You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Japan’ category.

Evert time I go back Kyoto, I sit in an old tea house next of Imamiya-shrine,

have fresh baked sweets, Aburi-mochi.


Tiny rice cakes are threaded onto bamboo skewers, dusted with soyabean flour, baked over charcoal fire, served with sweet white miso sauce. All are done by auntie’s hands.

Take a sip of tea, recall the first visit here, girls laughing voice. I was a junior high school student.


This tea shop is far old, established over a thousand years ago. The current tea house was built about 300 years ago. No change. Still alive.


Aunties bake them every every day, piece by piece, serve in fresh baked.


I taste it, the taste of this moment in long long period of time with gratitude.
















Open Facebook. See full of Sakura – Cherry blossoms photos.

Miss Spring in pink at my home town.

Miss dreamy yet real life sparkles in 2016.


Sakura 2012 near the Nuclear factory Fukushima.

4 years ago mankind need to wear radiation protect suits.

This year villagers are allowed to stay home one night.


Think of villager’ hearts. What a long way to home.

Think of Sakura’s soul. What a long time to see love ones.


桜 2016





桜 2012 福島原子力発電所近くの風景。





Amazing Japan.


Every summer and winter I visit Japan, see the changes.

People wear same style clothes but not same with last year ‘this year’s uniform’.

I hear the same words again and again from different people ‘this year’s words’.

‘Relax please. You misunderstand.’ with something-wrong scene,

followed by showing a trick. People laugh and relax.


Having so much stress, never-ending worries. Threaten our own. Need relax.


World is so unpredictable. Worries are useless, even though preparation is useful.

No need to trick others and ourselves. See beyond what we see.

Be present. Be supple. Be strong. Believe institution, untouched center axis.



The photo is “Hanabira-mochi’ Japanese New Year sweet.

White soft Gyuhi, like mochi, covers sweet white miso paste.

Straight burdock is at the center.















Welcome New Year 2016! Be happy healthy in each breathing and peacefully in between.


‘Hello Mum. I’m in front of gate about to have breakfast you made for me.’

This is my usual last call before leaving Japan

with Starbucks’ ‘Houji-cha latte’ as the last sip of Japanese drink.



Starbucks starts selling Houji-cha latte

at outside of Japan.

Nice to have home-reminder in any time.

At home? Yes.


How to make is same with chai.

Put more than 1Tbs of Houji-cha

and small amount of water in small pan.

Heat over medium flame.

Let it boiling up for a while

till water change into brown.

Add a cup of milk or soya-milk

and brown sugar.

When it turns into brown,

strain and pour into a cup.


Have a sip of warm heart wherever we are.

‘This is farewell present for you. We will open and drink together after a decade.’

My friend gave me a package of Pu-Erh tea, when I left Singapore. We promised.

Today is the day after a decade.


Yogis believe the words we said become true.

Japanese believe once words are pronounced, they get sprit.

I moved back to Singapore.


One day we get together, open and drink this tea.

Boil water. Warm tiny cups. Wait with smiling each other.

Good taste takes time to come out. Maybe a decade.


Being born in Japan, I was spelled from childhood.


Japan economy must progress every year as much as possible, otherwise we tiny islanders can’t survive.

Life must be devoted to the economic progress. That is for society, Japanese way of life.

Happiness? You consume whatever you like. That is for our economy too. Work and buy happiness!


Having got out from Japan years and years, the spell was gone.


Be able to realize I was never blissful in that way of life.

Be able to see what is neglected, what is lost, what is destroyed

which were hidden behind of desires.


Never be spelled again.

Keep opening inner eyes.

Happiness is here in my heart.


Special thanks to Mr. Tomoyasu Hirano, whose words inspired me.

‘Red and white’ is Japanese celebration color. Present red and white sweets is for sharing happiness.

In the heart of celebration sweets, bean paste is always.

Off cause red bean and white bean!

Red and White Mizu-manzyu

Bean paste ball

1. Soak red or white (lima) bean 300g in cold water over night in fridge.

2. Drain it. Put the bean in vacuum pot (I use Thermos Shuttle Chef) with 600cc water.

3. Place the pot over hight flame. Once it boils up, add 200cc cold water.

Re-boils up for 2-3 min.Drain and wash beans.

4. Put the bean back into the pot with 600cc water. Repeat 3 once more.

5. Put the bean back into the pot with 600cc water. Boil up again.

Place the inner pot into outer shell. Leave half day.

6. Boil up again and put in inner shell.

Do this 3 day 3 night until the beans become very soft.

The second day add 300g sugar and a pinch of salt.

For lima bean, when the bean’s outer cover coming out, take it out.

cooked red bean

7. Drain bean well. Put in food processor and grind it.

Make a small balls. It can be froze.

Put inside of jelly or cup cake. Or eat with ice cream.

Green tea flavor is recommended.


The soup from the red bean (the water at step 7, not 2 & 3) has nice flavor too.


Red bean ice candy

Mix the red bean soup, some cooked red bean and whipping cream.

Place into silicon candy mold (I bought at one coin shop). Place bars. Freeze it.


Happy me! Happy every one! Cheers!


What ever happens, Sakura blooms gracefully, hugging us with unconditional love.

This is the photo, taken in nuclear high polluted area in Japan.

Human can’t stand without special wear but Sakura does.


Are we a part of mother Earth?

Are we cancer cells of our mother?


桜 2012










What is your request as a Japanese treat, my friend?

One of the most frequent answers is Japanese-pizza ‘Okonomi-yaki’.

Ok. I lived in a town where it is their soul food.


Japnese-pizza ‘Okonomi-yaki’


A (dried shiitake mashroom, Katsuobushi-shaved dried bonito), Dried Konbu kelp

B (cabbage, Japanese leek, abra age-fried thin bean card, Chikuwa -roasted minced fish cake, bean card )

C (salt, cake flour, baking powder, egg)

Sea food

D (Okonomiyaki-sauce, mayonnaise, aonori-green seaweed, Katuibushi-shaved dried bonito)


Grind A in food prossessor till it become powder. Cut kelp like needles.

Chop all of B. Place in a big bowl. Add some cake flour. Mix well.

In a small bowl place A, kelp and C. Add some water and mix well.  Thickness is like crape mixture.

Pour the mixture  into big bowl. Mix well.

Heat a frying pan over middle frame. When it gets hot, add some oil, sea food and the mixture. Cover it.

The bottom surface turns brown, turn over. Cover and wait until both sides become golden color.

Serve on a plate and sprinkle D.




Not only sea food, you can add whatever you like.

Add goodies over our soul. Delicoius life!


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 173 other followers

Follow me Instagram 'natsukonat'



%d bloggers like this: