It has been a little while since I’ve written anything on the blog, so I better get back to it.  The weather here in Japan has shifted to a very comfortable sunny pattern, and that means we’ve been active outside and trying to get in as much fun as we can before the rainy season and the heat comes.

Most days we follow a pattern where we eat healthy vegetarian soups and salads on the weekdays, and then eat other things we’re craving on the weekends.  On Sundays Kuniko has been making up these great soups – tomatoes, beans, lots of celery, maitake mushrooms, framed around a browned onion base.  With a big pot of soup in the fridge we can eat all week on about 2000 yen.

The weekends are for trying new things.  Last Friday night after work I tried to pan sear some salmon filets, and served them on a bed of green mung beans, mushrooms and onions.  It turned out nicer than I expected.  I usually avoid cooking fish inside the house because I’m worried about the smell and the cleanup, but this method worked out fine.  

Also this past weekend we spent some time exploring Osaka.  I had to go pick up some new glasses in Kobe, and since Kuniko was working that day I just continued into Osaka and killed a couple of hours drinking Fat Tire on draft at Craft Beer Bud.  Once we got together we went off to try burgers at Critterburger near Shinsaibashi.

We don’t spend a lot of time in Osaka because of the crowds, but I’m trying to get out there more often to explore.  Critterburger was located in a slightly upscale, younger neighborhood.  We sat outside and enjoyed the great weather.  My burger was great – a spinach and bacon burger, and together with a glass of cheap red wine it hit the spot.  

After the burger we put on some serious mileage walking around to various places in Osaka.  We walked to Ura-Namba to visit the strange building with no name packed with restaurants and we had a small plate of appetizers and a glass of sparkling wine. From there we walked all the way back to Umeda via Orange Street and Fukushima.  Orange Street was a stylish modern street with many cafes and fashion shops, and the Fukushima area has apparently been evolving into a more hip dining area over the past few years.  We liked Fukushima, and we found an alley full of restaurants with outdoor seating, almost like you’d find in Europe.  Unfortunately by the time we happened to walk by the places were packed with people, and so we marked the area as a place to go back to someday.

We ended up at nearly 30,000 steps for one day of walking, so Sunday was more relaxed at home with Kuniko on a baking blitz, and me trying to solve the puzzles of “The Witness”, a unique video game that we’ve been hooked on recently.

So all is well in our neck of the woods – just staying healthy, happy, and hungry.

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