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This month's Japan Times column is about nabe (hot pots), which are a dinnertime...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:55
This month's Japan Times column is about nabe (hot pots), which are a dinnertime favorite in the winter in Japan!

http://justhungry.com/nabe-hot-pot-basics-japan-times


Nabe (hot pot) basics in the Japan Times

recently on just hungry - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:41

This month’s Japan Times column is about the basics of nabe, or hot pots that are usually cooked at the table, with everyone taking what they like from the pot as it cooks.

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More 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo! I'm not sure if I like the looks of this one...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:31
More 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo! I'm not sure if I like the looks of this one...but it certainly is customized. You can get any photo or image 'printed' on top of your Christmas cake at a pastry shop called Dolce MariRisa, which has stores on Omotesando (Harajuku) and in Denenchofu. The photo-print cakes come in 2 size - a 25x25cm one is 18,000 yen, and a 30cm x 30cm one costs 25,000 yen. (I think you can also get a photo 'printed' on their smaller cakes...) The description of the makeup of the cake itself is rather short, but it says it uses the
highest quality Belgian chocolate cream, so I'm guessing it's a chocolate cake...or at least has chocolate cream icing. ^_^ The photo part is edible.

https://chicappa-maririsa.ssl-lolipop.jp/xmas/


Funassyi furikake!!! #thepeariseverywhere

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2014-11-19 06:34
Funassyi furikake!!! #thepeariseverywhere


This entry in the 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series does have a cake, but it'...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2014-11-19 02:28
This entry in the 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series does have a cake, but it's more about the famous (infamous?) Christmas dinners from KFC Japan. This year they are offering a 8-piece bucket of chicken (Original or Variety Mix), a Christmas salad (contains red, green and yellow vegetables, plus Cheddar cheese flavored croutons and "bacon flavored topping"), a chocolate Christmas cake (with chocolate sponge and chocolate and vanilla mousses, covered with "chocolate glaçage") and a special Christmas-design plate for 4,090 yen (3,990 if you pre-order by December 10th). You can also order a whole roast chicken for 5,760 yen, or a whole roasted chicken leg for 1,030 yen.

http://www.kfc.co.jp/campaign/xmas2014/menu.html

I'm not sure many Japanese people realize that the "KFC for Christmas" thing is offered only in Japan, and is regarded as a sign of Japan's weird and wackiness elsewhere... ^_^; (Keep in mind that bone-in chicken parts and whole chickens are very expensive in Japan since they aren't eaten much. Many home kitchens don't have ovens, especially ones big enough to accommodate a whole bird. So in that sense the bone-in chicken choices offered by KFC are a bit of a treat for many people.)


More 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo! Suica is a rechargeable fare card issued by...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Tue, 2014-11-18 11:25
More 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo! Suica is a rechargeable fare card issued by the JR East railroad company, that controls a lot of commuter lines in the greater Tokyo area/Kanto region. The Suica card is promoted using the Suica Penguin character. And of course...there's a Suica Christmas cake - two versions even, both from the Cross Dine Bake Shop in the Hotel Metropolitan in Ikebukuro. The square version has layers of chocolate genoise sponge, orange jam, caramel cream and chocolate cream with chocolate coating. It's 20cm long and costs 4,200 yen. The large penguin shaped one (35cm long) has large Amao strawberries and chocolate cream sandwiched between layers chocolate genoise layers. It serves 12 and costs 8,500 yen.

http://webtest.metropolitan.jp/christmas_cake/

(More about the Suica card - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suica )


Continuing the 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series: You can order Christmas cak...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Mon, 2014-11-17 14:05
Continuing the 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series: You can order Christmas cakes from konbini (convenience stores) too. This one is from 7-11, and is called the Kamakura. Inside it has sponge cake layers with vanilla mousse and strawberries, and the outside is whipped cream with a strawberry cream bow. About 15 cm in diameter x 6cm high, 2,700 yen, it can be pre-ordered nationwide (order in-store or online).

http://www.sej.co.jp/products/christmas/cake_kamakura.html


Drying gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine, kuchinashi in Japanese) pods. The dri...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:59
Drying gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine, kuchinashi in Japanese) pods. The dried seeds are used as a yellow dye in cooking and so on, especially in kinton, a sweet potato based dish served at New Years.


The student eating his bento on a train photo that I posted previously got a lot...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sun, 2014-11-16 12:09
The student eating his bento on a train photo that I posted previously got a lot of reactions! To clarify the "eating on the train" issue, it's fine to eat on long distance trains -- it is actively encouraged in fact since they come to sell bentos and snacks! (You can also drink on long distance trains too...you often see people enjoying a beer or sake or something on the Shinkansen with some snacks.) Eating on local trains in the countryside is also fine usually.

