Sunday, April 29, 2012


On the way back from Ogawamachi, we stopped by at the town of Kawagoe.  This was my first time there.  Chiho san was my guide.    The above architecture does look Japanese, but to me, it's western version of a Japanese architecture.  It looks only a facade.   Below, it's more authentic.  What do you think?   Do you see the difference?

Puffy Rice Crakers
I wanted to buy one and taste it, but it was too cumbersome to carry it home.  
Yes, I regret it now.

An old couple were making sweets in the back of their store.
Chiho san asked them if we could taste one that they just made.
It was 100 yen each, white sweet bean cake.  Chiho san ate one and kept saying, "so good!"  I asked his permission to take a photo of them.  He said yes, but his wife ran away.  The cake was warm and sweet.  Chiho san bought more.

This is long ofu which we put in miso soup or feed koi.

I think this is wild yamabuki.  I'm familar with multiple petal yamabuki in golden yellow, but not this kind.  It was a pleasant surprise.  I love everything about it.

a temple we passed by.

We went into a liquor store because I wanted to buy sake lees.  I asked Chiho san why she suddenly pulled out a white mask and wore it.  I don't remember what she said?!

The sales woman assured us the above package was high quality.
I didn't know the difference between low and high quality of sake lees.

Below, they are local sake bottles. 

We had this photo taken at Ogawacho earlier.  We shared a dish of tempura because I cannot eat much oily dish.  

Here, we had a cup of sweet sake lees drink after lunch.
This was very warm and sweet and made me happy, so I wanted to buy a bag of some sake lees on the way home.  So, I did at Kawagoe as you've seen in one of above photos.  
I came home and tried it.  
Now I know what high quality means.
It has sake in it.  Low quality has no alcohol.  The first time, I put two table spoons of sake lees into my mug and added sugar.  It made me very warm.  I started to sweat.  It also smelled sake which I didn't like.  But it would be waste to throw away, so I drank it up.  Next night, I put only one table spoon and sugar.  It was just right.  Now I love it.  I look forward to drink one cup every night!


Vincent said...

Keiko, your post has made me want to visit Japan. I would want to see the old places, much more than the new.

keiko amano said...


I'm glad you say so. I haven't visited many places in Japan, but I intend to travel to the places where my ancestors had lived. Lately, someone out of blue has contacted me and found out we are related. So, I might travel to western Japan and see old documents. I hope. I thought I was over it a few years ago, but now I renewed my energy and curiosity a little bit. Actually, I can't stop being curious no matter what.

Rebb said...

What a delightful blog, Keiko. I feel like you put me right there with your words and beautiful photos. I've never had sake lees. I've had sake and I like plum wine when I go to Japanese restaurants.

I see what you mean about the first photo. It does seem to look more Western to me compared to the next photo.

Is long ofu a type of kombu? When I made miso soup a few times I had to buy kombu to make the stock. I could never find miso paste that tasted the same as in the restaurants. I tried a few types, but couldn't find one I was looking for.

keiko amano said...


I was afraid that someone would ask me what is ofu! It's soft, not like rice crackers. It isn't kombu. It's neutral taste, and I bet its calorie is close to zero. I'll let you know if I find out what it is made out of. Don't worry. It isn't an important item, but it used to be very popular because Japan was much poorer country when I was small. But I think ofu must be enviromentally kind and we do not gain weight if we eat a lot, so maybe it should be resurrected to our menu.