Archive for 'Gourmet' Category

A Chinese luxury cruise ship arriving in Tottori

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 7月 25, 2015

A Chinese first-rate big luxury cruise ship,”Mariner of the Sea” arrived in the port of Sakaiminato City,Tottori Prefecture on Jul.22.

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About 3,400 Chinese tourists, who are  its passengers, visited the city and were taken to tourist destinations,such as Matsue Castle, landscape gardens, sourvenir shops, restaurants, and so forth in about 90 sightseeing buses.  They enjoyed sightseeing, shopping, eating and various activities and made  whirlwind and passionate situations.    marineroftheseas2

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Meat Festival in Tokyo 2015 Spring

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 4月 30, 2015

The second “Niku- Fesu”(/Meat Festival) in Tokyo is being held April 24-29, May 1-6 at Komazawa Park and May 1-10 at Toyosuna Park in front of AEON Mall Makuhari. (http://nikufes.jp/)

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At the two venues in Komazawa Park and Toyosuna Park, various meat dishes from all over the world are introduced,promoted, and sold. A lot of shops are there and supported by world’s embassies and other associations which could be a “meat world expo”. the host Food Nation has a purpose of promoting cultures through foods and started the meat festival last year, which was so successful with 290,000 and 420,000 visitors to the events.  Visitors can enjoy variety of meat dishes and enjoy food cultures of the world.

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Foreign visitors to Japan Record high in March

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 29, 2015

The monthly number of foreigners visiting Japan achieved the record high in this March, reported JNTO(Japan National Tourist Organization) on April 22nd.  The number reached as many as 1,526,000 which marked a  45 % increase of  the number of  the same month last year. The March’es number also prevailed the number of  last month which was 1,380,000 and maked the record high which was also the first time to mark a number over 1.5 million.

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The sources of this drastic increase are said to be the weak yen, relaxed visas systems, expanding scopes of  duty free items, and so forth. The no.1 nationality to have come to Japan is Chinese (338,000, +83.7%), No.2 is Taiwanese(278,000, +33.2% ), and No.3 is Korean(268,200, +39.6%). The monthly numbers of visitors from HongKong, Vietnam,US,Canada,UK,and Germany  recorded high as of one month respectively.

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Hokuriku Shinkansen finally launched operation on Mar.14th

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 3月 31, 2015

Hokuriku Shinkansen (The North-central Bullet Trains ) grand opened its full service (Tokyo-Kanazawa)on this Mar.14th. (http://hokuriku-w7.com/about/)

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Hokuriku Bullet Trains started  its operation partially just between  Takasaki and Nagano in 1997 and  Tokyo-Takasaki (Tohoku Shinkansen) and Takasaki-Nagano(Nagano Shinkansen) became  a part of Hokuriku so that the line Toky0-Nagano began as “Nagano Shinkansen”, which is a part of the planned total line of  Hokuriku line.  However, this time Takasaki-Joetsumyoukou-Kanazawa line opened on the 14th and the “full line”(Takasaki-Kanazawa 117 km plus  the existant Tokyo-Takasaki line). Another bullet train line between Kanazawa and Atsuga is also planned to be opened in 2023 to be a part of the Hokuriku line.

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Now due to the launch of the new line, it has come to take only 2 hours and half  ,while it used to take  about 4 hours including  transferrings.  Since this new convenience of  shortening time,  Kanazawa, which is the capital of Ishikawa Pref, and is a traditional city of  traditional cultures and history, now is even more popular among tourists.  To tell the truth, I used this new Hokuriku Bullet Train line from Tokyo to Kanazawa just  one week  after its grand opening. The new Shinkansen “Kagayaki”(/ a Shine)  was quite comfortable and other passengers seemed so happy and enjoying the trip as well.   Though I had been to Kanazawa many times, this time visiting the city by Hokuriku Shinkansen was a fresh and exciting experience.  Kanazawa is full of attractions with historical sites and tangible and intangible cultural things, such as Kenrokuen garden, The 21 Century Museum, gold leaves, Wajima-nuri, Kutani-yaki porceline ,and others and  seemed quite lively and full of energy with the new attentions by the sightseers or visitors. I hope  the attractions there will be recognized even more and more popular.

