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Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

If you are keen on or have a chance to drop in Yokohama, you may want to give this place a go. However, for those who are not so interest in ramen or Japanese cuisines, this place will disappoint you a little bit. I think most of you guys have heard about the Ramen Museum in Yokohama at least once and those who fell in love with Japanese culture, must have looked up for information about this place. Nevertheless, photos on Internet may deceive you. I was also lured in because of the photos on the official page which show that the place is spacious and full of surprise to explore but in fact, it is kind of small and the tour around the museum in just 20 minutes. Despite of its size, the location is not bad at all. The museum comprises of three floors. The entrance is located on the top floor. Going through the entrance, you will find an exhibition area explaining about the origin, development and diversity between regions of ramen. Of course, English version is available and the explanation is significantly detailed which I think will attract ramen-lovers. Different types of stocks and noodles are also paraphrased. Next to this is the souvenir shop selling ramen-inspired merchandises. Instant ramen and instant stock can also be found here. Downstairs is the where the ramen restaurants located. The overall area was decorated to replicate the streets of Japan in 1958 when ramen was first invented. The founders of the museum must have gone into great length to recapture this nostalgic atmosphere. No detail is neglected and the chosen music really makes you feel like wondering in a 1950s town. I didn't dine in any of these restaurants but I saw there were dozens of Japanese having meals here so the quality of food is okie. Then, if you are fond of ramen or Japanese noodles in general, just drop in the place. Here is the official website of Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum: http://www.raumen.co.jp/english/You can find the location and ways to access on the page.

Ishikawacho Steet

It was a busiest sunday for me. Despite of busy schedule, I managed to capture few shots while walking at Ishikawacho street, japan.Visit my website

Easy Yaki Onigiri Recipe { 焼きおにぎり }

焼きおにぎりYaki onigiri are something I always order at Japanese pubs! Grilled coated in soy sauce, served hot with a dab of melting butter, yaki onigiri are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and a pleasure to eat. So overpriced in pubs, but nothing compares to the smoky flavours the onigiri picks up from meat or fish previously cooked on the same grill. Mmm…Recently I received glorious news from a teacher at work – you can freeze yaki onigiri! Say whaaaat??? Not that I ever have leftovers on the rare occasion I make yaki onigiri, but today the craving struck me and I headed straight home after work to make a double batch!In case you are wondering, onigiri are those little triangle shaped rice balls, a super popular lunch and convenience food in Japan. ‘Yaki’ means ‘grilled’. So yaki onigiri translates as ‘grilled rice balls’. In my opinion, all the best foods in Japan have the word ‘yaki’ in them; yakitori, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, teriyaki, teppanyaki, sukiyaki, yakiniku…Yaki onigiri are super simple, once your rice is cooked, you can whip up some yaki onigiri in ten minutes! Below I’ve shared a recipe for making basic yaki onigiri, and instructions for freezing and reheating your yaki onigiri. Go on, give it a go.YAKI ONIGIRIEasy Yaki OnigiriINGREDIENTS* Cooked sushi rice or short grain rice* Soy sauceOptional:* Oil or butter for grilling* Butter for serving* Salt for plain onigiriMETHODCook your rice as per instructions.Shape into onigiri triangles. It is optional whether you salt your hands or not as you will be putting soy sauce on your onigiri later.Heat the grill to medium temperature, lightly grease with butter or oil if you like, and place your onigiri on top. Let them grill for several minutes on one side. Don’t move them. If you’re worried about the heat grill them on low for longer.Turn your onigiri over and grill the other side for several minutes. Again, let them rest, don’t check constantly and move them.Baste one side of your onigiri with soy sauce. Don’t drown them!Grill the onigiri again, basted side down. Repeat steps 5 and 7 with the other side of the onigiri. If you prefer a strong soy flavour to your onigiri, continue to baste and grill each side until it is as you like it.Serve your yaki onigiri hot off the grill with a dab of butter.TIPSGrilling your onigiri after you cook meat or fish in a pan adds an absolutely amazing flavour! If you think of it, next time you cook meat freeze some drippings and use it to grease the grill when you make your onigiri. You can use other sauces instead of soy sauce. Soy sauce is most common, but yaki onigiri would be delicious made with any smokey, salty sauces. I’ve heard that yaki onigiri came about as a way to enliven day old rice balls that had gone slightly stale and crunchy. Don’t hesitate to grill any onigiri, regardless of the filling, and turn them into yaki onigiri. No need to put a dab of butter on onigiri that you plan to freeze. You can add it when you reheat them to eat.How to freeze yaki onigiri:After cooking your yaki onigiri and while they are still warm, wrap each individual onigiri tightly in cling wrap.Place the wrapped onigiri in a zip lock bag or seal-able container. Freeze.How to reheat yaki onigiri:Reheating your onigiri is easy. Simply microwave until warmed through. Most microwaves have a warming setting. Do leave each onigiri in the plastic wrap while you reheat them otherwise they will dry out.Whatever you do, don’t leave your onigiri to thaw! Whether you plan to eat your onigiri immediately or later the same day, you need to reheat them in the microwave from frozen. Microwaving them preserves the texture of your onigiri. If you let them defrost, the outside will be crunchy, and not because you grilled them, and the inside will be mush. You can thaw your onigiri in the microwave, pop them in your lunch box and eat them later in the day for lunch at work.  I’ve always been impressed by the busy teachers who stay at work until 9pm yet still have cute and delicious looking onigiri in their lunch each day. Lies all lies! Apparently the secret is making a whole batch of onigiri on the weekend and freezing them to microwave each morning and pack in bentos for lunch. They look so moist and lovely, I’d never have guessed. The secret is out and now we can all enjoy yaki onigiri whenever the craving strikes! Cheers also to making lunch more convenient, and fooling everyone into thinking we’ve totally got our lives organised.Happy grilling!{ Ashes }P.S. Make yaki onigiri for your food cautious friends when they visit you in Japan. I've yet to have anyone decline or not finish their homemade yaki onigiri!

