Pokemon Kyaraben (character bento)

This photo is my Pikachu Kyaraben that I made by myself in the Netherlands.


Nori (seaweed)

-Monster ball
Petit tomato.
Nori (seaweed)


What is Kyaraben?
You can see following explanation in wikipedia.

Kyaraben or charaben (キャラ弁), a shortened form of character bento (キャラクター弁当, kyarakutā bentō?), is a style of elaborately arranged bento which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants.Japanese homemakers often spend time devising their families meals including their boxed lunches.
Originally, a decorated bento was intended to interest children in their food and to encourage a wider range of eating habits. It has now evolved to the point where national contests are held.

(From wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyaraben)

Actually Kyaraben was created for Japanese picky kids in the beginning,
but this phenomenon has spread to also adults.
They also enjoy Kyaraben to cook/eat, bring to the office or school today in Japan.

Kyaraben of charaben (キャラ弁), is een verkorte vorm van karakter bentō (キャラクター弁当, kyarakutā bentō). Het is een stijl die veel voor kinderen wordt gebruikt. Het eten lijkt op mensen, populaire tv-karakters (Pokémon bijvoorbeeld), dieren en planten. Deze stijl werd vroeger gebruikt om kinderen beter te laten eten, maar tegenwoordig zijn er grote wedstrijden in.

Sanma Teishoku(Japanese lunch set with Pacific saury)

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Sanma, is one of a popular seasonal food in autumn in Japan.
Common style is grilled whole, served with daikon oroshi (grated daikon)and soy sauce.
This photo is my Sanma Teishoku in my place.
Teishoku means combination set menu or À la carte in Japanese.


The birth place of Japanese Anime

This is the station of my home town in Tokyo prefecture.
This statue in the station hall is the conductor of Anime "Galaxy Express 999".

My hometown is called "the birth place of Japanese anime" because Toei Animation is locating here.

The first Japanese anime "Hakuja-den(Legend of the White Snake)" was created by Toei Animation on 1958.
Many famous anime artists including Hayao Miyazaki were started from this Toei Animation.

Toei Animation has a museum that called "Toei Animation gallery".
We can study in here about the history of Japanese anime since 1950th.

They are continuing to create many famous anime
(i.e., Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, One piece, Yu-Gi-Oh!, etc...)

One of a current Toei works, "Fresh Pretty Cure!".
Huge amount of Japanese little girls are crazy about this anime now in Japan.

This Toei Animation gallery is near my neighbourhood.
Actually my hometown is the hometown of Japanese anime, haha.

We can also watch special tools used for the process of a traditional anime in here.

special camera used for shooting animation frames.

Of course this is traditional process, and now a days most anime are digitalized.
But most graphical frames are drawn by human hands as same as traditional animation.
Actually to paint colors are done by digital today.
But of course basic and important parts, or most part of inbetween animation are done by human hand.
For more details of anime making procedure, refer this link:

Average 3000 to 6000 frames are needed to create 30 minutes Japanese anime.
This means almost over 3000 graphics are drawn by human hands even though today.
Moreover all were painted by human hands before digitalized!
(We called this each human hand painted anime frames "Seru-Ga (Cel)"

I wish you to recognize that making anime is very hard work.
Unfortunately many people says "we can watch anime by free on internet".
But all anime are created by a lot of anime industry workers with their efforts.

Anime is a great art creation, and to create Manga is also very hard work.
I feel unhappy when some people think about anime or manga as like a temporary trend consumables.
I wish if you could appreciate for efforts of anime creators when you watch anime.


I am in Japan now!

My photo of Oirase Keiryu, Aomori Japan

I was born and brought up in Tokyo, Japan.
I moved to the Netherlands on 2002.
Now I and my husband are visiting Japan, and have been staying my mother's place in Tokyo.
My last visit to Japan was 4 years ago.
Japanese trends were changed a lot.
Everybody from younger to older are checking Keitai(mobile phone)in the train.
Too many great electronic products and shops on everywhere in city areas.

Of course, foods are very very tasty in Japan.
I enjoy to go for eating or eating my mother's meals on every day.

We traveled Tohoku (north Japan area) on last week.
It's very beautiful season to watch KouYou(red colored leaves)
This is beautifully interesting a natural phenomenon in Japan that some leaves are getting red in autumn season.

