Monday, August 31, 2009

photo work! / 写真撮影

I photographed the Deshima trio, musicians from Amsterdam. I get to know them from Deshima, the macrobiotic restaurant in Amsterdam. I attended their concert at the summer conference and it was amazing. I had a opportunity to photograph their portrait the other day and this is the photo.
Also, I finally started to photograph the cookbook today. It was a good start! We worked very hard but the shoot environment was pleasant. It's a long way to go but I am looking forward to the accomplishment!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beach in the Netherland

Yesterday was one of the hottest days in Amsterdam. Apparently lots of people went to sea and there was major traffic jam everywhere. I was in Egmond, a beach town, one hour from Amsterdam helping out the shop here. After the traffic time, we decided to hit a beach. It was beautiful! The water was perfect to swim.
The other picture was the view behind the warehouse that I was in. Radish field...flat land....


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flood of information/ 情報の洪水

It has been nice to attend all day lectures and cooking classes. It will take a while to process all these information. Over all, I really enjoy attending this conference. Especially chatting with friends and teachers, which gave me different insight outside the class room. In level 3, we learn more profound topic and special cooking such as Credo or Non Credo (use your own judgement and 7 great consciousness; macrobiotic theory). For cooking, we had a workshop that we teach student how to make a miso soup. Being a teacher is whole new thing I experienced! I enjoyed it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

cooking class /クッキングクラス

I have been so busy and am tired, so it has been hard to keep it up with my blog...
Today I had a really nice cooking class with Patricio. He gave us cooking with Natto!
Very interesting! His cooking is just fantastic. full of inspiration! I think some of his natto dish maybe will satisfy some of my friends who doesn't care about Natto. We'll see...

Monday, August 3, 2009

summer conference

I am in a countryside in Holland, in a forest 1 hour away from Amsterdam. I started level 3, advance macrobiotic Art of life course yesterday. Here, there are about 200 people attending this conference from all over the world. It's a very energiging event! I met Patricio, the head of the Kushi Institute of Japan, who is teaching here this year. He also gave us a cooking class today. He brought such a frech energy into our course!

It's going to be full schdeule till mid August here in the conference.
I will start a day with Taichi or Nordic walking in the forest.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, here I come! It's in late July, and all the leaves of trees I saw in April grew massive and everywhere I see here is trees, trees, and trees! After 15 hours of flight from Los Angeles, I am still tired with jet lag. But I feel soothed with this green city. It rained on and off all day, changing constantly from shower to shine with a little bit of thunder. It reminded me of Japan.
I like the smell of the rain.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

I made this strawberry mousse

I made this strawberry mousse for my friends. It's so seasonal and flavorful.  
I made with strawberry, kanten, silken tofu, pear juice, rice syrup and tahini for the mousse.
The pink / red is the color of the symbol of summer. very energizing, isn't it?


Friday, May 8, 2009

Apple Pie / French style

I learned in Europe that French bake their apple pie very simple. They don't have to put creams inside. So, this one is very simple, just crust, raisins, apples and the coating on top!
Simple is the best, right?

French Style Apple Pie:
pastry flour (unbleached  whole wheat) 250g
salt 1 teaspoon
corn oil 85ml
maple syrup 85ml
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon

kuzu 3 teaspoons
pear juice 150ml
maple syrup 
pinch of salt
pinch of vanilla powder

Blend liquid well first, then add to the powder to make the dough. Spread the dough in a pie dish and bake 15 to 20 minutes in a oven 350 F. Sprinkle the raisins and fine sliced apples on top of the crust. (You can bake this a little bit, too) Bring pear juice with pinch of salt, vanilla powder, kuzu to boil, add maple syrup to sweeten as you like. Pour the liquid on top of the pie to dress the pie!
Chill and serve. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Desert recipe/ Strawberry Kanten

I am back in sunny Los Angeles. I miss Amsterdam.... but now I am enjoying cooking in my kitchen, trying to improve my cooking skill. 
The other day I made this dessert with fresh strawberries. It was really good!

Strawberry Kanten with Amazake , sesami flavor

Amazake 1.5 cup , Water  1,5 cup , rice syrup 2 teaspoon, tahini sauce 1 teaspoon, strawberries, powder kanten ( agar agar) 2 teaspoon (5 g)

Mix Amazake and water, then add rice syrup, tahini and kanten powder. Bring it to boil (keep stirring!) Once it's boiled, pour it into a container with fresh strawberries, then chill in a fridge.


