2011年7月4日月曜日

Really hot and humid!

Hot and humid season began in Japan quite a while ago. This is Japan, having very hot summer is not unusual. However, this summer could be a tough one since Japanese government and many electric companies in Japan has called for cooperation in the reduction of electricity usage to avoid serious blackout.How can we survive without air conditioner???

Japanese supposed to be very good at making things look or feel believable. For instance, the sounds of 風鈴(fu-rin), a wind bell, make us feel breeze of cool air, and 苔玉(Koke-dama), a moss ball, also gives us a feeling of cool summer.

 










Also, 扇子(sensu)、内輪(Uchiwa fan) and 浴衣(yukata).
and, of course, you have to check Japanese confectionery, 和菓子(wagashi). Confectioners of traditional According to the month of the yearJapanese sweets are keen for changing the shapes and the colors of their sweets. I will show you the art of Japanese confectionery some other time.

2011年7月3日日曜日

Osaka Station City

JR Osaka Station was renovated, and extended the station into a big, interesting recreation spot, OSAKA STATION CITY. They have two tall buildings, North gate building and South gate building. JR Osaka Station lays between the two. North gate building includes a department-store ISETAN, shopping mall LUCUA, a movie theater osaka station city cinema, and more.

I went to LUCUA to have a lunch with my friends.  They suggested to meet near the Osaka station around 10:00 am. I thought, "That's a little early to have a lunch, but probably they need to go home early because they have kids." But, that was wrong. They knew, unless we get the restaurants as early as possible, we have to wait for a long time. Sure, a bit past 10:00 am, there are people already making a line, waiting the restaurants to be open!


We chose an Italian restaurant called 'vivi verde,' since the owner chef is very famous like Mario Batali in Japan. Sure, there are a lot people waiting. It's all girls!!
The restaurant is relatively small; the tables are very close to each other. Their kitchen is also quite small, but there are a lot of staffs working in the kitchen area. It seems too crowded.
I ordered the set menu, an hors d'oeuvre and a pasta. 
The taste was... all right. Nothing special. It was 1,680 yen (about $20.00).

The great thing about this new building, there are a lot of open areas where you can take a rest, eat lunch, and enjoy panorama view of Osaka.

Above this floor, there is a farm growing vegetables. But we didn't go. There was a notice warning us; "Please be prepare. It's like a bit of hike climbing stairs to get the farm. Please bring a bottle of water with you." Because it was a very hot day, we decided not to do it this time.

Anyway, there are many more cool shops and restaurants, too! I will report you some other time.