Friday, September 26, 2014

Spam Musubi!!!

Growing up in Hawaii, SPAM was like our soul food.  You can go to a supermarket or a convenience store or even a gas station, and find a spam musubi.  For mainlanders, spam is seen as something unhealthy, cheap, gross, and a type of inferior food (poor people's food).  But for people in Hawaii, it is a big part of our culture.

The one thing you should remember when eating spam is to make sure you do NOT eat it straight out of the can.  Just like steak, if you cook it, the fat give flavor to the meat.  Most people marinate spam in soy sauce and sugar, but some just cook it straight.  I also recommend buying the low salt/sodium version of spam.  The regular one is too salty.  Here is a video of how to make a spam musubi, the super simple way:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Subway breakfast

This morning I had to wake up very early to go the consulate. It is kind of far from Settsu Tonda and I have to go all the way to Demachiyanagi in Kyoto. After talking papers, and ID stuff I stopped by Subway. I really love the sandwiches over there! They are simple, you can enjoy the taste of vegetables without any amount of despicable mayonnaise or ketchup and have cheese instead...Is there more to say!!!??? Anyway, I had no idea they have morning sets. I tried this one with chicken and it was delicious!!! Tiiiiiiiiny though! Could have eaten 2 honestly but I stopped by the bakery an hour before....hehehehe!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Youkai Watch

Kids have been going crazy for the new TV cartoon Youkai Watch, and the creators are hoping it will become a global phenomenon like Pokemon or Dragon Ball. Well I don't think it will happen, mostly for linguistic and cultural reasons. I have watched a few episodes (if you know me you know I like Japanese mythology and my girlfriend thinks the various incarnations of the main character Jibanyan are super kawaii) but I didn't think much of it, as it is clearly an extended toy commercial designed to get kids to annoy their parents to by them the stupid watch toy. (Why are the spirits controlled by a watch of all things? Why not just a book of names or something like Natsume Yujincho? That would make a lot more sense, anyway...) Unlike Pokemon or Dragon Ball, which were set in fantasy worlds, Youkai watch is clearly set in Japan and the youkai are uniquely Japanese with strong ties to Japanese history and culture. This will be a big problem for kids from other countries who have no idea what mythological stories are being referred to in the cartoon. It wont make much sense to foreign kids. For example, on of the youkai was "hikkikoumori" a combination of  hikkikomori and koumori. How will this me translated into English? "Stays in his room all the time bat"?!?! That doesn't make any sense in English, kids won't get it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

So many movies recently. 
I went to the late show of Guardians of the Galaxy last Sunday night. It is a science fiction action film based on a marvel comic of the same name. I really enjoyed it. It was fast paced, funny, touching, and very pretty. One thing that really brought everything together was the music (70's and 80's pop songs). I would really recommend it to everyone. It is kind of a kids movie I guess but even people who don't love super hero style movies will enjoy it I think.As with big action flicks like this and the Avengers, the big screen at the cinema really adds to the experience.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monsters University

Last night I watched MU. I wanted to watch it for a long time but everytime I went to the DVD rental store it wasn`t available... and I finally got a copy last weekend! So last night I watched it and... OMG! What a disappointment!!! I expected to laugh like I did when I watched Monsters Inc. but nothing! Lots of cliches, nothing original really, the story was not that exciting,... I smiled a very few times and let a "kyaaaaaaah" out when I saw Mike as a cute kid but that was it! I am usually a fan of Disney and Pixar animes but MU did nothing for me. Not missing much  if you haven`t seen it (in my opinion!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

when the moon hits your eye...

Last Sunday I had dinner at
Trattoria Pizzeria Amore Kiyamachi
(Wow that's a hell of a name)
It was really good. We had the set course which included Antipasto, salad, pizza, steak, fried vegetables, dessert and coffee. The thing that impressed me most was the serving sizes. They give you a lot of food. Just look at this glass of wine!

That is the first time I have seen a restaurant actually fill a glass with wine. Normally they just put a splash in the bottom of the glass. Unfortunately we could not sit outside on the terrace next to the river, but maybe next time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kobe Animal Kingdom

Last Monday I went to Kobe Animal Kingdom. It is a small zoo out on Kobe port island near the airport. It only took about an hour to see everything, and it is all inside (which was lucky because it was raining on the day we went) I like birds (my mother used to keep many pet birds in Australia) so lucky for me it is mostly birds. There are also many flowers (a hanging garden) and a petting zoo (animals you can touch, rabbits, guniea pigs sheep etc). I had fun and would recommend it if you find yourself in Kobe on a rainy day with nothing to do. Just take the Portliner monorail to K Computer Mae station from Sannomiya.

 Toucan Sam!

 They had a secretary bird!!! 
I was super happy! They eat snakes!!!

 Cute little fellow.

 What is a penguim?

 I forget what this weird rabbit mouse thing was...

 They are very friendly if you have fruit!

 Fat ass capybara was sleepy...

 The staff wont let you ride the giant tortoise...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Himeji Castle

I went to Himeji castle last weekend. 
The main tower is still under construction, so you can't enter that particular building until next year. But the castle is very large and there are many other parts of the building you can go into. 
It is a beautiful castle, that has received a lot of attention recently due to the current taiga drama about Kuroda Kanbe. There is a small NHK drama museum just in front of the castle where you can see lots of props and costumes from the TV show.
 (I recommend you check out this museum first because they give you a coupon book at the end which will give you a discount on some local restaurants and your castle entry fee.) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Last week I went to USJ. I had an AMAZING time!!! I was a bit worried it would be super crowded but I went on a Monday and all the kids were supposed to be back to school so I took a chance... and I did well! I went there from 9 am to 10:30pm so obviously I was EXHAUSTED but I rode so many attractions!! And I went to the Harry Potter area! I was a little skeptical when I saw the commercial on TV but I was completely shocked by how awesome it was!!! The castle looked incredible, inside you have all the paintings with the faces moving just like in the movies!! Super realistic! And the attraction in the castle was just so much fun!! So I strongly recommend it, it`s really worth it!!!

Yokai train

I took the Randen line's Yokai densha over the obon break. Honestly it was pretty lame. The train  was decorated with rubber gloves and tissue. There was an oni running around in the car I was in, but only one, so it got a bit boring after the first five minutes. When we got to Arashiyama station there were a couple more people walking around in costumes. It wasn't very good, but it was cheap (about 400 yen if I remember) and I've been wanting to try it for a while now.