Noodles in Japan: What to eat (Part 1)

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Ramen is my favourite food in Japan. The taste, accompanying ingredients, size of noodles, and soup vary across the different regions in Japan. This post introduces some of the signature ramens in Japan.

喜多方ラーメン (Kitakata Ramen)


kitakata ramen
Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Kitakata Ramen
Local ramen from Kitakatashi, Fukushima. Refreshing soy sauce flavor. Thick ramen texture. 

盛岡冷麺 (Morioka Reimen) 


Morioka ramen
Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Morioka Ramen

冷麺 reimen means cold noodles. Tohoku prefecture delicacy. Noodles are bouncy. The soup is sweet with seasonal fruits such as apple, watermelon and pear. Although it is cold noodles, that does not mean the soup are all direct from the tap. :) It was all boiled and left to cold. Goes well with kimchi.

稲庭うどん (Inaniwa Udon)


Inaniwa Udon
Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Inaniwa Udon

Country-style dish from Akita. Thinner than the Kishimen (flat noodles famous in Nagoya) or Houtou noodles (flat noodels famous in Yamanashi). Smooth texture that glides on your tongue :).


へぎそば (Begi Soba)


Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Begi Soba
Famous in Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture. Noodles are made from a type of seaweed called Funori. The name begi comes from a kitchen tool that is used to make this noodle.


信州そば (Shin Shuu Soba)


Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Shin Shuu Soba
Normally noodles that are made of more than 25% of buckwheat flour are called shinshuu soba. Shinshuu comes from a highland where it is famous for where buckwheat are harvested.


越前おろしそば (Echizen Oroshi Soba)


Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Echizen Soba
There are various ways people have this served. Some like the grated radish on top with the soup under (well segregated), while some like it to be all mixed up. Popular among the elderly as a healthy food.

ほうとう (Houtou)


Source: gotouchi.yahoo.co.jp
Houtou
A mixture of wide-flattish noodle with pumpkin, mushrooms and potatoes simmered in miso soup. Thick soup base. Makes it a very good hot dish in the winter.

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Honestly the best food in Japan

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Before I judge, I want to come to agreement that we all have different aji no okonomi 
味のお好み tastebuds.
Whats nice to you, may not be nice to me.
What I like, may not be what you like.
Come on, take for the known fact, that we are all different.

While the recent Gotouchi: online voted best food in Japan falls to Ryugasaki Croquette. I beg to differ.

龍ケ崎コロッケ(Ryugasaki Croquette)


I think I already had too much potatoes in my shokuji 食事 meals: french fries, mashed potatoes and hash brownies.
Stuffing cream inside potatoes and dipping them among the spaghetti sauces isn't really miryoku teki 魅力的 attractive to me.

...And yet, here are my honest opinion of the best food in Japan.
I think it deserve some kind of justice - the Gyutan Yaki.

芯たん焼き (Gyutan Yaki)



Gyutan is cow`s shitatongue.
Despite how eerie it sounds, it is the best ever Japanese food that I have tried. The first time I fell in love with it was in Sendai. (Read the post on Sendai trip).

And just in case you don't know, tongue is the strongest muscle of all body bu i 部位 parts.

So if you find some muscular chicken thigh to be very tasty, you are going to find this to be amazingly tender and delicious.

To cook it, it is often marinated and smoked. See video.

I really think the yuushou 優勝 winner badge should be on the Gyutan Yaki.

Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
Share with us on what you think is the best food in Japan.

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Taiwan Wedding Photography: What You Must Know

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Script to the video:

Congratulations!

First, the proposal.
Then, meet the parents.
Now, the photo-shooting.

Well, you only shoot wedding photos once in your entire lifetime.
So you want to make sure that everything is perfect.

Hmmmm...taking wedding photos locally? Nah! Too many people taking it at the same place.
See, same pier, same pier, same pier. Just different people, different pose.
Just not special enough for me.

What can I do differently?
Hahhhhh....take wedding photos abroad.
Taiwan sounds good. Plenty of wedding packages at the travel fair. I can Shoot while I Play. Perfect!

It is a Good choice too!

Here are some good things that you must know:
a) The scenery was really nice. Totally amazing and special when compared to my friend's wedding photos taken locally.
b) The hospitality when you first arrived was terrific.
c) The bridal company arranged all the accommodations.
d) Took care of our meals. Bought us lunch and dinner.
e) This one is the one I liked best. Bridal company allowed us to take photos when trying out dresses (which most local bridal companies don't)
f) Bridal company gave us a complimentary stay at Sun Moon Lake. The room was large with private jacuzzi pool.


Now you are ready to sign for a package!
Here are some of the things you must know when you plan for wedding photography in Taiwan.

1) Have an idea of what you want kind of scene, background you would want for your wedding photography. My advise: If you want to take studio photos, take it locally. What for traveling all the way for studio photos?  Some wanted sakura. Some wanted the scenic spots in Taiwan. Some wanted the Taipei 101. Decide ahead. For me, I wanted a background of lavender field.

