Japan

My post after the browser crash, appropriately for Japan.

My post after the browser crash, appropriately for Japan.

I was almost finished with writing this garden blog post last night. Then the swirling, Mac beach-ball-of-death aka “eternity ball”, appeared. I immediately knew this post was doomed.»

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Koyasan, Japan

Koyasan, Japan

Retreats are often moments of personal time that we don’t often do enough for ourselves. When we planned our trip to Japan, a mountain retreat was instantly on our itinerary. On our memorable Japan trip, we took a few days to travel up to the secluded mountain of  Mt. Koya to stay at one of the Koyasans and the experience was amazing.

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Grilled Prawns with a Citrus Garlic Butter -Al fresco Inspiration

A rare day off, the sun was out, and the air springtime warm. A day peacefully spent meddling about in the garden, harvesting the last of the sugar snap peas and planting tomatoes and veggies in their stead, throwing in the occasional play session with the dogs. Video it and soundtrack in some music, and it becomes one of the moments to be shown at a birthday or funeral which evoke the crowd’s tears reminding how great life can be.

Extra crunchy charred prawn eyeballs. »

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Nikko Japan

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and Tidbits from our Everyday Frenzy

The quaint and picturesque mountain town of Nikko Japan captivated us from the very beginning. We’ll be sharing some pictures of our Nikko trip soon on our photography blog!

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Beef Sukiyaki Hot Pot – Harris Salat Japanese Hot Pots Cookbook

Japanese hot pot, or nabe, are the perfect dish this time of year.  Quick, easy, and warm one-pot meals. This beef sukiyaki hot pot is one of our favorites.

We’ve been trying to catch up on our unarchived photos and after going through our recent Japan trip photographs, we needed some Japanese deliciousness, and quick.  What better way, than with some warm, comforting Japanese home food, Nabe, or hot pot.

In restaurants here in the US, most people’s experience eating Japanese hot pots are at »

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Matsutake mushrooms

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and Tidbits from our Everyday Frenzy

The beauty of mushrooms in all it’s earthy glory can’t be beat. Photographing them is an even bigger treat.

These Matsutake mushrooms are from Tokyo’s Tsukiji outer market.

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Somen noodles w/Sweet Soy-Ginger Sauce -Takashi’s Noodles Cookbook

Since our remarkable trip to Japan in August, we’ve been craving Japanese noodles with a vengence. We ate all the udon, somen, soba and ramen our stomachs could handle in 9 days and it was an amazing experience and education in the history and culture of Japanese noodles. We never got tired of slurping our way through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Each region’s noodle specialties were all so different, delicate and highlighted some magnificent regional flair. Coming back home, we were looking for a cookbook that »

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Oh pretty Japanese Maples

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and tidbits from our everyday frenzy

If we could, we’d grow Japanese maples. But our warm weather isn’t too kind to these delicate, lovely trees. We recently returned from a trip to Northern California and were lucky enough to be surrounded by plenty of maples.

Even one leaf sitting alone is beautiful.

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Yuzu- what do do?

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and tidbits from our everyday frenzy


Our Japanese Yuzu tree went kinda bonkers for it’s first year in our garden. Now with plenty of fresh yuzu, we plan on making some yuzu cocktails, yuzu kosho (on grilled seafood)  and of course, a special marmalade that our little old Japanese lady friends keep raving about.

We discussed the possibilities on twitter the other night and received some more great suggestions from our tweeps: yuzu ice cream, yuzu vinaigrette and take a »

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School Time! – Japan

Daily Crack Photo Blog- Tips and tidbits from our everyday frenzy

We were just going through some of our Japan pics, and found this one. Early one morning we were wandering the streets & spotted these kids on their way to school. This has to be one of cutest school buses we have ever seen. Check out the kids’ helmets, to Almost makes you want to be a kid again.

Location: Koyasan, Japan

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Fig & Brie Cheese Pizza – Summer isn’t over yet!

We were ready for Autumn, or what ever version Southern California is capable of, and looking forward to pumpkins, apples and the cooler dry air that marks our fall. However the weather has been indecisive about what season it wants to represent, or maybe it was one last summer  ho-rah, because we were just inundated with several weeks of hot, 90°+ sunshine.

