Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another Birthday

I wanted to keep my birthday simple, as I was having some anxiety. Every year, I experience a bit of an existential crisis on my birthday. Have I achieved enough? Am I as successful as I thought I'd be? Am I happy with my life? This year, I have so many new things to celebrate, but it was tough processing not working. The crisis has mostly passed. We went to a farmers' market, had lunch, and enjoyed a jumbo-sized strawberry on a stick. We used the other day of the weekend to attend a cooking class.
The fried gluten sandwich and puffy potatoes were my favorites.It's strawberry season in Japan. Get a big berry on a stick for 200 yen (about $1.50).Goofing off at a vegan cooking class this weekend.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Daigo Restaurant

The dude celebrated his birthday a while ago. He turned 30. We had to celebrate and make it extra special. We went to Daigo, a Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant. They serve shojin ryori, the traditional Buddhist food served at temples. We requested our meals to be vegan, because we were concerned they would use some fish-based ingredients (like dashi stocks). The service was great, the food was really tasty but similar to what we got at Bon, but the room needed a makeover in its style. We ordered the middle tier meal, which came with 12 courses. On the way out, an employee escorts you through a temple courtyard. Very cool.
Us, all dressed up:

Dude's 30th birthday dinner at Daigo, a shojin vegetarian restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. We called ahead to reserve our room and vegan meals.

1st course: Sesame tofu with pickled veggies

Daigo - sesame tofu with radish and mushrooms

2nd course: Soup with lotus root cake

Daigo - soup with lotus root cake

3rd course: Japanese udon noodles

Daigo - Japanese udon noodles

4th course: Shaved burdock root, maitake mushroom sushi, radish sushi, sweet flour ball

Daigo - shaved burdock root, maitake mushroom sushi, radish sushi, sweet flour ball

5th course: Bean noodles with gingko nuts and veggies

Daigo - bean noodles with gingko nuts and veggies

6th course: Veggie tempura, look at that stuffed mushroom!

Daigo - veggie tempuraDaigo - the tempura mushrooms were stuffed!

7th course: Smoky bamboo and sweet jelly ball

Daigo - smoky bamboo and sweet jelly ball

8th course: Ginger soup

Daigo - ginger soup

9th course: Mushroom and rice porridge

Daigo - mushroom and rice porridge, tea

10th course: Permissions

Daigo - persimmons for dessert

11th course: Sweet red bean soup with rice flour cake

Daigo - sweet red bean soup with rice flour cake

12th course: Tea

Daigo - final tea course. We selected the mid tier price and got 12 courses.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Edo Tokyo Museum

Like I said, there were some interactive exhibits at the museum. We, of course, had to touch everything!
Edo Tokyo museumEdo Tokyo museumStation near Edo Tokyo museumStation near Edo Tokyo museum

Saturday, March 14, 2015

World War II artifacts at the Edo Tokyo Museum

This child's outfit was salvaged from an atomic bomb site. I can't remember if it's a replica or not.
Edo Tokyo museum

This is a replica of the document signed for Japan to surrender. Notice the mix-up on the signature lines.
Edo Tokyo museum

Friday, March 13, 2015

Edo Tokyo Museum

We spent an afternoon at the Edo Tokyo Museum. Part of the museum was closed for renovations, so we only saw a small portion. There were several interactive exhibits, so that was extra fun!
Edo Tokyo museumEdo Tokyo museumEdo Tokyo museumEdo Tokyo museum

Thursday, March 12, 2015


The Japanese celebrate the end of the year with a bonenkai (party). The dude's work had a bonenkai with a buffet, free beer, and free sake. We spent the time chatting with his coworkers, and I met some of his bosses and coworkers. It was overall fun, but it was really awkward when the Japanese coworkers started performing. The men sang When the Saints Go Marching In, but the women sang that 80's song Let Me Love You. I have heard many things about sexism in the workplace in Japan, and this seemed like a subtle example of misogyny in the workplace. Why did the women have to sing about loving men? Very tasteless, in my opinion.
The dude's company had a holiday party. These guys sang "When The Saints Go Marching In" for some reason.Singing and dancing at the holiday party