Japan 2015 Day 7 – Tsukiji and Akihabara

First things first, I had to take Kristian to Tsukiji. You just gotta. We tried to stay within the Yamanote line so we got off at the closest station and had to walk over to Tsukiji. It was quite a walk but I don’t mind walking long distances in cold weather. In fact, I love it.


150625-02After the walk that felt like forever, we finally got to Tsukiji. The last time I came to Tsukji, I didn’t even eat sushi. Funny yeah? This time, we had to eat sushi! Sushi Dai is the one that has a super long line. Like wrapped around different buildings type of line, hours of wait kind of line. We didn’t exactly want to stand in line for hours so we settled for second best, Daiwa Sushi. Don’t get us wrong, this place is busy too. I think we wait for about an hour. It was uncomfortable and the sushi bar was TIGHT. Like super tight. Kristian was nice enough to give me the seat against the wall, thank god.


150625-04My view for an hour


150625-06All tourists like us get the omakase. It was a good choice. It’s so rushed and I hate to say it, commercial there. Just didn’t feel like a great experience. I rather go to a hole in the wall versus a super popular place.


150625-08I should have waited for all the sushi to come out. But I felt like I hate to eat thinks quickly. This place was also kind of dirty compared to other Japan dining establishments…anyhow, there isn’t much else to do at Tsukiji so we decided to head out to Akihabara afterwards. Akihabara is known as the Electric City, they have all the electronics, games, cell phones, etc. you need.


150625-10Gosh, my feet were hurting again this day. We went around but I wasn’t planning on buying much. I regret it now, I wish I looked into buying an original nintendo. Ah, I probably would have played it once and stopped. We went to a store called Labi and that store is levels upon levels! I have never seen so much cell phone cases in my life and yet somehow, I never bought one! Crazy huh? Maybe I wasn’t in the mood.

After a whole bunch of walking around, we headed to the local McDonald’s for an afternoon treat. Just a small snack.



I think Japan is the only place that has teriyaki burgers other than Hawaii yeah?

150625-13STRAWBERRY PIE. I REPEAT, STRAWBERY PIE. Sorry, it is so good. I wish I could have another one. I did have another one during this trip, it was that good. Kristian bought a Japanese PS Vita, how fun! Then we decided to pick up dinner from the grocery store across the street from our apartment. I gotta say, we were hitting up convenience stores before this night and discovered this grocery store way too late! Their prices were great and they had great variety. They had a salmon nigiri set for like 3 bucks, great quality too! Ahh…I miss Japan food.


I don’t usually post pictures of my brothers here but since this is super old, why not. I just wanted to wish my brother Jensen a happy 8th birthday! I hope you’re having a great time in China!

Recipe: Black Bean Noodles (Jjajangmyun)

I hope Honolulu Aunty gets a chance to read this post! I know you mentioned liking these noodles so I wanted to show how easy it is to make at home! Recipe credits goes to Maangchi completely! Enjoy the pictures, I tend to put step by step pictures.


Looks good ah? Restaurant style!

150622-02Black Bean Paste, no substitutions!

150622-03Gotta get the noodles made for jjajang, it makes a difference.

150622-04Korean Radish (Daikon), Onion, Zucchini and Pork Belly.

150622-05Chop the pork up – I think I used about 4 slices for this recipe.

150622-06Korean Radish (daikon)



150622-09Fry up the bacon until they are crispy, then drain most of the oil away. I learned that I don’t care for the hard bits of pork in my jajangmyun so if I make this again, I’ll leave the pork out. That would make this dish vegetarian!

150622-10Then you start adding veggies to cook, you should add the vegetables according to how long it takes to cook down. I added the Korean radish first. Stir-fried for about 2 minutes and then added…

150622-11Zucchini! Another 2 minutes…

150622-12Onions! And yes, there is no garlic in this dish. Shocking right? But if you have had these noodles, you’ll know that the flavor is very mild.

150622-13Black Bean Paste!


Add water and let it simmer on medium heat.

150622-15After about 10 minutes, make the potato starch slurry and add it to the sauce. Simmer it a few minutes more to cook out the starch, look at how shiny the sauce gets! Once it’s about done, add sesame oil.

