Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Saury, That's Saury

The nice slab of fish is ‘saury’ which is a type of fish found in the Pacific Ocean. It is next to an edamame salad with a plentiful helping of seaweed. The translation for the soup came out to be ‘fall miso soup’ which does not give you much information about its contents.
Vegetables + Miso + end of summer = fall miso soup.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Soup...mmmm

Pumpkin soup, which might be my favorite soup, is the crown jewel of this lunch. There is also bread (which was the size of Texas toast) and strawberry jam. The broccoli is next to something that I assumed was chicken. I was wrong. It’s actually egg. Not sure why they made it in that shape.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Heavy Meal

A very basic meat and vegetable curry which can be found in many restaurants here in Japan. The soup is filled with vegetables, shrimp balls and harusame noodles. They are slightly thinner than spaghetti noodles and are completely translucent.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Native American Yakisoba?

This is a very interesting meal. First, you have pita bread, which when you pronounce using Katakana transforms you into Captain Hook (pita pan). Yakisoba is a popular dish in Japan but this is specifically Indian (インデイアん) yakisoba which translated means Native American yakisoba. Very strange. A delicious tuna salad and finish it off with a lemon yogurt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Potato or Potato?

Here we have salt-grilled salmon with a spinach salad. Also, those are not potatoes in the soup. They are from a very large radish called a daikon (
だいこん). They are very cheap and used in many stews and soups.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I will pretty much eat any kind of tempura and this squid tempura is no exception. It is paired with a ginger salad and a vegetable and bacon soup (みそしる).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When you wish upon a star

A couple of weeks ago my Thursday school (meaning I visit there once a week) told me if it was not raining next week then I should wear a suit so we could take a faculty picture.

The next week it was not raining so I wore the suit. I arrive to find that the schedule has been changed. We are still taking the picture at 8:30 and at 9:00 we are going to get potatoes...

I don’t understand...

Tokyo Disney

We bypassed the store and dug them out with gloved hands. I thought my first Japanese field trip might be to a park or store or museum. Maybe we would drive instead of walk and I always imagined less manure. I mean, some manure, just... less.

Last weekend we piled 7 people into 2 cars and drove down to Tokyo for Chelsea’s birthday. It was a sluggish 4-hour trip that was mostly bumper-to-bumper, but then we made it to Disney Sea.

Tokyo Disney

Chelsea, Staci, and Emily

Just went through Italy and on our way to the center of the earth.

Tokyo Disney

Under the sea.

Tokyo Disney

Port, Chelsea, Emily and Staci

On the train heading to the Ginza district for the ICEBAR.

Tokyo Disney

Everything was made of ice!

Tokyo Disney

Chelsea, Emily, Staci, Daniel, Luke, Cole and Port

One last picture before the hypothermia sets in...


Then it was back to Disney Sea.

Tokyo Disney We just had to have some ears.

Tokyo Disney

The park is closing...Some of us take the news better than others.

Tokyo Disney

Cole, Luke, Emily, Chelsea, Staci, Port and Daniel

Next stop...Disneyland!

A Taste of India

This meal was inspired by an Indian dish and included tandori chicken, vegetable soup, raisin bread and a “summer salad”.

Japanese Food

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wax Gourd Soup

The smallest items are pork dumplings. Though it does not look great, the fried eggplant stir fry (on the plate) is one of the most delicious food items I have ever tasted. Lastly, we have a wax gourd soup.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Give me your fingernails!

Our first visit to a Japanese zoo started off with an elephant exhibit that seemed a little too close...

Next it was on to the petting zoo. Really it was just a game in which the object was to keep your fingers.

While this seems impressive that a goat could catch a carrot, bear in mind that this is the 5th or 6th carrot I have dropped directly over its mouth.

Like many other places around this area there was a view of the ocean.

A tiger growled and made a kid cry. Of course, they were sticking their fingers through the cage. This is probably because they didn’t have a sign like this by the tigers.

The more you know.

Fake Bacon = Facon

First we have vegetable root stew and honey bread (which had a type of honey spread in the center). There’s also cheesy potatoes topped with facon (fake bacon = facon).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Japanese Meatballs

Japanese meatballs in an ankake sauce coupled with some pickled cucumber. The soup is filled with vegetables, gyoza, and may or may not contain some type of fish...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Fruit Amongst Vegetables

Curry is a popular dish in Japan and few are better than a summer vegetable curry. It is often eaten with rice but can be eaten by itself. It includes many vegetables including eggplant (which apparently is a fruit), carrots and mushrooms. This meal also comes with a seaweed salad topped with goma (sesame seed) dressing...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The minestrone soup and chicken patty are reminiscent of home but here they combine the chicken, corn salad and sauce into a type of sandwich. Polish it all off with a small carton of milk...

Monday, October 11, 2010


Living in Japan has afforded me the rare opportunity to regularly eat
kyūshoku, which is the school lunch program. It is eaten by a majority of elementary and junior high students and is carefully planned by the school's nutritionist. Every day I take a picture and translate the menu into English to find out exactly what I'm eating...Itadakimasu!

The noodles are topped with vegetables (carrots, bean sprouts, etc.) and the sauce, all of which are very cold (I used my chopsticks to pick out the ice). There is also a spring roll and frozen mandarin orange...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dinner, Dinner, Dinner and a Show

Last weekend we went to Hitachi Seaside Park with friends, family, church members and the Kajiyamas. It was filled with exciting attractions that you more than likely can’t find anywhere else...

Like a bell that you can ring for happiness...

An older model rice cooker that was actually in use...

Old-fashioned recreation in the form of a wooden top...

A picture with some kappas...

And an egg forest...I think this one was rotten...

That night we traveled to Tsuchiura for its famed fireworks show. Though we mostly ate extremely fatty foods...

We did see some great fireworks...

They were quite impressive...

And getting on the train to go home was no picnic...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Sadly, the district asked us to remove pictures with our student's faces in them. That said, this post may now seem choppy. Sorry!

It's been a month since our last post and October has already started so here is what happened...

A few weeks ago I had my first Sports Festival (Undokai). It was a day filled with wacky competitions and races. My main job was to distribute prizes (with PTA moms) for 4th, 5th and 6th place finishers. I was also volunteered to participate in a few races (only one of which required a ridiculous costume). Still waiting on those pictures, but here are some others...

The morning ceremonies...

giant ball races?...

1st graders playing something resembling basketball...

the 6th grade performing a traditional dance...

one last game with these...

That weekend we took a trip to Tokyo with Chelsea. We first visited Harajuku where we saw some interesting fashion. Places not pictured include the Ginza district, our hostel (which was really great) and Krispy Kreme. We also went to...

the ever-crowded Shibuya Crossing...

the Asakusa district...

and the Sensoji Temple...

We ended our trip with a last meal at the Hard Rock Café...

More updates soon...