Monday, December 31, 2012

Preparing for New Year Dishes : Chikuzen-Ni (筑前煮)

I'm not good cooker like other Japanese old ladies,
but tomorrow is New Year's Day,
so I' now preparing for this vegetable stew,Chikuzen-Ni.
Ingredients are as written below ;
・Lotus roots
・ginkgo nuts
Seasonings are as written below;
・Soy sauce
・Cooking sake
・Mirin (Sweet cooking sake)
I like this stew,because it is healthy and it tastes great.
I have to go to supermarket to get string beans from now....
My cooking continue endlessly today....
May the New Year bring happiness and joy to you and your loved ones :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chrysanthemums Show in Kyoto Botanical Garden in November

Today I went to the Kyoto Botanical Garden,to see a chrysanthemums show.
This Botanical Garden is located in Sakyouku,Shimogamo,Kyoto.
The chrysanthemums are at their best now,at the beginning of November.
They are in full bloom.
This mixed-color chrysanthemums are beautiful.
Next,let's go to the garden outside.
This is the garden.Many chrysanthemums for contest are exhibited here.
There are many ways of planting in chrysanthemum.
Please look at this picture,this is called "Kengai-zukuri".
This imitates tufted wild chrysanthemums drooping between rocks.
This is called "Senrin-Shitate".
This is also one of the way of planting of chrysanthemums.
This is fan-shaped planting.
So many chrysanthemums for competitions are lined up side by side.
Some of the chrysanthemums were awarded a "gold prize" or "silver prize" by the sponsor.
A standard for judgement is,for example, 
the leaves are not eaten by worms,
orderly arrangement (layout) of the chrysanthemums,
the size and the shape of the flowers,etc..
This layout is called "Sanbon-Shitate".
Three chrysanthemums are planted in one place side biy side.
The nearest three yellow chrysanthemums are called "Hosokuda-Saki".
"Hosokuda" means "Small tubules".
These are like fireworks,really beautiful.
These are "Golden Prize" chrysanthemums.
The shapes,the sizes,the colors,the heights,...
Every element meets adequate standard of quality.They're wonderful.
Congratulations on the victory! :):)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

World Sports Bicycle Festival in Osaka

Do you like Sports Bicycles?
In Japan,Sports Bicycles are becoming very popular among many people these days.

Today,I came to a big complex facility in Osaka, called "ATC", Asia & Pacific Trade Center at South Port,Osaka.
Sports Bicycles Festival is held here today.
Various kinds of Sports Bikes from all over the world are displayed here today, and we can also try our favorite brand bicycles to our hearts content!

I'm not so big fan of Sports Bikes,but it is my husband's favorite.
He seems really exciting^ ^

This is "PINARELLO",an invincible brand of Big Race.
It is an Italian bicycle manufacturer in Treviso,Italy.Really famous bicycle brand.
It is at the top position of road bikes world.

It is really a stylish, cool bike!
RIDLEY is famous Belgian bicycle manufacturer.
In Belgium,Bicycle is a national sport.
Some roads in Belgium are paved by stone,or reminiscent,old,unpaved roads,
so it is really hard for professional riders to ride bicycles on such roads.
RIDLEY bicycles have been developed in such circumstances,
that is the reason why RIDLEY bikes are high-performance,
and that is why many Champions are produced from Belgium.
 What a beautiful bicycle!
This is "DE ROSA".
This is also an Italian bicycle manufacturer,established by Ugo De Rosa.
To my surprise,Ugo De Rosa established this company when he was 18 years old!
This is very popular bike brand in Japan.
DE ROSA road bike.
Wow, this is a dream bicycle with sail!
How wonderful it would be if I could ride this bicycle! 
I've never seen such bicycle before. It is really interesting.
Let's go outside for a change of air.
These people are waiting for their turn to test ride of their favorite bikes.
There are so many booths of each bicycle brands.
People are standing in a long line,waiting for their turn to ride.
This is the scenery of the test ride course.
My husband took a test ride three times.
I also rode this sports bike, but it was a little difficult for me.
It takes a bit of getting used to.
I'm sure you will feel so refreshed,pedal along the coastal road,on a fine beautiful autumn day!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Otsukimi - Appreciating the full moon night - Japan

Speaking of "full moon", what do you imagine that it means?
A wolf ?  Or temporal insomnia ?
In Japan, there is a custom of appreciating the full moon, enjoying sweets,(please look at the second picture,) especially in this autumn season.
It is said that this custom has existed for more than 1000 years in Japan.
This custom is Chinese in origin,and was introduced to Japan.

In this year, I heard that tomorrow is the most beautiful full-moon day in Japan throughout the year.
September 30.

But I also heard that a typhoon is coming to Japan now,unfortunately....

I do hope the weather will hold! (Because typhoon brings everything to ruin...)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gion-Matsuri Kyoto ②

I reached the top of the float!
So many festival lanterns! (chou-chin)
In old days,women used to have been forbidden to go up to the top of the float,
because it was believed to be a sacred place,
but these old customs became out of date,as time passed.
The upper floors of this float command a panoramic view of the street.
They are outdoors enjoying the cool air.
I like their yukata.
Powerful Tigers and Dragons are embroidered on this tapestry.
I love this shaved green maccha-ice! 
There are many tourists,sightseers on the street.
In this booth(red lanterns),
people are selling many souvenirs.
This girl (black yukata) is now selling beers and wines in front of her trattoria.
This is "Toro yama" (decorative float,with a mantis on the roof).
A mantis has been considered to be courageous and brave,
so it is recognized as a guardian of this float.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gion-Matsuri (Gion Festival) in Kyoto,2012 July

I'm so sorry for my long break.
Today I'm in Shijou-Karasuma in Kyoto.

The sky is so blue!
Today is Gion-Matsuri in Kyoto.
I'm very exciting!

This is "Yamaboko",the parade float.

The origin of Gion-Matsuri dates back to 1000 years ago,
when epidemic disease spread throughout Kyoto.
So people offer a prayer to the God to drive away bad spirit.
That is said to be the origin of Gion Matsuri.

Wow,look at this tapestry!
This is "Rising Carp",by Gekka Minagawa (famous kimono dyer).
It was so damaged because of oldness that it was renewed 7 years ago.
This tapestry is "Chinese Lion,Kirin(mythical animal in China)".

This is "Flying Crane and The Sun".
This tapestry is "Baghdad".
This was made by Taizo Minagawa(famous kimono dyer) in 1982.

Seeing these gorgeous tapestries is one of my favorite things.
They are really worth seeing!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Takitani Shoubu Garden (Nara)

Today I went to Takitani Hanashoubu Garden in Nara.
There are more than 600 species of Japanese iris in this garden,
one of the biggest iris garden in West Japan.
Every year,so many tourists visit this garden in June.
They are breathtaking!
Hope you'll enjoy these photos. 
I also found lotus flowers in the pond.
They're so lovely!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo

Poltugal vs Holland match will be held on June 17. (GROUP B)
Go for it, Ronaldo!