Japanese Appetizer (O-toushi/お通し): Firefly Squids & Kimchi!

O-toushi/お通しis actually a bit difficult to translate.
In a Japanese (in Japan) izakaya it is an appetizer that is served with the first drink and that you pay for in general in lieu of a cover charge.
I have nothing against such a notion as it gives you a good idea of the chef’s skills!

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Firefly squids are called Hotaru ika/蛍烏賊 in Japanese!
They are minuscule and are called so because they are luminescent and brighten the sea along your boats!
Here in Shizuoka they are sold in supermrakets either fresh and raw or boiled.

Dragon found some boiled at the supermarket yesterday.
Their seafood taste is quite strong as compared to raw ones and seasoning is needed indeed!

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Dragon had also bought them with plenty of relatively mild kimchi!
She added some to the suids (half and half) and green shiso/perilla leaves torn into small pieces.
To eat with chopsticks!
Perfect with beer!

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, Pie
rre.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

Sights at Hamana Lake Flower Garden in Hamamatsu City!

We spent no less than 4 hours inside the enormous Flower Garden in Hamamatsu city and took more than 180 picture!
I am not going to complete as this allows me to write a series of articles on different themes!
This second one is titled Animal Plant Design!

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A chair for a city-dwelling elf?

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Or a bench!

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A wedding dress made of succulents for an elf queen?

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And she will march to the music of no less than three piano made of succulents, too!

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The third piano played by an invisible pixie!

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And a grand Moa’i will preside the festivities!

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And a white Dragon is waiting to take her on her nuptial voyage!

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Fare thee well!

Hamana Lake Flower Garden
Hamanako Flower garden
浜名湖フラワーガーデン

10th anniversary of the 2004 Pacific Flora Garden Exposition and the 21st Japan Urban Greenery Shizuoka Festival

Open until June 15th

Hamamatsu City, Nishi Ku, Murakoshi Cho, 5348-3
Tel.: 53-488-1811
ENGLISH HOMEPAGE

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, Pie
rre.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

Nagano Sake Tasting: Kooten Brewery-Kooten Tokubetsu Honjozo “Hon Tsukuri” Karakuchi

My good friend Atsuko Kurata called me the other day.
Her husband had brought a bottle of sake from the region of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture for me!

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Kooten Brewery/髙天酒造
Okaya City, ginza, 2-2-17
Tel.: 0256-22-2027
HOMEPAGE

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It’s a tokubetsu hnjozo “Hon Tsukuri” karakuchi!

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Rice milled down to 59%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Bottled in April 2014

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Golden hue
Aroma: Fleeting and discreet. Fruity and a little dry. melons, milk coffee, bananas.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry and fruity attack backed up by pleasant alcohol.
Complex. Dry bananas, custard, hints of oranges.
Disappears quickly with hints of nuts, almonds and persimmons.
Takes a ever slightly sweeter turn with food with hints of dark chocolate.

Overall: Very pleasant and easy to drink sake!
Dangerously entices to the next cup.
Surprisingly very elegant for a honjozo.
A sake always seeming to invite to the next cup.
Although eminently enjoyable with food, probably at its best at room temperature on its own.
A great nightcap!

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, Pie
rre.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

First Brewing Day at Aoi Brewing in Shizuoka City!

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, saw the first day of actual brewing in the newest, and 11th, beer brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture, namely Aoi Brewery in Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, near Sengen Shrine!

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Since the brewing has started the brewery had become off limits and the front door was closed to casual visitors.
I had to enter through the side door to an empty space which will become a pub in September before progressing to the brewery room.
Durst malt from Munich, Germany was at the ready!

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Barley was already being used!
Before entering the brewing room I had to put on long boots and step in a basin to disinfect the soles.

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I found Owner Naoki Mandou/満藤直樹さん having a rest with two his staff onlooking the operations!

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A collector’s item: Aoi/Hollyhock in the shape of the crest as worn by Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu in the 16th an 17th Century!

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Brew Master Kooichi Taka/髙浩一さん running around!

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Checking the boiling of the barley!

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With Owner Naoki Mandou keeping an attentive eye on all the operations. He actually has enough knowledge on brewing in case of an emergency!

