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東京の奥座敷、奥多摩 | Outskirts of Tokyo, Okutama
I headed for Okutama on the outskirts of Tokyo on a rapid train bound for Oume from Shinjuku.
The scenery from the train window was getting change from the city to many forest guradually, and seen many houses were hiding.
After 1 hour half, I arrived at Okutama Station.
A lot of people are fishing when looking under the bridge, 10 minutes walking from the station.
It seems that "Rainbow trout" could catch this river.
Beside some people enjoying a barbecue with their family and friends.
I was invited to a BBQ in Okutama through my friend that day.
Many people met for the first time, but it was a lot of fun.
When I sut on the chair, some people quickly brought meat and vegetables, freshly rainbow trout, drinks and so on.
I was thankful to care for me as a BBQ beginner.
After a fun BBQ at the river, around 4pm, we ate a delicious "horse sashimi" at the tavern "Muraki" in front of the station.
I drank some sake called "Sawanoi" is brewed in Tokyo.
When I came to Okutama more than ten years ago, I went from Okutama Lake to the limestone cave that is a natural monument and saw river stream.
In the vicinity, I walked the Hikawa Stream Promenade, and behind the bridge was a long valley like a mountain that came to a mountain.
Okutama is close place from a chaotic big city as I living Shibuya, but the atmosphere is completely different.
A day trip to Okutama, or a trip of accommodation for a few days, It may good.
日本料理の料理人 | The chefs of Japanese cuisine
In May of this year, the newlyweds couple from Washington DC in the USA came to Enoki.
A husband is an American born in Hong Kong and a wife is the first time in Asia not only Japan. Their friend introduced my restaurant.
She said they would go to Hong Kong to meet husband's parents lived in Hong Kong after staying in Japan for 5 days to know Japanese food and culture.
In the beginning, a couple looks nervous, but after had alcohol, they could talk with other customer and relaxed.
After left from Japan, they sent a mail of thank you to me.
At the end of July, a husband visited to Enoki again with Mexican guy and Brazilian guy.
I was wondering why is he with friends from different countries.
He said "My job is a chef of Japanese restaurant now! As one of the 14 chefs selected by the representatives of each country who are engaged in Japanese cuisine this time, it was decided to seven or eight famous traditional restaurant in Kyoto to go on training until next March. "
After the opening ceremony of training, He took to Enoki same situation 2 chefs from Mexico and Brazil.
Before going to Kyoto, by all means I was happy that he wanted me to take it to the Enoki.
They will have hard training for 8 months and will be working at a prestigious restaurant after returning each country.
I only advised to them, "Summer time of Kyoto is really hot and humit,so please take care of yourself."
And the other day the mail arrived from him.
"After our training has finished, I will come back to Enoki again before leave from Japan to returning home to each country."
I hope to see you them again.
スクランブル交差点で雨のアート | Rain Art at Shibuya scramble crossing
In the rainy season at Tokyo, heavy rain fell like every day.
My heart was dark and sad like gray sky.
So I thought to making a world of art by plastic umbrella and turning it into a pleasant feeling.
The umbrella shops and convenience stores sold so many transparent plastic umbrella.
Almost plastic umbrella is 500 yen only.
People will buy that umbrella if suddenly rains.
As the rain rises, many people disposal it without taking home.
If you throw it away, I want to make umbrellas interesting and transform into art!
For example, Japanese artist "Yasuo Kusama's colorful polka dot pattern" ,
Tokyo's icon "Tokyo Tower, Sky Tree, Rainbow Bridge",
"Manga character" popular from overseas as well. . .
Show time at Shibuya scramble crossing famous in the world of art umbrella in front of Shibuya station!
To see scrambling art from the third floor or high building, I think it looks good (^. ^)
It was a momentary my idea.
関西の旅 | Traveling in Kansai area
”あんた”その…イノシシ…、もしかして ”口紅をつけイノシシ” と違うの〜〜だって、イヤァ〜〜ウチの奧さん凄いわ！
It has been 23 years since the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake this year.
I saw the landscape of new Hanshin Express Highway No. 3 damaged by the earthquake while we taking a taxi from the Ishiyagawa station of the Hanshin Train.
My destination is a Jaapanese sake brewery called "Shushinkan".
