Eat, Drink, Sleep @Tokyo, Now in Nagasaki

東京で食う飲む!Restaurant or Bar around Tokyo and Far East. There is a great diversity of food and culture in Japan. You will enjoy the huge range style of food from very local Japanese food to a lot of foreign foods. I hope you will find and feel the diversity of foods in Japan.

13 September 2018

British Airways First experience, meal, BA007, LHR - HND, August 2018

One summer day on August, I have a British Airways First class flight from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Tokyo Haneda. I used the BA First after a 3 year absence. 

Is Club World service catching up to the First service?? There is British First.

Now British Airways is upgrading the Club world products, introducing new products, as Do &Co catering, White company linen or  lounge service in Club world cabin for last two years. The White company sleeping kets will provide you the luxury sleep, instead of the former dormitory like blanket. The New catering style on the board is nice photogenic and taste which I had experience on Hong Kong to London A380 flight. The Club world service seems to be catching up to the First class service on the Hard base products...
The British Airways First service is no caviar, no separate space and no, so some bloggers said it is not so luxury. The trend in the commercial aviation is lead by Middle East or other European Airline companies as the surface luxury. On the flight such Airlines, First class seat is Suite room type, separated as the privacy room, meal is posh as the fine dinning restaurants.
The First on British Airways seems to be a little different as at-home, as usual or as British. 


The First: catering. 


The BA 007 Flight from London to Tokyo was World wide crew of British Airways. The Most experienced crews have served as the traditional and classical style of British Airways and they also enjoy their jobs and life. The passengers will enjoy the service including chatting with the crews and their extra professional technique of service. 
Table
On this flight, I had Japanese style food as some small challenge.  The Airlines catering meal were commonly produced as mass production. I usually wonder how the foreigner may understand the Japanese food and cooking. This was small challenging event but exciting for me.
The menu 
As the Starter, I had "selection of Japanese appetisers. Ingredients were cooked as the Japanese style. I can feel and taste the Dashi soup stock. 
Starter: Japanese appetisers, prawn sushi, grilled scallop, pepper chicken and simmered gourd melon

Main course, Grilled fillet of beef with rice. On First class service, a crew at the galley will warm the course by each ingredient. The lady cabin crew was on duty on this flight. She produced very lovely medium rare fillet for me. The juice was contained in the meat. 
The British Airways meals has the concepts focused on flavour or Umami tastes. On this course, they used some smoky flavour into the sauce with ingredients origin Umami. I have forgot I was in the sky. 
Main course. Grilled fillet with teriyaki sauce, braised pumpkin and shimeji mushroom

chestnut rice and pickles

THE BAr and Wines
The Grand Siecle is the signature of British Airways First. We should not missed the other unique and local wines selected by British Airways. Cornwall Brut, Chablis, Riesling, Saint-Emilion, there were nicely matured and selected wines on board. 

British airways, Bar menu and Champagne lists

British Airways, Wine lists



 Cheese was selected from around UK. 

Cheese plate.
Belton Farm Red Fox, Fourme D'ambert, Double Barrel Lincolnshire Poacher, Normandy Camembert 

Conclusion

There were Japanese style food essence among the courses I had. The Joint venture between British Airways and Japan Airlines seems to be effective into the meal catering.

Caviar? If your flight time is taken for four days or five days as BA 704 on 1951, Caviar or lobster will be served as a dinner in European route.  According to the some articles on Airline traveller blog, the travellers looks to feel a little bit disappointing no-caviar service. Some Airline companies including BA, sifted to the well-being or international-local concept from "just" posh, Antique style. 

28 July 2018

Ryuhou, Kagurazaka (龍朋, 神楽坂), Tokyo, Japan

The casual and reasonable Chinese restaurant in Kagurazaka serving Fried rice (炒飯 チャーハン)

It was the very hot evening after typhoon has gone through the island of Japan. The hotness in the ground kept the air hot and wet. I have gotten off the metro at Kagurazaka Station to find the restaurant to have supper. After getting to the ground floor, I reminded the small Chinese restaurant near the station, Ryuhou. I stood behind the Yarai exit and turned left and left again on the first corner at the bookshop. I found the yellow eaves sign with “Lamen 龍朋.” This Japanese style Chinese restaurant, like Ramen shop, was famous as the restaurant serving one of the most delicious Fried rice in Tokyo.


