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11 March 2008 @ 01:14 pm
Ume (plum blossom) matsuri!  
Plum blossoms bloom earlier than Sakura (it's maybe a month or so until the Sakura are out!), though they're not quite as prolific as the sakura are. But they're still absolutely gorgeous-- this year they're a little whiter than last year, though! I can't wait for the sakura-- I hope that they've changed toward a more pink hue this time around. (I don't know how that works, but..)

So, this last weekend, I ended up being a lot busier than I thought I would! I met up with Eda and her friend Fatimah, who is visiting Japan, and we went to have lunch at a gorgeous, amazing vegan place called the Brown Rice cafe. I had a dish that felt very healthy, which is plus-points for it, although I didn't find it all that delicious. But the tea.. OMG the Soy milk chai... HEAVEN. ♥ I also had a chocolate tarte even though I was pretty full, and it was just, so yum. I am not vegan, but the place was really clean and pretty and NONSMOKING <3, and I definitely want to try some more of their dishes. I will definitely go back, though it was a tad pricey (not too bad), so it will have to wait until I get more monies. ^.^ Speaking of monies, there is a big traditional-goods store on Omotesando-st. that has always looked really expensive, so I never bothered to go in... but I was wrong! It's fairly cheap, actually!! I'm definitely going to go there in the future to buy things to decorate my room~ =^-^=

Then we went to Asakusa and had fun looking in the shops. I always love to look at all of the traditional stuffs, and there is such a wide selection. It was kind of like, "I'm getting that-- and that-- and omg THAT-- one day!" ^_^;<---almost broke

Then yesterday, we joined Erin for Ume-matsuri near Ueno!! The plum blossoms are out in force, and it's so beautiful! @~8~~~ We had a really fun time walking through the crowds (I actually don't like crowds most of the time, but it was alright because of the gorgeous flowers!!), and listening to the taiko performances and the vendors selling their goods. =^___^= Ahhh, I LOVE spring!!

The Brown Rice Cafe (check out the link above if you're into vegetarian/vegan food. ^^

My lunch.. ^^

One of the shopping streets branching off from the Asakusa temple grounds.

And I tried to get a little creative with the pictures (it got dark REALLY fast after I took this picture...)

Look, we wear the same size!! Seriously, I sometimes feel like I wear shoes that big, because my size is basically noexistant in Japan. ^^;;

On Sunday, Eda picked up these amazing things from the store... x.x;; Uh...... yeah, Strawberry-chocolate-covered cheetos. You to the math..

Ume matsuuuuuuri!

I always think these shinto (?) talismans are pretty. ^^

Aren't they gorgeous this year??

I meant a LOT of people.. XD;;

I always love these prayer plates~~ ^__^

And the sky was so blue.. ♥ Yesterday it was rainy, and today it's sunny, so it seems to alternate right around this season in Tokyo!

This guy is making Tokyo-style okonomiyaki. I don't care for it that much, but let me tell you... Kansai-style okonomiyaki is to DIE for. OMG..

Okonomiyaki (sort of). Actually, the whole idea of okonomiyaki (hey listen up, you Ukyo fans!) is that you can make it with the ingredients of your choice. It actually means literally "cooked things you like". LOL but at a fair, you don't get so much choice. No worry, because we had it laaaater! ^.^

It seems to be the year of the rat. :D

These pretty lanterns are advertising the ume matsuri. ^^

The 4 of us.. I was wearing pink under my jacket so.. I guess we all matched in spirit? ^^;;

Sightseeing Imformation???

I just liked this.. This is Ueno park, btw. In the summer, those waters are filled with tall green plants. ^^ It's a little bit like a forest.

Satan's duck!! It had red eyes and seemed to exude evil, really..

See! We had okonomiyaki after all! But for dinner, and with our own yummies inside. OMG I want to go there EVERY DAY. Every single day! But they allow smoking, so it's not worth the headache. I asked them about it, hopefully we can affect some change little by little. There are other restaurants in the building that do not allow smoking too..

By the way, it looks nasty because it's not cooked yet. Okonomiyaki is quite healthy, being made mainly of cabbage! But a lot of people slather it with mayonnaise (wry?!), so I suppose that counteracts a little of the benefits. ^^;;

When it's cooked... and oh MAN was it good!

The forecast for today is 65 degrees~~ ahhh so nice, it's almost comfortable!! ♥♥♥
Current Mood: cheerful
Whitney: atobe // ah~n?kashewmoo on March 11th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
XD; Tokyo-style okonomiyaki looks strange. Man, I would do anything to have 'kaa-san's Kansai-style okonomiyaki and takoyakiiiii.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
LOL Well, to be fair it's festival-okonomiyaki, so it looks a little different so to speak. Really, the only difference that we can find between Tokyo and Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the ingredients (I've only seen CHEESE and KIMCHI, yuuuum, on the Osaka-style) and the fact that in the Osaka-style the fish flakes are baked in. =D That really seems to add to the flavor for sure!
slytherinblack: bitch pleaseslytherinblack on March 11th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
I got some great photos of the plum blossoms in Hakone last weekend. *sighs* Though no picture can really do them justice, I don't think.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Oh wow!! You have to post them!! ^o^