 

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“Hatsu-uri”(the first sale) at Washimiya Shrine

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 1月 30, 2015

The “Hatsu-uri”(the first sale of the year) of manga, anime related items was hosted at Washimiya Shrine in Kuki city Saitama Dec.31,2014 -Jan.3,2015. (http://www.wasimiya.org/hatsu/)

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That Shinto shrine is well known as a setting of  a popular manga work “Raki-suta”(/LUCKY STAR) and relating items were sold. Special fortune-telling lotteries of the shrine featuring Raki-suta were available. Some other work’s related things were there as well. Local cafes and establishments provided special services for customers in style of collaboration with the first sale market of the subculture art works.   As a destination of “hatsu-mode”(the first visit to a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple of the year), that shrine is also quite popular and more than 500,000 people visited there on the new year’s holidays.

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KIRARITO GINZA opened on 30th

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 10月 31, 2014

A new commericial complex ,”KIRARITO GINZA”(a gleam in Ginza) opened this 30th in 1st block in Ginza, Tokyo.(http://www.kirarito-ginza.jp/)(http://www.kirarito-ginza.jp/pdf/language.pdf)

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The  building is 66m high and has 12 floors, each of which include first-rate stores, restanrants,and  other establishments of totally 52. The basic concept is a bright shiny space like  diamonds and the “brilliant life” image is adopted.  jewelry stores, clothes shops, and even a wedding hall are there.

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Ding Tai Fung, a  popular Taiwanese restraunt chain which was selected one of the top 10 restaurants of the world by New York Times, opened a branch in the new complex and only there special xialongbao(Chinese soup dumplings) whose primary ingredient is truffles are served in Japan. (http://d.rt-c.co.jp/ginza/)

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Visit Japan Travel Mart and JATA Toursim EXPO Japan 2014

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 9月 30, 2014

Two huge international travel marts were held at Tokyo Bigsight in Tokyo. One was “Visit Japan Travel Mart 2014″(Sep.24-26)(http://www.vjtm.jp/) and the other was “JATA Toursim EXPO Japan2014″(Sep.25-28)(http://t-expo.jp/en/index.html).  2014-09-26-09_06_37-600x450

More than 310 foriegn buyers and about 390 Japanese sellers joined VJTM2014 and had passionate exchanges of information and ideas and hosted busines seccions.  Buyers from Asian countries were especially a lot and about the half of the Japanese sellers were municipalities or relating associations of such local governments.

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On the other hand,  a lot of domestic and foreign sellers and buysers joined  JATA Tourism EXPO Japan 2014. Such participants were embassies, tourism bureaus, travel agents, food companies, municipalities, railroads, airlines, hotels. universities, guide associations and so forth.  The main targets were end users of travel services and a lot of  lay Japanese people visited there and the total number was 157,589.  Upon the opening of the event, an ward ceremony  of  good  services and efforts of related promotions was hosted and the Best Tourism Award was given to The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Embassy awards were for  Thailand and Mexico, the best transporatation award was for Japan Railways East, the domestic inbound award was for  the tourism department of Tokyo Metropolis, the publicity award was for a TV show of CXTV, and the chairperson special award was for Okinawa Convention Bureau. (http://t-expo.jp/en/program/cms.html)   I personally visited the two big events and collected a lot of interesting information and exchanged ideas with the participants, some of whom were my friends or those I sometimes work with. I enjoyed the delicious food provided by tourism- related restaurants and local specialities and impressed by the greatly enthusiastic atmosphere of energies of the expos as well.

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Pacific saury festivals, donations for the 3.11 tsunami sufferers

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 9月 30, 2014

In the  latter Septemeber,  “pacific saury festivals”(/Sanma matsuri) are held in a lot of areas nationwide.   For example,6000 sauries were supplied for one of those festivals hosted in Tokyo  near  Tokyo Sky Tree from  Oofunado city in Iwate pref. which is one of the damaged areas of 3.11 tsunami disaster in 2011.  In addition,  such a festival was held in Niiza City which received gifts of about 6,400  sauries from Ishinomaki City in Miyagi pref. which was one of the major damaged areas and is rebuilding its industry rapidly. A lot of people visited the festival and enjoyed the delicious sauries with a lot of fat in season. The facilitators also hosted charity raising and a lot of visitors there donated money which would be used for rebuilding and saving the victims  of the tragedy.   Sanma (pacific sauries) are quite popular food in Japan especially in autumn when they become ripe for the taking with a lot of fat.sanma1sanmamaturi2sanmamaturi4sanmamaturi1sanmamaturi3

 

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“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in USJ grand open

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 7月 27, 2014

Universal Studio Japan  in Osaka opened a new theme area of the worldwide popular fantasy series, “Harry Potter” on Jul.15.  (http://www.usj.co.jp/harrypotter/)

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The theme area is 40,000 ㎡ with re-enacted facilities of those in the stories, such as the magic school that wizard children go, and at restaurants and stalls where special food described in the stories  are available.

