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

 

Kappabashi

This is an area in the north of Tokyo, close to Asakusa and Ueno, walking distance from both and at metro stop Tawaramachi where you can find all you need to cook

This long street is full of kitchen utensils shops, initially dedicated to restaurants but that grew for tourists and individuals. anything you want is there at very good prices

worth a visit, if you are into cooking, I spent 3 hours there wandering on a Saturday

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Dinner (rather lunch) in the sky

What a nice surprise that very last minute, I get a chance to join the afternoon in the Sky at the Cinquantenaire in Brussels. Thank you Villa Massa, Fabienne and Alain!! I wanted to do it, so great!!

dinner in the sky, brussels, cinquantenaire, good food

What an experience – you get a nice welcome in a lounge prior to being “attached” to your seat around the table – I would say 24 pax around

It is a one-hour tour on top of the world – in my case, I found it great as I knew the Cinquantenaire from the bottom, from the roof of the arch and now on top of it. The weather was beautiful and the food just great. 

 

 

 

Tel Aviv

that’s it. I am back!

It would be unfair to make a statement based on 3 days spent working in Tel Aviv. However,  my impressions are :

– climate is just wonderful, it has no price to enjoy blue sky, plenty of light and sea view, this is when I realize how much the grey sky and lack of light affects me here

– food in the mediterranean is almost the same everywhere, it is good for me as I enjoy kebab and hummus, I had a diet based on warak einab, hummus, babaganoush, and kebab for the week! I did not see that many fruit and veg around I must say

– people are hospitable, they really want to change the image of the country to a nicer one, which is true. Their culture and history makes them sound bold and aggressive, once you go through this, it is ok but their pace of voice can sound a bit sharp sometimes for us used to diplomatic approach at all times!

overall, I enjoyed it, I must come again and visit the country, it looks lovely and there is so much to see.

I just felt I was only seeing one side of the coin, I must all sorts of Jewish people from so many countries (Iraq, Romania, France, Belgium, US, Argentina, Uruguay, Russia, Uzbekistan) but no Arabs, no non jewish even 76% of the Israelis are Jewish, where were the 24% left?

brusselicious

I would love to try out those breakfasts around Brussels in 2012 : any one interested to come along?

http://visitbrussels.be/bitc/BE_fr/brusselicious/culture/28304/les-p-tits-dej-brusselicious.do