Posts Tagged ‘ ramen ’

Foodie II

This month I’m just posting food- and restaurant-related pics.  And, today, vids.  Enjoy and Itadakimasu・いただきます (roughly:  “Thanks for what I’m about to receive…”).

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This is a young, restaurant (izakaya)-owning couple in Kyoto.  Yumi-san and Hiroshi-san.  I was there with a friend on a slow night back in early November 2009.  The restaurant, Dai Kichi Yakitori, is actually a franchise, a chain.  This one’s on Shirakawa Dori.  Almost across from the bus station there.  Anyway, I dropped back in a few months ago, and, alas, it was under new ownership/management.

Yumi & Hiroshi. At their Dai Kichi Yakitori place. November 2009.

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When this melodrama-drenched enka blasted from the speakers I thought it would make a good soundtrack for a quick, 30 second vid tour of Yumi & Hiroshi’s place.  So here you go:

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This past August I was in Japan on business for a little more than two weeks.   The next couple of short vids were shot during that trip.   In Japan (and in larger cities around the world) there’s are these sort of low-end, or family-oriented, sushi restaurants called Kaiten-zushi, or Conveyor Belt Sushi.  They’re good enough, inexpensive and, well, kind of fun.  I shot this little vid while treating my client (company president and vice president having their first trip to Japan and first Kaiten-zushi experience) to lunch (they got quite a kick out of the experience):

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Gyoza‘s (餃子) some of my favorite food in Japan.  I make it pretty well myself, actually.  These are the Japanese version of Chinese dumplings or “pot stickers.”  I don’t like the Chinese kind so much, at least the ones typically served in restaurants — they’re too sweet. Gyoza shouldn’t be sweet.  In Japan you find gyoza tandem’d with ramen at small, informal “Chinese” restaurants called “Chuka” (Chooka).  Gyoza’s either seared on a griddle, or steamed, or seared with water added to semi-steam them.  Some places have gyoza steaming contraptions, like the little working-class place I ambled into one August night in Kyoto, right off of Kiyamachi-dori:

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We’ll wind up today with this one, this vid that I’ve also posted in my Tsukiji (fish) Market Gallery.  These are, well, eels:


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Speaking of eels, do any of you know the group “The Eels?”  A great band.  It’s Mark Everett‘s group.  Mark used to perform just as “e.”  He’s a great musician.  Anyway, Mark and I lived in the same neighborhood when we were kids in Northern Virginia.  We’re the same age and went to Spring Hill Elementary and Cooper Jr. High together.  I think we were in the same Cub Scout Den, but my memory’s kind of fuzzy on that.  My family moved to the Very Deep South when I was 13, so I lost touch with Mark.  Anyway, I’m just proud to know he’s doing so well.  My brush with music greatness.

Signs 看板 . . . Updated, January 2013.

Updated:  January 2013. You can find several of these in the Photo Galleries above (“SEE the GALLERIES” tab).  A few more are elsewhere on this site.  Most, though, are presented here on LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com for the first time.  Enjoy ( 楽しんでください )!

Shinkansen ("Bullet Train") Sign. May 2008.

Shinkansen (“Bullet Train”) Sign. May 2008.

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Sign in walking garden, Gingkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion). Kyoto. 2010.

Sign in walking garden, Gingkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion). Kyoto. 2010.

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Ramen Shop. Noren (curtain) & Chochin (lantern) combo. Kyoto. 2002.

Ramen.  Noren (curtain) & Chochin (lantern) combo. Kyoto. 2002.

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Inn. Kyoto. August 2011.

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Open ’til 3:00 a.m. Restaurant, Nihombashi. Tokyo. August 2011.

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Notice at the Three Sisters Inn. Kyoto. August 2011.

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On the train platform, make sure to parallel park granny. Tokyo. August 2011.

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First Pork Pic. Kawaramachi Street. Kyoto. August 2011.

