you’d be proud to adorn your thanksgiving table with.

Drinks: It’s not fresh squeezed but I had the required orange juice, and of course Japanese tea.

Dessert: The day before thanksgiving was a Japanese national holiday, I think ‘Japanese Labor Day’. Anyway, one of my friends has a small, like everything in Japan, oven. So I decided to make another of my traditional thanksgiving foods: Cranberry muffins. It took a lot of searching to even find fresh cranberries, and once I found them they were very expensive. Buttermilk is completely nonexistent in Japan. So with a few substitutions and a complete lack of the ability to measure things in ‘cups’ I made my muffins. When finished I was disappointed with the fact that they didn’t quite rise as I’d hoped, probably because of the strange Japanese ingredients, but the taste was still good and to me that is all that matters.

My thanksgiving dinner.

Turkeylike substance.

Sweet potato volcano.

Rice and corn.

Mmm, cranberry muffins.

- - - 11/17/2005 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 7:03 pm

Imagine riding your bike down the street and, when passing someone, barely miss running head on into a falcon…

Inside there were parrots, owls, monkeys, foxes, hawks, and the biggest eagle I have ever seen.

- - - 11/16/2005 - - -

Kodaira Cemetery

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:58 pm

- - - 11/14/2005 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 6:43 pm

After all summer and about 6 months I finally was able to go mountain climbing with the club again. This time was Mt. Jinba, which was the first mountain I climbed with the group. The weather was not great as it was cloudy and a little cold. Yet, the hike up was still quite interesting. There were some fall colors to be seen, and the lunch at the top was as usual very good. When we got down it started to rain a little, which is the perfect time to visit an onsen. I will try to go next month again as well.


- - - 11/10/2005 - - -

Red Lobster

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:23 pm

Wow, I found a Red Lobster in Japan

- - - 11/9/2005 - - -

Giant Bugs

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:27 pm

I recently found some more of the famous giant bugs that live in Japan..

1) Mothera…

2) Biggest earth worm ever…

- - - 11/8/2005 - - -

Culture Day Futsal

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:21 pm

November 3rd is culture day in Japan which means I don’t have to go to work. So I got to play futsal again. As always, it was quite fun. I scored many goals and had much fun. I forgot to take pictures of futsal, but got a few of after we played…

For each person the playing fee is fairly cheap, but when you put it all together…

- - - 11/7/2005 - - -

Dom Perignon

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:13 pm

I’ve heard the name but have never before had a chance to try it: Dom Perignon

- - - 11/1/2005 - - -

F.C.Tokyo Game

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:00 pm

My friend invited me to go see a ‘F.C.Tokyo’ soccer game. F.C.Tokyo is the Tokyo team in J.League, or Japanese Soccer League. They were playing Osaka which is currently the number one ranked team. My previous soccer experience was when I was a kid and I went to a North America cup game between Mexico and the US. From what I can remember from that, the Japanese soccer experience is completely different. It is what a soccer game should be like… Throughout the entire game one or both of the sides were constantly singing and chanting. Before the game everyone sang what I think was the F.C.Tokyo song. During the game everyone, and I mean everyone, in the stadium booed the bad calls, yelled for the good plays, and stood up and cheered when the was a goal. The atmosphere was amazing. It was a tense game with Osaka scoring an early goal, but Tokyo tied it up before the half with an amazing shot from outside the box. The second half was an offensive fight with many close shots and close calls. With about 15 minutes left in the game F.C.Tokyo scored on a corner play and defensive error. I would really like to go back and see another game.