My 20 Best Pictures in Japan (so far!)!

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My favorite piscture!
4-year old boy dressed as a lion dancer at the Shimada Obi Festival!

I’ve been recently running through all the pictures kept in my PC and decided to show a few of the pictures I particularly like. Saying they they are “My 20 Best Pictures in Japan” is a bit of a misnomer as I ought to say “My favorite 20 Pictures in Japan” with all the biases it includes!

Anyway let me show them through with a minimum of explanations!

2

Pinky Flower Mount Fuji!
Hamamatsu Flower Park. I will have to visit it again and run a full report!

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Kimono Christmas Tree!
Japanese ingenuity and business acumen in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

4

“Ishi tatami Umibe/石畳海辺/Stone Mat Beach” in Kume Island, Okinawa Archipelago!
My worst actually took the picture but according to my instructions!
Millions of years ago an undersea volcanic eruption created this incredible natural art!

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Noh mask!
It took my good friend Roger Voltz in Shizuoka City a year to carve it!

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Owls Noren!
“Noren/暖簾” in Japanese mean the shop entrance curtain to mean they are on business.
There are millions of them, but this one was just too cute!
In fact it does not exist ant more as the izakaya in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, ceased business!

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Pyschedelic mount Fuji!
There are millions of pictures of the symbol of Japan and I don’t know how many I have, but this picture taken in winter just before sunset from Shimizu JR Station holds a special attraction!

8

Geisha Geta/Geisha clogs in Shizuoka City!
Shizuoka City and Prefecture are famous all over Japan for their traditonal geta!
Bear in mind there are very few made in Japan now!

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Halloween Melon at Cenova Department Store in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Shizuoka Prefecture is famed for its melons all over the country!

10

Sashimi Plate in Kume Island, Okinawa Archipelago!
Gastronomy offers an unlimited inspiration to photographers!
I could take pictures of sashimi and sushi all day long!
Kume Island is one of the lesser known isalands in the Okinawa Archipelago and ought to deserve far more attention what with beautiful sites and sea, and superlative seafood!
I can’t remember the name of the two local fish but the live kuruma ebi/large prawns were sublime!

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Organic Shizuoka vegetables at Tetsuya Sugimoto Restaurant in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Every time Tetsuya cooks local organic vegetables it turns into a real palette of colors!

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Vegan Sushi Plate at Sushi Ko in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Shizuoka prefecture is arguably the most welcoming region in Japan for gastronomes with special priorities!

14

Mother and Daughter “Pair Look” Fashion in Shizuoka City!
I agree that that mothers and daughters ought to exchange views on fashion but there is something wicked in a mother trying to stay cute and young and her daughter attempting to allure men from an early age!

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Vegan Steak at Tetsuya Sugimoto Restaurant in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Another example of artistic gastronomy!

15

“Gremlin” in Shizuoka JR Station!
I just could help risking arrest taking a picture of this zany minuscule Japanese girl!

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Oumura House in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Built in the 19th Century just at the beginning of the Meiji Era along the Abe River by local Tea growers whose family traces back its origins to Edo period!

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Star Wars?
Acturally the face of a famous past monk in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula!

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Italian gastronomy jewel at Al Porto Restaurant in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Avocado, snow crab, Shizuoka-grown Ameera sweet Tomato, caviar and raspberry coulis!

19

My all-time favorite bento/lunch box!

20

Flower Bouquet Millefeuille Sushi at Sushi Ko, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
This picture was actually taken by my good friend Camille Oger, but according to my instructions!
The roses are made of sole, salmon and tuna!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Italian Gastronomy: Scabbard fish in Anchovy Sauce at Soloio in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Pro and very friendly
Equipment & Facilities: Great overall cleanliness and superb washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Fresh local ingredients whenever possible. Both traditional and inventive Italian cuisine. Good wine list at moderate prices. Open late!

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one overwhelming reason why I keep coming back to Solio Italian Restaurant in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, is that Chef Takehiko Katoh/加藤武彦さん is always trying to adapt local products to Italian recipes for a superb fusion gastronomy!

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“Sacbbard Fish/Tachiuo/太刀魚” is one of the great fish caught in Suruga Bay offshore Shizuoka Prefecture.
It is a very eclectic fish which can be prepared in innumerable manners.
Takahiko first deep-fry as he would do with conger eel and serve it with deep-fried Autumn eggplants with an exquisite anchovy sauce!
A must-try!

I wonder if they have scabbard fish in Italy? But the the Italians should definitely try it!

