Stepping out of gal comfort zone to talk about Samantha Thavasa’s (サマンサタバサ) brand cafe “Celebrity Cafe” (セレブリティ カフェ) and take home present cafe “Sweets” in Tokyo Sky Tree Town’s (東京スカイツリータウン) mall Solomachi (ソラマチ). I love brand cafes (Tokyo’s GGucci Cafe, Tokyo’s Chanel and Hermes cafes) and Samatha Thavasa is often in gal malls because it’s such a popular Japanese handbag brand.

The opening party looks so cuuute! The bears are Samantha Thavasa’s mascot: Aimi. (Photo by Fashionsnap)

My shot from when I visited. Lots of cute places to sit and magazines to read. The workers at the cafe get cute outfits in grey with bows like presents. Cute, right?

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Added two more items to the gyaru sales and discounted everything. Worldwide shipping included now, buy one get 50% off for US buyers too! One more week only!

 

Since I talked about my current food habits on tumblr, I thought I’d do a food post here, too!

One of the top foods I always miss when I’m not in Japan is Hiroshima style okonomiyaki (お好み焼き). To me one of the greatest mysteries is how Osaka style Okonomiyaki got more popular than Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki. I may love Osaka and consider it my favorite city in the world, but Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki is 10x more delicious!

So how are Osaka style and Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki different? Both have a similar recipe of cabbage, pancake batter, egg, and pork. Osaka’s are mixed and use much less cabbage. Hiroshima style is known for its use of soba or udon noodles and tends to use 3x as much cabbage and its thicker and the ingredients are not mixed. More cabbage = more filling on healthy food = better for you!

Both styles of Okonomiyaki have delicious variants like: mochi, cheese, squid, shrimp, green onions, kimchi and octopus.

If you’re in Hiroshima, the place you go to Okonomiyaki is Okonomimura (お好み村). It’s a haven of 27 Okonomiyaki small shops that is popular with locals and tourists. Their Okonomiyaki sauce is specially made just for Okonomimura shops.

It’s right next to Parco on the Hatchobori tram stop.

To enter you go up the stairs and immediately you will see a dozen Okonomiyaki shops.

On this small floor there are about 8 shops. The cook will immediately ask you to seat anyone you pass.

Seating is on stools around a hook-shaped teppanyaki grill. There is usually the chef and someone to handle the cash and do clean up. Often there’s a tv in the corner playing.

The seating more filled up. The chef will usually direct you where to sit. Often there’s a traditional style (vertical with prices displayed in kanji like 一000 to show it’s 1000yen) but since this place is tourist friendly they usually have regular menus or the many places staff knows a few English words like “squid” or “check”.

My chef from last time (I did ask to take pictures) with the tv and coat hangers. Most menus just have Okonomiyaki with toppings and then beer, soft drinks or whiskey highballs as a drink.

My mochi cheese Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. The correct top of Hiroshima style is the sauce and aonori which is dried seaweed flakes. No bonito or mayonaise like Osaka style.

Mochi is amazing inside Onomoyaki. The chef first grills it on the teppanyaki grill for a while to get it nice and chewy and then chops it up and places it within the Okonomiyaki for easy eating.

My squid, mochi and green onion topped Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki with udon noodles instead of soba. “Mochi ika” is one of the most popular Hiroshima Okonomiyaki toppings. Both the squid and mochi are very chewy and filling!

Pickled ginger is sometimes optional, it’s more of a chef’s discretion. Also chefs sometimes top the Okonomiyaki with squid or shrimp instead of putting it in.

How to Okonomiyaki! Do not, ever ever eat from the grill. Instead you’re given a small metal spatula and you cut very small portions off.

Transfer that portion to a bowl and then eat from it with chopsticks.

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki is very filling and super cheap especially from Okonomimura. A meal will set you back 500-700yen only! Around $7-10! So cheap!! Delicious food in Japan doesn’t always have to cost!

During traveling I’ve gotten more into eating local famous food in the regions of Japan. Lately it’s become more of an obsession to be able to find places. Along with local food I’ll also discuss regular delicious food and where to get it if you visit or live in Japan. I now have a fancy new banner and a new series of blog posts to make you hungry.  :bow:

One of my favorite local foods is Nagoya Misonikomi Udon (味噌煮込みうどん) made with the famous Aichi prefecture (where Nagoya is located) red miso. I wasn’t aware of red miso before, but I find it so much more delicious than regular yellow miso!

The way I found out about it the first time is the Tralala shop staff in Nagoya Passe. They asked me if I had any plans to eat dinner and if not I should try the local Misonikomi Udon. Since the shop was virtually next store I had to take them up on it.

I went to Yamamotoya in Takashimaya JR which is right next to the main Nagoya station. It’s full name is Yamamotoya Souhonkei 山本屋総本家  (Souhonkei means main branch) and it’s well known as the place for getting Misonikomi Udon.

Takashimaya are known as fancy department stores and the Takashimaya Nagoya doesn’t dissapoint. Yamamotoya is on the 13 floor.

Department stores usually have a food level on the top floor. Not as fancy as this, but if you’d like a typical Japanese cuisine (sushi, yakiniku, katsu, pasta) they’re a great place to find one.

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Sakura season has ended, but it makes such beautiful memories. I gathered up all my sakura pictures from around Tokyo and some in other cities. Also, some great Sakura themed food items. All for the weekend photo post   :stepup:

A tree lighting up the bleak view of Ueno park. Usually the brown sticks are fat lotus blossoms that coat the lake, but sakura now take the stage.

Elsewhere in Ueno faux lanterns with ads for places in Ueno (even gal mall aBaB) line the walkways.

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