150622-16Noodles ready to be drenched in the sauce…

150622-17No matter what root vegetables you add, it’ll all look black…lol.

150622-18Delicious! Ahhh…so good. I hope you get to try it!

Credit: Maangchi’s Jjajangmyun Recipe

Lucky Belly – Chinatown, HI

I got to get this story out before I start the post. I was so shaken this morning because an elderly man almost hit my car. I was driving straight on a road that had two lanes going in both directions. Suddenly as I’m driving, this silver corolla comes out of nowhere into my lane about to hit me. He must have drove out of a lot from the other side, cut two lanes and trying to get into my lane. I had to swerve and hit my brakes HARD. I kept beeping him and he didn’t even seem to realize what he did and even hear my beeping. That really shook me up, I hate slamming on my brakes, I feel like I am breaking my car. Then as we’re driving, I change into the right lane and guess what? HE DECIDES TO LANE CHANGE INTO MY CAR AGAIN. I couldn’t believe it. I was hopping mad and I just kept beeping like a mad woman and he finally realizes it and goes back into his own lane. God, I just sped up like a devil to get away from this man.

I know this sounds terrible but I feel like when people get to a certain age, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. I know I’ll want to drive as long as I can but he was making a lot of poor decisions and didn’t even hear my loud beeps. It was crazy and I still feel shaken up right now from what happened. Sorry for the rant, I am just super bothered.

My real post today is sharing a meal we had at Lucky Belly recently. We were celebrating Administrative Professionals Day and our secretary wanted to eat here so there we were! The food was good but I would recommend going during their dinner service. Their lunch menu is extremely limited. I have a funny story about this. So we had one person pay the entire bill and collected from everyone afterwards. As we were calculating afterwards, we realized we totally jipped them on tip. Felt terrible so I offered to drive out to give them the rest of the tip. Ummm…the guy who got received the tip had a very whatever reaction to it. Why do I allow my morals to dictate my actions?? Oh yeah, because it’s the right thing to do. Monotone reactions aside, I am fine because it was the right thing to do. Well, let’s get to the pictures!

150621-01Lucky Bowl ($9) – bean sprouts, soft egg, wakame, sesame seeds, green onion & ginger



150621-04Belly Bowl ($14) – Lucky bowl contents plus belly, bacon & sausage

I got the belly bowl. It was not great. I think the pork made the entire bowl too rich. The soup itself is already pretty strong so adding all this sausage, bacon AND pork belly is just too much. I wouldn’t get this one again.


150621-06Karaage Chicken Sandwich ($11) – Served with jalapeño namasu slaw & cilantro mustard. What a deal! My coworker enjoyed it!


150621-08Shrimp Gyoza ($11) – comes with edamame avocado puree & ponzu. This dish was okay, nothing special. The avocado puree is….interesting. I wouldn’t get it again.


150621-10Pork Belly Bao ($9) – comes with sake hoisin & pickled cucumber. I’m pretty sure $9 was only for two of them, our tables ordered two orders. This was good! Good buns which makes a big difference!

All in all, I think Lucky Belly is more for the young crowd after work. Definitely recommend coming for dinner over lunch. They also don’t take reservations for lunch so I suggest going right when they open if you have a big party. We came with our list of orders ready to go which they appreciated.

Japanese Biscuits for the Win

This picture comes with a story. During my first trip to Japan, we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. After we perused the top floor, my friend checked out the gift shop and purchased a package of biscuits. I’m not a fan of biscuits but she let me try one and my life changed. It was so delicious and I always remembered them. I also couldn’t find it afterwards during the trip. So for this trip, I had a mini mission in mind…to find those biscuits again. I randomly look for them here in Hawaii when I go to Nijiya but I never found them. Guess what? I found them! I saw it in a convenience store in Japan and picked it up…150618-01If I learned anything from my previous trips, I knew that when I find something – I have to buy it. There’s a chance I won’t find it again. Thankfully I did, because I really didn’t spot these cookies again during this trip! How do I explain the taste of these? They are both savory and sweet at the same time. Perfect amount of saltiness while maintaining the sweetness of a biscuit, they are toasted and aren’t too hard or soft. I mean, how can a person really sell biscuits? Just buy a pack if you see them and try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.


