Kyoto, Tea Ceremony 24.Apr.16

  Our day in Kyoto! The JR train conveniently connects Osaka to Kyoto and we started our day in Kyoto with a visit to Sanjusangen-do in the morning. The next touristy spot we aimed for was the ‘shrine with shopping street’, the names I have forgotten. With the streets packed we decided to skip the shrine or temple and got swayed by all the food and snacks available in this street of Kyoto instead. It was just as well a pleasant day for an overfilled cold matcha custard puff.   Well stuffed with all the sweet snacks by the afternoon, … Continue reading Kyoto, Tea Ceremony 24.Apr.16

Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture 23.Apr.16

Another fun outing ensued in the morning as we rode the bus to the Alps, Tateyama. We were reminded of the Swiss alps and enjoyed some proper matcha roll and tea after a communal hot pot lunch. (Not so fun for me in the 50 minute stretch of the windy mountain bus ride as the motion sickness pill wore off.) The tour group we were with was so properly run and organised, giving us a sufficient sample of each unique site. On our way back to Osaka, we once again had proper stops at Service Areas, giving us opportunities to … Continue reading Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture 23.Apr.16

Shirakawago, Gifu Prefecture 22.Apr.16

The next stop in the late afternoon after Takayama is this really charming little historical town. We’ve had an hour or so to wander. Shirakawago is just lovely with the traditional thatched houses and the snow-capped mountains in the background. Definitely memorable. We were later brought to a hotel in another town where we spent the night for an early start the next morning. Continue reading Shirakawago, Gifu Prefecture 22.Apr.16

Takayama, “Little Kyoto”, Gifu prefecture 22.Apr.16

With an early start on Wednesday, we lugged an overnight pack to join a local coach tour out of Osaka. (Trying to figure out the undisclosed bus meeting point was not without drama.) Unclear of how much time had elapsed in the moving vehicle aided by the multiple stops at pleasant Service Areas (rest stops along the highway) and the many snacking and souvenir opportunities each provided, the journey to the unknown was totally enjoyable. No busting bladder! Seats were all assigned, too. How civilised! Cup of complimentary green tea while you stretch your legs? Yes please. The tour included a … Continue reading Takayama, “Little Kyoto”, Gifu prefecture 22.Apr.16

Dotonbori and Shinsekei 21.Apr.16

We began to realise that there is an entire underground network  buried in Namba — a city of railway and shops — right under our hotel. The bakery with kitty buns became a landmark in our navigation. This is Pickle transported back in time to kittenhood in Osaka. If only. We decided to make Dotonbori our breakfast stop for Day 2. It was a rainy day which threw any plans for a trip to Kyoto out the window. The most significant memory to this little eatery was partly the kaisendon in which the chef kindly but unexpectedly doused soy sauce … Continue reading Dotonbori and Shinsekei 21.Apr.16

Sushi Cooking Lesson with Yayo 20.Apr.16

   Our week in Osaka was not jam-packed with activities, but we did begin our first afternoon with a sushi cooking class. Sushi cooking with Yayo was a private session in her home — the third participant did not show up, so we had the place to ourselves with Akane, the silky terrier mascot. (Seen here wearing a doggy kimono.) It was a casual homely affair, Yayo had prepared all the ingredients beforehand. After each careful demonstration, we get to have a go on our own. Mind you, trying to make an omelette (dashimaki) with chopsticks is not as easy … Continue reading Sushi Cooking Lesson with Yayo 20.Apr.16

Namba, Dotonbori, Osaka 20.Apr.16

We went lux by staying in the pleasant Swissotel in Namba and indulging in the hotel restaurant’s traditional breakfast of rice porridge for our first day in Osaka. Those little pickled and savory dishes do add up and we almost had no space left in our bellies. To walk breakfast off and get our bearings, we ambled our way a few blocks away and got drawn to a fresh seafood market. We wouldn’t miss any opportunity when it comes to the freshest seafood, so we literally ate our way through the market. Sea urchin, fat belly tuna, Takoyaki and mochi … Continue reading Namba, Dotonbori, Osaka 20.Apr.16

The Many Excuses For Not Blogging, Or The Lack Of.

A significant birthday celebration and eating fest in Osaka in April. Major preparations in the JuanitaTortilla headquarters for a big market that happened with our return from Osaka. (‘Big’ to mean the most expensive in my history of marketing.) The lack of home internet for 2 weeks. The occasional power outages due to storms, or no apparent reason at all. Winter is coming. General lack of interest in sitting at the computer — where I pay the bills, tend to photos of my Etsy shops and voluntarily faff about on Facebook or blog — because I’d rather be making pretty things … Continue reading The Many Excuses For Not Blogging, Or The Lack Of.

Jigging A 3 x 2-metre Layout

The next market event for J.T. will be a big one — Gathered. on 30.Apr and 1.May — and I have chosen a 3 by 2 metre stall site that I hope to dress well for it to work. Naturally, we have display ever more so at the top of our heads. (By our, I mean my physical self and voices in my head.) In comes Pinterest, and thank you for my daily morning dose of crafty inspiration. From uber-slick to fleamarket-style visual merchandising, my head is exploding with ideas and suggestions. But alas, I have to work with what is … Continue reading Jigging A 3 x 2-metre Layout

Knits for Cold Dark Days

The cold dark days are truly upon us. The knitting projects cast on earlier in the warm seasons have finally been cast off, ready to wear. The yak wool dress has been through a couple of dress / sweater versions, hopefully this is the last! The grey poncho was heavily inspired by a tan version friend Jess gave me. You can say I am crazy about ponchos — it’s warm and cozy and hides everything that needs to be hidden! There’s still more yummy wool to get through in my stash. What will we make? Continue reading Knits for Cold Dark Days