Japan — Wagashi

Wagashi

Wagashi is a traditional Japanese dessert/sweet snacks, or some people will say they are Japanese dim sum. Wagashi has almost 1,000 years of history. The main ingredients are rice, flour, red bean, and sugar. Mostly Japanese people are served it with green tea, especially in spring and summer, a lot of Japanese will have wagashi while they are enjoying the cherry blossoms (JAP: sakura) and other flowers.

Depended on different seasons, sessions, and occasions, there will be different kinds, patterns, shapes, and flowers of the wagashi.

Most of the yaki, such as dorayaki, taiyaki, etc, are belonged to wagashi as well. Thus not all wagashi(s) are created very beautiful.

Dorayaki

Taiyaki

Here are some beautiful wagashi:

Recommended Stores:

1) In Ueno, there are various stores that sell traditional Japanese products, foods, and drinks. It is a good place for visitors to buy gifts.

2) 7-jyo-kansyundo – 7-jyo-kansyundo provides different kinds of wagashi. One special wagashi is the “tea set wagashi”. You can use the cup to drink tea, at the same time you are also able to eat the tea cup. That’s really cool~

Address: No. 551, higashi-iri-nishi Street, Shichi-jyou Main Road, Higashiyama City, Kyoto; TEL: (075) 541-4090; Business Hour: 10:00 – 18:00

3) Tsuruya-yoshinobu (homu-peji) – Tsuruya-yoshinobu have various stores in Japan, but their main chain is in Kyoto.

Address: 602-8434, horikawa-nishi-iri, imotegawadoori Street, kamigyouku District, Kyoto. TEL: 075-441-0105

Other Stores’ Address (In JAP)

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Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 5:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Japan — ROYCE’s chocolate

Royce’s chocolate

Besides Shiroi Koibito’s chocolate cookies, Royce’s chocolate is also another famous sweet in Hokkaido. It has to put in the fridge.

The chocolates have the chocolate powder on it, that’s why some people call this chocolate as “chocolate dust.” There are different flavors, such as rum, champagne, Hennessy VSOP, red tea. I highly recommend the rum flavor, since it contains a strong flavor of rum and just a little bit sweet taste. Because the chocolate is cold, so it won’t taste too sweet. When you put the chocolate in the mouth, it will melt immediately .

A box of Royce’s chocolate has 20 pieces of chocolate.

Except the chocolate dust, Royce also provides other sweets.

Royce’s black chocolate dust

Royce’s white chocolate dust

Royce’s potatochip chocolate

Royce’s marshmallow chocolate

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Japan — Shiroi Koibito Chocolate

Shiroi Koibito Chocolate Cookie (JAP: 白い恋人)

“Shiroi” (白い) means “white”, “koibito” (恋人) means “lover”. This chocolate cookie is one of the most popular sweet in Hokkaido.

This Shiroi Koibito’s chocolate factory is opened by Ishiya Company, and it located in Hokkaido. Maybe I like the story about “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ,” it is really interesting to visit this chocolate factory. If you have a chance to go to Hokkaido, you definitely have to go there. But you don’t have to go to Hokkaido to buy Shiroi Koibito chocolate cookies, since you are able to buy it in most of the department stores and in the airport.

I really enjoy visiting this chocolate factory, because it decorated like a palace. Besides, there is a big restaurant in the factory, selling different kinds of home-made desserts and beverages. Also, you are able to see how the Shiroi Koibito chocolate cookies produce.

The chocolate factory:

Shiroi Koibito milk

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Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 6:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Japan — Rokkatei

In Otaru, next to Kitakaro store is Rokkatei.

Like Kitakaro store, Rokkatei also provides popular chocolate and desserts in Japan. Most of the desserts in Rokkatei are really famous, a lot of foreign visitors will come here and buy these desserts as gifts.

Strawberry Chocolate Ball – White or black chocolate ball, inside have a strawberry. A little bit sour taste of the strawberry then serve with the sweet chocolate is a perfect match. Thus, it won’t be too sweet only having the chocolate ball.

Maruse Butter Cookie — Butter cookie inside contain cream with rum raisins

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Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Japan — Red King Crab

Red King Crab

Most of the crabs in Japan are from Hokkaido, red king crab is one of them. Red king Crab is belonging to Goneplacidae, the obvious characteristic is having really long legs. Thus, red king crab also known as “long leg crab”.

There are various methods to eat the crab, such as sashimi, shabu-shabu, grilled/roasted, etc. However, I really not enjoy having crab sashimi, since the texture is really weird. The most common eating method is to just boil the crab with hot water and then serve with sea salt. It is the best way that are able to taste the original flesh and taste of the red king crab.

There are many restaurants that provide red king crab throughout Japan. But, of course, eating crabs in Hokkaido is really popular in Japan. People are able to have red king crab in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but will be super expensive.

Crab Sashimi

Crab Shabu-Shabu

Grilled/roasted Crab

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Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Japan — Kobe Beef

Kobe beef

Kobe beef is known as the most expensive “Japanese Wagyu”.

The reason that Kobe beef is so expensive is because those cattle are fostering in a superior livelihood. Not only the living environment is really good and comfortable, but also their diets are extremely fastidiousness. There are official staffs to feed the cattle to drink beer, in order to accelerate the cattle’s blood circulation. So to make their flesh more smooth. Besides, there are professional massagers to help the cattle to massage. Thus the muscle and fat of the cattle will share more equally. Like the beef in Canada, beef are divided into categories. Japanese beef are categorized into 5 levels, A5 is known as the best beef. Kobe beef is categorized at A4 to A5.

There are several methods to eat Kobe beef, such as sashimi, iron pan-fried, broiled, shabu-shabu, fried with salt, etc.

Kobe beef in supermarket

Kobe beef on pan-fried

Kobe beef for Shabu-Shabu

Kobe beef Sushi

Kobe beef Sashimi

 

 

Recommended Restaurants:

1) Steak Land Kobe

This restaurant provide iron pan-fried Kobe beef and located in Sannomiya.

 

Address: 2/F, 1 Miyasako building (@ Chuo area, Kobe city)

Little tips:

Most of the staffs and chefs are able to speak English, thus, communication is not a problem.

In order to prevent the belongings of customers will absorb soot, thus there are lockers for customers to put their private properties.

2) Originator of Teppanyaki Kobe Misono Restaurant

This restaurant is first restaurant that provided iron pan-fried of Kobe beef in Japan. This restaurant opened since 1945, and has branches through Japan, such as in Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, etc.

3) Rokkasen restaurant

Rokkasen restaurant also a famous restaurant in Japan that eats Japanese beefs. They provide different kinds of Wagyu included Kobe beef.

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