Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friday Shootout- Architecture (Misawa Train Park)

Today's shootout is "Architecture" assigned by Jen. This is my first time to take detailed architectural photos, and I don't know if some of these are not considered architecture :-) just bear with me, I'm still amateur in photography hehehe.

I went to "Train Park" yesterday close to Misawa Air Base where I saw a lot of pink lanterns hanging around the park which signify the "cherry blossom blooming" in Misawa. I took all of my shots here for this Friday Shootout at the same time enjoying the warm weather but .....ohhhh it's so sad to see that the cherry blossom (sakura) are started to fall off from the trees.

Pink Lantern


Brick Building along the side of the park

Another view of the brick building, the white spots are the cherry blossom, falling off from the trees

Playground maze


Wood Cross section

Big Clock

Bolt of a swing

See Saw

Lamp Post

Shed without a shade, check the shadow :-)

somewhere in the park

Festival Lantern Post (?)

a knot

The train park

Note: My next post probably the continuation of my architectural photos taken in Tokyo during our vacation last February.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom or "sakura" in Japanese

Another shot of sakura

Hirosaki Castle

Another view of Hirosaki Castle

Entrance gate

Another entrance gate


Picnic at the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival


Last Saturday, April 25 we went to Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri or Cherry Blossom Festival, it's about 2 hour- drive from Misawa. It was gloomy and cold last Saturday, and it drizzled around 3pm right after we left the park. By the way last Sunday, it snowed in Misawa, which covered the entire rice field, in front of our house (weird huh??).
The Cherry Blossom Festival is being held every spring in different places in Japan but in Hirosaki it usually starts around last week of April until first week of May but it really depends on the forecast report from Japan Metereological Agency.
Hirosaki park is decorated with 2,600 cherry trees of about 50 different varieties. It is one of the best cherry blossom-viewing spots in Tohoku region in Japan. Within the park is the famous landmark, Hirosaki Castle.
Once cherry blossoms open up, they usually become in full bloom within 10 days. The blooming period of cherry blossoms is about 5-12 days, depending on the kind of cherry trees and the weather.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Shoot-Out- Japanese Engrish Signs Around Misawa

Ok, I will push the red button "after take my dishes"

Ohhh ok, no wasabi, this plate?

Don't worry I'll be careful about burns :-)

I will help myself to the water?? hmmm ok

You're wercome hehehe, frank you too for your good service :-)

1. It's hard to convert 50cm to inches?? Hmm maybe one or two fold is ok??
2. What the...the paper under the nozzle?? push?? ohhh push the paper under the nozzle...I got it!
3. Flush the paper down the WC?? What is WC? wohooo! I'm getting a headache, prrease herp!


I can't think of a subject for an "open assignment" for our Friday Shootout so I just checked some of my old photos and came up with these.... Japanese Engrish Signs.

I posted some of them here from my previous blogs, you can check those out by looking for "japanese signs" under labels.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nagawa Cheririn Village

Camping Ground

Tower with 3 dragons

Dragon Tower's entrance- the small hole in the middle of its mouth is the starting point and need to crawl up to the tower

Another shot of the dragon tower

Mini store inside the village

We spotted a cute car, my son is even taller than the car :-)

It was gloomy last Saturday when we headed to Nagawa Cheririn Village. It has camp sites with playgrounds and dragon tower for kids to enjoy their stay here. There were only few people I saw there and maybe it's not the season yet to play, hike and even camp. Well, we're supposed to find the strawberry picking place but we ended going here instead :-)

Amenities: (all have charges except #3 nature trail)

1. Camp sites:
a. cabins
b. tree-shaped huts
c. bungalow
d. tent site

2. Biking Trail
3. Nature Trail
4. Playground
5. Dragon Tower
6. Tennis Court

* Note for those who live in Misawa: We found the driving directions from ITT (Information, Tickets and Travels) Misawa Air Base but got lost, the last part of the directions is you have to follow the map but it has no street names in english nor even I can't remember now how to get there :-). It's about an hour and a half drive from Misawa AB. Good luck!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fuji Apples

Fuji Apples....hmmmm "oishi!" (delicious)

We stopped by this vegetable and fruit market along side of route 4 (somewhere before Nanbu Town) to buy some apples, I don't know the name of this place though

Fuji apples for sale: one pack ranges to 120 to 130 yen or $1.20 to $1.30, 6pcs to 12pcs each pack (depending on their weight)

Fuji apples: 18 to 24pcs depending on their sizes/weight, price ranges to 350 to 600 yen ($3.50 to $6)


Since we arrived here in Japan I've been enjoying the sweetness and crispiness of "fuji apples."
My kids love fuji apples; everyday my son always brings some slices of apple for his snack in school. He started to like apple when we got here, when we were in US he never even tasted it.

