Monday Matters

Over the Weekend…

I watched my husband become a black belt in judo:

20130211-181056.jpg

Chad’s name on the list of competitors

20130211-181120.jpg

Opening Remarks

20130211-181249.jpg

After he won his third match & got his black belt

I saw these cute, pink construction worker signs:

20130211-181401.jpgI participated in an awesome nomihoudai, or all-you-can-drink at Rokko Diner to celebrate with Chad (they had a Valentine’s special–only ¥2000 for girls, ¥3000 for guys, for 2 1/2 hours, any beer!):

20130211-181644.jpg

Crystal Amber Ale & karaage (fried chicken) made with Rokko Pilsner

I bought really cute dessert forks and spoons:

20130211-181818.jpgWalked to China town with a pit stop to split a rice croquette:

20130211-181915.jpg

20130211-181936.jpg

There was curry inside!

Saw huge lines at the China Town for nikkuman, or meat-stuffed buns, and other Chinese food:

20130211-182106.jpg

Many people were checking out China Town to see events related to the Chinese New Year.

And split a nikkuman and “burger” with Chad:

20130211-182224.jpg

And was generally happy because it was a much needed three-day weekend. Oh yeah, and because I saw this guy with a pig face:

20130211-182532.jpg

How was your weekend?

Monday Matters · Seen/Heard/Tried

Monday Matters

Doing something fun over the weekend–and then having something fun planned for the following weekend–helps make starting a new week a little easier. Yesterday we chose a slip out of our date jar with the suggestion, “Go hiking around the apartment.” We live on a mountain, so that’s easy enough to do! We started by walking uphill to Nunobiki Waterfalls.

20130204-183124.jpg

Somehow from there our uphill hike turned into a mostly downward walk and a culinary adventure. For starters, we split a chocolate waffle set at the Kitano Museum cafe. The cafe has a very simple, natural style–loved it! And the waffles…so good!!

20130204-183950.jpg

From there, we headed to the famous Kitano Starbucks, which is in an old house. I got a cappuccino, and Chad got a latte.

20130204-184202.jpg

Drinks in hand, we continued on our way. We walked around for a few hours before stopping for curry (we may or may not have had gyoza as a snack in between…). After hearing Kobe Mint Curry was supposed to be good, we decided we might as well try it.

20130204-185135.jpg

Chad got Kobe beef curry, and I had veggie curry. It wasn’t necessarily to die for, but the atmosphere in the restaurant was quite pleasant. Similar to the Kitano Museum Cafe, Mint Kobe Curry has a very clean, quaint feel, and the staff were quite friendly. They tried to speak English (even though we ordered in Japanese), saying, “Careful! Very, very hot!”

We continued our “hike,” grabbing some Eho Maki on our way home. Eho Maki is a special sushi roll eaten on the Japanese holiday of Setsubun, celebrated February 3rd annually.

20130204-185658.jpg

You’re supposed to eat the roll facing a specific direction deemed auspicious for that year, and in silence. We ate ours without speaking as we watched the latest episode of “Elementary” (love that show!). Whether we were facing the proper direction or not, I’m not one to say, but we did count out beans for our age (27 + 1 for good luck for me this year!). We ate them up for good fortune. Out with the demons and in with prosperity! Our date (and over-eating) was finished, with hope for an early spring and happy days ahead.

If you’d like to see a video of me chucking beans at Chad as an oni, or demon, please click here.

To find out more about setsubun, please read this article here.

Did you have any culinary adventures over the weekend?