It is a sake brewery that continues to make sake called "Fukuju" handmade over thirteen generations from the foundation.
When we entered into sake brewery, Junmai Ginjo Fukuju lined up in the table of the Nobel Prize dinner party was conspicuous in 2012.
While having the staff introduce the seasonal sake, we ate local delicious foods including homemade tofu and vegitables.
After having finished the meal, I went to Mr. K's villa ground, Rokko Mountain by car.
He lives near the summit of Mt. Rokko and he stayed there over half of a month.
The night view from the observation deck where we can go by car was very beautiful.
Rokko Mountain had a handy hiking course, and there were also many climbers.
Mr. K told me an interesting story while looking down the mountain top and descending.
"Usually I go down to the mountain on once a week and go home and meet my wife and our dog, but the other day when I talked that the wild boar came in front of my villa, my wife suspected boar as "the boar wearing lipstick" (=another woman)! I was so suprise!"
We laughed a lot with everyone.
大切なお客様 | Valued customers
だからこそ、同じ志しを持っている人々が集うお店に と 思いながら、
General company workers work from morning until late every day on weekdays and they are off on weekends.
When it comes to Friday, they go to a small restaurant where they can chill, talking with people who don't know in one calm place.
I really looking forward to thinking what kind of person is coming to my Enoki today.
Some tourists who came from abroad, "there are six people, can we come in?"
I said "Tonight is reservation only. I'm sorry."
A young girl also tried to enter the store but refused by "reservation is full".
You might wonder why I declined.
I stood in a bar counter for years and wore judgment about seeing people by touching various people.
There ware various people 's support helps me as well as I learnt to make valued customers by struggling.
Nowadays even if someone doesn't know the evaluation of himself, it is a internet era to write scores on the restaurant without permission and write the good or bad of cooking.
Unlike a mass public izakaya, my small shop has limited seating chairs.
That is why I would like to be a restaurant where people with the same passion gather.
Friday I am opening the seat purposely.
it is about time for customers to visit me!
長い人生 | Long life
Mr. N, 83, is an attractive person.
He is tall and has a good fashion sense, good singer at karaoke, sometimes a fun person who also enjoys mahjong.
For a long time, I saw Mr. N's personality who came to my shop from the counter table.
I think he is a clever and friendly personality.
When he finish his previous job he said
"Hey Mama, my current work is over in this month, I will enjoy the rest of the day from now on!" with a word of full smile.
When words ended, applaused from his companies and other customer.
However, six months later, he was involved in a major incident called a monetary trouble of a parliamentarian.
Previously Mr. N have maneged account books of the parliamentarian.
A police was questioned to him and the reporters was coming in front of his house like everyday.
It seems to be a terrible riot.
He did not do bad things while he was workin for a parliamentarian, but it bothers the neighbors very much.
He dicided to leaving home and livied a few months moving around the hotel.
Then time passed the problem seems settle down, Mr. N came to the Enoki for the first time after the problem.
He laughing pleasantly and said,
"I have lived long time, there is no life without anything"
He was drinking his favorite Japanese sake.
A wonderful smile is an impressive gentleman !!
地域への交流 | Exchange with the community
Seven years have passed since the Tohoku earthquake occurred in 2011.
"Kamaishi Nonbei Yokocho" in Kamaishi city, Iwate prefecture that suffered great damage
Through the thought of doing the same work, we interchange as a sister-yokocho from after the earthquake till now.
It was very cold in February 2012 the following year after the earthquake that I visited Kamaishi city for the first time.
It is very cold inside the store at the temporary construction restaurant, so far I was stunned as I was not in the cold region.
However, temporary store getting better year by year, I felt the warm atmosphere.
In restaurants of Kamaishi-coty, when we serve food, they don't put cleanly.
One big fish comes on top of big dish. Oden also plenty.
They smiled and said "You must eat because it' s delicious".
People in the Tohoku region are bright and their hearts are big!
Such Yokocho, finally finished open at temporary store in March of this year.
I heard various stories from those who died in the earthquake, those who quit the shop, those who moved to a different place.
Currently the only shops they have are union chief's shops and four others.
It seems that the plan leading up to the next street is not clear yet.
Signboards, television and dustbins donated from our Yokocho in Tokyo also disappear this year.
