Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year encounter with Maiko ーArashiyama,Kyotoー

Arashiyama (Kyoto) is a nice place, worth visiting.
It is a typical Kyoto sightseeing spot,located in the western part of Kyoto City.
There are always many tourists here.
Arashiyama is surrounded by mountains,and there is a very famous bridge,"Togetsu-kyou"(渡月橋) over Katsura-River(桂川).
How about enjoy sightseeing in Arashiyama,riding in such ricksha?

And fortunately I encountered with two Maiko girls in Arashiyama.
 It is a good sign for me at the beginning of the year=D

 (And if you want to see Maiko for certain,I'd rather recommend "Miyako-Odori "in April,Gion.
Not Arashiyama.There is little likelihood of seeing Maiko in Arashiyama.
Gion is Kyoto's most famous Maiko district.
In April,"Miyako-Odori" is held at "Gion-Koubu-Kaburenjou" Theater,
from 1th April through 30th April.
Maybe you can get a day ticket on that day at that theater.(4000~4500yen/one person)
"Gion-Koubu-Kaburenjou" is the name of the Theater of Maiko Performance.
This theater is located in "Hanami-koji" Avenue,near Yasaka shrine.)
These web site below are important.
There are many shops,restaurants,cafes lined up along the street.

This is traditional Japanese fan shop.
And you can also enjoy these sweets to the full in Arashiyama.
How to access
JR Kyoto ー JR Saga Arashiyama  (JR Sagano lline)    → 230yen (one way)

Tram map in Kyoto City↓

Saga-Arashiyama....  You get off at this station and enjoy sightseeing tram(torokko-ressha) and enjoy kayaking(Hozugawa-Kudari).They are worth trying.
sightseeing tram...600yen/one way (
kayaking...3900yen/ one person (
Early morning(8:00 a.m) is good,because there will be so many people lined up and waiting.

Kawaramachi... You get off at this station (terminal) and head to Gion to see Maiko.(Hanami-kouji street)

Sonobe...You get off at this station and head to Miyama by bus.(Sonobe is terminal station.)

Higashi-yama...You get off at this station and enjoy having a stroll here. There are many good temple nere here,for example,Shouren-in.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Osechi (New Year Dishes)

Happy New Year!
We thank all the world for tremendous support for Tohoku last year following the earthquake.
May 2012 be a happy and wonderful year for you.

I cooked Osechi (New Year dishes) yesterday.(at full speed)
The top left is "Kazunoko",the herring roe,
It means prosperity of family.
It is necessary for Osechi.

The top right is shrinps. It means longevity.

The middle is "Kamaboko",boiled fish paste.
The pink paste means "to protect yourself from harm".
And the white means purity or cleanliness.
Pink and white are lucky colors for new year in Japan.

And the bottom is "Datemaki",
a rolled omelet mixed with fish paste.
This means culture,evolution.
Each food is necessary for Osechi.
 This is "Nishime", vegetables and chicken stewed in a soy-flavored broth.
It is really time-consuming to cook...
because root crops such as carrot,lotus roots,burdocks take so much time to stew.
I usually use a microwave oven to boil root crops.
It is very convenient.

 The top is "Kurikinton".
These are the paste of sweet potatos and yolk,honeydew,and fresh cream.
They are good. This means a fortune.

And the bottom left is "Tatsukuri",fried anchovy.
This means a good harvest this year.
And the bottom right is grilled salmons.

As you see,each foods in Osechi has its own meaning for the new year.
Every supermarket is closed until January 3,
We can't go shopping now,
so we eat these dishes to stave off starvation=D=D

This is Japanese wreath for New Year. (This is my house)
In New Year,
almost every house hangs this kind of wreath in front of the house.
With best New Year wishes.