Sunday, November 30, 2008

Miso Konnyaku

Konnyaku is a Japanese traditional food.

Konnyaku is a traditional Japanese jelly-like health food made from a kind of potato called "Konnyaku potato" and calcium hydroxide or oxide calcium extracted from eggshells. The Konnyaku potato is native to Indonesia and is a kind of herbaceous perennial plant called "Amorphophallus Konjac"(K. Koch). Konnyaku potatoes are cultivated for food only in Japan, but wild forms grow naturally in Southeast Asia and China.

Japanese have been eating it over 1500 years. It was originally introduced to Japan as a medicine in the sixth century and has been eaten for almost 1500 years in Japan. It is a totally natural food. Ninety seven percent of Konnyaku is water and three percent is Glucomannan, or dietary fibre. It is also rich in minerals and very low in calories.

It does not have fat, it is rich in dietary fibre and is low in calories. Moreover, it has recently been found that it normalises the level of cholesterol, prevents high blood pressure and normalises the level of sugar in the blood. Because of these scientific findings, it has been perceived as a excellent health food in Japan.

In Japanese cuisine, konnyaku appears in dishes such as oden. It is typically mottled grey and firmer in consistency than most gelatins. It has very little taste; the common variety tastes vaguely like salt. It is valued more for its texture than flavor.

Japanese konnyaku jelly is made by mixing konnyaku flour with water and limewater. Hijiki is often added for the characteristic dark color and flavor. Without additives for color, konnyaku is pale white. It is then boiled and cooled to solidify. Konnyaku made in noodle form is called shirataki (see shirataki noodles) and used in foods such as sukiyaki and gyudon.

(source: Wikipedia)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Landscape Flowerbed

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Unique Chrysanthemum

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yellow Chrysanthemum

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pink Chrysanthemum

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

White Chrysanthemum

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival

A festival that embellishes Yahiko Shrine on late-autumn days that are perfect for chrysanthemum viewing.

The Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival is held from November 1 through 24 every year in the precincts of Yahiko Shrine, the supreme shrine of Echigo Province. The event is Japan's largest chrysanthemum exhibition in terms of the numbers of participants and exhibits. The exhibition is divided into several categories, such as large-sized chrysanthemums, which produce hundreds of flowers per stem, mid-sized classical chrysanthemums, Kengai (cascade style) small-sized chrysanthemums, and bonsai. A contest is held in each category, and the exhibited chrysanthemums are examined in terms of their radiance, exquisiteness, dynamism and so forth.

The event livens up Yahiko in the autumn just as the leaves are changing color. Especially spectacular is a flowerbed in which 30,000 chrysanthemums create a large-scale landscape, the theme of which changes every year. It is the main feature of the festival that attracts many chrysanthemum aficionados.Come and see the Yahiko Chrysanthemum Festival - a signature autumn event of Yahiko!

(source: Yahiko official website)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Autumn in IUJ (Urasa) - Part 2

This is the main gate of IUJ (International University of Japan)

This is the favourite spot for photo taking in IUJ, especially during spring where cherry blossoms bloom along the narrow path.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jinja Sacred Gate

This is the sacred gate (torii) in front of a jinja (Shrine), that delimit the sacred grounds and have become the symbol of Japan. This jinja is Hakkai San Jinja where the Fire Walking Festival is held every year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lion Statue

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sacred Candle

It was believed that the fire from this candle will bring good luck to you. Sway your hands towards the fire and pretend to grab it, then put your hands onto your head. This is how the local people do it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Colourful Sky

This display is part of the Fire Walking Festival events in Urasa. Beautiful, ain't it?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fire Walking Festival

Hakkai-san is the name of the holly mountain nearby. The Shinto Shrine where the festival takes place is called Hakkai-san Jinja. The festival falls under the Shinto religion and participants come from all over Japan to pray and walk across hot coals as a statement of their faith. This is a very colorful and interesting event. There are food booths and a few shops set up there as well. SO go for lunch, or at least enjoy one of the sweat treats!
(source: UMEX)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Japan Sausage a.k.a Hotdog

A sausage is a prepared food, usually made from ground meat, animal fat, salt, and spices (sometimes with other ingredients such as herbs), typically packed in a casing. Sausage making is a traditional food preservation technique.

Traditionally, casings are made of animal intestines though are now often synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing, and the casing may be removed after that. Sausages may be preserved by curing, drying in cool air, or smoking.

When I bought this sausage, I was given the sausage with two types of sauce, one is the tomato ketchup (quite common) and the other one is wasabi sauce. How does it taste? If you like wasabi, you will definitely like this sausage.

(source: Wikipedia)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Anime Characters

Pictured above are some of the famous anime characters in Japan. Doraemon, Hello Kitty, Pokemon, etc.

Anime (アニメ, Anime? literally - "Anima", taken from half of "animation") (pronounced [anime] listen (help·info) in Japanese, but typically pronounced /ˈænɪmeɪ/ or /ˈænɪmə/ in English) is animation in Japan and considered to be "Japanese animation" in the rest of the world.[1] Anime dates from about 1917.[2]

Anime, in addition to manga (Japanese comics), is extremely popular in Japan and well known throughout the world. Anime itself is considered a form of limited animation. Anime can be released either by television broadcast or released directly to video, in which case it is often called OVA or OAV (Original Animation Video).

Anime can be hand-drawn or computer animated. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercials, and internet-based releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction.

(source: Wikipedia)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008