SOLOIO
420-0858 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho, 9-7, Kita, 1
Tel./fax: 054-260-4637
Business hours: 16:00~24:00
Closed on Monday
Credit cards OK
Private parties welcome!
Happy hour: 16:00~17:00: 1,000 yen set-3 appetizers plate and 1 glass of house wine!
Smoking allowed BUT Non-smoking until 20:00 everyday!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sanwa Brewery-Garyubai Ginjo 20 Year-old Koshu

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I was lucky enough the other day to discover this “koshu/old sake” by Sanwa brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Such sake are rare, even in Shizuoka Prefecture, and you need luck to find them!
I certainly didn’t hesitate as it would have probably been the last chance to acquire it!

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Matured for very long years!

SN3O5439Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Hyogo Prefecture9
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: ; 6
Acidity: 1.3
Contents: 300 ml
Brewed in 1993
Bottled in October 2013

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Golden
Aroma: Assertive. Very dry and fruity. Pears, apples.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack.
Complex. Reminiscent of a very fry white sherry wine.
Very dry pears, apples, oranges, pineapple.
Disappears quickly on a lasting dry nuts note. Persimmons making a comeback later.
Elegant and intriguing.
Show many new facets with every sip showing hints of nuts and chetsnuts.
Changes little with food.

Overall: A superb aperitif to be enjoyed at the beginning of a special repast.
Thoroughly enjoyable on its own.
Probably best appreciated as a night cap reading a great book or watching a memorable movie after a great meal or sipping it in great company!
More than a discovery, a privilege!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

BBC Beer Fest at BLUE BOOKS cafe in Shizuoka City: The Beers!

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Service: Very friendly, smiling and attentive
Equipment & Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Superb washroom in same building separated from the cafe.
Prices: Reasonable for such big servings!
Strong points: Very generous cafe/bistro multi-genred gastronomy. Great variety. Great products. Entirely non-smoking in very modern atmosphere. Great books!

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On Friday BLUE BOOKS cafe in Shizuoka held their first BBC Beer Fest and I decided to conduct a tasting of all the beers offered on an all-you-can-drink deal for 2 two hours/2,500 yen (including one snack)!

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I went there early enough around 18:00 but the event lasted until 24:00 in a very easy manner with customers coming in regularly instead of crowding the place all at once!

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The menus!

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Except for the Kirin Ichiban Shibori and the Cider, all beers were brewed by Jyourokuno NEST Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture!

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All extra food was priced at 500 yen for generous portions!

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I tasted the beers in the order advised by the manager Kondo san!

AMARILLO FRESH

Limited edition, only 200 small barrels produced.

Alcohol: 4.5 degrees
Clarity: Slightly smoky
Color: Light orange
Foam: Long head, very fine bubbles
Aroma: Fresh and flowery
Taste: Dry and fruity. Citruses. Very refreshing

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WHITE ALE

Belgian type with added coriander and orange peels

Alcohol: 5.5 degrees
Clarity: Smoky
Color: Whitish yellow
Foam: Long head. Very fine bubbles
Aroma: Spicy. Herbs
Taste: Fruity and herbal Lingers smoothly for quite a while. Very refreshing

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BROOKLYN LAGER

Brewed under American license

Alcohol: 5.2 degrees
Clarity: Very clear
Color: Orange
Foam: Long head. Fine bubbles
Aroma: Bread, roasted nuts
Taste: Dry caramel. Bread. Assertive. Deep, dry and refreshing. Stands well too food

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EXTRA HIGH

Matured in cask for 1 year

Alcohol: 8 degrees
Clarity: Slightly smoky
Color: Dark orange
Foam: Long head. Very fine bubbles
Aroma: Bread, dry roasted nuts
Taste: Dark Ale Type. Dry and deep. Bread, caramel, dry roasted nuts. Marries well with food. Very refreshing but solid at the same time. Pleasant alcohol

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KIRN ICHIBAN SHIBORI

Premium Beer/Braumeister

Alcohol: 5.5 degrees
Clarity: Very clear
Color: Golden
Foam: Longish head. Coarse bubbles
Aroma: Herbal
Taste: Dry. refreshing. Thirst quencher. herbs, dry bread and nuts. Stays extremely dry all the way through. Better than “usual” big breweries beers

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STRONGBOW CIDER

English cider

Alcohol: 4.2 degrees
Clarity: Very clear
Color: darkish golden
Foam: Very short head. Coarse bubbles
Aroma: Dry apples
Taste: Very dry cider. Very clean and refreshing. Dry apples.

BLUE BOOKS cafe
420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki-Cho, 4-6, Den Bldg 1F (5~10 minutes walk straight ahead from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit, around the corner at the large crossroads)
Tel.: 054-280-7644
Opening hours: 11:00~14:30 (lunch), 14:30^17:30 (cafe), 17:30~23:00 (dinner)
Entirely non-smoking!

Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE
FACEBOOK
Twitter: @BlueBooksCafe

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City