Friday, 30 May 2008

Friday night visits

Poor Hashimoto-san was sick for a few weeks.. Choon and I dropped by the humble couple's place to visit poor Hashimoto-san who were like our "Papa" when we were in Hiroshima.. Junko san was our "A-ne" though.. Poor Hashimoto-san lost alot of weight.. Hope he's fine now.. Miss the cute couple.. :D This was the last time I saw them before I returned to Singapore.. I'm so sorry I never met them again before leaving..

Friday's entertainment for me and Tat-chan has always been movies and videos on his computer screen.. Tat-chan was really hooked onto heroes.. Dinner was cooked by Moi.. I tried looking for the recipe again.. But unfortunately, I can't find it anymore.. :( So sad... But oh well, maybe I can cook something better soon..

The Ford Flower Bed

Welcome to Ford's flower bed.. Its a community involvement project taken on by Ford Japan Limited in Hiroshima. So there is this flower bed behind the "Orchard Road" of Hiroshima and its maintained by Ford employees..

With Summer approaching, the weeds were growing fast and these flowers need to be replanted into the old bed.. So the morning started with de weeding and removing the precious plants..

Its actually alot of hard work.. We have to squat to pluck out the weeds and plough the soil.. Removing the weeds was the most horrible part..

Cuz of these scary bugs!! Or maybe their larvae? I have no idea what they are, but they are freaky...
Like this one.. It makes my hair stand!!
When you get mud stuck in your shoes, you can do what Kugimoto-san is doing.. Dig them out with your rake.. He looks like the monkey god though.. Haha..
Then we put in the beautiful flowers into the flower bed, spray with water...

And we'll get the fruits of our labour! :D Phew.. That's a day of hardwork for us..

For people wondering how I look like after my perm, hope this tells enough.. :S Pudding head still there though.. But its alot of hardwork.. I lazed a large portion of the time.. And I didn't have the proper shoes for gardening.. So next time, please remember to wear covered shoes for gardening!
As the Japanese would say after their hardwork,
お疲れ様です。 o-tsu-ka-re-sa-ma-de-su!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Digital Perm in Hiroshima

Usually when interns of Ford come for their internship, they will return with hair like a caveman, unkept and long.. But those are for the guys.. They try saving the money on their haircuts. As for me, I just had to leave my hair long, but problems came along...
If you notice my black hair roots, this is what the Japanese call pudding.. cuz the top is like the caramel of the pudding.. And here I am!! Hair long, culy ends coming... Messy..

The salon's in Hiroshima are all very nicely renovated.. REally pricey, but Japanese do care alot of their hair... According to my friends, Hiroshima has alot of hair salons, interms of density, even more than Tokyo!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Another dinner with Sakata-san

Having a lunch treat from the HR gals was good.. And having a dinner treat was a cheer on top for my day!Sakata-san wanted to eat at Yayoiken again, where they served small portions of rice.. Free refills are available, which is a really smart way not to waste rice for those customers who don't finish their portion of dinner.. We both have hamburg steaks, mine was cheese as seen below while sakata-san had Japanese style... Everything was nice as usual, and we proceeded to Excelsior Cafe for coffee after our nice dinner! :) Here we have our green tea cheesecake! Well, mine in particular.. Sakata-san had a cup of coffee, while I didn't get a drink.. I got a cake, so I guess I shldn't order more than I should.. :P

Farewell Lunch with HR Gals

It seems to be very memorable for me everytime I write a backdated entry on my adventures and experiences in Japan.. Like for this entry, I remember the HR girls who have been really kind and friendly to me when I was in Hiroshima.. This was definitely the place in the company where you would find the highest concentration of female employees..

Since it was my second last week in Hiroshima, I asked the girls out for a lunch.. Smith-san whose husband is an American(you'll see the young mother in the picture below), suggested Spanish food.. I was so excited since I've never really eaten Spanish food..

