Mar 30, 2016

This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us

Last week Mac and I walked to the park and we were met at the entrance by a row of food trucks and a man juggling swords while balanced upon a unicycle.

I turned to Mac for my best Rafiki impression: IT IS TIME.

This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo

Hanami season is upon us! For the un-indoctrinated, Hanami/ 花見 means "flower viewing,” and it is one of the most popular celebrations in Japan. Hanami celebrates the blossoming of the cherry trees (sakura/ 桜) throughout Japan, and it is observed by simply taking a tarp out into the park, finding a spot under a cherry tree in bloom, then settling in to enjoy the out-of-doors while drinking.  

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, immediately following Valentine’s Day, stores everywhere dedicate whole sections of their shop to everything pink and flowered. Starbucks has a Sakura Frappuchino (though they only run the special through the 15th of March, which is before any of the trees start blooming and I fail to see the point in that…#marketingFAIL), KitKat puts out a Sakura KitKat for the month, and Mac? Well, Mac gets a new bandana.* So were were ready for the celebration, is what I’m saying here.

This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo

Real Men/ Dogs wear pink.

The bigger parks in the area which have cherry trees also set up the park during these times like a festival site; lots of food trucks, and beer tents, and random entertainment (see above re: juggler on a unicycle because I was 100% not making that up)

Last year, we didn’t get much of a chance to celebrate Hanami, and I didn’t talk about it on the blog much, because we were still trying to get our house fixed and unpacked and moved back into it from Okazaki. So I’ve been really soaking up the sunshine this past week over in the park. 

Who am I kidding: forget sunshine, I’m soaking up the kebabs.

This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo

The Mister and I have a deep love for Turkish Kebabs. Judging by the number of Turkish Kebab shops in the area, we’re not alone. But during the Hanami celebration, there is a Turkish Kebab truck right in the park. It’s as close to delivery Turkish Kebabs that we could get. And the Turkish man who owns that Kebab truck, adores Mac. So the first time we did a lap through the food truck court to figure out a snack, he waved us over and promptly threw Mac some chicken.  

It was pretty much over for us after that. What I’m saying here is that we have had Kebabs at least once every day this past week, and there always seems to be a little container of meat that the kebab man had saved for Mac on those occasions. I’m pretty confident at this point that I could close my eyes once I got to the park and Mac would just drag me straight to the Turkish Kebab Truck. I supposed there are certainly worse things my dog could be taught.

What’s your favorite food-truck dish?  
Tell me in the comments!

Sort of related note: I’ll be getting to a few more Hanami gatherings in the next couple of weeks bringing FREE SAMPLES of KitchenQuePasa Hanami Cookies with me - so if you see me out and about, don’t hesitate to flag me down. Specifically, I'll be at the Nagoya Adventure Club's Hanami Party this Saturday with Pink Grapefruit Meltaways and Mint-Chocolate Wafers

This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo

Speaking of, I’ve got some cookies to bake, aaaaaand then it’s probably time for a kebab.

today’s little language lesson

すみません、二つ ロール ケバブ 辛くない お願いします。

sumimasen, futatsu ro-ru ke-ba-b, karakunai onegaishimasu.

excuse me, two kebab rolls, not spicy please.

This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo This is Not a Drill - Hanami Is Upon Us photo

*Mac almost always wears a bandana when we’re out in Nagoya, because I have found that people interpret dressing your dog up as a sign that your dog is not vicious and terrifying. So… bandana.



The name is Kp or KpMcD (Kristin, actually, but for the sake of continuity let's stick with the nickname, shall we?) Hailing from the Midwest US and living in Nagoya with my husband (The Mister), my dobermutt (Mac) and an elitist marmalade tabby who answers to no one (Bubba).


  • SalarymanJim

    on Mar 30

    I hope Mac doesn't have a taste for your cookies! When it comes to food truck dishes I try to look for the one which sells these Chinese, chewy pancake things filled with meet. Or are they Korean? Not sure, but they are usually on sale from the trucks at the temple during New Year.

  • KpQuePasa

    on Mar 31

    @SalarymanJim I'll have to keep an eye out for those, pancake type things are my jam! And Mac... well I've long said he's part Doberman, part Goat. He's got a taste for anything that he can deduce might have been food or touched food at some point. But he's a well-mannered guy now (puppyhood would rough), and we've come to an understanding that if he guards the kitchen from afar while I work, I can *usually* find some chicken broth, cheese, and flour to whip up some puppy cookies just for him.