There are a lot of young age, their twenties to thirties year old, customers in the restaurant. The interior of the restaurant has atmosphere of 1960s common coffee house in Japan. The Wall paper is polyvinyl and blotched as a lot of brown spots of cooking oil. The furniture sets are made of wood. The interior looks very cheap but makes us some nostalgic feeling. A lot of menu plates were lined and hung on the wall beyond our head as the common Chinese food restaurant in Japan.
I ordered a set of Fried rice from the list.
 
 
The set of Fried rice was served with plain soup and fried rice. The fried rice was very simple that they cooked with dice size roost pork, egg and spring onion. The roost pork had very nice flavour and great texture of meat and made a lovely match with sliced spring onion.
The soup was also nice. It was the fish soup stock taken with dried sardine, dried bonito and other seafood. The white brown soup stock could be served with other noodle, like Ramen at this restaurant.

They have very simple menu list but serve with their heart. The atmosphere is very lovely as the haimish and daily-use common Chinese restaurant. All dishes were served with less than one thousand yen (about eight US dollar).
 
rewrite 28th June,
first 2nd, June, 2015

27 July 2018

Hamo course in Kiyokawa, Nagasaki (鱧づくし 清花和 長崎), Japan

Hamo, the signature fish in Summer, in texture, taste and flavour

The fish, Hamo is come from Ariake sea area. During the Gion festival season(from first to end of June) in Kyoto, the people in Kyoto will feel the coming summer with Hamo sent from Kyusyu or Setouchi area. On this staying in Nagasaki, I have enjoyed Hamo in Kiyokawa where is my favourite Japanese food restaurant in Nagasaki. At the fisherman's port of Nagasaki, the amount of landing Hamo is ranked at fifth in Japan. 
Hamo, (http://nagasaki-sakana.com/seasonal_fish/2731/)

In English, Hamo is pike conger, academically named Muraenesox cinereus. Hamo has long body like eel. From Edo era, the long body fish were valued as the invigorating ingredient due to the shape. And during the poor transportation to Kyoto, Hamo survived to send to Kyoto from Osaka port because of the strength and powerful characters. The Hamo has thick body and a lot of bone in the meat. In Japan, this fish were cooked as the fish paste or in the Japanese restaurants. This Fish is 


Hone-kiri (cutting the bones) is one of the highest technique of Japanese chefs, Itamae

 In the Japanese food restaurants, the pike conger were cooked after the bone cutting. The Itamae will use the special kitchen knife for the purpose of carving the pike conger, called Hone-kiri-bouchou (meaning knife for cutting the bones). He will carving the pike conger with thin slice as 1-1.5mm, with perpendicular to the body, using the heavy weight and sharpness of the knife to crave the thin slice. The sound of cutting the bone is rhythmical and solid, as giving us the incessant clicking.
After the bone cutting, Itamae will boil, steam or cook for your courses. When he boiled, the shape of fish meat will get the lovely shape as flower blooms.


Hamo, the great actor as the ingredient in Japanese food

Hamo dishes have various cook style, boiled, braised, roast or raw. We will feel the summer and survive the heatwave with the strength of this fish. 

Sashimi and boiled Hamo with pram sauce (with red brown sauce)

Hamo Yanagawa (braised with egg)

Kabayaki sushi ( Teriyaki-like roasted Hamo)

re-write on 25th July 2018
Elder: 25th August 2014

Japanese restaurant, Kiyokawa
Nagasaki

17 November 2017

Nice Hotel for business and leisure in central Tokyo, Courtyard by Marriott, Tokyo Station

The Location is the Best.

Courtyard by Marriott, Tokyo Station is located near to Tokyo Station, opposite side of Marunouchi area, near to Nihonbashi area. These areas are the core part of the financial or economy of Tokyo. A lot of foreign or global companies have placed their office around this area.
Tokyo Station is also the hub of transportation in Metropolitan Tokyo and Japan. Bullet train will arrive and leave every two minute, commuter train will also serve you short comfort journey around Tokyo, as Yokohama or Kamakura. Several underground lines served by Tokyo metro are available at Otemachi station hub. 


The room is also simple.