2) Knowing what type of background helps you to decide the bridal company. Ask for the location of their bridal company back in Taiwan. Why? Because if you want Taipei 101, no point choosing a bridal company from Tainan (Southern Taiwan). Take another examples, if you want to take scenic views such as lavendar farms (in June/July), and Sakura (in March), choose a bridal company around Taichung. For my case, I selected Hsinchu, near to Taichung.

3) Ask for the price. Make sure you understand what is provided/ what is not.
Here is something that you must know:
a) How many dress for the lady? How many white? How many colored? What about the guy?
b) How many poses can you select?
c) What is the size of album and photo frame (example photo frame for the bedroom photo)?

Here are some that are usually not included.

d) How much is transportation during photo shoot?
e) How much is entrance fees to scenic spots?
f) How much is it to bring the stylist for outdoor photo shooting?
g) Is the air ticket included in the package?

Here is something that you wished had known earlier that could save you money.

a) Bring along white underpants so you don`t have to buy one there. White outfits are definite. You don't want your photos to see an imprint of your black underpants.
b) Bring along a pair of nude bras. Bridal might sell you at a higher price if you dont have one.
c) This is the most important part. Honest and open discussion with your husband/wife about budget for extra photos. You will have a few hundreds photos taken, and you will be persuaded to take up extra. This may cost you dearly.
I give you an example: We took more than a hundred shots. Package we initially signed up was only 30. Then, they told me that 30 photos wont be enough to make a decent album, and asked me to add photos. Believe me, the price was crazy. Initial package cost NTD 35000, adding photos to make a decent one will need to top up another NTD 42000. Of course, I refused. On the spot, their look changed and gave me the ungrateful look.

Now you know what you must know.
Have fun and wishes you and your wife happiness forever!
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Ryokou: Japanese Words You Must Know About Travelling

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How to say travel in Japanese? Everything you need to know about traveling in japanese.

Picture: gdefon.com

旅行 ryokou traveling


Before you go traveling, you would want to check out on some of the packages that is offered by the  旅行会社 ryokou  gaisha traveling agency. In Japan, the top traveling agency that I have tried using was JTB and H.I.S. Of course there are some other agencies that you might want to research too. You can get information from the pamphlets outside the agencies and in most of the train stations.
Once you have decided on your trip, you can 旅行を予約する ryokou wo yoyaku suru book a trip, or 旅行を延ばす ryokou wo nobasu extend your trip. If you made a booking and regretted it, you can 旅行をやめる ryokou wo yameru give up on the trip or 旅行をキャンセルする ryokou wo kyanseru suru cancel the trip. It`s your money, decide what is best for your and most importantly is to 旅行を楽しむ ryokou wo tanoshimu enjoy your trip.

Before embarking on a trip, you will need to 旅行の準備をする ryokou no junbi wo suru make some preparations for the trip. That can be 旅行の荷物を詰める ryokou no nimotsu wo tsumeru packing up for the trip, 旅行の間犬を近所に預けてもらう ryokou no aida inu wo kinjo ni azukete morau entrusting your dogs to the neighbors during the trip, etc.

While packing up, you must never forget these 2 things.
Passport: License to 旅行に行く ryokou ni iku go traveling.
Money: You can forget to bring anything, but not your money. You forget your shirt, you buy. You forget your shoes, you buy. Perhaps most of the 旅行代 ryokou dai traveling cost is already paid up when you signed up for your trip, but things like souvenirs are not included.

When you 旅行に出かける ryokou ni dekakeru leave for a trip, inform your neighbors so that they can watch over your house for you. When you 旅行から帰る ryokou kara kaeru come back from a trip, remember to buy them souvenirs as a token of appreciation. Otherwise, they won`t be watching over your house for you anymore when you are away. :)

Remember, no matter where you go, there are 旅行制限 ryokou seigen travel restrictions, and be a good 旅行者 ryokou sha tourist. Enjoy your next trip and remember  旅行中にたくさんの写真を撮って ryokou chuu ni takusan no shashin wo totte to take a lot of pictures and 旅行中に体験を話してあげる ryokou chuu no taiken wo hanashite ageru share the stories of your journey.

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Beautiful Beaches: Redondo Beach Pier

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Redondo Beach Pier has been one of the 最も奇麗なところ mottomo kirei na tokoro most beautiful places I have visited.
The breeze and ocean view was very welcoming.


It says, "Please keep your beach clean". I think it is already very きれい kirei clean.


食事、買い物、遊び shokuji kaimono asobi Food, shops and fun.


A nice place for relaxing and 散歩する sanpo suru taking a walk.


Lots of greats restaurants and shops. The restaurant sits on the pier that extend out into the sea. It feels as though you are 海の真ん中に食事を楽しんでいる umi no mannaka ni shokuji  wo tanoshindeiru enjoying your meal in  the middle of the sea. 

Boats on the other side of the pier.

こんにちは、私はロボットです!konnichiha watashi ga robotto desu. Hello! I am a robot.
It is a tower viewer or sometimes called binoculars.


おい、空間をくれよ、俺の足指を踏んでいるぞ!
oi, kuukan wo kure yo, ore no ashiyubi wo fundeiru zo.
Hey there, give me some space, you are stepping on my toes! 
Share this post to your friend, let`s explore and learn together.If you had been to this places, leave a comment and share with us your experience. :)
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