Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Japan 2015 - Omiyage, etc.

Helloooooo!!!!  I have so many photos to share with you.  I actually haven't seen them myself except for viewing them on the LCD of my camera. I'm hoping they came out okay.

The tour me and Sweetie joined was Kobayashi Travel's 2015 Spring Nihon Kai tour. We started in Ikebukuro, Tokyo and traveled along the Japan Sea to Hiroshima. It was the first time for both of us to view cherry blossoms. As you can see from the map below, we traveled pretty far, and we were kept busy the whole time. It was wonderful. We couldn't have had a better tour.

spring nihon kai

I'm starting this series of blog posts with some of the stuff that I brought back. There's so much that I decided to kinda group them by category.

Here are some cookies/pastry.

As you can see I love love love hoshi ume (dried ume).

Here are a variety of mochi crunch.

I forgot to include these chocolate-covered kaki no tane in the above photo. Dunno if you know this or not, but the name for this crescent-shaped mochi crunch is "kaki no tane" which means "seed of the persimmon".  Whaaaa?  I know.  What does that have to do with mochi crunch, right?  It seems that the shape is similar to the persimmon's seed, thus the name, although our tour guide said that the seeds don't look like this any more. Whaa?  I'm confused. She also went on to explain the difference between "KAki" oyster (accent on the first syllable) and "kaKI" persimmon (accent on the second syllable).  Or was it the other way around? I forget. 

These are from Tsubamesanjo, a region known for its metalwork.   I bought um for the men in my house. The spatula was around $20, the knife $50 and the scissors $30.

My favorite snack.  I bought around 15 packs.  From Lawson's.

Shichimi.  The middle one is Yuzu Shichimi.

Chazuke-kine nori.  The middle one also contains uni. 

Seafood.  Scallops in the upper left and lower right.  The $70 abalone is in the bottom middle. On the bottom, second from the right is dried fugu!!!  Landon is reluctant to eat it.  But he's intrigued. 

I got these at a store called Konbu Kon. On the left is nishime konbu. On the top next to it is konbu salt.  On the bottom in the pink boxes are ume konbu tea. I'm really glad that I studied up on "food kanji words" before going on the trip.  It helped.


Mochi.  The packages on the top are really cool. It says "tezukuri kaki mochi".  So it means kaki mochi that you hand-make yourself.  They kinda look like shrimp chips. And got different flavors. You can either fry or broil them to make "fresh" kaki mochi. Told you . . . cool, hah?!

These are curries, pasta sauces and soup bases. Requested by Landon.


100-yen store buys!!!!  So awesome.

From The Loft.

This is da bomb.  It's flesh-colored thin strips of tape. It's normally used to make "double eyes". I figured I could try use um to lift my droopy eyelids.  It's very, very delicate so you have to work carefully with it.  I used it for the first time today. I put it just about 1 mm above my regular fold line. Sooooo coooool. It's barely visible in bright light and totally invisible otherwise. It was around $8.  I also bought a liquid (I think) version for $12. I'm gonna try it later.

Talking about trying to look good.  I also bought this Obagi serum. Obagi can be found here at dermatologists' offices, so I figured must be good. This was expensive . . . $40.

Here are some manju.  Chocolate-center on the left, bean paste and mochi-center in the middle and made with mochiko (chewy) on the right.

I thought this salt was interesting.  It contains "burnt seaweed".

Also interesting. I got this at a pharmacy-looking kind of place. Black-colored q-tips.  It says that you can clearly see all the "crap" that comes out of your ears.

I couldn't see anything on it after I used it. Must be my ears are clean.

That's it for now.  More trip stuff to follow.  


Anonymous said...

Welcome back! That is a ton of stuff! It looks like 2 trips worth of goodies to my eyes and I wish I had your packing skills. The last time I did heavy shopping in Japan, my suitcase was so heavy the wheels could barely rotate when I pulled it.

Kalin's Mommy said...

Holy Crap...that's a lot of stuff! I did see the kit kat at Marukai once, don't remember if Len said it was good or not.

