1月 08, 2019 0

Osechi, a traditional Japanese meal for New year

Osechi is a traditional Japanese food for New year.
They come in special boxes called Jubako. Each dishes in Jubako have special meaning for welcoming New year.

Most of shops closed around New year long time ago like before having fridge. So that people had to make something that they could keep long time while all shops closed. So it used more sugar, salt or vinegar.
People used to cook but it’s a lot of work. So now most of family buy it;) My mum and grandma still cook some of them though:)
The top one is at my home.

And these below are my husband’s place Osechi!!

1月 06, 2019 0

Japanese New Year

Happy new year!!:D

Today, I will introduce this Japanese traditional ornament called Shimenawa Kazari (or Shimekazari).
Shimenawa is usually used at Shinto shrines to mark sacred spaces and to chase away the evil spirits. The Shimenawa Kazari used on New Year has a similar meaning. Usually display on the front door.
People used to start to dispaly from 13th December. Since Christmas got popular in Japan, we usually display after 25th.
The number 9 doesn’t mean good (sound of 9 is suffering in Japanese) so people shouldn’t display on 29th. Also 31st. It’s called “Ichiyakazari”, ichiya means one night and kazari means display. To display it just the day before new years, this doesn’t mean good as a lack of respect.
Then take this off on 7th January most of people in Kanto area (East side of Japan) and 15th in Kansai area (West side of Japan).

I just found this Shimenawa Kazari at Daiso (100yen shop) then take some off, changed a bit and glued Tsumami- zaiku:)
I put Tsumami-zaiku of pine, bamboo and plum trees with a crane. They all are symbols of good luck!!

I will write about Osechi, a traditional food in New year next;)

Thank you for reading,
I wish you all have a wonderful year!!

12月 24, 2018 0

Japanese Calligraphy and Tsumami-zaiku

Sarah from England came for the beginners Calligraphy class and Tsumami-zaiku class:)

First, she did Tsumami-zaiku.
Choosing colour takes long time usually but she  picked very quickly!!
Then started folding fabrics after I showed how to do.
I’ve done this class about 10 times so far and seen guests struggled for the first time to fold them but she was different!!

She learnt very quickly and did very well!!
It’s a bit tricky to fold the squared of fabrics with tweezers so many of  guests started using fingers instead of tweezers,,, but she was very good at it!!
I was wondering why she was so good. *I asked later haha

Then, she made the colourful corsage (on her chest) 🙂

*Even though we took another photo, I still like this photo she was smiling and looking at me:D Reminds me the fun time with her! Keep Reading >

12月 22, 2018 0

Matching Tsumami-zaiku accessories for mum and daughter:)

I had lunch with a friend and her daughter.

We visited Kuronekosha.
Kuro means black, neko is cat so Kuronekosha means black cat cafe!!
See the rice ball (it’s not a ball though) is a black cat!!

I made these Tsumami-zaiku accessories for them.

I used same fabric for matching hairpin and earrings!
The earrings are for my friend and hairpin is for her daughter:)
So glad they like them!!
Tsumami-zaiku is not very popular for even Japanese. Also because it’s a Japanese traditional craft so that people think it suits only kimono. But actually not. It’s good for regular uses;)

I’m planning to have a web shop for these Tsumami-zaiku accessories and origami earrings. Please feel free to message me if you like them. Or would like to see more:)

I offer classes to make Tsumami-zaiku as well!
Check activities page for more details.

12月 20, 2018 1

Trip to Morocco

I’ve visited to Morocco last month with my husband:)
My 27th country!!:D
I wanted to see the blue pearl, Chefchaouen for a long time!!

We arrived at Casablanca Airport (Mohammed V Airport) and met our guide, Hamid who speaks Japanese:)
We first visited Archaeological Site of Volubilis in Meknes.
Meknes is popular for wine. *We totally forgot to get it as we were starving… lol
Then we headed to Chefchaouen!!
We had one day in Chefchaouen on the 2nd day.
Hamid told us that there would be too many tourists during the day. So we went there before having breakfast. We just visited places only for taking pics. Then after breakfast (=lots of tourists), we started sightseeing;) That was the best idea!! Many tourists were waiting for taking pics.

