- - - 11/27/2008 - - -

Cooking Class

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:36 am

I was invited to try a Japanese cooking class. It was a small class at the teachers home, but she taught me a lot about traditional Japanese cooking methods. I especially learned how to make dashi from seaweed and katsuobushi(fish flakes). With the dashi we made taki-komi-rice, sato-potatoes, and tofu soup. It was all delicious.
Andy’s Japanese cooking level +1

- - - 11/22/2008 - - -

Takao Fall Colors

Filed under: — Andy @ 11:07 pm

It is fall in Tokyo and that means climbing Mt. Takao to see the fall colors. Since I was in tropical Okinawa all last year it was nice to get out in nature and see how it changes again.

- - - 11/17/2008 - - -

Hida Takayama Photo Gallery

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:48 am

I almost forgot. Here are the beautiful pictures from my previous trip to Hida Takayama, and Kamikouchi.

Hida Takayama Photo Gallery

- - - 11/12/2008 - - -

Fujikyu Highlands

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:07 am

The next day in Kawaguchiko after a nice morning walk, my friend and I went to Fujikyu Highlands - The Japanese equivalent of Six Flags Magic Mountain. My first impression was that the park was quite small yet with very long lines. The park has three main roller coasters: Fujiyama [similar to Goliath], EeJaNaiKa [An exact clone of X], and Dodonpa [Similar to Superman the ride]. There are some other interesting attractions, but the paranoid Japanese close almost all at the slightest hint of rain. I rode Fujiyama and EeJaNaiKa but missed out on Dodonpa. I really didnt mind, having been to Magic Mountain so many times, one of the biggest roller coaster parks in the world, I guess am a bit spoiled. Still, it was a fun and interesting experience and would like to go back to try the rides I missed. Oh, and the haunted house there is supposedly pretty famous.

- - - 11/11/2008 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 5:49 am

A friend and I went out for a weekend at Kawaguchiko, which is one of the 5 lakes near Mt. Fuji. However, the main purpose of the trip was to go to Fujikyu Highlands. Since we had an extra day, we spent it exploring and hiking around the lake. We saw the bat cave, which had absolutely no bats, and the lava cave, which had absolutely no lava… but is to be expected as the Japanese name for the cave is actually the wind cave. Still, no wind in the cave either. For dinner, we ate the specialty in the area - Houtou, which is like thick flat udon.

- - - 11/7/2008 - - -

Hida Takayama

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:23 am

Over summer vacation I visited my friend in Hida Takayama in Gifu prefecture. However, due to time and the weather there were some things we couldn’t do. Last weekend I got another chance to go visit my friend and go see those things.

The first was to take a cable car up a mountain to get a stunning panoramic view of the Japanese Alps. It was cold, but the view of the Alps and the sunset behind them were amazing.

I stayed at my friend’s shop again and did some more exploring of the old streets.

I also got a free ride on a jinrikisha as my friend knows the many of the drivers.

Lastly, my friend took me to Kamikouchi. A beautiful nature preserve in the mountains where only buses and no cars are allowed to go. We did some hiking and I have to say that everywhere I looked it was like a picture. The nature was amazingly clean and pristine. I hope to have a full photo gallery up after the weekend.