Japan 2015 Day 6 – Food!

No breakfast today. But our dinner made up for that and for Shibuya! Lunch was a bit of a letdown. We didn’t know where to eat so we ended up in Tokyo Station and ate at an Italian Risotto place called Riso Canovietta, it was so junk. I’ll still share the pictures…




150617-04This one was mine. Bacon with spinach and carbonara risotto I think. It was that memorable (not). It was bland and disappointing.



150617-07Tea time! Well more like coffee time for us. This was a nice little afternoon pick-up in the middle of shopping. A cute cafe in the middle of a very expensive mall, there were a lot of young housewives enjoying their afternoon tea. How lucky…this Kristian’s dessert. He enjoyed it!

We headed back to the apartment after the garden and shopping because we wanted to rest but mostly because we wanted our new wifi device. I know, we’re too reliant to the internet. We got to the apartment and the owner respected our privacy enough to hide it outside of the apartment in his gas closet thing…it was great. Older wifi unit but worked great. We were ecstatic. I don’t know about you but when I get back home after a long day, I don’t tend to head back out. This happened to us too. We finally decided to grab dinner across the street from our apartment. We found a super hole in the wall Chinese restaurant and decided to give them a try. Oh my god. It was such a great decision. By far my favorite restaurant of the trip, which is kind of sad but I don’t care. IT WAS GREAT. The waitress was an older lady and she was very nice to us (much needed after our previous day) and the food was delicious. Let me share…

150617-08Can they bring this place to Hawaii? Please?


150617-10This dish is as simple as it looks. Scrambled eggs with edamame and shrimp. The eggs were cooked perfectly, not runny or overcooked. The seasoning was probably just salt but it was perfectly seasoned, the edamame was a nice touch and the shrimp was perfectly cooked. It was delicious.

150617-11Chicken Karaage – delicious and tender. So good.


150617-13Okay how Chinese is this? Lettuce in fried rice, I love it. The lettuce is cooked just to a quick wilt so it maintains its crunch. The seasoning was on point and really hit the spot.


150617-15I AM DROOLING LOOKING AT THESE PICTURES. This is their tan tan men and it was so so so good. It was my favorite bowl of noodles in Japan. Perfectly seasoned broth and perfectly cooked noodles. Gosh, it was just a perfect bowl of comfort. I am half compelled to fly back out to Japan to eat this. Really.

150617-16Mapo Tofu – at first, we told her we didn’t order this. She nicely told us it came with the food we ordered. Was good! Spicy and delicious. What a perfect way to end day 6….


Japan 2015 Day 6 – Tokyo

Day 6. Yes, it was the day after the worst day in Japan. It didn’t start off great. Why? Our pocket wifi stopped working, it was super slow or it wouldn’t connect at all. The rare moment I was able to connect, I used it to contact our apartment owner to ask what could be done. We could NOT go around Japan without the use of wifi for our phones! Anyhow, our day was going to be pretty leisurely. Shibuya and Disney pooped us out. We headed to the Tokyo Station and I remembered how to get to the Imperial Palace East Gardens. It’s an awesome garden that is free! Who wouldn’t want to go? It was definitely a nice time for us and it was during this visit that the apartment owner offered to drop off a new pocket wifi unit for us to use! Wasn’t that awesome? Thank God because Kyoto was around the corner! This day was already way better than the day before.

This post is going to be mainly pictures of the garden, I’ll focus on the food in the next post!

150615-01The beautiful Tokyo Station

150615-02The rule is to take pictures of every sakura you see, I make and follow the rules.



150615-05I love walking through this city. It was all so clean and beautiful. Perfect weather. I also love tall buildings so it was all in all a great walk.

150615-06Here we are! Garden time!

150615-07Making our way to the entrance gate. They issue you a token to get into the garden which you return when you leave. Not sure why they do it, there is no charge to get into the garden.


150615-09Just loved seeing the old pay phone here. Even the picture is vintage, this was located at a rest area in the garden.




150615-12The garden was a great way to relieve our stress. Next post, food!