Being in Japan really exposed me alot to the European culture as there are so many authentic restaurants from all over the world.. And the best part is that Japan has the finest ingredients, which made the authentic food taste even better in their own country!

So for this great lunch, we all ordered the set lunch since lunch in most restaurants in Japan doesn't offer any choice.. But the set lunch is always good, so we have no worries about what we wanna eat.. For the set lunch here, we have three choices for every part of the meal.. I chose meatballs for the appetiser and it was served with fresh bread and salad.. And for the main course, I chose grilled chicken with herb paste sauce.. It was indeed spanish food cuz I've never eaten spanish food and it tasted like nothing I've ever eaten before..

And for the desert, my favourite!! Creme Brulee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best dish in my set lunch to be honest.. The appetiser and the main course felt really lite.. The Japanese portions were really filling despite its size.. Haha.. So the desert was the golden ribbon that tied up my meal..

So here's the beauties of HR who treated me to such a fantastic lunch and this entry makes me miss them! I hope they're all doing fine at Ford Hiroshima.. :) The only concern about their treat was whether I enjoyed the meal.. Of course I did! The company mattered most for this lunch.. And I really miss Hiroshima.. ITs such an iron since i miss Singapore when I was in Hiroshima.. Hmmm...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

DIY Okonomiyaki Restaurant

After being missing in action for a time so long I can't count, here's another entry on the food in Hiroshima, Japan!!! Here is the famous okonomiyaki, but this time, in a new restaurant I've never been too. Taken by my dearest father-like Kishimoto-san, We had a great okonomiyaki at a new restaurant that I've never been to. Kishimoto-san changed his monday ENglish lesson to a Tuesday and it wasn't another meal at Yayoiken やよい軒... Thank toodles for that.. Not that i mind, since the food there was so fantastic..
Since it was a DIY okonomiyaki restautant, I can share with you how an okonomiyaki is made and how it should be.. here we have the osaka style okonomiyaki (大阪風お好み焼き) What is done is the ingredients are all placed in a bowl, main ingredients: cabbageキャベツ, two eggs卵, toppings: baconベーコン and cheeseチーズ.. check out the colour of the egg yolk... Den we mix everything within the bowl till it looks mushy...

Den we would put it on the teppanyaki鉄板焼き grill as you see here:Cook on one side till its done to your desired rightness and FLIP!

Cook on the other side and put on the okonomiyaki sauce.. And of course, we won't forget everyone's favourite Japanese Mayonnaise..
Sprinkle ふりかけand花鰹 And here now you can eat!! See! Its easy! Anyone can cook! Who say you can't cook? When you're at this restaurant, you can make okonomiyaki!! :P
Now we're done with dinner, let's have the English lesson over a cup of caramel latte and chocolate latte!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Sunday Picnic with Kuigimoto Family!

Being so tied up in school makes my blog empty... My poor blog has been so neglected.. And how can I not finish my travel journal on my Japan experience.. So I last stopped on 24th May 2008, where me and Tat-chan when to a showroom to check out the housing there.

So today, its about my weekend picnic with the Kugimoto Family.. 釘本家族 Well, not everyone in this picture is a Kugimoto though.. haha.. In fact, only the lady on the left corner is from the Kugimoto family.. This is Kugimoto-san's wife(奥さん o-ku-san) Going in clockwise from 釘本さんの奥さん、we have Choon Fei from NTU, Ian, previously from NTU, me, Pei Shan from NUS and my ex-junior from AJC and Tat-chan..

Meeting Peishan made me realise that Singapore ain't that small. She was on an attachment program with a bank for two weeks in Hiroshima, and she gets to visit different homes for homestay.. Ian happened to meet her at the Hiroshima International Centre.. And when I met her, all I knew was that she is from Singapore.. When I introduced myself to her, she asked me:"Are you from AJ?" My gosh was I shock!! There was actually a junior from AJ who remembers me in Japan.. haha... Yeah, but she was the second Singaporean I met after Ian, so I was kinda excited.. And we had quite alot to chat about..