ストロベリー寒天 (ごま風味)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green flower

I love this green flower. I don't know the name. There are many of them along the canal near the school. I found it cool because I don't often see a green flower. They are blooming everywhere. The level 2 has left only 2 more days! I enjoyed so much. I will miss Amsterdam.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Macrobiotic breakfast / マクロビ朝食

This is the typical breakfast we have everyday. Very healthy and tasty! This is Oats porridge with broccoli,roasted sunflower seeds, pine-nuts and Amazake, and Shoyu soup with vegitable. It's best to have a grain porridge for breakfast for good digestion and nutrient to kick off the day. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring in Amsterdam / アムステルダムも春らしくなりました

People are having the Easter break for 2 weeks in Europe. I saw so many people are outside in parks, taking their boats on the canals, hanging out in cafes. 
It has been nice weather. Finally I feel spring!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fair later rain / 晴れのち雨

The weather in Paris is unpredictable. It was really fine in the morning and later started rain. I was in the Cite Island in the morning and later Montmartre. It was just light shower, when I was walking in Montmartre. It looked pretty with wet stoned passages and people with colorful umbrellas. I like the area. It's like the scenes from the movie, Ameli. Avoir Paris, I will leave tomorrow...


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Avoir Mont Saint Michel / さようならモンサンミシェル〜フランスの車窓から

Avoir, Mont Saint Michel... These were taken though the window of the bus and the train on my way back to Paris. The countryside is beautiful. As you see here, there are hills covered with grass, farms, flowers and you find oak trees with mistletoe. 


Mont Saint Michel

Finally I visited Mont Saint Michel, a place on my list of "Must visit Before I die". Although it was cloudy thought the day and I couldn't see the famous sunset, the scene was still amazing. It took 3 hours of train and bus from Paris, located near Normandy. I love the night scene. It looked like a scene in a dream. 


Monday, April 6, 2009

From Pompidou

These were taken from Pompidou Center. Pompidou Center has the National Museum of Modern Arts. I saw famous paintings from modern area from 20th century such as Matisse, Picasso.  You can see the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre lighted up. 

ポンピドゥセンターの上階にある国立モダンアート美術館から観た日暮れの情景です。 この美術館では現代美術である20世紀からのアーティスト、マティスやピカソなどの有名な作品が展示されていました。かなたにモンマントルのサクレクール聖堂がみえました。

Saturday night in Paris

It seemed everybody was out enjoying the Saturday night. I was out shooting photographs around Paris and I saw many people hanging out outside in the nice warm night. Here is the Notre Dam. Lots of monuments in Paris are lighted up at night to show off their beauty. 


scene in Paris / パリの情景

Patisseries are everywhere. almost every single corner of the streets in Paris. This is what I see from my window in my hotel. Parks in Paris are just beautiful. I found the trees lined up nicely and the even the trash bin looked artistic. That is at the Jardin des Tuileries near Concorde. 


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Paris / パリ

I finally arrived Paris, the city I adore. On the day I arrived, I felt a little uncomfortable and missed Amsterdam because first thing I saw was a very busy, loud big city. But when I went to see the Cathedrale de Nortre Dam, I lost my words, stood there for a while captivated by its beauty. It's absolutely magnificent city on the earth. I would say Amsterdam is a charming city and Paris is magnificent with its beauty. 
I visited Opera Garnier and the photo is the ceiling of the inside. My favorite so far is the scene along side the Seine river. Romantic and poetic. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

blooming time / 花が咲くころ

After the rainy week has passed, this week has been in good weather. Today I looked around and I noticed that the blooming time might has come. I see flowers started to bloom finally!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Richard Avedon exhibition/ リチャードアベドン写真展

After the early morning work in the kitchen, I visited Richard Avedon exhibition at the Fotografie Museum nearby. He is one of the legendary photographers in 20th century who passed away in 2004. His work is highly recognized. I saw his large scale photographs. They are just vigorous and breathtaking.


Friday, March 27, 2009

level 1 completed / レベル1終了

We had a really nice farewell party last night. We cooked our party dinner. It was such a intense course, but I really enjoyed and I am happy that I met those classmates. We became close after spending hours in classes and eating 3 meals together everyday. 


cooking class from level1/レベル1のクッキングクラス

The cooking class is my favorite. We get to watch how the teacher is preparing the dish or sometimes we make our own dinner during the workshop. It's nice to get hands on. First, everyone was a bit confused but toward the end of the course, we became more organized and had a good teamwork. The teachers are really great. Our teacher, Weike has such a earthy calm energy and her dishes are full of inspiration. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dogs in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam there so many dogs of all different varieties. It seems very animal friendly city. Yesterday on my way home, I saw this Shiba dog, one of the most popular Japanese dogs. 
I never thought I could meet a Shiba in Holland. Although his name was in Dutch, he still looked very Japanese. I grew up with Shiba dogs and I love them! 