We are looking forward to restarting in different places by all means in order to give the local people the vitality in the future as well.
I would like you to stay healthy and do your best.
I am going to exchange for a long time, as an individual.
都心の雪の弱さ Tokyo is vulnerable to snow
That day was snowing in Tokyo though less than a month since starting this year.
In the evening around 5 pm, the snow piled as early as 20 cm, many people tried to go home earlier than usual.
Shibuya station was packed by restricting entry.
Enoki was opened as usual that day but I closed earlier before 11 pm.
When I searched for a taxi until I got home, many vacant taxi were available.
I was able to catch a taxi immediately under the guard.
The driver seemed to be more nervous than usual because he was wearing a snow tire dedicated to snow which he didn't use normally.
I do not know why, but the taxi that I got on was overtaken by cars on a car without snow tires.
He Said he became became a taxi driver five years ago by he likes a car, but he made surprisingly slow driving driving.
I am worried and asked "Are you OK?" to him.
The taxi came to a place to climb the slope.
On the way of the slope, a young woman was waiting for traffic as the taxi climbed when she was shoveling snow so as not to slide the next morning.
Even though taxi was wearing a snow tire, car couldn't climb up the slope even if I twisted the engine twice by excessive creep driving.
A young lady who was watching the figure was laughing while watching a taxi as if he was concerned.
I got tired of this unusually worried taxi driver, I got off on the way, walked quickly, climbed a slope and came home.
Limited entry to the train, cars where the slope can not climb up by snow, urban areas are hard if snow falls.
店の「ドア」と 「のれん」 "Doors" and "Noren curtain" in restaurant
「あの…始めての客ですが良いですか ? 」
一眼見て、「どうぞ ! 」……「う~~ん」、「今日は予約が入っています」
え~~なぜ断るの~ ？ の 、毎日の連発
When opening in my restaurant, I hung "Noren" to the door of entrance.
(Noren is a cotton curtain hannging at the entrance of shops or restaurants.
It originally indicated the nature of business and longstanding history of the shop, but today it is used mostly for decorative purposes)
Before I hang my noren, clean the front of the shop and sprinkle a little water.
On the glass of the door, fold the two in the middle of the noren in half and hang it so that the inside of the restaurant looks better.
It has been decorating the entrance of Enoki for decades.
I think many first customers are wondering if they should enter or not.
The first customer walks back and forth in front of the door before deside to enter.
"I am the first customer, can I seat?"
I desided by the first impression of someone because Enoki is not so wide.
"here you go ! "
"Sorry, I have many reservation today"
I answer a lot of kind pattern.
Sometime the customer not convinced when I decline.
In recent years the number of foreign visitors has increased in the area of Nonbei-Yokocho.
Of course it is nice to have more customers.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people who open the door of the shop without hesitating to enter the restaurant suddenly.
Outside of noren curtain, taking pictures without taking permission, shooting pictures inside the shop, grabbing noren curtain, pulling noren curtain.
It may be a cultural difference, but I feel very sorry to feel a little bad manners.
I think they should study Japanese culture more.
And by continuing to communicate this culture, we believe that real hospitality "Omotenasi" can be made, more pleasant travels and more delightful people will be joined.
グリーン車のサービス / Green car service
朝 1番の出張 先...? 2時間余り新幹線に揺られて地方へ...しかも日帰り.......
う~ん「 おしぼりだけ」攻めて「お茶&コーヒ一 位 一杯出しても悪くないのでは?
A general salaried worker is going to the company on a train of commuting rush in the morning.
In the company he is chased by work and he heard bustling noise in Tokyo cities.
Sometimes he got on the first bullet train in the morning and travels to the suburban city or the rural area.
Even if it takes two hours one way, it could be a day trip.
If he pays himself, even if the company does not accept reimbursment, he thoughts he should to ride the green car (Business class on bullet train).
If have a seat on green-car would be able to extend the body and rest my mind.
A woman 's crew brings a seat check and towel.
It is an individual thought, but because it takes a long time to ride, he wanted "a cup of tea or coffee at least" rather than toweling at least.
But if do such a service, not difficult to suppose some people who ordered too much drink . . .