Pork!!! Barbequed pork!!! Funny thing is the way Japanese eat this is the reverse of how we do it.. We marinate the meat before hand, den we bbq right? Tey bbq it fresh, and they dip it in a bbq dipping sauce, which can be used as a marinate too, and eat it!!! It taste great!! These sauces are called ta-re たれ!!

The bbq picnic organized by 釘本さん was nice in the country site, where you see mountains and houses away from the hustle and bustle of the city... Its quite impossible to get here without car though.. We need to take the JR to get here... Thanks to Tat-chan who drove me, Choon, Ian and Peishan over... We need to show more appreciation towards him!!! :)

Good 和牛(wa-gyuu-Japanese beef), white onion(玉葱ta-ma-ne-gi), jumbo sausage, I can't say enough thank yous to 釘本さん's hospitality... Especially wa-gyuu dipped in tare!!!! It doesn't matter how hot or how burnt I was getting from the summer approaching sun...
Look at this! Its actually a smoking chamber... They cook fantastic chicken with this... By burning sakura wood chips in the pot below, putting the meat to be bbq-ed in the smoke chamber mounted above the smoking wood chips, the meat turns out really おいしい!!!

And here is Kugimoto's daughter釘本さんの娘さん, me and Pei-shan-san (sounds funny)
From left: 釘本さん's daughter-in-law, followed by his wife and me!
and this is the 釘本さん who I have been talking about.. drinking beer and indulging in all his favourite food, sharing his funny stories and experiences... And I was like the 黒豚 kuro-buta means black pig in Japanese.. Cuz I got burnt by the sun!!!

Please notice how she poses for the camera... It really makes her look sweet, innocent and cute... Gotta start posing like that.. Haha.. Hope the guys are drooling when they se her.. :P

A group photo to mark our picnic!!!! I miss Japan!!!!!!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Houses and Car in Japan

Thanks to the rain on this day, Tat-chan and I were cooped in the apartment, helping him with his Ei-ken exam... While Tat-chan was busy with his essay, I got myself busy with baking... Tat-chan's favourites.. Bagels...
Earlier this week, I received a brouchere to check out a showroom of a new hom to be built in Hiroshima soon.. They provided transport to and back from this place and they would give a 1000 yen voucher for every visitor at the showroom..
This is the visitor's holding area for the showroom.. Its really nice.. They would invite you for a seat, give you a menu for your choice of drinks.. You can choose from tea to soft drinks... And, its on the house! While they're getting the drinks, you'll fill in your details in a certain form and the agents would come later to find out what kind of house you're looking for and let you know the prices of different units..
And here's the master's bedroom's toilet, all furbished like that when the house is purchased.. Jacuzzi bathtub with an LCD TV... Showering in winter sounds like a total comfort right?

And here's the sink for the bathroom..Really neat.. Wish my toilet was this nice.. Well, mine is fine the way it is, just not as nice as this..
Here's the masters' bedroom, bed and dresser not provided.. The door opens to an ironing board.. That's furbished with the house..

Here's the sink for hte guest's bathroom..
And the dining room!!! Well, only she shelf in the background in furbished..

Kitchen! All furbished, except utensils.. and of course, cooking ingredients..
According to Tat-chan, this house is really well equipped and thy use quality stuff for the house... There are other components of the house such as the balcony whichI did not take a picture of.. Haha.. But the entire house, along with the furnishing costs SGD400,000 and mind you the location is a 5mins cycle to the centre of Hiroshima city!

After that, Tat-chan requested to go test drive the new Toyota Alphard.. So, I went along... This car costs SGD40,000+ and its like the size of an Estima? So the two things that Japan have that are cheaper than Singapore are houses and cars!!

Back to Tat-chan's apartment and back to studying for Tat-chan..
As for me, being so free, I made dinner..
Dinner was Japanese style pasta, Singapore style stir-fried vegetables and oven baked breaded chicken...
And after dinner=waiting for Tat-chan to finish up his essay... Haha..