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On the grand opening day, about 3000 people visited the area  and  everyday it receives a lot since then. USJ made the record high of the number of visitors there with more than 10 million last year and now it expects to have more than 12 million this year with these new attraction services.   About 45 billion yen (≒$440 million )which is equal to  the half amount of an annual budget of USJ  was spent on building this new area.  Some hotels expand their capacities expecting a huge increase in  visitors and job opportuniies are expected to increase as well in Osaka, kobe, Kyoto, and other areas in Kansai, which will surly invigorate economy there.

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Tokyo being the most satisfying city of the world

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 5月 31, 2014

Tokyo (http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/index.htm) comes first as the “overall satisfaction city” of  a survey of  satisfying cities in 2013 conducted by an Internet travel site, TripAdvisor(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TripAdvisor), according to  its report on the 20th.(http://blog.tripadvisor.com/blog/2014/05/20/survey-tokyo-tops-list-world-cities-best-overall-experience/)

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The survey was conducted with questionnairs to 54,000 travelers who had visited 37 major cities in the world in such a manner as asking how much they were satisfied grading each city by 0-10 points to each of 16 sections. Tokyo has come first in five sections of “helpful locals”,”best taxi services”,”cleanest streets”,”best public transport”,and “best overall experience”.   As for the “best overall experience”, New York came second and Barcelona placed third.

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JMSDF’s 2nd Escort Ship’s Curry Grand Prix in Yokosuka

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 30, 2014

The Japan Maritime Self-defense Force (JMSDF) hosted “The 2nd Escort Ship’s Curry Grand Prix” in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Pref, on this April 19th. (http://cocoyoko.net/event/goeikancurry.html)

 

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JMSDF has a custom of serving curried rice to the crew of the escort ships on Fridays and each ship has its own characteristic curry. Therefore,  this time the special competition of those curried rice dishes was held and ordinary civilians were able to join the festival to eat and vote for one of the dishes. Each dish cost 500 yen. Totally, 15 ships (15 types of curried rice) joined the event and “Strong taste curry”(/濃厚味わいカレー)of the Yokosuka Submarine Fleet won the grand prix. No.2 was “Choukai Special Seafood Curry”(/ちょうかい特製シーフードカレー) of Escort Ship Choukai and No.3 was “The Curry tasted by the Prime Minister”(/内閣総理大臣喫食カレー).  actually there are a lot of curried rice rstaurants that provide various curry dishes in Yokosuka. Coincidentally, I was in Yokosuka on that April 19th and saw a lot of people standing in lines waiting for their turns to come in front of  popular curry restaurants in that city.

 

 

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“ABENO HARUKASU”, the highest skyscraper grand opening

By TERRY - Last updated: 月曜日, 3月 31, 2014

The new highest skyscraper of Japan “ABENO HARUKASU” had its grand opening in Abeno-ward in Osaka City on March 7th. (http://www.abenoharukas-300.jp/en/)

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The building is 300m high, rising 60 stories above the ground, which is the highest skyscraper and the third highest building of Japan next only to Tokyo Sky Tree (634m) and Tokyo Tower (333m).  “harukasu” means “to clear up” in the old Japanese language. The view from the observatory “Harukasu 300” on the 58-60 floors is expected to “clear up” visitors hearts and give lively and fresh impressions as well as good services available from the facilities in the building. Observavory_in_Abeno_Harukasu_(night_view)_01

The B2- 14 above the ground floors are shopping area of Kintetsu Department Store, which now has  the biggest space of all the department stores in Japan. The 19,20,38-55,and 57 floors are for Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel. Abeno Haruksu Art Museum in on the 16th floor, and other floors are for office area for businesses such as banks, schools ,and others.

This new highest skyscraper, which has overtaken Yokohama Landmark Tower (296m) ,the old higehst one since 1993, now is highly expected to become the new center of commerce and tourism to get a lot of attention and popularity, especially in Osaka and the Western part of Japan.

 

 

 

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Chocolate trends of the Valentine’s Day in Japan

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 2月 28, 2014

It is customary  that a girl gives chocolates to a boy who she likes as a implicit connfession of falling love with him on the Saitnt Valentine’s Day falling on Feb,14th in Japan. However,  nowadays young people have ideas different from such conventional idea.  A lot of  female Japanese now have “various types for dofferent purposes” of  chocolates that they give to others, such as, “tomo-choco”(chocolates for their friends), “Kazoku-choco”(chocolates for their families), and kind of toraditional “Giri-choco”‘(obigatory chocolates for their bosses or coworkers and so forth).Acording to a certain survey,  90.2 % of the chocolates that female junior or senior-high school  students have gived this year were “tomo-chico”.   That may mean young females may tend to make much of  firendships between or among girls’ community sometimes rather than love relationships with males..?