The room of Courtyard have very simple furniture and bathroom. I love the writing desks which have large space for note taking or writing articles. The dimension of single bed rooms is also larger than that of other hotels in the same range of price. The rooms have bath tub and toilet with wash-let.
From the window, you will have view of small path among old Showa style building. Though the entrance faced to the main street, Chuo dori, you will escape from the crowded Tokyo in your room.


Flat TV is available with overseas programs.
bath room

The typical Courtyard style service as US


Courtyard by Marriott served as their style as US. They opened their hotels in the nice location near to train station or motorway junctions. At the reception desk, they will provide some foods or drinks like convenient stores. Frequent users of Marriott reward will receive some privilege as free alcohol drinks at reception or happy hour benefit at ground floor restaurants.







The staff is questionable on their skills at Hotel. They have few information about the currency exchange, transportation around Tokyo metropolitan or some restaurant spot. But you will get those on your mobile instead of the staff.

The view from window.


Access and location

Courtyard Marriott Tokyo Station is located near to JR Tokyo station and next to the underground Kyobashi station on Ginza line (orange line). Ginza and Nihonbashi shopping area and Marunochi and Yaesu area is accessible on foot for 5 minutes. Around Tokyo station, there are Otemachi station which is the hub of Tokyo metro (underground) lines, bus terminal for north or east bound high way buses and bullet train station and JR commuter lines station.

From Narita Airport, buses to Tokyo station will bring you directly to this area. From Haneda Airport, Tokyo monorail and Yamanote line, which is one of the most classical transportation combination to or from Haneda, takes around 30 minutes and Limousine bus will also be convenient. 

15 November 2017

MOXY Tokyo Kinshityou, public space

The new style hotel, room is simple and public area is exciting, came to Japan.

The hotel of Moxy brand has simple studio type bed rooms for visitor and some exciting items around public space. The young generation, twenties to thirties, like communication, parties and night life, using photo SNS as Instagram or Twitter was the targets of this hotel. The pink purple is iconic colour of this hotel chain in Marriott hotel.
The article about room was here


At the entrance, some art designed balloons will welcome you. And there are several bicycles with helmets for customers. 
strange art? at entrance

you can borrow sport bicycles 

Reception facility was placed on Bar counter

The reception desk was combined with Bar counter and shop register. The lobby area has huge space for the visitors and customers and was placed various type of chairs and sofa couch with table around the bar. On some table, you will find small toys or games for communication with your friends or other customers. 

relax area in front of the bar counter
Bar counter. Enjoy some drinks or food at this area. The bartender will serve some coffee or tea.

Library and lounge space

 The library and lounge space show the concept of this moxy brands. Modern, millennium, pop cultural things were placed and exhibited around the space. 
On your travelling Japan, you will find new friends or some SNS followers at this atmosphere, beyond your mobile or computers.




The wall of Lounge and library. Various typography show a sentence.
In front of the fireplace, the customer can enjoy some game or chatting with relaxed atmosphere.

How to get

Kinshicho station is very convenient for your business or leisure in Tokyo metropolitan area. There were two JR lines (Japan railways company) and one underground service (Hanzomon, Tokyo Metro) and several bus route, give you the nice access around Tokyo. 
From NARITA airport, Sobu line will directly send you to the Kinshicho JR station. And From HANEDA airport, Limousine bus will take you to the Kinshicho station area. You also get Tokyo station on JR Sobu line service and Omotesando with Tokyo metro Hanzomon line (purple line).
The Tokyo sky tree area or Asakusa area are very near from here, just taking five minutes from these lines.

12 November 2017

MOXY Tokyo Kinshicho, your room for sleep

The new style hotel, room is simple and public area is exciting, came to Japan.

