Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Classy Cabbie

Taxi cabs are quite the production here. The seats are almost always covered in elaborate lace, and the rear left door is operated remotely by the driver, you aren't supposed to open or close it by yourself. We took our first taxi ride in Tokyo (and our second, and our third...) and I was surprised to see that the initial fee started at about $7 USD. This preliminary fee is called Hatsunori, and is good for 2 kilometers, after which point you pay for each additional kilometer. Like almost everything else here though, there is no tipping, which helps make the cost more reasonable.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's True.

Yes, there really are driving ranges all over the place.

Golf is really popular here, and since space for courses is limited, club membership fees are very high. But for golf lovers who don't have the fundage for club memberships, there are driving ranges around every corner, just scan the skyline for green netting! They aren't exactly the wide open spaces found at driving ranges in the States, but at least you can practice your swing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Faithful Friend

During our trip to Tokyo a few weeks ago we of course had to visit Shibuya Station to see the famous scramble crossing, and I also wanted to see the statue of Hachiko.

If you aren't familiar with the story of this devoted pooch, take a minute to read about him here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stovetop Cooking

Sauteed greens, a variation on Smitten Kitchen's potato gratin with caramelized onions and cheddar, and chickpea cutlets from the Veganomicon cookbook.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Larger Than Life

Nana-chan is a 6 meter high statue near Nagoya station. Her outfits change seasonally, and she's a popular meeting spot. Considering how small the clothes are here, I'd like to ask her where she shops.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Kitchen Clean-up

Since space is at a premium here, homes tend to not have as many appliances as in the States. Clothes dryers, toasters, ovens, etc etc just aren't as common, which is why I found this countertop dishwasher at a friend's house extra fun and intriguing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stovetop Cooking

Actually done in the Easy Bake Oven, but why mess with the titles now, hm?

Teeny carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing. Seconds anyone? Perhaps K8 the birthday girl? Happy You Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vending Machines 5

I spotted this newspaper vending machine during a recent trip to Kyoto. With the vast number and variety of vending machines we've seen on the streets, I was startled to realize that this was the first newspaper vending machine I'd seen. Especially striking since they are one of the most frequently seen types of vending machines in the US. As you can see it was empty, either it was a really good edition, or perhaps a sign of the times...? I'm hoping for a really good edition.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Something You Won't See Here

No, not the goosebumps, I'm sure women get cold here too. I'm talking about the hair on my arm. Most Japanese women remove the hair on their arms, and since I don't, I occasionally get a look or two on the subway. I once asked why they do this, and was told that similarly to when American girls reach a certain age they tend to remove the hair on their legs, Japanese women remove the hair on their legs and arms, it's just a part of the culture.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Welcome to Miami

Last weekend we went to a beer garden with our good friend who was visiting us, A & her M, and some of A's and my M's coworkers. The Miami beer garden is on the rooftop of a downtown building, and for about $33 (a reduced price as it is the beginning of the season) we got to eat and drink whatever we wanted for 150 minutes. They advertised over 100 different food items and 11 types of beer, and each table had a charcoal grill to barbecue at. Here A is demonstrating the automatic beer machine.

They also had entertainment. These two women danced and sang, and mingled with the crowd after each performance, encouraging you to buy their CD.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Apple A Day

Due to a posting error, you've likely already seen this, but I thought I'd provide a better explanation.

A lot of the apples we buy here have translucent areas in the center - the condition is called "watercore" or "glassiness." This is a disorder, but as a result the apples tend to be sweeter at harvest, and are thus preferred in some foreign markets.

I'm headed to the States tomorrow, but not to worry, I've prepared a few posts in advance to keep you entertained while I'm away!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stovetop Cooking

and Easy Bake Oven cooking for a dinner of Smitten Kitchen's Cabbage and Mushroom Galette

and Lottie + Doof's Carrots with Caraway and Grapes

Both were delicious, and I recommend you try them ASAP!