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“Washoku” added to Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage list

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 12月 31, 2013

UNESCO decided to add “Washoku”, the Japanese traditional cuisine to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list at its Intergovenmental Committee held in Baku on Dec.4. (http://en.unesco.org/)

The spiritual tradition of respecting nature associsted with washoku was a good reason for this designation according to the announcement. The Japanese government, washoku chefs and Japanese culture apologists have strongly insisted it should be designated in order to protect the tradition from fear of its dying out as time passes by through generations. With this shiny designation,  Japanese people also expect to increase exports of agricultural and fishery produces wiping away the bad images caused by the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011 as well. Japanese traditional food is quite popular as healthy food all over the world.

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Chinese snacks “Heisei-fukujun”

By Kikki - Last updated: 月曜日, 12月 30, 2013

 

Chinese snacks “Heisei-fukujun”

 
“Heisei-fukujun” resembles to a street stall in an Asian County

“Heisei-fukujun” is a casual street stall style Chinese restaurant that serves real “tenshin” Chinese snacks. Orthodox home made dishes, such as Chinese style broiled rice cake “餡餅” (200 yen/piece), a tasty Chinese flour dumplings with shrimp stuffing in soup, and others, are served here.

There are other Chinese snack shops in Ameyoko area, so you are better to select among them. “Heisei-fukujun” is located just in front of “Ameyoko Plaza.”

Most guests enjoy taking their dishes at the tables outside.

Variety Chinese snacks are displayed on their menu board, such as broiled rice cake with oyster(海蛎餅), youtiao (油条), Soy juice (豆漿) and Chinese style fried chicken (五香醤鶏)

 

Grilled Xiaolongbao (小龍包) with rich meat juices

Most popular dish among them is grilled Xiaolongbao “小龍包” (380 yen/ 4 pieces). Various kinds of wheat flour are mixed to make it sticky mouthfeel. Their original recipe gives delicious taste of meat. You can enjoy rich meat juice after crispy mouthfeel of its skin.

 

Xiaolongbao (小龍包) is a type of steamed bun or baozi from the Jiangnan region of China (especially Shanghai and Wuxi). It is traditionally steamed in small bamboo baskets, hence the name (xiaolong is literally small steaming basket). Xiaolongbao are often referred to as soup dumplings or simply dumplings in English, but are not regarded as dumplings inChina.

Xiaolongbao are known as siohlon-meudoe in Shanghainese (simplified Chinese: 小笼馒头; traditional Chinese: 小籠饅頭; pinyin: xiǎolóng mántóu). Mantou describes both filled and unfilled buns in northern China, but only describes unfilled buns in southern China.

“Youtiao” (油条) & yáng ròu chuan” (羊肉串)

Youtiao, also known as the Chinese cruller, Chinese oil stick, Chinese doughnut, and fried breadstick, is a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough eaten in Chinese and (by a variety of other names) in other East and Southeast Asian cuisines. Conventionally, youtiao are lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two. Youtiao are normally eaten at breakfast as an accompaniment for rice congee or soy milk.

Another recommendation of “Heisei-fukujunn” is yáng ròu chuan” (羊肉串). Broiled mutton meat on a skewer is not so tasty but rather savory and crispy. One bite of this dish makes you being like in eating at a street stall inBeijing. Skewered mutton is broiled after putting a lot of Chinese spice “zī rán” and is only 100 yen a piece.

It is a local dish from Yanbian(延辺) district in the North-east of China. Yanbian (延辺) is a Korean Autonomous Prefecture in southeastern province of Jilin,People’s Republic of China, just north of the border with North Korea. Yanbian is bordered to the north by Heilongjiang, on the west by Baishan City and Jilin City, on the south by North Hamgyong Province of North Korea, and on the east by Primorsky Krai of Russia. Yanbian is designated as an autonomous prefecture due to the large number of ethnic Koreans living in the region.

While you are waiting dishes, you may realize that standard language among store staff is totally Chinese.

And most guests around you are also Chinese people.

You feel something you were at a street stall in Hong Kong or some place inChina.

Heisei-fukujun
Address: #A-11AmeyokoPlazaBuilding
Ueno 6-10-7, Taito-ku,Tokyo,Japan
Phone: 03-3834-8221
Business hours: 10:00-20:00
Closed on: 2nd Wed.
URL: http://www.ameyoko-plaza.com/?p=2202

 


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