Green Tea Shaved Ice

抹茶かき氷

I live near this shaved ice place. It’s memorable mostly because they have a Shiba that hangs out in front of the shop when the weather’s nice. I guess he’s like the store’s mascot. It’s a super retro place. Lots of knickknacks from days gone by line the walls and are sprinkled across the tables inside. The shaved ice is still made with an old hand-crank ice shaver and the flavors are equally retro. Not a lot of foreign influence here. The main flavors you’ll find here are matcha green tea and sweet red beans. I thoroughly enjoyed my green tea shaved ice and I plan on taking my mom here when she comes to visit next month.

Me and kakikori

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Junefest

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Had a delicious meal at a German restaurant on Saturday. Great food and great beer! I’m happy I’m enough of an adult to spend a bunch on good meals and not feel like I wasted money.

Little Luxuries

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I had a delicious little dinner last night. I had some sausages and sauerkraut. Usually in Japan, you can only find the sweeter, Bavarian style of sauerkraut, but I found some sour sauerkraut and had that with my meat. I’ve been on this low-carb (but a whole bunch of beer diet) so there were no potatoes. I found a limited release of Kona Brewing Co.’s Pipeline Porter and enjoyed the smooth coffee-infused beer with dinner. For dessert, I got some bitter French chocolate and paired it with some Bellvue Kriek. I prefer the Boon Kriek I had a couple weeks ago, however.

A Run on Natto

I’m still alive.

That’s always good. The impression that I get from folks back in America is that the news says the whole of Japan is near death. The total destruction of all of us due to radiation is near and there’s nothing we can do. Far from that, radiation levels, while requiring vigilance, are far from deadly. It’s only in Fukushima that the levels are worrisome. The current level of radiation in the air in Fukushima is equal to the level of radiation you receive during a flight from Tokyo to New York. The farther you get away from the reactors, the radiation levels decrease significantly. And by the time you get down to my area in the Tokai region, the radiation levels are no higher than they were at this time last year. That is to say, the same levels that you encounter just being alive and walking around on Earth.

I say these things not to dismiss concern over the reactor problem. Japanese specialists (along with help from South Korea and the US) are working around the clock to try to cool the nuclear fuel. I have the utmost faith in the Japanese (and my own country’s) abilities. I would urge others reading this to keep a level head on their shoulders and don’t let sensationalist media reports about impending doom get them all out of sorts.

The local grocery store is out of bottled water. They’re sending it up north to help out evacuees. They’ve also sent microwaveable rice and packs of dried noodles. I’m assuming they’ve donated these goods, and it’s quite admirable of them. I donated a little bit of money to the Japanese Red Cross. I would encourage those of you who’d like to help to do the same and donate some money.

I haven’t noticed much of a run on supplies around me like some of the reports in Hiroshima. Probably due to their history with nuclear material, people in Hiroshima have been buying up all the natto (and probaby lots of other types of food). Nagoya has remained level-headed. Life is continuing on as normal. The newscasters on TV keep everyone apprised of the situation in Fukushima and they probably have no idea that scum bags like Glenn Beck are saying that the death and destruction in Tohoku was a “message from God”.