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

IMG_1661

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!!

 

Nara – more tips

Like Kyoto, Nara is known for the Tsukemono, pickled vegetables, they have wonderful traditional shops in the main street for this with all sorts of pickles and employees preparing them in the back of the shop, enjoy, there are worth the taste

 

Japan also produces Manju – biscuit filled with An, a red bean (asuki) paste, the shape varies with the season, it is always a delicious break

 

Mouloukheyah

2 countries in the world cook and have a culture of mouloukheyah – Egypt and Japan!

 

what a surprise when I was offered this dish in Kobe recently, it was delicious and I recommend you try it out. it came with rice and had a sweet taste, very very nice!!

 

IMG_1177

Okinawa #4

When Okinawa became Japanese in full again, in 1974, it was the economic boom, airlines were growing fast, so as mentioned in a previous post, ANA and JAL picked up great locations and built up hotels on the island, launching the boom of domestic tourism to the islands.

I stayed at the ANA InterContinental on Manza Beach, wonderful location, 31 ha of activities, gardens, swimming pools, a private beach, boats, sailing, it is a unique resort.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Valentine’s day in Japan

Here the tradition is that Japanese LADIES offer chocolate to their Valentine.

Men do nothing, just receive!

this turns into a massive commercial opportunity. look at the metro corridors in Ebisu this Tuesday evening, just before the big day, shops all along, ladies queuing and buying!

ANA – great airline

In Japan, as many other things, airlines work differently from the rest of the world, LCC have not invaded the market just yet simply because ANA and JAL dominate the market.

In the past, they even agreed on sharing some airports, for example Yonago is ANA airport while Tottori is JAL airport only. At the beginning of the air travel, these airlines spotted nice locations in every destination and build their own hotels to accomodate the travellers at their destination. Hence, in Japan, you find still a lot of ANA hotels and Nikko, JAL Hotels. along the years, they have sold some of them but the domination remains. they also sell packages, have brochures etc. with the economic downturn, JAL suffered and went into administration for the last 10 years, however, they went out of danger this 2017 and started to expand again opening new routes etc.

Now LCC start expanding from Korea, Thailand etc. but ANA has also it own airline, you can now fly Peach or Vanilla when you are in Japan

Both airline, despite of their domination, still maintain a very good level of service and I typically fly ANA and love it.

Flying domestic is easy, you turn up at Haneda, 30mn before your flight and you are good, I never do this as I still have the European stress on long queues, strikes, etc but here, all is organised and smooth and flights are always on time (unless typhoon, snowstorm, real reasons…)

Flying international, if from Narita, takes more time since the airport is far away (90mn by bus, 1h15 by train) but equally well organised

I flew ANA in December on long haul and the service was impeccable, great food, they offer broth, what a great idea, they serve ice cream after the meal in economy, the cabin attendants go round during the whole flight offering tea, coffee, water, blankets, etc. I can only recommend them