Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Treats from Japan

Toji temple's wooden pagoda, Kyoto. Typically Kyoto, said our guide. This five-storeyed pagoda (can't see the fifth) is usually used as a stock image to represent Kyoto. I took many shots of this, but this was the best. Though the wooden detail of the pagoda is not clear, I am glad for the silhouette-like effect framed by the bare trees of winter.

Dessert at Kyoto dinner. I was told this was made of sea weed. The oranges were okay, it was great plain too!

Rice with bonito fish and pickled vegetables

At this restaurant we were taken to, our places were set with various condiments and cutlery in anticipation of the meal. To accompany each place setting was a little origami bird, perfectly crafted. Our guide then proceeded to make this origami piano for us - one of the simplest, she said, as we reminisced about paper boats and floating them in rainwater.

The restaurant was chosen because it afforded us a meeting with this lady. She is 18, has finished junior high, and has tried hard to improve her English but failed, she said. Our guide interpreted for us.

Thanksgiving and prayer. Among all the requests in wood, this one stood out for its English. At the Kiyomizu temple, Kyoto.

Window dressing at a Kyoto restaurant

We designed our own T-shirts. Okay, with the help of a stencil. It was still a great kick.

A wintry afternoon in Kyoto. I tried to capture rows and rows of bare trees several times throughout my visit. This was my only success.

Fruit and seaweed of various kinds in dessert. At a Chinese restaurant, Kyoto.

Rice porridge at the same restaurant.

Radish wrapped in cabbage, gluten flowers and other vegetables.

Soya chicken and stir-fried vegetables

Soya ham, tofu and cabbage wrapped in seaweed

Kinkaku-ji, or Golden Pavilion, Kyoto. It didn't strike me so much when I looked at it but once the photos came through, it seemed such a picture-perfect setting.

Another view of Kinkaku-ji/Golden Pavilion, Kyoto. I fell in love with those stark trees.

Yuba (tofu skin) at an Osaka restaurant

This is a view of the Namba area in Osaka, from the 20th floor of my hotel.

Mushroom in miso soup. I found a great variety of mushrooms in Japan.

Dumplings at the Chinese restaurant, Kyoto. The white one had a plum filling, the yellow pumpkin.

Bento box lunch, all vegetarian, Osaka

Gotcha! Successful with chopsticks

Tabletop cooking, at a drive-in en route to work

Mushrooms over rice, full of texture, nice and bland

Chowanmushi, savoury egg custard with mushroom and shrimp

Typical street at night, Osaka

Advertising, Namba, Osaka. I don't know what the sign says.

Please send in your entries for AFAM-Pomegranate. Please remember the deadline is Feb 25, 2008. I am having a big problem with a capricious Internet connection so may not be able to reply promptly or visit your blogs immediately - please bear with me.


  1. wow Sra, really enjoyed the pictorial tour of Japan!

  2. hmmm...so u're Sra in real life too? ;-)
    Did you not just come back from a vacation in Thailand or something?

    For AFAM, are u sure u don't wanna make some more rules?;-)

    Okay, I'm outta here now!

  3. wonderful photo essay sra. some bright food pics caught my attention instantly;)

  4. Wow, another Asian adventure... Everything looks great, I love how they always have a window display of the food they serve... Thanks for the virtual tour Sra...

  5. Beautiful photos sra, lucky girl to visit Japan. Lot of American go there on vacation too, I think it's good value for dollars!
    I don't think I would like that food though, looks all weird to me!:D
    I LOVE the Kyoto photo on the water, gorgeous. Well..all I can look forward to is beach in March now, nothing as exotic a Japan!
    Hope to see you around soon as soon as the internet gets better. I heard something about cable getting cut and Asia affected bcos of that.
    I have Pomegranate one for you, will post when I am ready!:)

  6. Beautiful post with great pics....i envy you !!!

  7. Sra, bagunnayi me Japan pics, food looks very colorful and so did the other pics. So chooste Japan lo vegetarians ki ekuva options undavu emo kada ?

