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3月 06, 2017 0

Handmade Gyoza

Gyoza (dumpling) is very popular in Japan even though it’s originally from China:)

Basic gyoza is filled with ground pork, nira (chives), cabbage,  garlic, ginger.
Some restaurants put shrimps or other ingredients too.
I put Shiitake mushroom sometimes to make it more tasty!
Ramen restaurants or Chinese restaurants are where you can find Gyoza:)
Ueno has a famous local Gyoza restaurant called Shoryu (昇龍). Their gyoza is quite big this is one of reasons they are famous! They also have one more restaurant called Shoryu (昇龍) part 2:) I’ve visited there twice. They were so busy but it was great!!

I’m considering to have a new activity to make Gyoza at Wakalture as many visitors told me they want to learn…!

3月 03, 2017 0

Hinamatsuri (Doll’s festival)

Do you know about Hinamatsuri? (Doll’s festival or Girls festival in English)
It’s held on 3rd March.
We celebrate Hinamatsuri to pray for young girls’ growth and happiness:)
This is my Ohinasama (Hina dolls in English) 🎎✨

Most of girls have their own Hina dolls so this is my sister’s. This has a musical box:)
You can see the video on my Instagram HERE.

There is a superstition from early Showa period. After 3rd March, if putting the Hina dolls away delays, the daughter’s marriage will delay too. So my parents kept saying that to me and my sister!

What we eat for Hinamatsuri is these:)
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Chirashi-sushi and Ushiojiru (cherrystone clam soup).
I made Hina dolls on the top using quail eggs:D
There is a reason we eat cherrystone clam on the day. Since shells of cherrystone clam only fit each pair not any others, it became symbol of lovebird. So parents prepare this to wish their daughter find a good partner.

We also eat these sweets called Sakura-mochi and kusa-mochi😋
Sakura-mochi is wrapped with a salted cherry leaf🌸 Tastes not only sweet but also a bit salty:)
Those are from a local Japanese sweets shop, Usagiya where is only few minutes away from Wakalture:) They are the best!!

Usagiya
Open:Tuesday to Monday, 9am to 6pm
Address:1-10-10 Ueno Taito-ku Tokyo
http://www.ueno-usagiya.jp/ (*Japanese only)

1月 19, 2017 0

The meaning of 書道(shodo), Japanese Calligraphy.

She came to Wakalture for Udon making and Calligraphy class!!
I usually talk a lot with customers but the day,,, I talked too much!!lol
So I totally forgot to take photo of her and her Calligraphy.
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Most of customers ask me how long it takes to write perfect one. I always make them surprised as I answer “never”.
書道 (Shodo) is Japanese calligraphy in Japanese). The meaning of this Kanji 書 is writing and 道 is road. 道 is also used for other Japanese traditional things as you may know 柔道(Judo), 茶道(Sado, tea ceremony), 華道(Kado, flower arrangement) etc…
All of them is with 道(road). Roads never end. So, to learn Shodo(Calligraphy) never ends as well. I also believe that if I feel satisfied what I write, then I’ll never be able to improve my skills. I’m licensed Calligrapher, I’ve been learning 21 years but I’m still learning:)

Anyway, she enjoyed taking with me and the class!!

After the class, I took her to the best Dorayaki shop near the Wakalture:)
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While we were talking, she’s told me some Japanese sweets that her boss likes but she couldn’t remember the name of it. I suddenly realised it was Dorayaki!! So I decided to take her there!
Dorayaki is what she is holding in the photo. Outside is like pancakes and inside is sweet red beans called “anko”.
I knew some people don’t like it as it has sweet beans but she actually liked it a lot:D I’m so glad!!

This is her review on Trip advisor!!

Wakalture Experience at TripAdvisor
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g1066443-d10240262-Reviews-Wakalture_Experience-Chiyoda_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

It was fun time to me too:)

1月 16, 2017 0

A friend from Toronto came to visit me:)

One of my friends from Toronto came to Tokyo!!
He came to visit me and did Udon making + Calligraphy class at Wakalture:)
At first, I took him to Kanda myojin shrine with my parents as hatsumode, the first visit to a shrine.

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Many Japanese people visit a Shinto shrine during the first three days of January in order to make traditional New Year’s wishes for health and happiness.  So there was a looooong line.

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We waited about 30 minutes.
Another shrine, Yushima tenmangu shrine is closer to Wakalture.
So I can see the line to the shrine from my place every year…!! They have to wait more than 1 hour.

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We enjoyed a monkey was performing at Kanda myojin shrine too!!

Then we went back to my place, Wakalture Experience to enjoy making Udon and Calligraphy:)

After we mixed all ingredients and knead, he tried Japanese Calligraphy.
He picked a word 山海 “mountain and sea” as his home town is located at between mountain and sea.
For Calligraphy, you need patient to write. I always tell my students that write slower than you think.
As he is a chef, he is good at working speedy so he struggled writing with a brush slowly.
Also Balance is very important to write Kanji looks beautiful.
The balance of 海 sea is quite difficult.

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At the end, he succeeded to make this!!
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When we finished Calligraphy, Udon dough was ready to cut:)
As I mentioned he is a chef, he was really good at cutting Udon!!
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Most people struggle to use the wood board.
But he’s learnt quickly the techniques from me:)
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He finally enjoyed the Udon noodle he made:D

Thank you for coming to Wakalture!!

1月 12, 2017 0

Did a workshop!! Making New Year Cards:)

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I had a Calligraphy workshop at Keio department store in Shinjuku on 7th December.
We exchange New Year Cards more than Christmas card since we don’t really have the culture of Christmas.

Unfortunately most of Japanese don’t know about Japanese Calligraphy, I would say. And don’t use brush to write. Even no pencil these days, only computer. It’s convenient but I believe handwriting is better than typing. You may feel happier if you receive a handwriting letter compare to typed, printed letter. So this workshop was like to realise again importance of handwriting.

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Showing them techniques of how to write the word looks beautiful.

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I had 10 students(it was full!! thank you).

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They struggled writing with the brushes so I kept looking around to correct their writing.
It was my first time to teach this number of people only myself (have taught 26 tourists with 3 assistants).
At the end I saw them seemed had fun especially when they saw the cards which they made:)

I hope they did more at home then send it to their family and friends!!

Then Keio department store offered me again as a dietitian for the next time.
I’m going to talk about how important the balance to eat in February:)

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