日本画とアイリッシュハープ | T, Keisuke & tomoko
T, Keisuke & tomoko
Mrs. Tomoko of the wife
She is an artist of Japanese style painting. Her parents are also artists, so she enjoyed painting from her childhood. She started Japanese style painting after she enter the University.
She also draw illustrations of children's stories and picture books.
There is also an activity that imitates the picture scroll of the "Genji-Monogatari".
Mr. Keisuke of husband
He is a Japanese from Kyoto but he is an Irish harp player.
It is an artist working hard with the performance, research, production and education of the "metal string Irish harp" tradition discontinued at the end of the 19th century while having the tradition of 1000 years.
It is a couple who will come to my "Enoki" from 5 or 6 years ago.
I went to the concert of Keisuke 's harp four years ago.
When I heard harp for the first time, I was very moved by how beautiful sounds.
Last month, I went an exhibition of Japanese paintings by Tomoko at the gallery in Shibuya, so I watched the work for the first time.
Tomoko's Japanese style paintings were drawn behind Keisuke's hand-made metal strings harp, and I was impressed.
The sounds of Keisuke's harp and Tomoko's fantastic Japanese painting are paired.
I found some lovely cats in her painting. I regconised she is their cat!
The cat seems to be saying "I am an actress."
It was a very wonderful exhibition.
She does solo exhibitions domestically three or four times a year, and there are also solo exhibitions abroad.
I was impressed by the wonderful couple who are also having harp classes and Japanese painting classes.
初夏の昆虫 | Early summer insects
From the early summer to the autumn the season will change.
In a small forest behind my restaurant, I see a variety of insects briefly in the early summer such as ladybugs, lizards, snails, mantis, grasshoppers.
In the middle of the night, geckos appear on the walls of my restaurant.
They are waiting chance to eat the flying insect pests.
But when I go out in the daytime, I often see the gecko died by straycats bite .
In August, It seems that the characteristic of Camel Cricket resembling the cricket seems to prefer "a place with high humidity."
It is a place where temperature and humidity are high in the my restaurant where many people.
Appears somewhere in the shop, and occasionally it fly to human clothes.
In early September, the barks that many voice of cicadas were mixed, sometimes the voice disappeared the following day.
After the cicada disappears, bell crickets and crikets are chirping at night, and listening to insects' voices while watching the Mid Autumn moon and Japnaese pampas grasses will heal my heart.
Every year I bury a lot of insect carcasses in the earth.
I say "You should born again." and pray for them every time.
Even if the climate of the earth goes wrong, when the season comes, the insects surely reveal their appearance.
I feel the strength of life.
場を読む "Read between the lines"
When I went to my favorite sushi restaurant, the counter seats were full on that day.
A young man came in and waited for the vacant seat for about ten minutes.
After that, since 4-5 seats were available, the sushi chef said 'please seat this seat' to me but the young guy was guided to the seat on the opposite side.
A lady was sitting next to the place.
It looks like you are ordering sushi, but she had hot tea and somehow she was reading a book.
When a young man sat there, that lady glares at him and says something to herself.
If I looked at such a figure with my friend, after few minutes, his face expressed "disgusting aunt" to her.
We looked unpleasant to his face, I told him about the situation to the sushi chef and tell him to sit down because we are nearby.
He quickly took off his seat and sat down next to us.
"I wanted to leave my seat because that lady said me something bad. Thank you very much for calling me here! "
He appriciated to us.
After that woman left in less than five minutes after he moved his seat.
For customers visiting alone, the satisfaction level of the shop changes depending on whether there is a particular voice or attentiveness.
The sushi chef in the counter is working to make ordered sushi, but that is not all.
I thought that there are many things to learn by replacing such appearance with myself.
責任感の強い紳士 "A gentleman with a strong sense of responsibility"
From 1947 to 1949 after the end of the war, Japan was a baby boom.
When people of that generation retired away from the company, the manner of eating and drinking styles changed considerably.
Mr. S is one of that generation.
He always told the freshman "Go for drinking" once a week when the work finished, and the freshman also obviously entered obediently.
His juniors poured his' favorite beer into the glass.
Mr S always said "I worked my best this week," he took a drink of beer at once.
They drink a lot and talked about failures in work, dissatisfaction of human relations and exchange of opinions.
After ate the dinner, they always wanted to go Karaoke!
I have been watching the appearance of leaving the store for decades.
