Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

“Destroy Shit/Hole” at Harajuku

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Mural on Cat Street, Harajuku

Ly, an up-and-coming painter born and raised in Tokyo, brings her imaginary world of the fantastical monster named LUV in grey-scale paintings and murals. For more of Ly (#ly_painter), check out her instagram and/or website.

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August 12, 2017 at 6:26 am

Posted in Japan, Tokyo

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East meets west? I think not.

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Super soft mochi balls with various syrups – honey, tart lemon, green tea, and strawberry. With sweet adzuki bean, tart and dried plum blossom and soy bean powder.

Jean-Paul Hévin’s mascarpone – layered chocolate and banana mousse.

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August 12, 2017 at 5:17 am

Posted in Japan, Tokyo

Japanese pottery

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There is traditional pottery that comes with amazing glazes and hand painted artwork and then there is the Japanese minimalist aesthetic. Both extremes are stunning. Former is relatively easy to find in Tokyo – every guidebook will provide a pointer or two. The later on the other hand was serendipity for us.

Yumiko Iihoshi Porcelain: Yumiko Yoshihoshi is the artist behind the line and is relatively recent graduate of Kyoto Saga College of Art and Ceramics Degree. As far as I could decipher from auto translation, her designs use both industrial production and hard craft. The pieces are mass produced but hand glazed.

Fine workmanship, delicate pieces, and beautiful organic but minimalist shapes. The Harajuku store is in a strange building called Co-op Olympia. It is a renovated old building with cavernous hotel like walkways. It took us two trips to locate. The shop is is one of the suites.

The traditional designs are explosion of colors or textures. Absolutely delightful. And if you have taken a class or two of pottery, you will appreciate the art even more so.

Overall, the size of the piece and prices are not very correlated. Japanese are fond of small and beautiful objects and there are many delicate small dishes for serving kaiseki style food.  These are not dishwasher friendly, no two pieces are exactly alike. What you typically get is beautiful shapes, textures, and glazes and sometimes, fine hand painting.

A beautiful sake pot with two serving cups.

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August 11, 2017 at 6:58 am

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Whiskey and sushi?

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Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo has a whisky bar delightfully named The Whisky Library with its wall to wall whisky collection. And these were not just empty display bottles, the servers were climbing ladders to serve. We tried two flights – one from the famous Suntory distillery and other from Nikka. Suntory family had a maple/woodsy finish and Nikka had a sake/salty finish. Both excellent.

Miyagikyo (single malt), Yoichi (single malt), and Taketsuru (blended malt) from Nikka distillery and Yamazaki (single malt), Hakushu (single malt) and Hibiki (blended) from Suntory.

The flights were followed by sushi at Tsukiji Tama Sushi Sasashigure at Omatesando Hills mall. Don’t frown at mall sushi – while the $300-$500 sushi at the likes of sushi master, Jiro, is no doubt sublime, a high end mall sushi meets expectations, particularly after a a few shots of delightful whisky.

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August 10, 2017 at 6:26 am

Posted in Japan, Tokyo

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Baby octopus teppanyaki style

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First some cabbage and mung bean sprouts

Toss with some salt and spices

Next some baby octopuses on the hot plate

Buttered up and tossed with soy sauce

Time to plate

Yummy! More so with some potato sake. Served on the edge of hot plate, a few inches away from diner’s plate, so stays hot while one lingers on the cold sake.

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August 8, 2017 at 8:59 am

Posted in Japan, Tokyo

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Specters by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

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Ōta Memorial Museum of Art at Harajuku shows exhibitions of ukiyo-e wood-block prints. It is one of the few museums to continuously exhibit ukiyo-e. The main part of the collection consists of about 12,000 pieces collected by one individual, Seizō Ota Ⅴ, former president of Tōhō Insurance Company. His extensive collection was made available to public by his family after he passed away in 1977. During our visit, the exhibition showed “Specters” by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

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August 8, 2017 at 8:44 am

Did someone say horse sashimi?

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Sora An restaurant was at the footsteps of our AirBnB. We went in for a bento lunch and ended up being repeat customers.

Super lean horse sashimi served with grated ginger and minced garlic

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August 8, 2017 at 4:37 am

Posted in Japan, Tokyo

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