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Rengakan Illumination 2014: Cultural Adventure

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Rengakan Illumination is an illumination event held at Rengakan or Brick Museum ( 煉瓦館 ) in Kumatori Town, Osaka Prefecture in Japan every first of December until the twenty-fifth of December. It is known for the different presentations by different schools in the area. These presentations include performing bands, choirs, and individual presentations. There are also arts and illumination exhibits and also some interactive activities. The illuminated pathway to Rengakan Light up your heart... ...with a cotton candy! The performing children's choir One of the few food stalls around Check out the vehicle restaurant in the background. Any special event would not be complete without food... And that is always present during the Rengakan Illumination. Rengakan has some unique food stores which I fondly call as the "vehicle restaurants". These food stalls are actually vehicles with makeshift kitchens at their back. You could buy their food like tak

Food Trip: Okonomiyaki Osaka Style

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A food trip in Japan is not complete without trying the okonomiyaki ( お好み焼き o-konomi-yaki ). It is a Japanese pancake made from a variety of ingredients. It is also prepared differently in different places. Okonomiyaki Osaka Style Okonomiyaki Osaka Style The name  okonomiyaki  came from the words  okonomi  which means "what you want" or "what you like" and  yaki  which means "grilled" or "cooked". Food Trip: Okonomiyaki Osaka Style The okonomiyaki batter Okonomiyaki is mostly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan but you could still buy anywhere in the country. Since we stayed in the Kansai area, particularly Osaka, we got the chance to try out the Kansai- or Osaka- style okonomiyaki. This is also where the dish originated. Add the okonomiyaki sauce... So what is the Kansai-/Osaka-style okonomiyaki? The Kansai- or Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the predominant version of the dish which is served throughout most of Jap

Japan Diaries: Day 2

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Day 2 December 20, 2014: It's raining hard today and I'm losing hope that we would go anywhere with this weather. I was hoping that it would only be snowflakes that are falling from the skies and not raindrops and mushy ice. L ucky for me,  Mr. Toshi drove me around Eiraku Dam. There is a walking course around this place and this is where he usually take long walks with his wife. However, since it was still raining, I was not able to go out of the car. I will just memorize the way of going to the dam and revisit it when the weather is more pleasurable.  Raining and snowing... Really? Mr. Toshi and I talked about golf on our way back home. He wanted us to try his favorite sport /recreational activity so we dropped by at his residence to get his golf clubs and also invite my wife to come along and try it out too. Let's play golf! Let's check the playing field, shall we? I got tutored by the master... Ella too... but not my wife because

Japan Diaries: Day 0 and 1

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This is the beginning of our 26-day adventure in Japan . Join me and my family as we recount the daily accounts of our trips and adventures in this beautiful country called The Land of the Rising Sun . Day 0 (Dec. 18, 2014) : Today is the big day, after months of preparation, we are finally going to Japan . Our excitement is building as we left NAIA Terminal 3 on a 4-hour flight to Kansai International Airport (KIX). Guess where we're heading? Welcome to Kansai Team Nicerio! Finally! We landed safely! After passing through the immigration, we were picked up by our godfather and we immediately drove to his residence in Tsubasagaoka, Senna-gun, Osaka Prefecture. Thank you so much Kameyama Family! We're happy to be part of this family Before we called it a day, our Japanese family gave us a little "welcoming celebration". For me, this symbolizes the beginning of our adventure in Japan. Day 1 (Dec.19, 2014) : It's officially our firs

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