December 31, 2012

The 2013 Resolution

My new year's resolution is set.

Going to have less.

Going to get rid of things I don't need.
Going to stop buying things I don't need.

Going to focus on the important things.

Going to do more.
Going to be more.

The Breakfast at Home

I'm back home.

It may not be the same house as last year.
Or even the same prefecture.

But it's home.

The Dried Persimmon

When I got home to my parent's place
guess what I found hanging in the kitchen?

Dried persimmon!

My mom made it outside the kitchen window
and had brought it back inside since it was ready to eat.

It was so delicious!
I love dried persimmon!

Persimmon season is over now but
I'm going to have to try this next fall for sure.

Here's how to make dried persimmon!


Hachiya Persimmon
(or any type of astringent persimmon)


Peal the persimmon
leaving a little around the stem.

Tie the string around the stem.
Make sure they are far enough apart
so they don't touch each other when hanging.

Dip the persimmon in boiling hot water
for about 5 seconds to sterilize the persimmon.

Hang the persimmon outside.
Preferably somewhere that is airy
and gets plenty of sunlight.
If it rains, bring inside so it doesn't mold.

After a week
when the outside skin is hard
massage the persimmon with your fingers.
This helps the persimmon not be sour.
Do this once or twice a week.

After 2-3 weeks
it should be ready to eat!

December 30, 2012

The Udon in Takamatsu

Daisuke and Kumi-san were nice enough to
come pick us up at the airport.

Not only that, they took us out to dinner, too!

Kagawa Prefecture is famous for their Sanuki Udon.

It's my favorite type of udon.
They are thick and chewy.

So good.

You can find it all over Japan
but this was my first time in Kagawa Prefecture.

Look at the real thing, you guys!

Apparently, most udon shops in Kagawa
also serve oden, too.

And they eat it with miso sauce!
(tofu pictured above)

That was new.
And surprisingly good.

I am loving Kagawa Prefecture.

Thinking about coming through here every time
I come back to my parents place.

Thank you
Daisuke and Kumi-san!!!

The Packing For Ehime

I am the worst packer ever.

Two hours until I leave for the airport
and this is what my suitcase looks like right now.

Time to start panicking!!!

December 29, 2012

The Same Face

Photographer Fran├žois Brunelle has a really interesting project.

It's called "I’m Not a Look-Alike!"
and features portraits of people who are total strangers
but look like identical twins.

There are supposedly three people on earth
who have the same face as you do.
(Is this just a Japanese belief?)

I've always wondered what it would be like to have a twin.
Now I'm wondering where my non-related twin is.

(via PetaPixel)

December 27, 2012

The Year of Snake

2013 is the year of snake.

As someone who is deathly scared of snakes
I'm not so sure how great this year is going to be.

But the year of snake is known to bring
much economic fortune and healthy child deliveries.

Japan is in desperate need of both so
hoping those things come true!

In preparation for new years
a lot of people in Japan make Nengajo.

Nengajo is a traditional new year postcard
that every one sends to each other.

They're kind of like Christmas cards,
which we don't really do in Japan.

Most people just print out their Nengajo these days
but I still like to make mine by hand.

And I finally sent out the bulk of mine today.
Hope they get to everyone by new years!

December 26, 2012

The Clif Bar Omiyage

Look at what my coworker brought back from Hawaii!
Well, actually more specifically, Whole Foods.

Anyways, it was really yummy.
And I LOVE the packaging!

I want to try every single one.
Every. Single. One.

Look at these yummy looking seasonal flavors, too!

December 25, 2012

The Christmas Tree at Home

My Christmas tree just got a little more festive.

It was just a homemade tree
made from garden sticks and a pot plate.

But I knew it needed something more.

So when I spotted these crafty wreath things
I got a couple of them for the tree.

I just wrapped them around the tree and...voila!

I think I like it.
Merry Christmas!!!

December 24, 2012

The Aiport

We went to see my baby sister off at the airport.

Thank goodness this was Japan.
We don't really go home for Christmas
so it wasn't crowded at all.

Not that I really care.
I LOVE airports.

And even though there's barely any holiday traffic
we actually DO decorate for Christmas!!!

At first I thought the owls were creepy but
after a while they sort of grow on you.

Kind of like a Harry Potter themed tree.

Aren't they weird?

Anyways, Lisa Naomi got through security
and gave us a quick wave and headed down to her gate.

She's such a grown up.

I loved having her stay at my place for a week.
I'll miss having her as a roommate.

But at least I'll see her at the end of the month again!

Can't wait :) 

December 23, 2012

The Birthday Girl

Happy haapy birthday to my beautiful sister!!!

Yoko came out for the weekend
so we sisters could hang out together.

So glad she did so we could celebrate her birthday, too!

We like to use the exact number of candles on the cakes.

No 2 big candles and 8 small candles for us.

We stuck 28 tall candles in that cake for Yoko.
(thus the large flame...haha)

We had a good laugh over the blazing flame
that got bigger with each pictures I took.

Glad I got the longer candles or we wouldn't have any cake left!

Happy Birthday Yoko!!!
May You Have The Best Year Ever!!!

The Nabe Night

Guess what we had for dinner today?

Kimchi Nabe!!!

Making nabe (pronounced "Nah-Beh") is so simple and
it's the best dish to make when you have people over.

It's really easy to adjust the amount you make
and all you have to do is cut everything up.

I think that's why it's so popular in Japan.

Plus there's tons of soups to choose from.
My favorites are Kimchi, Tomato Cheese, and Soy.

I know, they sound pretty gross.
But call yourself a fool and try it once.

I promise you'll soon be a nabe-lover like us :D

We also love mikan.
(They're like mandarins...small and seedless.)

Everyone eats mikan in Japan during the winter.

Growing up in a family of six,
we would always get mikan by the boxes.

But we would eat them like starving hyaenas
that they never lasted long. 

Looks like somethings don't change.