They went 2, 3 bar hopping every weekend where they did not return home.
By the time the last train ceased, somehow he came back to my shop who first went with the same member.
They confirmed the time to me as they got drunk and laughing.
"What time is it? Eh ~ I thought that it was around 11 o'clock yet? What? "
Looking closely, the suit became wrinkled, the white shirt protruded from the pants, and anyone looked drunk regardless of how it looked.
He alreasy missed last train so I ask if I go home by taxi and I remember Mr. S's way back home while saying "I will stay at a nearby capsule hotel today."
2 or 3 years ago, Mr.S retired from the company who finally worked for more than 40 years.
He always drinking and back late, however the work was his first priority.
Every morning, he took a first train, then work 8-10 hours then back his home by train took 1.5 hours!
He continued it 40 years.
I think that it is a very splendid thing.
Right now, I will come to Shibuya once a month for a good companion and a drinking party.
But he seems to have decided to take a taxi to go home.
After retirement, he seems to be working as a volunteer for the living area.
It is hard work.
ラクロス、ワールドカップ "Lacrosse World Cup"
目標 7/22 決勝戦のフイルドに立つ事
About ten years ago, a woman who speaks lively and bright Kansai dialect has visited a friend.
Her atmosphere is an active woman.
When they listened, they told me that sports it is also doing "Lacrosse".
I had never seen Lacrosse, so I decided to visit her game several times and I got along with her.
In 2007, she was nominated for Japan's first female professional player!
However, she was suffering about it.
I advised her "It is important to dare to survive the life you do not regret."
Next year, in 2008, she went to Australia and started living while traveling back and forth between Japan and Australia.
Unfortunately the World Cup in Canada four years ago was not chosen as the Australia national team because of lack of language, culture, aggressiveness and so on.
However, this year, She belonged to a strong teams who overcame many difficulties and had a high level and was chosen as the representative of Australia national team!!
The Lacrosse World Cup in London starting from12th to 22th of July this month.
The powerful 28 countries aim for the world's best.
Last week when she came to the shop, she came to tell me.
Her aims field of the final game on July 22.
I also want to firmly support her from Japan.
Yukiyo Yamada Go for it! You can do it!
『横丁 赤ちょうちん』 "Red lantern in Yokocho"
Shibuya's Nenbei Yokocho has a remnant as a market eating and drinking area in 1948 after the Second World War.
The izakaya has a feature. The red lantern under the eaves.
The word "red lantern" refers to a pub/Izakaya in Japanese.
In 50's, every shops had no individual features and they all had the same style.
I think this point is the reason why young people didn't come Yokocho.
Only some of them go to the shops after work and reflect on the their day with plenty of alchol drink.
To their family who waits at home, they pretend as "Sorry for returning after drinking every night ..." .
The appearance of a salaried worker who hangs take away sushi of the souvenir and go back home by the late train, this is the feature of the regular customer at red lantern pub there were.
Along with the times, the red lantern pub is easy to enter the younger generation, and even a single woman can come to drink.
The number of shops each with its own personality is increasing, but unfortunately the idea of the owner does not differ much from 60 years ago.
Since all the features of the trend are the same style, customers who come as regulars are limited.
Business is effort, patience, study.
I will not succeed unless training and polish yourself, not others.
無銭飲食者 | Dine and Dash
There was a bit of happening around the tenth year after opening my restaurant Enoki.
He was a gentleman in late 40's who had sitting in a seat near the stairs.
He ordered beer and some foods with a smile, talking casually with customers next door.
After drinking for a while, my shop didn't have a own restroom so he went outdoor shared restroom in Nonbei Yokocho.
He came back in a few minutes, he orderd a bottle of whiskey and said wanted to keep it.
He drank a few cups of that whiskey and went to the toilet again.
After that, he didn't return after more than 10 minutes.
No way. . . I am worried, I went to the toilet but no one is here anymore.
He went home without paying any money!
It was fooled deeply.
3 years later, a familiar person came to my shop again.
He ordered beer with a smile, and the place where he sat down was coincidentally the same place as bilk of 3 years ago.
I observed him carefully.
I felt that the face of the culprit at that time was similar to the conversation and gesture.
After eating two bottles of beers and foods, he went out to the toilet.
