Friday, September 19, 2014

Karuizawa (軽井沢)

DAY 1:

We took Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) from Tokyo station to 軽井沢 (Karuizawa). GranSta at Tokyo station is a perfect place to get Bento. My darling bought Sukiyaki Bento at 浅草今半 (Asakusa Imahan) and I bought a healthy organic Bento at ぎんざ泥武士 (Ginza Dorobushi)!

When we arrived at Karuizawa, there was a brief sprinkle and the heavy rain was expected… but glad it didn't hit the area we stayed! We strolled around Karuizawa Ginza then had a cozy coffee time at Mikado Coffee (btw their coffee ice cream is very popular). For dinner we booked レストラン酢重正之 (Restaurant Suju Masayuki). All of their dishes are simple yet delicious. For example their white rice and grilled fish were amazingly delicious. So, if you like typical Japanese food, you must dine out here ;)

DAY 2:

There are many nice and cozy cafes and restaurants in Karuizawa. We found a cafe called Natural Cafeína near our hotel to eat breakfast. Their Açaí bowl is served with Karuizawa's seasonal fruits! Yummy!!! Then we spent a whole day at the Outlet (Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza). It was such a fine autumn weather. Everyone was enjoying shopping and having fun in the yard~ we of course had a lunch outside :3 Actually, I didn't buy anything special but it was already 6pm when I realized! Time flies!!! For dinner, we had Tempura Soba at 川上庵 (Kawakami An). My mom recommended this restaurant. It was really good X)

DAY 3:

The weather on the last day was perfect, too! We had a breakfast at 沢村 (Sawamura) in Hoshino Area. Their morning plate is satisfying. After the breakfast you can enjoy shopping and walking around the area. I would definitely recommend going to 石の教会 (Stone Church)! It is an artistic church with a beautiful stone path. Obviously many people have a wedding here!!!

Another great place to visit is 軽井沢千住博美術館 (Hiroshi Senju Museum). You can enjoy the artwork and the space. Very relaxing and cozy. My darling and I were stuck at the fall room, sitting down and talking for a while. If you go there, you will know what I mean. haha

Our return train was at 16:24. I was going to shop souvenirs at the station but there was a huge traffic jam on the way back from the museum, so I ran out of time… Anyways, I bought at least one for a giveaway at the hotel when we checked out ;)

I would definitely go back to Karuizawa again with my child :)


りんご乙女 (Ringo Otome) - Apple Senbei Crackers:

If you live in Japan, you can get it at Rakuten:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Make Kawaii Yakisoba Pan (カブトムシ) - Video Recipe

Yakisoba Pan is a very popular bun in Japan. Many people love to eat it for lunch or snack ;)

Obviously the recipe is very simple, so I will show you a cute way of making it! Perfect snack idea for kids!!!

How to Make Yakisoba from Scratch:
How to Make Yakisoba using Yakisoba seasonings:

Kawaii Yakisoba Pan (Adorable Unicorn Beetle Bun)

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 15min
Number of servings: 1

hot dog bun
Aonori (green laver)
Beni Shoga (red pickled ginger) *if you like
Pretz (salad flavor) *pretzel sticks are OK
sliced cheese
Nori seaweed sheet

1. Cut off one side of the hot dog bun to make the face.
2. Split the top of the bun for the body with a knife, put some mayonnaise, place Yakisoba, and top with Aonori and Beni Shoga if you like. Insert Pretz to make the legs.
3. Make eyes with sliced cheese and Nori, cut and insert cucumber to make the horns.
4. Serve on a dish.


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How to Make Nama Yatsuhashi / Cinnamon-Flavored Mochi with Sweet Red Bean Paste (Kyoto Souvenir) - Video Recipe

Nama Yatsuhashi (Cinnamon-Flavored Mochi with Sweet Red Bean Paste Filling) is a very popular souvenir from Kyoto.

I received many requests from those who went to Kyoto and actually had this, so I finally decided to make it ;)

Nama Yatsuhashi (Cinnamon-Flavored Mochi with Sweet Red Bean Paste Filling)

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 25min
Number of servings: 12~14

60g (2.1oz.) Shiratamako (lumpy glutinous rice flour)
40g (1.4oz.) Jyoshinko (rice flour)
80g (2.8oz.) sugar
140ml water
25g (0.9oz.) Kinako (soybean flour)
2 tsp. cinnamon powder
Tsubu-an or Koshi-an (sweet Azuki red bean paste with skins or without skins)

1. Mix Kinako and cinnamon powder and set aside.
2. Place Shiratamako (lumpy glutinous rice flour) in a microwavable bowl. Add water little by little and mix very well. Then add sugar and Jyoshinko (rice flour), and mix well. *DO NOT add other ingredients before you mix the Shiratamako and water together. Otherwise, the lumpy texture won't go away.
3. Cover with plastic wrap, then microwave at 600 watts for 2 minutes. Mix well with a damp spatula. Cover with plastic wrap again, then microwave at 600 watts for 1 minute. Mix well with a damp spatula.
4. Dust half of the Kinako mixture (1.) on the counter. Place the Mochi. Then sprinkle with the rest and flatten out the Mochi using your hands and a rolling pin to 3mm (0.1 inch) thick.
5. Cut the Mochi into 12~14 square pieces. *you can eat the leftover edges ;)
6. Place some sweet Azuki red bean paste, then fold into half to make a triangle shape.

*You can store them in an airtight container at the room temperature for up to 2 days.


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