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Monday, April 20, 2009

Of ohagi and Craft Stores

To answer a couple of questions....
Tokyo is the largest city if one is thinking population, but not the largest geographically.
A manju, is an asian confection made of steam sweet bread, stuffed with sweetened beans. Typically the azuki bean is used, but other beans such as lima beans are also used.

While I'm on the topic of food, I must say, if I lived in Japan, I don't think I'd ever cook again. There is food everywhere!. Most of the large department stores have food in the basement ranging from deli stuff to omiyage (gifts). In and around every train station there are small grocery stores with prepared foods and drinks, and many specialty restaurants. Some make only soba or ramen, some make only tempura, etc. Since that's all they make it tends to be very good.

This is a noodle shop. That's how big it is. It had 4 people working in it, and 4 seats at the counter. There were two other tables for standing and eating on the sidewalk and two chairs off to the left. They make tempura, but you can't buy it unless you buy a bowl of soup, too. It was very tasty. I marveled at the division of labor and the cheerfulness of these people.

If you need fishy stuff for cooking, there is an incredible variety in the stalls outside Tsukiji Fishmarket.

I wasn't sure what those eyeball like things were, but they turned out to be the beak of the octopus. I have no idea how to fix those, heh.

The little dried fish were very colorful.

The toasted rice cakes were everywhere in such variety. Some are grilled on hibachi's in the little shops along the way to Sensō-ji and smell so good.

My traveling companions and I got hooked on Ohagi and ate it everyday but one. It's a rice cake with the same sweet beans but on the outside. Good thing all that walking around burned off some calories!

But of course, the important question...what about craft supplies?

Tokyu Hands
I bought stickers, washi paper, some beads and a Totoro stamp. There were 6 floors of crafts and a restaurant on top. Don't pass this one up if you go to Tokyo. We went to the one in Ginza.

Yuzawaya in Kamata.
This complex has about 11 buildings. I went to building 10, 4 floors of fabric, and building 6 especially for the one floor of yarn. Now the rules I had about shopping was no yarn unless it was a really good bargain. They had a wall of Noro...but I resisted and bought fabric instead. I wish I had given more time to this place!

I love the blue and white indigo dyes.

There were many book stores and I found a couple of sewing books.

I hope my sewing machine comes back from Bernina this week...>news flash: Tom is working on it today!


Jennifer said...

I love all these wonderful pictures. They're so colorful and insightful that I can almost smell the food from the fair.

The fabric is delightful. I'm glad you chose to buy fabric instead of yarn. Smart Woman! I can't wait to see what you make with it.

Opal said...

never have to cook again? maybe i should relocate to tokyo...

but there's that thing called the language barrier. hrm.

Beverly said...

I don't know how you did it. I wouldn't have been able to resist the yarn.

debbie said...

i could just smell all that fishy goodness! in japan i went on a shave-ice binge (forget the japanese word - koori?). don't forget the natto spaghetti topped with nori...

Sandee Yo! said...

OMG...I LOVE...the Yuzawaya!! I went to the one in Tachikawa and thought I died and went to Heaven!!! droooollll