Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hello everyone! Today we would like to introduce our new blog!

Since we went to Japan we have been asked a lot what we usually eat over here. Of course we enjoy eating sushi every now-and-then but we mainly do our cooking at home. There are a lot of Japanese dishes you can make yourself that taste really good, are much healthier than the average fast food restaurant, and are much cheaper too. Cheap is good and when good is cheap it's even better :).

So to answer the question 'what do you eat over there?' we made A website dedicated to all the meals we prepare in Tokyo which you can make yourself too!

In addition to just posting pictures, we also make small recipes movies. These will be posted on the new blog but also on our youtube channel

We are absolutely no cooking professionals but we just have fun making all these dishes. Hopefully you will enjoy them too.

Here's a little preview on how to make macha yoghurt ice cream. いただきます!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aikido Embukai

Today we visited the 50th Aikido Embukai in the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. A great event, visited by so many Aikido-practitioners from all over Japan. It's very impressive to see the various demonstrations of teachers and students during the embukai. We very much enjoyed being able to watch the demonstrations given by our teachers.

Beginning of the 50th Embukai at the Nippon Budokan
Demonstration by Doshu
During the day we made lots of videos of the different demonstrations (more videos can be seen at our youtube account)


Maybe you will see somebody familiar in this last movie :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Asakusa festival: Sanja matsuri

Two years ago we accidentally visited the Sanja matsuri when we happened to visit Asakusa in the weekend during the festival. Because we really enjoyed the festival that time, so we decided to visit it again this year. The Asakusa festival is normally held in the third weekend in May. This year the weather was great, and is was very busy with lots of people visiting the popular festival.

Road to the temple
Entrance to the temple grounds
The festival is held in celebration of the Shinto gods of the Asakusa temple and shrines. During the festival many mikoshi, portable shrines, are carried around the streets. They are accompanied  by groups of people from each different Asakusa neighbourhood while making music and singing. It is a very enjoyable festival to experience while walking around Asakusa, and seeing different mikoshi and performances around the streets.

Mikoshi carriers
Dance Parade avant la lettre
Another aspect that makes the festival popular is the huge amount of all different food stalls gathered around Asakusa's big temple. They are selling all sorts of delicious food and sweets. Going to the festival just to eat is can be a day trip on its own. We took some pictures of various food stalls and the food they are making to give you an impression of this delicious part of the festival.

An egg/vegetable waffle makes for a nice snack
Okonomiyaki with ham, noodles, egg and vegetables. Perfect lunch!
Fish on a stick
Takoyaki: octopus in dough balls with mayonaise and tonkatsu sauce. Daphne's favorite.

Yakitori and vegetables
Most indecent food ever! Chocolate banana on a stick
Roasted pork, Disney style!
Sky Tree to left, pagoda to the right

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


On a nice, sunny Sunday we decided to head out of Tokyo for a change and visit the old city of Kawagoe. Located a little more than half an hour by train from Tokyo, it made for a perfect day-trip! The old town of Kawagoe has lots of cultural properties and historical sites fro the Edo period, and is therefore called "Little Edo". The experience of the ambience from a town of the Edo period makes Kawagoe a popular destinations among day-trip-tourists from Tokyo.

The main street of the old Town (Kurazukuri: clay-walled warehouses) is the perfect example of the Edo culture remaining in the city. It shows us a shopping street with old-style storehouses, still selling many interesting (traditional) items and food.

Main street with Edo-style storehouses
Shop selling chopsticks, and many different chopstick-rests
Edo-style shops
Kashiyayokocho (candy street) is a famous street enjoyed by many visitors, and also by us! This street consists of shops only selling traditional sweets and candies. We could try some various snacks as delicious cakes and rice cookies. Because Kawagoe is known for it's sweet potato, we off course had to try the local specialty: sweet potato ice cream! (with the tastes of purple and yellow sweet potato)

Candy street
Shop selling rice cakes
Purple and yellow sweet potato ice cream, 美味しい!

Kawagoe has many other interesting historical sites, as the famous Tokino Kane (bell tower), the Kawagoe Castle, and the Kitain Temple. On the grounds of the Kitain temple are the 538 Rakan statues, depicting the disciples of Buddha and all show a different posture and emotion.

In October a famous festival is held in the old town of Kawagoe, so we would like to go back to see the festivals and try some more traditional sweets.

Tokino Kane (Bell tower)
Kawagoe Castle
Rakan statues at the Kitain temple

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tokyo Disney Sea

Last Friday was not a typical school day, as our school had an event scheduled for that day. The trimester agenda said we were to have an 'undokai', or sports event, with our classes. It turned out to be a whole other kind of event though....

Instead of sweating on some sports field, we went on a trip to Tokyo Disney Sea! Disney Sea is a one-of-a-kind Disney theme park focussing on a more mature audience. Inspired by the myths and legends of the sea, Tokyo Disney Sea is made up of seven themed areas: Mediterranean Harbor, Mystery Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery and American Waterfront. 

Magic Mickey
The park is absolutely spectacular. It has amazing detailed landscaping (including a volcano), the attractions are very modern and high-tech which make them very fun and interesting to ride. Fortunately last Friday was a very quiet day by Disney standards, so we didn't have to stand in the infamous 3-hour long lines.

Our day started with each individual class exploring the park together. After three o'clock the trip was officially over but we were encouraged to stay as long as we wanted. So, back we went through the gates to start part II of the school trip.

One of the main attractions was the Tower of Terror in the American Waterfront area. A free-fall type attraction that is located inside a haunted elevator. The elevator brings you to the top of the tower where suddenly the windows open so you can get a brief view of the scenery before you crash down to earth. Scary!
Another popular attraction was the Indiana Jones Adventure, where you get a wild jeep drive through the Temple of the Chrystal Skull. Actually it reminded us a lot of sitting in a car with a certain former roommate of ours behind the wheel...
Mysterious Island features a submarine simulation ride which takes you to the depths of the dark ocean where the merfolk live. In Port Discovery there was a storm simulator that puts you in a helicopter designed to control the weather. Of course everything goes wrong and you escape death just by a few inches...

The park also had some spectacular parades and shows. Since the park was sea-themed all parades and shows were held in boats. In the afternoon we enjoyed a great show, and in the evening we could enjoy another show full of wonderful light-effects. The whole park was by then beautifully decorated in lights. The evening ended with fireworks above the Tokyo Disney Sea park, after which we went (very tired) back home after a great day.

Aladdin's Genie

Daphne in front of the Tempel of Doom

The volcano
The Haunted House...