Haha, nice to see your ears are clean!

Glad you had a good trip!

K and S said...

awesome stash!

jalna said...

HAHAHAHAHA, Anon. I can just picture your luggage on woogada woogada wheels going over the woogada woogada blind-people-bumps on the ground. So funny!!

Thanks Mich! I totally had a great time.

For real, Kat!

renee said...

The omiyage looks good! How many luggage did you bring back?

Nippon Nin said...

Ha ha ha! Your description of omiyage is so funny! Boy, you bought a lot! I'm indecisive when it comes time for omiyage...I often regret that I missed the opportunity. Fun post!

Anonymous said...

J: I am impressed at how much stuff you brought back, and I'm sure Sweetie had more, right? We are Ume opposites, I dig mines out and dump it. Whenever you eat the fugu, let me know how it tastes. Even my mom hasn't tried it, though I think in her day it was more dangerous to eat. I'll spare you the spooky fugu story she told me until you eat it. And to think you studied up on the kanji, ho man you go to the limit. Great to have you had home and happy to hear you had a fab time! -N

jalna said...

Renee, I brought back two suitcases. But I did plan from ahead to leave behind some of my older clothes to make room for the omiyage.

I know what you mean, Akemi. A lot of times you don't see the same thing again on your trip.

jalna said...

Thanks, N!! I'm waiting to hear from Sweetie on how her husband did with his fugu before we touch ours. You know, I thought Sweetie had more stuff than me, but maybe we were equal. I think our suitcases weighed about the same.

Mark Shelby said...

Holy Moly! ; )

jalna said...

I know, Mark!! Nuts!

SW said...

Welcome back! Wow you must be a good packer to organize all that into your suitcase. That's a great collection of products from Japan. Can't wait to see your other photos.

jalna said...

Thanks Shun Wah!!

Lorna said...

You are toooo funny. I do the same thing when I go to Japan. Take old panties and socks, and dump them from day to day! Just got to make sure I have enough to come back home fully clothed. Welcome back.

jenny said...

Wowowow! You definitely know what to buy and yeah...how did you fit that all in your luggage?? Everything looks great!

Leslie's pics said...

Is this your post or mine? I think you've got me beat! I wanna go back now. I'm so jellos! Sweetie had more stuff than you??

Susan said...

Wow, great stuff!! Is the goma wakame crunchy? So how do you prepare and eat the abalone..maybe on a silver platter even? : )

Taryn M said...

Welcome back!! Looks like you had a lot of fun and did TONS of shopping! :)

LeighO said...

Ah ha, you see...one shouldnt speak too quickly. As i recall you mentioning previously..."S" was on a shopping spree. I may have had slightly bigger luggage...but I returned with majority of my clothing and the difference in weight of our bags was ounces...need i say more?!😜

jalna said...

You too, Lorna!!!! I came back with two tops and two pants. I find myself looking through my closet to see what old clothes I can take with me the next time!

Jenny, there was not one bit of empty space in my suitcases.

I admit it now, Les. I think me and Sweetie were about equal in purchases. Her suitcase was bigger, but she came home with more clothes than me.

Susan, it is super crunchy and light. I love it! The abalone probably is best eaten as is. We haven't touched it yet.

Thanks Taryn! We did have tons of fun.

Okay, okay, Sweetie . . . I admit it . . . maybe I bought more than you. But I woulda bet 100 bucks that there was no way you coulda fit everything you bought into your suitcases. You did a damn good packing job!

Kay said...

Aha! You went to the Daiso store, did you? How did you manage to fit all that in your suitcase? I've heard that Kobayashi is one of the top tier travel agencies to go to Japan. You got so many amazing stuff! I'm so jealous! I love that dried ume. Makes my mouth water.

Anonymous said...

May I ask,
Where did you buy the dried fugu, and how much?
Thank you.

jalna said...

I'm so sorry, Nan-san. I don't remember where I bought it or how much it cost.