  8. Gorgeous, gorgeous! You lucky one. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Now, where is the travelogue?

  9. Nice pictures Sra! Good to see pictures from a whole different world and culture!

  10. That looks like a fun trip! I love the pic of the trees.

  11. I am simply amazed by the variety of food. Van vegetarians survive there for a week?

  12. Aha!!Now I know where you've suddenly disappeared to ;-)...lovely pictures :-)

  13. So lucky! luv luv luv the young lady's kimono and the beautiful vegetarian bento! japanese chefs are truly artists.

  14. Sra , that us nice virtual tour for us.
    niceto see a vegeterian plate among all those food plates :)) . i can bear to go there now :) .
    will try to make something with pomogrante.
    I cam imagine you had a nice time at Japan.

  15. Mandira, I'm glad, thanks.
    TBC, yes, I'm Sra in real life too. Thailand was vacation, this was work. And no, no more rules for AFAM because I'm only following in the illustrious footsteps of others ;)
    Sia, thank you.
    Sig, you're welcome.
    Asha, the food was bland, and I didn't enjoy some cold fish but on the whole, the food was good, try it.
    Mishmash, thank you
    Sreelu, good to see you back. Veg options undakapovachu. But our hosts had gone the extra mile for us and arranged mostly vegetarian meals because they knew most of our group was vegetarian.
    ET, yes, I have been lucky. As for travelogue, not much, I'm afraid, I went on work and was there for just four days. Didn't really see much, actually.
    Latha, I'm glad to have had the op. Thanks.
    Kaykat, yes, I fell in love with the trees.
    Suganya, yes, there is a lot of variety. About vegetarians, I'm not sure it's easy. Those in our group had it easy because our hosts knew what to expect beforehand.
    Sunita, thank you.
    Alpa, they certainly are!
    Pooja, I imagine it would be difficult for vegetarians, but not impossible.

  16. I am sorta speechless ( i know..hard to believe) at the pics..loved all of em..the scenery..esp. trees and the guest house and the food..esp. in the box...so cute!!..

  17. Wow...lovely pics....Great visual treat...gluten flowers..how does that taste..and great t-sirt..a memorabilia definitely...

  18. Thanks for taking us to the pictorial journey of Japan...feel like visiting there though...
    oh ! what a lovely post about Japan...loved all the pics..
    specially the Japanese Lady with the Kimono ,Pagoda etc...
    though I am not a big fan of Japanese food...
    anyways I loved reading this post ...
    hugs and smiles

  19. Love the trees, the bento lunch box and the T shirt!
    Hope you had a great trip!

  20. My cousin lives in Japan SRA.. have seen many photos and always the food seems wierd (as Asha said )for me too.I have seen them having a picture of a dish prepared with octopus too!!!!
    good pictures and nice to share it with us.

  21. that pic of kinkakuji looks serene

  22. Such a beautiful post, Sra! Each picture is a beauty! Love those bento boxes and the scenary outside! Thanks for the virtual tour of Japan, am so glad you enjoyed and had a good time!

  23. Rajitha, thank you, thank you.
    Rachel, those gluten flowers are just looks, no taste - they taste just like tough bubble gum without the sugar!
    Jaya, welcome, and thanks.
    Miri, yes, it was interesting.
    Prema, you know, I've eaten octopus! In the US, not in Japan, in a Turkish restaurant.
    Richa, yes, in spite of all the visitors, it maintained its serenity.
    Musical, thanks. When will you get back to posting?

  24. Sra, of all your great snaps, I do love those bare-branched trees best. I can tell why you were so enchanted with them.

  25. Susan, thanks for the great snaps compliment. This trip soon turned out to be a quest of a row of perfectly turned out bare trees, thank God for at least one good photo.

  26. Thanks for the visual treat!

  27. what gorgeous pics (and great captions!!) thank you.


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