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Saturday 30 August 2008

Cosplay @ Hanayashiki Amusement Park

When I was at Asakusa on July 21st, 2008, I saw some teenagers wearing cosplay costumes outside this amusement park. It turned out to be a cosplay competition organised by the Hanayashiki Amusement Park. So, I kept myself busy shooting away with my camera.

Cosplay is a sub-culture among the teenagers in Japan emerged from manga, anime and video games. They are resembling their favourite characters in real life in terms of outfit and poses.









Friday 29 August 2008

Joanna Wang's Debut Album, Japanese Pressing

I went to hunt for Joanna Wang's 'Start from Here' album today at the biggest Tower Records store in Tokyo, the main store at Shibuya. I was quite disappointed when I couldn't find it on the information kiosk.

When I was walking towards Tower Records, I spotted a HMV store along the way, so I decided to try my luck there. There were plenty of them there! So, if you are in Japan and looking for international music, HMV is a better place to look for it.



However, the Japanese pressing doesn't come with the second disc with the Chinese tracks, so I'm still looking forward to receiving the CD from China from Marlene the D.

Thursday 28 August 2008

The Man with a Pink Teddy Bear

When I was roaming around at Harajuku looking for the cosplay teenagers, I saw something even more interesting! This guy was very obliging to pose for me when I pointed my camera at him.


On another day, while I was having my lunch at a fast food restaurant at Takeshita Dori, I saw him passing by again!


He must be the most 'fashionable' guy in Japan. Don't you think so?

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Wordless Wednesday – Pop Culture @ Harajuku







Location: Takeshita Dori (Street), Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
Date taken: August 10th, 2008
Camera equipment: Nikon D300 + Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Shy Bull

Shyabu Shyabu is in fact the Japanese hot pot/steam bot which you cook your own food in the boiling soup. Although it is also a type of D.I.Y. food, it was not as tough as making my own okonomiyaki.

The restaurant we went to is just two or three stone throws from the university, so it was a very convenient place for me. To top it off, it offers tabehodai (eat-all-you-can)!


Most of the interior of Japanese restaurants is in the Zen style, making all the guests feel very at home.


There were a few choices of soup bases. We chose two, which were soy milk and spicy soup. I didn't know that soy milk can be used for shyabu shyabu before this!


The main ingredient in shyabu shyabu is meat, so we started with a tray of ro-su (loins) and ca-ru-bi (rib meat). I think the thinner the meat is cut, the better, in shyabu shyabu terms.


Other side ingredients we ordered were just some minced chicken in bamboo tubes and some veggies.



The proper way of eating shyabu shyabu is to dip just a piece of one thing into the boiling soup at a time. However, we couldn't wait to eat everything we ordered, so we threw everything in!


There are two kinds of sauce to go with the food, but I would choose the sesame sauce over the shyoyu (soy sauce), anytime!


Monday 25 August 2008

CK Can Cook Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki, or normally known as Japanese pizza/pancake to foreigners, is a very simple dish. Therefore, most of the restaurants leave it to the guests to D.I.Y.

There is an okonomiyaki restaurant near the place I'm staying, so my Japanese friend brought me to this restaurant to have a taste of the authentic Japanese okonomiyaki.




I ordered an Original Mix during my first visit as this is the most authentic taste of okonomiyaki. Minutes later, a bowl with all the ingredients was presented to me.


I didn't know what to do with it until my Japanese friend showed me this:


So, I started to follow the steps very closely in my cooking-challenged attempt. I was told to mix everything thoroughly before throwing everything onto the hot plate, so I did.


After throwing the mix onto the hot plate and made into a pie shape, it was still looking good.


When it was overturned, it was still not too bad looking.


When it was ready, I had to swipe the okonomiyaki sauce onto the surface, add some mayonnaise, and then sprinkle the shredded bonito fish flakes and some ground herbs.


After I had cut it into serving size, it was really not too bad looking! It tasted really nice too. I wonder whether it was the mix or my pan-frying skills. Haha! :D


During my second visit, I ordered a Hiroshima Yaki Mix. This time, the ingredients were more complicated.


Complicated ingredients meant more steps in making the Hiroshima Yaki.


Since I had ordered it, I had to cook it. I was already very hungry, you know! I even followed the way the thin slices of belly meat was arranged in the pictorial instruction.


Crepe-topped veggies on the right, fried soba on the left... I had to follow the instruction very clearly as I have mentioned that I am cooking-challenged. It looks a bit messier but still quite close to the one in the pictorial instruction.



After I sprinkled the bonito fish flakes and ground herbs, I only realised that I forgot to swipe the surface with the okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise!


Oh, well, that could always be salvaged by adding them later. Not bad, huh?!


When it was ready and served on my own plate, I was quite proud of it. It was a very delicious Japanese pancake!


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