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Tokyo Station. August 2011.

Store Sale. Ni-jo Street. Kyoto. August 2011.

“TAKE CARE”… “Since I can’t take my poo with me home, I’d appreciate your carrying in home (for me).” Pontocho. Kyoto.  August 2011.

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Restaurant. Ginza. July 2011.

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Train Schedule. Osaka. August 2011.

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At a Korean BBQ Restaurant, Yurakucho. Tokyo. August 2011.

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Kyoto. August 2011.

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がんばろ日本 ”Hang in There, Japan!” Taxi Window. Tokyo. July 2011.

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Poster Detail. Tsukiji Subway Station. 2010.

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Self explanatory. Kyoto. 2004.

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Corner of Omotesando & Meiji Streets. Harajuku. 2010.

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Poster Detail.  Entrance to Tokyu Hands Department Store.   Shibuya, Tokyo.   May 23, 2010.

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A Pontocho (Kyoto) Institution. 2004.

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Train Poster Detail (original in color). Kintetsu Line to Osaka. 2010.

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Fuji Electric. Tokyo. 2010.

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“BANJO” Tokyo. 2010.

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(Ra)men Shop. Tokyo. 2010.

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Fourth Friday of Every Month at Rub a Dub Reggae. Kyoto. 2010.

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Okariba BBQ. Kyoto. 2009.

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SapperSuper. Tokyo. 2007.

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TLJ Boss. 自動販売機. Kyoto. 2009.

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Soul Sonic Boogie. Kyoto. 2003.

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Himeji Castle. Himeji. 2008.

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Rice. Back side of Kyoto Station. 2004.

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Heaven. Kyoto. 2009.

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American-style College Football. Kindai University. Osaka. 2008.

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“Deer’s Cooky.”  Nara. 2001.

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Very Big Company. Kyoto. 2008.

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You Forgot Something. Kyoto. 2008.

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Noodles. Tokyo. 2007.

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Daikichi Yakitori. Shirakawa. Kyoto. 2009.

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“Finised. Sold Out. Sorry.” Kyoto. 2009.

“Please take special care of those enjoyable times. . . “

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"Please take special care . . . " Ikuno Hanten. Autumn 2001.

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You know, we Westerners often get a kick out of “strange Japanese”, but sometimes, as with the case of what the Steady Bears tell us — what they admonish us to do — in the photo above, it’s bang-on.

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Please take special care of those STEADY BEARS enjoyable times and happy moments.

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Indeed.

The photo above was taken at Ikuno Hanten, a restaurant like thousands of other restaurants scattered about rural Japan, but this one was, and remains, a favorite of mine, deep in the heart of Hyogo Prefecture, serving up the best “Bahn Bahn Men” (an incredibly spicy ramen) I’ve ever had, and I’ve had many from around Japan.  The woman just opposite was from a local city hall, and holding up the Steady Bears pillow (or “zabuton”) is someone else, whom I assure you is smiling mightily out of frame.  Notice that we’re all seated on the ground.  It’s actually a slightly raised and tatami mat-covered platform, which makes up half the restaurant seating.  It’s not a fancy place.  It’s where many hours were enjoyably whiled away back in 1990-91 by me and a couple of dear friends.  This photo, however, was taken on a return trip there in late September 2001.  Ah, Ikuno Hanten — you’ll forever hold a special place in my heart and memories.

Such sentiment, though, puts me square in the middle of the things I detest about most blogs: the “me, me, me” aspect of them; the assumption that what the blogger experienced, or is experiencing, is of any interest to any person “out there”.  Heh, how often is that not the case, eh?  Nevertheless, on occasion a personal moment/episode/memory can remind us all of a universal truth, can illustrate a transcendent lesson worth teaching about something that does apply and relate to us all, right?  If that’s the case, then, I’ll repeat:

Please take special care of those enjoyable times and happy moments.

STEADY BEARS.

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