Unfortunately, our extension of hot days and plenty of sunshine is playing tricks on the garden. Our tomatoes have found their “second wind” »

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Dragon Fruit flower explosion

While away in Japan last week, we had a mental list of what was being taken care of back home. My brothers were gracious enough to house-sit for Todd and I (as re-payment for childhood debts that I never received) and with that came many responsibilities. The pups, obviously, had to be tended to, and they did a fabulous job at that. To make sure Sierra (the baby white boxer of the household) was not bored, my brothers made sure she had plenty of playtime, »

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Kyoto! Nigishi Market – Aritsugu Knives – Saba Zushi

Kyoto is embraced with the beauty of Japan’s past. History is preserved in the city’s old buildings, valued temples and scenes of traditional life that still roam the narrow streets.

Going to Japan we had no wants of trinkets, souvenirs, or other little nick-knacks to bring home. We only desired for the experience of Japan’s modern savvy and its treasured past, and to acquire two things.  In Kyoto we would experience a bit of Japan’s past and find the first of our two treasures;  a »

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Tokyo Today and Takoyaki Octopus Balls

Japan continues to infinitely amaze us. Everyday we’re embraced by images of historic Japan, where temples and old wooden storefronts tell compelling stories from the past. However, nestled within the pockets of treasured history, Japan explodes with the latest and greatest of modern conveniences and innovations. This side is electric, eclectic and energizing.

There is never a dull moment with Japan’s extreme contrast of modern pop-culture society and old, preserved, and revered traditions.»

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Quick thoughts on Kyoto + heading up Mt. Fuji

Although we were only in Kyoto for a few days, we’re utterly mesmerized by it’s beauty, grace and history. There’s so much more we’ll share about Kyoto within the next few days, but until then, we’ll leave you with two images of what reminds us most of Kyoto.»

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Jōgai-Shijo (the outer market) of Tsukiji – Street Foods galore

Let’s hope you’re hungry and ready for this post….

As if the Tsukiji fish market didn’t give us enough of an adrenaline rush, waiting right outside the ordered chaos of the massive fish hangers, was Jōgai-Shijo (the outer market) the extended treat of the Tokyo Central Wholesale Market.

Jōgai-Shigo is another extensive collection of market stalls to the exterior of the main Tsukiji Fish Market. Sushi vendors sell their various types of fresh sashimi and sushi to hungry crowds of locals and tourists, »

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Tsukiji Fish Market – Tokyo, Japan

Tsukiji (Tokyo Metropolian Central Wholesale Market) maybe the most amazing food market in the world and it’s simply mind blowing.

For the unaware, is primarily known for it’s massive wholesale fish market, but also includes a fantastic open-air retail and street-food stall section on the outer edge.  The stalls alone are a great food traveler’s find, but once you enter into the wholesale fish market, Tsukiji opens up into an immense new world.

Tsukiji is massive and a phenomenal seafood experience.

As almost anyone can »

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O-hayō from Kyoto – and Mister Donut

Kyoto is the culinary heart of Japanese cuisine. It is here where many claim Japanese cuisine is done on it’s finest level.  Kaiseki cuisine (seasonal dishes, immaculately prepared and presented in the highest level of art) births from Kyoto. So what incredible meal did we have our first morning in Kyoto?  Mister Donut.

Our first full day in Kyoto, we were excited to start exploring, so we hopped on our loaner bikes and pedaled toward downtown. Our stomachs were stirring in the balmy Kyoto morning »

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Kyushu-style Ramen: In the Heart of Tokyo

We were thrilled to be in the land of ramen, where it’s nearly impossible to find a bad bowl of noodles.  However, even amongst the all the subtle, delicious variations of ramen that Japan has to offer, there are some styles that stand out above the rest.  Kyushu Ramen is one of them.

While exploring Tokyo, we had the great pleasure of meeting up with Chika from She Who Eats, and she was kind enough to offer her favorite food finds while we were in »

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Konichiwa Tokyo, Japan! Shibuya District and Harajuku crepes

Konichiwa Tokyo, Japan! Shibuya District and Harajuku crepes

We’re in Japan! Konichiwa from Tokyo! The last two days have been a whirlwind of travel, both by air and rail, and so….much…..food. We knew heading out to Japan was going to be  fast and furious, a feast on both familiar and new foods, but indulging so quickly on the local fare was mind blowing beyond our imagination.

“What the hell, just go and do it!”- That was our motto for Day 1 and we did just that. Even 18 hours of travel didn’t put one »

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