Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tokyo Trip, April 2012, Part I...Yakitori

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms), Tokyo, April 2012

It's been over one year since I started blogging, but it's been over 5 months since I wrote my last  I've said in my last few posts that I was getting burnt out blogging and needed to take a break.  I think I took enough of a break now and ready to go back to blogging...let's cross our fingers!  Hubby and I have been traveling alot the past year, both week long trips and mini getaways.  That was another reason that it was hard for me to find the time to blog.  Well, also, I spent way too much time on Facebook and especially playing Cafe World.  I've quit playing Cafe World and am not on FB nearly as much as I used to, what a surprise, I have more free time now ;o)  I did find Instagram and have gotten hooked on that now.  If anyone wants to share food photos there with me, I'm #Kayecker.  

For my next posts, for a while, I decided to mostly write about my restaurant experiences from our travels.  I know, it's a little boring since there are so many restaurant review blogs out there, but I love taking food photos when we travel.  I usually have most of our dinner plans set before we arrive at our destination, that is how obsessed I am about food! I actually made a check-list of all the food I wanted to eat for our last trip to Tokyo :o)

We had planned to go to Tokyo last year, but had to cancel because of the Earthquake/Tsunami.  Our arrival would have been a month after the disaster and thought it would be better to wait for a later date.  We had planned our trip around Cherry Blossom Season last year, so decided to try for it again this year.  We were lucky that we arrived in Tokyo on Full Bloom Day.  I never realized until I viewed Cherry Blossoms for the first time about 8 years ago, that they are only in bloom for less than a week per area.  They have forecasts and predict when they will bloom, but it is not a guarantee.  If it rains during or is too windy, the blooms will go away or if it's too hot or too cold, it affects when the flowers will bloom.  We took Hubby's parents for a week in the past during the season and they missed the blooms, but we stayed an extra week, so were fortunate to see the flowers.  

We arrived in Tokyo on a Sat night.  We stayed for half our stay with my brother and his wife and the second half at a hotel.  I love going to Tokyo to see relatives and old friends, to shop for wares and of course to eat.  Our first night was freezing cold, but was a beautiful and clear night to view the Blossoms.  It's amazing to view in the moonlight and is very "festival like" in many parts of the city.  Our first dinner was Yakitori.  It's one of my favorite meals which I posted here before.

Tsukune - Chicken Meatballs

I love Tsukune!  They usually are so moist and flavorful, but for some reason, I just can't come up with a good recipe! Back left are Japanese pickles and right is grated daikon radish w/soy sauce & raw quail's good for the digestion with the "fatty" meal...

Grilled Soramame...Fava Beans!

I LOVE, LOVE Fava Beans!  This is the first time I had them grilled.  It was perfect with just a touch of salt.

Yakitori Master...

You just call out your order to the chefs and they line up your food to prepare in the order that they received it.  It probably is easier if you can speak Japanese at a place like this in Japan ;o)  I'm fluent, but am rusty and speak at a Elementary School

Prepping the Eggplant...

Everything is grilled over hard charcoal called Binchotan.  They first grill the eggplant and then peel the skin off while it is hot and then slice it. Junior Guy in the back get's that job...

Nasu...Eggplant w/Bonito Flakes, Ginger & Soy Sauce

This is the eggplant that Junior was preparing, it's one of my favorite ways to eat it, but is has to be Japanese eggplant...

I had asked if it was OK to take the pics first and then I pulled out my new iPad...they probably thought I was  I can get away with stuff like this because I'm with Hubby the Gaijin (foreigner/Caucasian;o)

P.S.  I LOVE my new iPad!!  I had the original one, but this new one is even more awesome, I love that it has the camera.  The lighting wasn't the best at the restaurant, so the pics aren't the best :o(

Tsukune - Chicken Wing

OMG, this was the best wing ever!  The quality and charcoal really makes a difference...

Okra, Asparagus, Kawa (Chicken Skin), Bonbochi (Chicken Tail) & Ginnan (Ginko Nuts)

I love the Chicken Tail the best and these were fabulous, just lightly, perfectly salted!  My brother said I eat like a chipmunk hoarding their food.  Most people eat one skewer at a time and then go on to the next skewer, but I like to try a little bit of everything at once.

Grilled Fresh Nameko Mushrooms

I've never seen these so big, we only get tiny ones back home.

Simple Chicken Soup

This was outstanding.  Most Yakitori places have the best :o)

Soboro Gohan ...Ground Chicken, Shishito Pepper & Duck Breast over Rice

This dish is a wonderful way to finish the meal.  I've posted my version in the past...

It gets pretty crowded!

Picnicking in the Park...

Over the River...

There were many food vendors...Bagels!

Mex Food !

I'm not sure...

Sweet Potatoes...



  1. Glad you're coming back to blogging, you always made great food!

    I'll have to try grilling some fava beans.

    1. Thanks, Rosemary! I still don't know how you can post so much, especially with all the beautiful photos!

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  3. This is quite interesting stuff from your Tokyo trip. The food that you tasted there seems delicious. I am also going to visit some newly opened Japanese food venues in NYC this weekend. I have heard a lot about their secret menus. Feeling so excited!

    1. Hi Zerry, Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I'm so sorry for my delayed response. I got lazy and rarely check my blog lately;). I hope you enjoyed the secret menu items at the Japanese restaurants! I live in LA, but love visiting NYC. Cheers!