Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back in Japan (Summer 2016)...Donabe Cooking Class in Kyoto

(July 30)

It was another brutally hot day in Kyoto. But, I had a pleasure hosting a donabe cooking class at a very cute "machi-ya" (Kyoto's historic townhouse)-turned-lifestyle shop, called sumao. I was invited to do this sold-out class and was very excited.

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In a quiet residential area of Kyoto, you find a cute entrance.

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Sumao is a tiny shop full of wonderful Japanese artisanal products.

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The class was done in the kitchen of Hamaya-san, who is the owner of sumao, and her family lives in the same building as the shop. Atsuko-san, one of the regular customers of the shop, helped me prepping and also during the class.

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Fun class with wonderful crowd.

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The participants were both from Kyoto's local areas and even from Osaka! I enjoyed meeting these wonderful people.

Happy donabe life.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back in Japan (Summer 2016)...Obanzai Dinner in Kyoto

Obanzai Kappo in Kyoto

(July 29)

I left for Kyoto on a 4-day trip there. I was invited to host a donabe cooking class there. It was going to be my first time to do a class in Kyoto, so I was so excited.

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In shinkansen bullet train, I enjoyed sandwich, salad, and jumbo karaage (Japanese fried chicken) lunch.

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Kyoto was so hot and the heat was almost brutal, as I expected. For dinner, I had a reservation at a small obanzai (Kyoto's home-style dishes made mostly from local ingredients) restaurant near my hotel.

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It's a typical kappo (chef cooking over the counter) restaurant, and I got to sit right in front of the chef.

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The dinner was really amazing.

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I enjoyed all the flavors of Kyoto.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Back in Japan (Summer 2016)...EMI Reunion

(July 28)

For lunch I got together with my friend, Yukari, who is a book author and also runs a great blog about Tokyo gourmet scene called Food Sake Tokyo.

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We got a great view from Shibuya Hikarie's 11th floor restaurant, D47 Shokudo. It was so good to see her again!

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In the evening, I was invited to a special party. It was to celebrate my mentor, Saito-san's great achievements in the music industry. He was the very person who hired me at Toshiba-EMI almost 20 years ago, when he was the chief manager in the International Music Division there. Then, he became the president of the company and stayed there for more than 10 years until he moved to Victor to become the president there. This year, he was honored with Ranju Hosho (the medal with Blue Ribbon by the Japanese government for his outstanding contribution in the Japanese music industry. Those selected people who have had close relationship with Saito-san from former EMI and Victor were invited to the party.

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The party was so much fun, as it turned out to be a special reunion with my former colleagues at Toshiba-EMI. We were so happy to see each other and also to celebrate Saito-san's achievement together.

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Congratulations, Saito-san!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Back in Japan (Summer 2016)...Asakusa Night with High School Friends

Sashimi Plate

(July 27)
It was not a very busy day. Just very hot in Tokyo. Lunch was in Ginza.

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Very Kyoto-style.

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Then, for dinner, I was in Asakusa. I got together with friends from high school and university.

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We met at a izakaya where Kawasaki-kun is a regular at. He grew up all his life in Asakusa. The food was so good and dynamic. Very "shitamachi" Asakusa-style.

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Always so much fun to spend time with old friends.