Commuter trains and subways, especially in busy metropolitan areas, are not really practical places to eat or drink unless the train is not crowded. People do drink discreetly from PET bottles or whatever on such trains when it's not too crowded (and there are usually vending machines on the platform), and sometimes someone might munch a snack or so (and of course eating candy etc. is no problem).

In general, people in Japan do not eat while on the go much. For instance you don't see people wandering out of Starbucks while sipping from their cup, or people drinking from bottles of water, etc. as they stroll around, unlike in the U.S. There is a lot of speedy eating, but at designated places (e.g. standing up at a noodle stall.)

And by the way, I'm not criticizing the boy in the photo for eating his bento on the train. It was obvious actually that he ate his bento as fast as he could, before opening his books to study. He probably was so short on time that he had to swallow his lunch on the train. The contrast between him and the totally relaxed girl sitting next to him (they didn't seem to know each other) was interesting to me, anyway!

2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series! Today's cakes are from Patisserie Kihachi,...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sun, 2014-11-16 05:04
2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series! Today's cakes are from Patisserie Kihachi, a pastry shop and cafe chain with locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya etc. The cake in the large photo is called the Best Wishes Christmas. The box is made of white chocolate, and the cake inside is a classic Japanese-style strawberry shortcake (sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries). 12.5cm×12.5cm, 6,480 yen. The two smaller ones below are little 2-serving cakes - layered cakes (chocolate on the left, berry on the right) with buttercream (I think...some kind of icing) ribbons. 7.5cm×8cm, 1,620 yen each. The cakes can be ordered from any of their pastry shops (not just the Tokyo ones).

http://www.kihachi.jp/xmas/


2 middle schoolers on the train on a Saturday afternoon. The boy ate his bento i...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sun, 2014-11-16 03:02
2 middle schoolers on the train on a Saturday afternoon. The boy ate his bento in under 5 minutes*, then started studying. The girl was fiddling with her phone the whole time, totally oblivious to the world. #japan #tokyo #yokohama

*it's very unusual to see people eating on the train, so he must have really been short on time... (See my followup post)


My first doily. #tatting

Instagram - Sun, 2014-11-16 01:00

2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series! The BûcheBeHappy bûche de Noël from Jean-...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sat, 2014-11-15 07:44
2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series! The BûcheBeHappy bûche de Noël from Jean-Paul Hévin (boutiques in Harajuku and Tokyo Midtown, plus several in department stores) has a dark chocolate mousse base and strawberry, yuzu, rosé wine and champagne gelée accents. 6cm x 17.5cm × 11.5cm, 5.940 yen.

http://www.jph-japon.co.jp/product/noel/


Kiddyland in Harajuku started selling Christmas themed Funassyi goods today. I g...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sat, 2014-11-15 06:16
Kiddyland in Harajuku started selling Christmas themed Funassyi goods today. I got there around 10:45am, 15 minutes after the store opened. The line to get in to the Xmas Funassyi section was already stretching down the street! I ended up waiting 40 minutes to get in (while questioning my own sanity all the time... -_^;) When I left the store, the line was about 3 times as long!

I did buy a few things of course, including the pastel-colored hand puppet and the Santa outfit (that fits the 40cm stuffed toy Funassyi...which I already own... ^_^;)

Kiddyland, as many of you probably know, is a kind of licensed character goods and high quality (i.e. toys that appeal as much to adults as they do to kids) department store, that's been around for decades. They sell all kinds of character goods including the well known ones such as Hello Kitty/Sanrio, Rilakkuma/San-X, Snoopy, etc....but at the moment the front of the ground floor is so dominated by Funassyi, it looks like a Funassyi store. I knew he/it? was popular but I didn't realize just how popular. Amazing.

(Note: You don't need to line up to get in to Kiddyland normally, and the other departments just had normall foot traffic from what I saw.)


More #tatting

Instagram - Sat, 2014-11-15 05:00

Continuing the 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series...this is a Christmas tree s...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Fri, 2014-11-14 07:08
Continuing the 2014 Christmas Cakes in Tokyo series...this is a Christmas tree shaped tart actually, from a small pastry shop chain called Qu'il Fait Bon. The tart is filled with sponge cake, berry bavarois cream and whipped cream, and topped with fresh fruit and glaze, plus snowflake shaped cookies. (I'm not too sure what the garland is made of...the description doesn't say.) 6,686 yen for the 4-5 serving size, and 11,829 yen for the 8-10 serving size.

http://www.quil-fait-bon.com/new.php?twn=435


some of my flickr photos