Department stores

Japan is a consumer market, people love to spend, buy, they love brands, but they also love details, nice things, brands, luxury, quality. Along with that, for over a century, there have been a lot of department stores (Takashimaya, Matsuzakaya, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, etc)

My favourite remains Isetan for the B1F, food department and the 5F, tableware. I must say I also like Takashimaya historical building in Nihombashi for the architecture and the style.

They sell beautiful cakes made by Dominique Ansel and delicious Swiss Chocolate Laederach that I highly recommend

If you ever read The Ginger Tree, wonderful book written by Oswald Wynd, you will read part of the development of these stores in the early 1900’s

 

Food and more Food – this country is about food

Japan has so much to offer when it comes to food. I have 2 friends visiting currently for 2 weeks and both of them never eat raw food nor seafood. I thought this might be a challenge but we are reaching the end of the 2 weeks and we have not finished yet our wishlist. this is endless and always so delicious, oisshiii!!

I took them for lunch on a couple of occasions, restaurants are a commodity here and you can get a set lunch for JPY750 to JPY900 easily and that will always include a bowl of rice, pickles, a bowl of miso soup and the main dish, sometimes a fruit portion, it is excellent value, almost always good and healthy at all times

 

seafood – fish & co

really yummy place in Roppongi – right next to Midtown shopping mall, the place is called Uoshin Nogizaka. the atmosphere is like an izakaya and they provide a lot of different fishes and seafood in a great atmosphere

2nd floor is smoking area. prices are ok, menu is in Japanese, there is a limited simple English version but the fun is to choose randomly

excellent address – make sure you book in advance as it is packed Monday to Sunday steadily

 

Japanese Dinner

Last week end, I had a memorable dinner at a friend’s place. She prepared and I watched the beauty of a nice Japanese evening

Tofu is always a win, light, you can spice up with a lot of different things

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Of course, a Japanese meal always include pickles (Tsukemono), boiled vegetable and rice

The highlight of my evening was this sweet potato mousse, very creamy, rich, tasty, I loved it, I have the recipe and will rehearse and practice. As a European, I am not expert on sweet potato but this is an absolute delight

 

Arigato Gozaimasu Sawako San, you made my day and taught me so much that day

Gyoza

Gyoza comes from China but it is a basic common meal in Japan. When you are like me, lucky enough to have a Chinese friend who has been living his whole life in Japan and is a chef, you get the best of it. He comes home, prepares them from scratch, and you enjoy a fabulous evening with friends!!

Arigato gozaimasu Ko San!!

 

Mango but what a cost

The 1st mango auction happened over the week end in Miyazaki, impressive to see that these 2 could reach a JPY 400.000 value