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I was allowed a peek into the boiling barley!

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I even tasted it! Sweet!

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Taking out more samples!

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Checking out more samples of the barley which had already boiled more than 4 hours!

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Brew Master Kooichi Taka/髙浩一さん at his art!

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And Owner Naoki Mandou/満藤直樹さん never far away!

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Photo for posterity:
Nobuko Hasegawa/長谷川暢子さん Staff, Naoki Mando/満藤直樹さん Owner, Kouichi Taka/髙浩一さんBrew Master & Hidenori Fukushima/福島英紀さん Staff!

Expect more reports until the first Aoi Craft beer being put on the market end of June!

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, Pie
rre.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

Izakaya: Nochi in Shizuoka City (first visit)!

Service: A bit shy but so friendly
Equipment & Facilities: Overall very clean. Excellent washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great array of Shizuoka Prefecture sake. Izakaya gastronomy

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Nochi is a typical and heart-warming traditional izakaya tucked away on the 4th floor of one of those “Drinking buildings” prevalent in Shichiken Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
I had the chance to pay it a belated first visit during the “sake hashigo” event in Shizuoka City last Sunday!

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a “heaven/haven” replete with Shizuoka Prefecture sake!

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On that particular day they were assigned the introduction of Oomuraya Brewery in Shimada City!

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Kinuyo Fukushima/福島絹代さん busy serving while hubby Noriaki/徳昭さん is busy in the kitchen!

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All that sake blurred my eyesight! LOL

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A proud Kinuyo San with a rare bottle of Oomuraya brewery which is usually sold sold in 4 go/720 ml bottles!

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A representative of Oomuraya Brewery was ther on hand to help the staff!

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The o-tshi and the sake of the day!

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For the connoisseurs!
On that particular day I didn’t have time for a full report but here are at least two dishes Nochi is popular for!

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Dashi tamago yaki!

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seasonal sashimi!

Look forward to full report soon!

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Chefs and Mama: Norikai & Kinuyo Fukushima/福島徳昭・絹代さん

4200-0035 Shzuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 8-25, PISA Bldg, 4F
Tel.: 054-253-5556
Business hours: 17:~26:00
Closed on Mondays

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, Pie
rre.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

Japanese Appetizer (O-toushi/お通し): Marinated Vegetables and Mussles

O-toushi/お通しis actually a bit difficult to translate.
In a Japanese (in Japan) izakaya it is an appetizer that is served with the first drink and that you pay for in general in lieu of a cover charge.
I have nothing against such a notion as it gives you a good idea of the chef’s skills!

Last night Dragon treated me to a double marinade!

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vegetables marinade consisting of vegetables cut in sticks of the same size:
Ha shooga/fresh leaf ginger, myoga/Myoga ginger, cucumber marinated in olive oil, rice vinegar and what else served with homemade miso umeboshi and sprinkled with black sesame seeds!

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as for the mussles she had some boiled and frozen in the refrigerator.
After thawing them she stir-fried them in olive oil, vinegar and chilies and served them sprinlkled with some finely chopped scallions!

Great with sake!

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, Pie
rre.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

Animal Plant Design at Hamana Lake Flower Garden!

We spent no less than 4 hours inside the enormous Flower Garden in Hamamatsu city and took more than 180 picture!
I am not going to complete as this allows me to write a series of articles on different themes!
This second one is titled Animal Plant Design!

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A light green grass doggie!

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Another doggie in dark green grass!

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A peacock tree?

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Let’s have a look at those!

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Teddy bears having a great time!

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More dog trees!

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Take your pick!

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A llama and a giraffe!

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Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu in good company!

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My favorite beast: a Dragon!

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A turtle made of succulent plants! Not for eating!

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Another turtle made of succulents and grass!

Hamana Lake Flower Garden
Hamanako Flower garden
浜名湖フラワーガーデン

10th anniversary of the 2004 Pacific Flora Garden Exposition and the 21st Japan Urban Greenery Shizuoka Festival

Open until June 15th

Hamamatsu City, Nishi Ku, Murakoshi Cho, 5348-3
Tel.: 53-488-1811
ENGLISH HOMEPAGE

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, Pie
rre.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