BTW, it was nice hanging out with you today!
slytherinblackslytherinblack on March 12th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
They're in my facebook, I've just been lazy about posting anything to LJ. Here's the album link: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=38870834&l=b6971&id=10041391

Also, story I was talking about:
♡ アシュリー > Ashiehanami_panda on March 11th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
Theres a lovely Okonomiyaki restaurant in Funabashi!
I love it there.
It's so yummy.
And, the Ume blossoms look really pretty! ^^

Edited at 2008-03-11 05:46 am (UTC)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmm, I'd like to try it sometime! Do you have the location/name of the restaurant?
♡ アシュリー > Ashiehanami_panda on March 11th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
I'm just finding the right directions for you. :D
So you don't get lost, as its down a small alleyway.
But very much worth going too!
James Pickenstolarin on March 11th, 2008 05:57 am (UTC)
I actually walked outside with a t-shirt and everything! It was so nice in Yokosuka today! I might go out a little later on and just enjoy it! I hope it stays this way for the weekend! That'd be a wonderful weekend before going back out to sea!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Me too!!!! =D =D =D It was so nice, I can't believe it! This must be mother nature's present for suffering through so much during the winter!!

I hope that you can come up to Tokyo sometime soon, so that we can hang out! ^^
James Pickenstolarin on March 11th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
I'm off on this Friday and Saturday... definetly thinking about getting out of Yokosuka and doing something... I don't have plans yet!

Then we go to sea, adventures ensue!

I'll also be back in April from the 5th to like... the 15th... not sure what days I'll have or not yet.
fila: the blue horse.fila_desu on March 11th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
The last time I encountered a pwning typographical error was in a NatGeo commnercial. ^^;;; I like how you and your friends somehow "dressed" for the festival unconsciously. It's really cute :D
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
LOL, everybody but me! My red seemed so out of place when I looked back on the pictures! ^^;;
内出血死の蜂鳥: Brucecrystalplumage on March 11th, 2008 11:10 am (UTC)

I have had every kind of okonomiyaki you can think of,and hiroshima style is nice,but my fave is always the litrtle place in nishi umeda in Osaka,,oh my god.
That place is famous .

Some Tokyo places are good.There are a few in kabikicho,but you have to know where to go .

And i eat at the brown rice cafe when i am in town !
I found it last year and dragged inertia,as she is vegitarian ,and she has lived there for like 6 years now,and she never knew it was there..

You would like the tea place in koenji i bet ,but i have no idea how to tell anyone to get there ,i just know where it is .
Its very close to the koenji eki actually ..but you haveto kind of go into a tunnel there and come out again and its right there..

But he makes all kinds of home brew teas with infusions.Fruit and spices ofall kinds .
Its soo good !
And their cakes are yummy ! A cake and tea setto is cheap too.

Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, Koenji is very close to me! If you can give me a little bit more clear directions to the tea shop, I'm sure that I can find it!!
内出血死の蜂鳥crystalplumage on March 11th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
ok..do you know at the little intersection just outside the eki entrance..when you come out its to your left.
There are those tiny weird tunnels ,they have little food places in there and weird men all sitting chatting.
I go in ,and always have to fake my way around in there until i find the right spot. ,but at one point there is a little fake exit ...theres like a little blockage right there ,,if you go over the blockage and walk literally 12 feet out,on the right,is the tea place.
I have the meishi somewhere ...

Its ma nad pop owned and run ,M-F hours ,and its closed one day ,once a month .I want to say 3rd weds of the month ,but dont quote me.
If you look for it on the street ,i think you go out of the eki and up to the left.that little street with all the little shops over there,and its behind there,but its so close to the eki,i always go i nthe tunnel and out that little hole there.

Let me know if you find it.Maybe Kimberly still has the adress and name .I will ask .

キモさ満々♡ 미친 외국인dilettantka on March 11th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
Mmm mayonnaise 8DDDDD
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
You know that you just like it because it's gooey and white and sticky. =D
Freytsuki_fru on March 11th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you for sharing the pictures! I love plum trees. My favorite childhood napping spot was at the top of one of those buggers, i haven't thought of that in a while though. *__* and the pretties of them all! Yay! *glompies*

Have a fabu day!!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 11th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
At the top of the tree? That sounds just like you! =D

Have a fabu day too, Fru!!! ^O^
Francesca {フランチェスカ}fantasy2004 on March 11th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
those Plum blossom are pretty can't wait for the sakura to come out too.
runawaybobbysmith on March 11th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
the ume blossoms seem much whiter to me! but so pretty. and makes me tanoshimi for hanami!
tinokundayotinokundayo on March 12th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
that is so awesome! it would have been so cool to check that out. are there any other festivals or celebrations going on the rest of this week? i'm here in tokyo staying with a friend until sunday.
Katrina: arashieveranangel604 on March 12th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
mmm, okonomiyaki! I had it once, which someone in class prepared for everybody and wasn't all that thrilled, but I'll gladly try it again if I'm able to put it together myself!

the pictures are so pretty! I have both plum and cherry trees in my front yard, but interestingly enough, the cherry tree is the one which blooms first! we'll see how it goes this year!
Chiakichiaki777 on March 12th, 2008 05:29 am (UTC)
Strawberry cheetos... I wonder....