Last Saturday I bought 31 pcs of medium apples (3 packs of different sizes) for 400 yen or $4 from this market, an hour and a half drive from our place. We're supposed to look for strawberry picking place but ended up buying apples instead :-)

When we went to Tokyo this February I saw the price of their apples; it's a 100 yen ($1) a piece, now I feel lucky that at least we live in Aomori prefecture and found out our apples are cheaper but still I just have to bear the cold winter in here while enjoying eating apples :-)

According to wikipedia:

The Fuji apple is developed by growers at the Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, Aomori, Japan in the late 1930s and brought to market in 1962. It is a cross between two American apple varieties, the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet (sometimes cited as "Rawls Jennet") apples. It is named after "FUJIsaki, Aomori Prefecture, but often thought to be named after Mt.Fuji.


Remember, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Shootout- Food and Restaurants

Today I will only feature my 4 favorite restaurants here in Misawa. Most of my photos here were taken from my compact and my cellphone cam because I can't bring my big DSLR camera, I'm too shy to show off hahaha.

1. Viking Restaurant (All you can eat)

April 16 was our 16th wedding anniversary; my husband and I celebrated it with just a simple lunch in Viking restaurant, it's an "all you can eat buffet" for ¥ 1000 or $10 each, a total of only ¥2000 or $20 for our anniversary (remember we have global crisis, i don't want to spend too much hahaha). The first photo is the Viking Restaurant, it was crowded when we went here since it's lunch time. A lot of military servicemen go and lunch out here. We even had hard time finding a parking spot and so my shot wasn't that good enough too.

In front of Viking Restaurant

Yakiniku or grilled meat; we have to get our own meat and grill here; we also had miso soup and cold soba

Yakiniku beef and pork with onion and bell pepper on the side

Cooked grilled meat

My husband picked these- Fried oyster, chicken and gyoza

I picked these: Sushi- salmon, tuna and oyster with sweet corn :-)

2. Sapporo Ramen

Our favorite ramen restaurant is "Sapporo" although it doesn't show its name on their board, I have to ask my daughter the name of this restaurant. Last Wednesday my husband and I had our lunch here, for ¥ 1700 or $17 (2 miso ramen and 1 gyoza) we were full already. Most of the ramen restaurants here do not serve sodas, you have to buy your soda from the vending machines. They just serve water.

Here's the front view of Sapporo Ramen

Miso Ramen for ¥ 650 or $6.50

Gyoza for ¥400 or $4- I like their gyoza; the inside meat has a lot of ingredients in it that makes this delicious (oishi!)

3. Korakuen

This restaurant was newly built just last 2008; the name of the restaurant is in Japanese. My family had our lunch here today and my daughter even asked the name of this restaurant just for this shootout LOL; she can't understand kanji very well so she asked the cashier and we found out it's "Korakuen."

We ordered a set of miso ramen, gyoza and fried rice for ¥ 890 ~$9; 1 kid's meal and extra fried rice and pork w/ rice.

We spent ¥ 2141 today or ~$22 (4 people)

In front of Korakuen

Egg and pork with rice and seaweed or nori

fried rice

Kid's meal: shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, fried rice, orange juice and a token to get a free toy from their vending machine


4. Kappa Sushi

Kappa sushi is my favorite sushi bar; I had my previous post about this restaurant and that time we call this as "100 yen sushi bar" since we didn't know its name. One plate costs 100 yen. Since my husband was off this week so we ate our lunch here last Tuesday. We spent ¥ 1500+ or $15+ for our lunch.

I have to hide my camera here since they prohibited cameras inside.

Click this if you want to check out my previous post about this sushi restaurant.

Kappa Sushi

Tokkyu lane- mini train that serves your order fresh from the chef's kitchen

Seafood yuke- this is my favorite

Tako yaki- my kids love this; tako means octopus but it tastes like squid ball

shrimp tempura

squid- I haven't tried this yet

natto- rotten soy beans (yuck, ewwww hahaha); I haven't tried it yet and I will never try it. My daughter said it's stinky and slimy

I don't know the name of this but I will never try it too hahaha

Tiramisu for ¥ 150 or ~$1.50

Mochi- sweet rice with beans inside

, ** Next time I will feature more of Japanese food here in my blog, it will take up a lot of space now and it's hard to read if you have a long post :-)

Thanks for taking the time.