Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer wagashi 6

Gold Fish and water are the themes for summer wagashi.  This is from Kanshundo of Kyoto. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Wagashi 5

Hydrangea is blooming now in my backyard.  It has been a bit late as it is almost July.  This year, the hydrangea is blue because these few years my Mom put some leftover milk or soya milk to the plant and also some crushed egg shell.  It used to be pink and purple but now the flowers are blue.  I like them blue. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Wagashi 4

Masune Wagashi on Sanjo of Kyoto was founded in 1946.  Shibo Ofune is a ginger taste senbei in the shape of a boat with a rice bundle shaped Rakugan.  The set is perfect to go with thick green tea for tea ceremony.

Summer Wagashi 3

Ayu, the fish is famous from the river of Kyoto.  In summer, Ayu as the theme of wagashi is popular in July.  First, I got marshmallow fishes.  It is beautifully coloured but a bit tasteless. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Wagashi 2

This is Genjikou Asagao, morning glory.  Toraya really made beautiful higashi.  The mold is many hundred years old. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

mysterious cave

This is Goa Jatijajar in Java.  I will go there next year to visit.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

summer wagashi 1

This is the box of Genjikou higashi from Oimatsu of Kyoto.  Oimatsu is a traditional wagashi house serving the court and now it serves the area around Kitano Tenmangu and the Geisha quarter around there.  The shop is behind the Shrine and on a quiet lane with just a noren showing the name Oimatsu.  Inside the sliding door, it is cool and with nice glass cabinet showing the various wagashi.  On another long table, it has wagashi stands of sample of order made wagashi for birthday or special occasions.  There is also a giant book of illustrations of namengashi you can order from them.
I picked the Genjikou wasanbon.  It is pure wasanbon with no other things added to it.  So it is very delicate and smooth.  Genjikou is an incense game Heian court people played to pass time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

early summer wagashi 1

This is the set of higashi from tsuruya yoshinobu of Kyoto.  The wagashi house is one of my favourites.  I love the summer yogan.  And this higashi features water and young maple leaf.
Next week, I will go to the plant nursery to pick out some tropical plants and also to the Chinese Buddhist Temple to make a wish and worship the Buddha.  It is going to be a relaxing day away from work.  The best will be the Buddhist vegetarian lunch.  I am looking forward to it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer 2012 Wagashi 3

When I visited Toji this Spring, it happened to be the Sat. Toji Market, so everyone was there.  It was so crowded.  Japanese tourists from Tokyo, locals of Kyoto, foreigners also were there.
I viewed the 1300 years old Mask used in Buddhist ceremonies in the past.  They are delicately constructed according to the contour of the face and head and the expression on the masks is something to behold.
At the Treasure Hall, I picked up a sakura shaped cell phone strap that is made of Sakura wood for my friend.  I also bought the blessed sacred candy called Butsushukaname.  Originated from India, Buddha's Hand (a cultivar of Citrus) has fruits that resemble hands put together.  This candy is made from fruits grown in Japan.  It is famous for taking toxin out of the body and is rare.  The candy is hard on the outside and soft within with beautiful flavour.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

strange dream

I dreamed that I was checking in to fly away but the Airport is at the university with a lot of students and lots of levels of classrooms.  Although the check in staff explained to me how to go up the different levels and to the new building then out to the air field, I was still totally lost and the map was not a great help.  I asked a good university student and he also happened to be heading towards the air field and I had a good feeling we are going to make it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wagashi 2012 Summer 2

Some changes at work but nothing too major.  I went thru a lot of stress lately but I am glad it was kind of over.  So keep working and we will see.
Here is the theme for summer.  Butterflies!  I have a lot of them in the garden as Spring, I got many flowers: poppies, Marah oreganus, Akebia, Magnolia, Aristolochia tomentosa, Wisteria, Clematis, Peonia, roses.
This wagashi is from Fukushima of Japan, made of wasanbon sugar and soba powder.  The butterfly design is very classical.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wagashi 2012 Summer 1

This is the higashi collection from Kameya Yoshinaga of Kyoto.  When you enter their main shop on Shijo, they immediately offer you tea and wagashi.  After that, I bought their wooden box of higashi tied with a cloth designed by Sou-Sou, Kyoto.  Inside, some konpeito, Shouro, senbei, kizato, rakugan, and wasanbon.  This selection is the Spring Collection for April.

green tea is good for you

This is Matcha.  It is the best drink to go with wagashi.  I have a Senbei with Sakura design and passionfruit ganache.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Innovation in a traditional product

This time in Japan, other than buying wagashi, I also looked at other food.  Miso soup is another thing I like but it is too time consuming for me to make it the traditional way.  As just for 1 person to make 1 pot will be a lot of waste because the soup cannot be saved over night.
So I bought this little invention which is like a monaka (Japanese wafer with red bean inside) but inside it is filled with dried noodle shaped like flower, wakame seaweed, green onion and also dried soup base.  To enjoy this miso soup, open the package of soup base powder and miso and put into the bowl.  Next, use your thumb to punch the top of the monaka, then pour hot water in the monaka and bowl.
Then the whole bowl will transformed into a tasty bowl of hot miso soup.  Simply magical.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wagashi Late Spring 8

Minatoya Yurei Kosodate Ame Honpo candies has a chilly story behind.  Many, many years ago the shop owner has a visitor several nights in a roll.  She is pale and wet because of the rain.  She asked for candies for her baby even though the shop has closed.  The shop keeper gave her some out of sympathy.  One night he followed her out of curiosity.  She walked towards the Gojo bridge (beyond was the cemetary) and disappeared in the night.  He felt it was spooky but he heard the crying of a child.  He discovered a baby still alive where its mother has died and buried next to it.   From then on, this is what the candy is called: Ghost feeding baby candies!
The candy is the best tasting Malt hard candy you can ever find.


This is another kimono I picked up at the Toji Market.  Again it is 1000 yen, what a bargain!  It has soft creamy yellow base with multi pastel colour patterns of turtle shell shapes (matching my Obi), pines, Paulownia etc. and clouds with shibori. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

wagashi late spring 7

This is a beautiful box from the higashi house in the east of Kyoto called Kanshundo.  Originally, I wanted to order a box with all 12 months of higashi coordinated but it was very difficult to organize and made the idea explicit in order to understand, so we finally abandon the idea and I went for a box of just Cherry Blossom and Wisteria and Kanshundo recommended the late Spring and Early Summer box and it looks beautiful and with a modern touch such as Lily of the Valley Rakugan that I have never seen.