I was anxious, Then I consulted a regular customer.
"I think that the first toilet will come back, but if you go out to the second toilet, will you go back to the shop or not go back? Let's make a signal by ascertaining. "
He said so and we dicided cooperate.
A few minutes later, that person came back from the toilet and drank beer again.
And after 30 minutes, he went restroom second time, so I asked regular customers to see where he went out.
He went to out, but didn't enter the toilet, he turned around the way and ran away!!
Two people who were watching behind chased him and caught a criminal.
I confirmed the contents of his purse, but he didn't have any money.
Although there was never a crime of dine and dash,
The training "to learn, observe attitudes, carefully listen to the story" is important!
京都桂離宮 / Kyoto Katsura Rikyu
京都 の 西に面している「桂離宮」のチケットがとれたので
I got tickets for public open day of "Katsura Rikyu" (Katsura Imperial Villa) on the west side of Kyoto, I went to Kyoto.
From Shijo Station to Hankyu Karasuma station a few minutes on foot, take the Hankyu train and get off at Katsura station.
That time was lunch time, I bought rice balls and some foods inside the station on the premise that we will eat in the park of Katsura Rikyu.
When we arrived at the Katsura Rikyu, there was a sign for "ban on bringing in food".
There was no choice, we walked for about 15 minutes while it was raining, decided to go along the river nearby and eat the foods we bought in the downhill area.
When I sitting on a plastic bag with two friends, I suddenly heard a shadow from the bushes.
At the moment when I turned around looking back, a small snake was following the frog!
Wow! Snakes and frogs! But it's cute!
When saying "Hey," the snake and the frog stopped moving and was looking at my face for 1.2 minutes.
The serpent disappeared in the bushes, but the frog kept moving and watching me.
"Frog - you must hide somewhere soon, you will be eaten from snakes"
I made it to the bushes next to the river.
Friends who were watching that appearance, they seem to be completely uninterested by eating.
Snake and frog were bad for them.
誕生日 / The birthday
In January, many of visitors who come to my restaurant are ski lovers and travelers from overseas with families.
Parents enjoy skiing and children enjoy snowboarding as well.
When I ask "Why do you choose Japan for skiing?", everybody say Japan's snow quality is wonderful.
There are hot springs in the vicinity of many ski resorts in Japan, local meal is also delicious, the best snow quality are good.
One day, a traveler with an overseas family member came my plave, but i had to declined to seat because shop was full.
However, they said "we would like to return! can we make a reservation tomorrow?".
Of course OK!
Then, the next day five families came to Enoki.
They came to Japan for the first time, and it got excited with the story of skiing.
The father secretly told me that today is his daughter 's birthday.
He was asked me I have champagne or not yesterday,
I come up father's wants to celebrate.
As in any country,the father care of thier daughter 's birthday, in particular.
An attentive regular customer sitting by the side went to buy the cake quickly. .
We gave sparkling wine from Enoki!
Everyone chorus Happy Birthday ~
Words are differrent, but I sang the same song and it made a fun birthday.
I am happy if you can enjoy it for the first time in Japan.
I would like to cherish the customers where ever from.
『年賀はがき』 "Nengajou(New Year's greeting cards)"
枚数は減っても年賀状って改めて ”日本の文化” と感じる。
I feel that people who send New Year 's cards with the times gradually became fewer, but I received more than 150 New Year' s cards this year as well.
Family pictures, wedding pictures, pictures of children growing, pictures with pets such as dogs and cats, photographs of grandchildren, photographs of all family members .......
Also message from 82 years old man. he is still active!
and message from old customer, My husband gone, I can't visit Enoki nowadays, but my daughter and son continued to go to Enoki and thanked them for telling me the topics of the people of Enoki ...
Reading New Year 's cards one by one, it makes me laugh, touching my heart, sad and feel so happy.
I realized again my little Izakaya Enoki has the magical treasure.
Even if the number of cards is reduced, the New Year 's cards is "Japanese culture" truly.
Incidentally, Enoki's New Year' s cards are drawn by a professional cartoonist.
it is expressing expressions of zodiac signs richly with good smile.
This cards are receive favorable reviews from my customers.
Finally, everyone, thank you again last year.
Have fun with Enoki restaurant and me as same as last year!
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