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dairy and Osteoporosis / 乳製品と骨粗鬆症

I want to share one of the eye opening things I learned; the reason why taking milk and dairy food leads to osteoporosis. First, I must clarify the difference between animal protein and plant-based protein. The difference is that animal protein is hard to absorb in the body as nutrients but plant based can easily be absorbed. Dairy contains animal protein and is rich in calcium, however the calcium together with animal protein can't be absorbed by your body. Further more, it makes blood acidic. Human blood is about PH 7.2, which means a little alkaline. When blood becomes acidic, it tries to balance back to alkaline. As a result, the body starts collecting minerals ,yes, minerals from your bones which leads to osteoporosis. What is worse, there is another factor, where does calcium from dairy food go in the body? It remains in your body as calcifications, accumulating in your joints. Of course that contributes to joint problems. 
I never knew how exactly dairy food contributes to osteoporosis until now. Now it's  clear! Please take care of your bones.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Morning walk

We walk 20 minutes to the school everyday.  We leave the house around 7 am. On the sunny day like this, I enjoy the fresh cold air and the gentle morning light. I notice that morning walking really activates my whole body (especially the digestive system) to be ready for the day. Now we see these daffodils on the way. 


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Macrobiotic Lunch

One of my discoveries since I started to eating here is how tastefully you can cook Tempeh . I never liked Tempeh because it has a distinguished bitter taste. Since I have started eating here, I've had a good amount of Tempeh dishes. They are all great! Especially this one, deep fried Tempeh; Tempura style is my favorite. According to a teacher, Tempeh releases the bitterness if you pan fry or deep fry it. It makes sense. People eat Azuki bean rice a lot here. But they know Japanese people usually only eat the dish in special occasions. It's such a delicious dish. Brown rice with Azuki beans is a wonderful combination for nourishing our kidney.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunny day in Amsterdam

It's  finally getting warmer. Today Saturday, people are out riding boats, having teas, walking by the canals. Because of lot of rainy and misty days in the Netherlands, when sun comes out, everybody is outside enjoying the pleasant moment. By the canals, you can see hundreds of beautiful houses with interesting structures. Some of them are built back in 17 century. 
This is a canal near the school. We had a little break after lunch to enjoy the sun.



Friday, March 20, 2009

busy school days

The past two days was really busy schooling. Today I had a class from 7:30 am till 10pm!
I am tired but in good spirit. The macrobiotic food gives me substantial energy and the lectures about the philosophy gives me inspiration and vitality. We had a dessert fiesta @ lunch time for celebrating one of our class mates. The desserts are incredibly tasty! The other photo is me @ home relaxed, making tea. I hope I can report you more tomorrow. I must go to bed...I have been waking up 6 am. good night.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The class

The course is really intense and I have been busy non stop. The teaching is really great. We learn both of the theory and practice such as cooking, Shiatsu. 
The photo is from the cooking class. The meal here is unbelievably delicious! 
For example, today's lunch was Sauteed tofu, Nori-tenpura, Brown rice, Lentil soup.
The cooking class was the basic macrobiotic food such as Nishime and Kinpira. The simple cooking is the most essential on Macrobiotics. 
In the Shiatsu class, we learned the large and small intestine meridians on our shoulders and worked on as partners. 


Sunday, March 15, 2009

My first Miso soup

I made my first miso soup! We have a communal kitchen on the floor and it has a lot of the Macrobiotic ingredients such as miso, shoyu, konbu and so on. After 3 hours of walking, a bowl of miso soup, I made with Haccho miso, was perfect for me.


The City, Amsterdam

Amsterdam has beautiful canals run through the city. When it's sunny, the brick buildings reflect on the water gives the charm. On my way to the downtown, I came across the flower stands filled with flowers and of course, tulips! They are blooming now. Tulips bloom when it's still cold. I have never seen so many kinds and colors of tulips in my life. Needless to say, I saw so many signs of Heineken on the streets.


Saturday, March 14, 2009


 Here I am in Amsterdam! After a light shower, it has remained cloudy and yeah, it's chilly. This is right outside of the house I am staying. Very European! When I go inside, there is a really steep stairs. It's very common here. Amazingly, these buildings are all connected. I am staying on the 3rd floor.