If you visit Chefchaouen, must go to the hill!! You can see this awesome view from there:D

This is taken in a soap shop… these are all soaps!!lol
This never happens in Japan because we have earthquake.haha

3rd day, we headed to Fes.
Hamid stopped the car at Side Chahid and bought us pomegranate :9
He is our guide, Hamid.

We also visited a local supermarket:) I like seeing local supermakets when I travell!!
Then I found this huge flour O.o I’ve never seen them in just a normal regular supermarket!! So surprised!!
Arrived at a riad.
Riad is a large traditional Moroccan house build a central courtyard or garden. Lots of them now changed to hotels. We stayed other riads but this place was the most beautiful place:)
After having lunch, we went to Maze of Fes. We had another English guide in Fez otherwise we would totally get lost lol
This photo is Tanneries in Fes. So huge!! 

4th day, we were at Sahara dessert!! Riding camel is my 3rd time but 2 times were like 10-15 minutes not like this time 1-1,5 hours!!
Sunset on Sahara dessert!!
After that, we arrived at our tent. There was a bed, toilet and shower!! I could even charge my camera O.o!!
It was very nice experience, having Morrocan dinner, watching Berbers music and dance, seeing lots of stars at night and beautiful sunrise:)

5th day, we visited Todra Gorge. And Hamid took us to a shop for rose water as we stayed at M’Gouna. M’Gouna is popular for roses. I didn’t know about it very well so just bought few for friends. When I got a riad and had wi-fi, I searched about rose water, got to know it’s very useful and way cheaper than prices in Japan (more than 10 times)!! Next day, in the morning I asked him if he could take me there again lol Why not!! *The shop was closed unfortunately but he found another place and I got more:D

6th day, at Ait Ben Haddou (UNESCO site). Many movies were filmed here like Gladiator and Game of Thrones!!

Then finally arrived at our last destination, Marrakesh!! 
7th day. Marrakesh is the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco☝ Soooo many shops are in there it was very tough to shop…lol Too many choice!!
I have more photos on my Instagram if you’re interested;)

By the way, do you know what this is?
……it’s a cactus!! I’ve never had cactus in my life but Hamid told me it’s delicious so we tried!! It tasted like Japanese loquat but with lots of seeds. I saw someone’s blog that he liked it so much and he had 3-5 cactus everyday O.o The taste was good but because of seeds, hmm maybe not for us…
There are lots of places to eat in Jemma El Fna Square (just in front of the souk) and everyone try to get customers so hard lol
We just decided to go this place as they were crowded and singing my song lol I don’t know the title but most of people know the song as “waka waka” ;P

Anyway, we ordered chicken tajin and vegetable couscous (below).
I actually really like all Moroccan foods except pastilla (too sweet for dinner or lunch). Especially tajin and couscous!! I don’t remember how many times we had them. We even bought couscous in a supermarket.

This is the best place to eat fish!! #14
Hamid suggested there and my husband read about  #14 on few blogs too. And it was very good!!
Also, #28 is a nice place when you’re thursty;9
We went there twice in our stay (1day+1night). He is very friendly and speaks English well!! He let me in his shop:D

We had a good time at the last night in Morocco.

8th day, we left our riad at 5am to the airport:(
Time to leave…

Hamid made our trip so much fun and memorable. Couldn’t be same without him!! His hospitality is very high, I felt like I have more that I can do for my guests.

Thank you so much Hamid-san for showing us beautiful Morocco!!

*I found Hamid on Instagram. He works for Sahara breeze travel.
This is the link for them it’s in French though.
You can arrange your schedule and it’s gonna be a private trip unless you ask them to look for others then you can save cost;)