The hotel of Moxy brand has simple studio type bed rooms for visitor and some exciting items around public space. The young generation, twenties to thirties, like communication, parties and night life, using photo SNS as Instagram or Twitter was the targets of this hotel. The pink purple is iconic colour of this hotel chain in Marriott hotel.
Bar counter and front desk
Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho building, former typical  office building of Japan

Chaotic? international and Japanese, a little bit historic downtown, Kinshicho

The former office building in Kinshicho was renovated to the modern simple hotel, Moxy. Kinshicho was chaotic town in East side of Tokyo, located between business area, Marunouchi or Kanda, and traditional downtown area, including Asakusa. There were old bar or restaurant (as almost classified stands) for white colour people. Cheep, strong and industrial drinks were filled in this town. Fast, salty or oily, carbonate-rich foods were served around this area. All things, brown spots on Itamae’s white coat, smooth edge of wood counter at the stand or black shop name letters on white plastic board shows half century history growth-up of Japanese economy. Japanese will feel some nostalgia of Showa era.

public spaces

   More photos of public spaces is here.
Public area was designed as the punk or pop cultures for making the customers relax. Football game on desk or traditional Japanese toys were placed around the bar, lounge or library space. These items will occur the communication among the travellers. 

The entrance
They also served the bicycle rental with helmet
The Bar space will also work as the check-in counter. The staff has served the Moxy high ball (gin cocktail with soda and grapefruit juice) as welcome drink. All glass of bar was high quality with thin glass for nice feeling to your lip. We can also have some break fast or sapper at this bar area.

On arrival, they have served welcome drink.
When I visited, unfortunately the staff has not trained well on the check in process. I hope they will be nice attendant and lovely bartender or cast at this hotel.

rooms

The room of Moxy is very simple. A bed, a folding table, folding chair, leather chair, side table, and shower and toilet space were simply placed in one room.




The hotel is located next to the apartment.


look back to entrance.

The Queen size bed

Toilet has Japanese high technology, washlet!

For ladys, the amenities will not be enough? They had just shampoo with conditioner.


dryer is also pink!!!

Amenity kit were in the can

side table. authentic looks phone and toy

All things were simple but enough for just staying. All thing will be enough for the traveller who were targeted by this hotel brand as the customer. For several hotel geek or luxury traveller, this hotel will not be enough.

How to get

Kinshicho station is very convenient for your business or leisure in Tokyo metropolitan area. There were two JR lines (Japan railways company) and one underground service (Hanzomon, Tokyo Metro) and several bus route, give you the nice access around Tokyo. 
From NARITA airport, Sobu line will directly send you to the Kinshicho JR station. And From HANEDA airport, Limousine bus will take you to the Kinshicho station area. You also get Tokyo station on JR Sobu line service and Omotesando with Tokyo metro Hanzomon line (purple line).
The Tokyo sky tree area or Asakusa area are very near from here, just taking five minutes from these lines.

2 November 2017

Chewy Grilled beef tongue, Sendai Gyutan, Ara, Yaesu, Tokyo station, (仙台牛タン 荒 八重洲), Tokyo, Japan

Difficult for tourist to find your dinner, on Chaotic and typical Japanese street

This restaurant is located along the busy and chaotic, long street in the Yaesu side of Tokyo main station. Hotel Ryumeikan was located near this street. This area was very convenient for both business persons and tourists. For Business persons, Marunochi area is opposite side on Tokyo station. For tourists, you can get great access to Tokyo main station where you can go somewhere in Japan or  Tokyo with your Japan rail pass.


The street in Yaesu, covered with Cherry broom on April
I found the foreign tourists were walking along the street but they already lost themselves due to jetlag and parallel universe of Baymax. The foreigner seemed to have never been able to identify what restaurant was or what food was going to be served there. They were just walking around this area with missed identity. There were also Japanese business men and the staff from the bars or restaurants. The business persons had already been drunk a little bit and looked for the next bars or pubs (Izakaya). The staffs from the pubs (Izakaya) or Karaoke centre were touting the customers. The nervous foreigner, good mood business persons, noisy staff from Izakaya and neon-lit of the izakaya or Karaoke centre shows chaotic scene of Tokyo. The similar situation will be shown in several busy area as Shinjuku, Ikebukuro or Shibuya.