We hiked Oirase-Keiryu(Oirase stream), Aomori, Japan on 26th Oct.
Enjoy some photos from our travel!

Yeah, dinner in Ryokan(Japanese hotel) where we stayed was also nice!


Tokyo Ramen (home made)

I guess some people knows about Japanese Ramen.
Soooooooo tasty and I love it!
But unfortunately it"s hard to find good Ramen shops in abroad(means out of Japan).

I often make Ramen by myself because Ramen in Japanese restaurants, it's not tasty like main land, or terribly expensive. Moreover I saw a lot of fake Ramen in fake Japanese restaurants.

An important thing is the taste of soup. The bouillon of Tokyo style Ramen is combinations from fishes, chicken bones, pork meats, and Soya source. We need to boil them over 4 to 6 hours.
Yep, Hard work makes Ramen tasty more and more!

For more detail, refer my other blog,



fried eggplant with Japanese meat sauce

To make Japanese-style meat sauce, we use Miso, ginger, and spring onion for seasoning.


Niku Jaga (meat and potatoes)

Niku Jaga is also popular dish in Japan.
Niku means meat, and Jaga means Jagaimo.
Jagaimo? this means potatoes.

-6 midium Potatoes
-100g Meat(pork or beef whatever you like)
-1 Onion
- choped spring onion

--700cc Dashi soup (refer Konbu Dashi direction)
--100cc Sake or white wine
--4tbsp sugar
--6tbsp Japanese Soya source

1. lightly bake meats.
2. Place 1, onion and potato in the pan, add stock.
cook over medium heat 15 to 20 min.
3. Place on the dish, and sprinkle spring onions

NikuJaga dinner
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Konbu Dashi (basic seaweed stock)

This is one of a Japanese basic stock using Konbu. Konbu is a typical Japanese seaweed/kelp.
So this stock is also good for vegetarians.
Please note, Konbu is different from Wakame.
Konbu seaweed is for stock, and Wakame seaweed is the topping for Miso soup.

Place 1 Konbu and 4 cup water in a pan.
Bring to a boil, but remove Konbu just before reaches boil.
Remove Pan from heat. Use stock.

You can use this stock not only vegetarian foods but also for many kind of Japanese meals.

For example

Miso soup (for stock)
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Gyu-Don(Japanese beef rice)

Gyu-Don is Japanese beef rice.Gyu means beef, and Don mean rice bowl.
This meal is well known as the name *Yoshino-Ya*.
Some non-Japanese people misunderstand that Yoshino-Ya is the name of this meal.
But Yoshino-Ya is the name of Gyu-don franchise restaurant.
How to make Gyu Don in the Netherlands?
It is so easy.

- 300 cc water
- 1 piece of Konbu for Dashi (Bouillon). Size 10X10cm or more.
- 1 Onion
- 400g of Sliced beef (ask butcher to thin sliced. Rib-eye is good for Gyu-Don)
- 5 Tbsp of Japanese Soya source
- 3 Tbsp of sugar
- 4 Tbsp of Japanese Sake or White wine
- Japanese rice for 4 person

Konbu. Japanese sea weed.

Beef. ask butcher to thin sliced. Rib-eye is good for Gyu-Don

1. Cook Japanese rice.
2. make Konbu-Dashi (Bouillon). Put the water and a piece of Konbu in the pan, .
When the water is boiled well, remove Konbu. And add Soya source, Sake or wine and sugar.
3. Finely slice onion, add to 1.
4. Cut sliced beef, and add to 2. Cook 5 minutes.
5. Place finished rice in the bowl, and topping 4 on it.


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Toshikoshi-Soba(New year's eve noodle)

In Holland, Dutch eats Ollie-Bollen in the New year's eve.
In Japan we eat Toshikoshi-Soba. Means the Soba noodle for new year's eve.
I am a Japanese but am living in the Netherlands.
So I make both Dutch and Japanese new year's eve meals.
After making Ollie-Bollen, I make Tempura because practical to use oils.
We can enjoy Tempura Soba.
About how to make Soba, refer my last post *Wakame Soba*
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Kyaraben (character bento) workshop

Kyaraben, a shortened form of character bento, is a very popular bento style in Japan which features food decorated to look like Anime or Kawaii characters. At the workshop you learn how to make authentic Kyaraben and the result you can take home. More info http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html