Japan`s Valentine`s day

In Japan, Valentine`s day is quite different. If we  use to celebrate valentine as a day of a lover or man who use to give flower or chocolate to women, here in Japan the women are the one who will give to the man that they like or love. Chocolates are the usual gifts to their partner. There are different kinds of chocolate for the different person or relationships that you have.And of course there is white day (March 14) were in the man will give back in return  what they received from the women. Isn`t it interesting .  Its Only in Japan.

The New rules at Immigration

The immigration Office announces its new rules starting March 2017.  All immigrants applying for permanent residency who just stayed here for just one year could make it possible to receive permanent residency. If you earned 80 points of scorecard  immigration point system. And for those who earned less than 80 points , 3 years is allowed for them to stay in japan.The Japans Ministry of justice change its ruling hoping  to attract and keep more highly skilled workers overseas. Before all immigrant become eligible for permanent residency after living in japan for ten years. However  in 2012 the ministry introduced a point based system to shorten the wait of the highly skilled applicants in three categories: Advanced academic research activities , advanced specialized activities and business management activities. Applicants in these categories who scored sufficient points by the system rubric were eligible for permanent resident visa after five years.Under the new law the point system is loosely broken into categories such as academic background, career achievements, salary , age and special achievements. For the doctorate will get you 30 points and 20 points for masters degree holder. And for the business man who earned 30 million a year will get 50 points.This is really a big help for all of us gaijin who wants to settle down here in japan.     I   L O V E      J A  P A N !!

Seijin no Hi or Coming of age Day

Seijin no Hi is Japanese Holiday it is usually held every second monday of January. The celebration of adulthood who reached the age 20 years of age  last year or before march 31 this year. Every cities hold ceremonies  for these people. The girls and boys wear the traditional kimono.They are being declared as officially adult  the right to vote, drink alcohol , smoke and marry without the consent of their parents.

Strolling around the Yokohama Christmas Market

Last weekend my husband and I went to Yokohama – first for getting some Shinkansen tickets, second for doing some Christmas shopping and third: to visit the Christmas market in Yokohama.  As you may know there are some Christmas markets held around Japan right now. One is situated at Yokohama's Red Brick Warehouse, the so called Akarenga (赤レンガ倉庫). This year is already the 6th year in a row the event taking place there. It's held from 26th November to 25th December 2016. For me as German native I'm used to visit Christmas markets in my home country more than once every year. So also the tradition of Christmas markets original comes from Europe. In Yokohama you can find German-styled Christmas market with pretty nice looking huts having Christmas figures like Santa Claus and snow men on their roof. Even some snow was brought there this year and someone built a quickly melting snowman close to the entrance. For sure you also could find a big Christmas tree there which was shining in bright lights. People were lining up for taking a memorial picture in front of it.  At the stalls they were selling food and drinks – some typical and not so typical stuff for a German-styled Christmas market. You even could buy some (super expensive) Christmas ornaments if you want. They had sausages, schnitzel, Christmas cake (Stollen) and more. For sure you could drink hot wine (Glühwein) in different tastes like the traditional red hot wine, but also white wine version or apple one. I decided for the apple version within a super small papercup. Indeed, be prepared you might need to wait in long lines if you want to buy something. That’s why we ended up without eating something there…There is no entrance fee, however, the prices of food and drinks alone are expensive enough in my opinion. If you want to go there: the Christmas market is opened from 11 am to 11 pm every day until 25th December, light up starts from 4 pm. Find more information (in Japanese) on the official website.   If you finished looking around the stalls you can go ice skating at Art Rink. It’s directly next to the Christmas market and will stay there until 19th February 2017. As adult you need to pay 500 yen for entering the ice rink and additional 500 yen for rental skates.

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