Fast, good price and hot meal for dinner, with Japanese style

The Ara, gyutan restaurant, is very reasonable and useful for the tourists. The atmosphere is like as the fast food restaurant around business area but the interior is also old style of set-menu restaurants (called as Teishoku-ya 定食屋). They will serve the Sendai style gyutan in this restaurant. Though I had no idea about if there is English menu in this restaurant, they may have some English menu card. The area around Tokyo station is one of the most popular spot for the foreign tourists.  
Overview of Gyutan set

Traditionally, the gyutan set in Sendai was served the main plate for the several styles of beef tongue (Gyutan), pickled vegetable, ox tail soup and bowl of barley and rice. Almost all restaurants specialized into the gyutan may have this type of sets on their menu.
Roasted Gyutan
The beef tongue was roasted or grilled. The meat was cut with thick. A piece of meat was including rich beef juice and butter like flavour. The texture, the most important parts of this dish, is nicely chewy and lovely.
Ox tail soup
barlay and rice
This set was served as the traditional Teishoku (定食 including rice, soup, main dish, and pickles) style.
The restaurants which served the gyutan (beef tongue) were located anywhere around Tokyo. The thickness of sliced beef tongue is including chewy texture and red meat juice. Sendai has more legend and famous restaurants around in the city centre. If you have the plan to visit to Sendai with Tohoku Shinkansen (high speed railway, Tohoku line), it will take just for two hour and half, please enjoy the gyutan at Sendai.

former 6th Feb 2016
Re-write on 2017 2nd Nov.









16 October 2016

The Final Flight of Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400, First Class service from Tokyo/HND to Hong Kong, on 1st Oct 2016

The Final Flight of Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 on 1st Oct

On the 1st October 2016, Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 was retired. The final flight was very festive and heartwarming atmosphere, presented by Cathay Pacific skilful cabin crews. I had a very happy travel with Japanese bloggers Tep-san and Ebichang on this final flight.

the Queen of Sky, Boeing 747-400, Jumbo jetliner

The beautiful ships of Cathay Pacific have retired form the commercial routes. The Boeing 747-400 was a memorable air craft of the sky. The double decker style of front and smart nose were art of ‎modern industrial design. Four engines gave us the sense of the safety of air travel. 
All airplane will be retired with some reasons as age of aircraft, financial factor of operating company or mismatched market. The 747-400, known as the Jumbo jetliner were very famous aircraft in the world. In Japan, we can see them as the airplane belonging to foreign airlines, Thai airways, China airlines and Lufthansa (B747-8i).

Boeing 747-400 and Cathay Pacific

The former flagship of Cathay Pacific, Boeing 747-400, was  the last aircraft of Britishness in Hong Kong. The company of Cathay Pacific was developed with series of ‎Boeing 747 known Jumbo jet liner, as -200B and -400. Four Rolls Royce engines sound were passing over the British owned Kowloon side of  Hong Kong on approaching to Kaitak airport. The sound was one of the symbols of the old Hong Kong. The high pitch sound and fat shape of Rolls Royce engines reminded us the Cathay Pacific had been a British commercial airline company.


ticket of First class by British Airways Executive club‎ Avios 

‎I have luckily got the tickets of the final flight from Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong on First class cabin on the 1st October, 2016. The blog described by Lucky gave us the intelligence of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 final flight. I had the First class ticket with Ebichang, who was a Japanese alfa blogger in Airline blog. 

First class cabin of final flight of CX Boeing 747-400

I had a seat 4D of the first class cabin. The ground hostess has assigned us 4D and 4A, one of the best seats of the tow person company. From the seat, I had the lovely view of the nose interior which was special view of double decker of Boeing 747-400. The seat was luxury full-flat seat as the long haul route airliner. Those have also the dinning facility with large table and a pair of seats for comany passengers. 
the over view of First class from 4D seat


The front view of 4D seat

On this final flight, the meal courses were as the normal commercial flight between Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong. Chinese cuisine, Japanese full course or Western courses were available as usual. ‎We had Chinese courses with the sound of Rolls Royce engines and special atmosphere of the first class cabin. 







The tour of crew rest

On this air craft, the cabin crew show us the crew rest, restricted ‎space for cabin crews. Small flat bed were lain above the passenger cabin as the residence of the hospital for medical staff. 

The memorable flight of Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 final flight

The atmosphere of first class cabin‎ was very relaxed and comfortable to remember and remind our memories on the Boeing 747 aircrafts. The cabin was restricted for the first class passenger and press member. The inflight service manager has controled the first class cabin for the first class passengers. 


Landed at Hong Kong, wet cloud weather
‎On the bottom, Thank you very much, the cabin crews of final flight, the pilots and the technical staff of Cathay Pacific, and Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400. Good bye. 

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