Toshikoshi soba

  

This is soba which is Japanese buckwheat noodles.

In Japan people eat soba at New Year’s Eve.

It is called Toshikoshi soba.

It is a Japanese custom which started in the Edo era. 
Soba is easier to cut than other noodles. 

So people eat it as meaning to cut out the calamities of the past year. 

They eat it with shrimp tempura, fried bean curd, etc.

I like to eat it with Nishin (cooked herring ). 

This is the Kyoto style for eating soba. 

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Oden

  

Oden is one of Japanese traditional dish in winter.

Soup is flavored by soy sauce, etc. 

Ingredients of Oden are daikon radish, boiled egg, chikuwa (a tubular roll of boiled fish paste), konnyaku (Konjac), thick fried tofu, and potato, etc.

This photo is from Sukesan udon restaurant.

But you can find it at many restaurants and even at convenience stores you can buy it.

Also people make it at home.

It was boiled slowly, so flavor sinks in ingredients.

It is delicious, and every winter I become want to eat Oden.

Jyakkoin temple

  

Now I am in Kyoto to spend New Years time with my family.

Yesterday I went Jyakkoin temple in Ohara. 

This temple is a convent of the Tendai sect.

It was established in 594 by Prince Shotoku to pray for the soul of his father, Emperor Yomei.

On May 2000, it was lit on fire by somebody.

It was sad thing.

But 5 years later the main building and Buddhist image were remade. 

It is a nice temple.

Toilet

  

The other day, a foreigner who was visiting Japan was interviewed on TV.

What did you take photos of here in Japan?

The girl was showed a photo of a bathroom in a shopping mall.

I think there are many bathrooms, which are decorated with cute wallpaper, etc.

This is “Toilet for all” at a station near my house.

My husband who is American says it sounds funny. 

Usually toilets in Japan are clean.

Japanese style toilets are tough to use for foreigners and old people.

I hope that all public toilets become western style toilets.

Burdock Tenpura Udon

  

Burdock Tenpura Udon is popular in Fukuoka.

This is from the shop named “Daichi no Udon”.
The shop is located in the underground mall of the Asahi building near Hakata station. 

It is famous, so usually there is a long waiting line.

But I found out there is an original shop near my house, so I went there.

A burdock Tenpura was so big.

And the noodles were good, too.

Usually Udon here in Fukuoka is softer than those in Kansai.  

But the noodles at Daichi no Udon weren’t too soft. 

Shimenawa

  

This is Shinenawa.

It is a sacred straw rope.

New Years is the event to welcome Toshigamisama (the god of the incoming year).

People think Toshigamisama come to every house and give power to live and happiness.

Shimenawa shows the sacred places fit for the worship of Toshigamisama.

People put them in front of the entranceway to their homes. 

I made this by myself for the first time in my life.