Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Looking through the organizer, major events occurred during the year 2006 are: grand father passed away in Feb, Masa hospitalized, grand mother of my mother's end had cerebral infarct and partial paralysis on her light side, went to Nagasaki/Saga/Iki during the golden week, count down for Ton chan started, then we have her now. It doesn't look much of a busy year listing these events, but surely time flies. Ton chan's 4th week starts from today, the new years day. She shows progress on little things, which amazes me.

Monday, December 25, 2006


すっきり!, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

breast milk = blood
to drink breast milk = to drink blood
baby = Dracula??

Friday, December 15, 2006


NOT MILK, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hello baby

P1000235.JPG, originally uploaded by renfield.

She was born after 4 days of contraction. My tiny little girl I finally met after 10 months of pregnancy.

She can't see clearly yet but surely recognizes you as a same kind by facial profile. She looks she's focusing on you but you can't tell. Wonder what her eyes will catch in her future. Wonder what she'd focus on the things, good and bad, which would arise in her future. We can merely give her opportunities to see things, but it'd be her to chose what to seek.

Monday, December 04, 2006


HOME COOKING, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Mama tried a new recipe, mushroom rice, she found on Elizabeth Andoh's website, "Taste of Culture"
It came out very good!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


MOTHER&SON, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.


GREEN SANTA, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Took a walk to Azabu Juban and Roppongi Hills with Barbara Mama. Roppongi Hills had this giant Green Santa Clause Lego.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


鯛焼き, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Found a new Taiyaki-ya in Ebisu called Hiiragi. Waited 10 min in line, 126 yen per piece. Each take 30 min to be cooked!! Crispy and less sweet compare to the one from Naniwa-ya in Azabu Juban.

Monday, November 20, 2006


TODAY'S ACHIEVEMENT, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


唯果, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Went to see one of friends from the mothers' class. Her daughter, Yuika, 3 days old at 2530g.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


BMW YACHT, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Monday, October 30, 2006


OISHI!, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Jen found a sake tasts like UNI at sake tasting event last week, and found it at a local supermarket. 加賀鳶 純米大吟醸 極上原酒
See Ted's happy face!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


FROM TED, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.


BD GIFT, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Got bath robe from Barbara Mama for my BD. Thank you, Barbara mama!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Dinner with Jen and Ted

Went to a izakaya in the neighborhood called ARAKI with Jen and Ted. Small, cozy place run by a family. They had sake, "Dassai" and "Bakurou", and we ordered bunch of stuff, which were all tasty. And they bought me the dinner!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


あわぜんざい, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Walked around Kagurazaka with Jen. Had Nikuman at Gojuban for lunch, then desert at Kinozen. It's millet with sweet bean paste.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gyoza Dinner

061024-192957.jpg, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Jen wanted Gyoza, and we went to Tenten in Azabu Juban. She's happy with gyoza and beer!


BD GIFT, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Got two packages from Myron Papa - one for my BD (a pair of red glove) and Baby Bjorn's Baby Sitter.

Thank you, Myron Papa!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Super baby

Watched an interesting documentary last night. It was about baby's growth with a focus on its brain. It's fairly common that baby can listen any language up to about age 3, but will lose the capability of telling differences of the sound, for example, L and R between English and Japanese.

They had a case of monitoring the brain function of 1 month old baby with foreign language. The brain showed the reaction to the sound, off course it doesn't mean the baby can understand the language, but is paying attention, recognizing the sound as an important signal. They had a same test with other aged baby, and such function disappears around the age of 1.

Also they had research related to foreign language learning process, how baby from English only speaking family react to Chinese language, conducted by a professor at Washington University. They played the video with a woman speaks Chinese with some toys for 15 min everyday for two weeks, and monitored how much the baby react to Chinese. You would think they'd show some interests or reacts, but the percentage of recognition was almost same as the one with the baby with no such Chinese video lessons at all. Then, they brought in the same woman on the video face to face with the baby, speaking the same language with the same toy just like the video. This case worked a lot better than just playing the video, about 20% of recognition rate went up. It shows interaction is the key to the language learning process.

Neuroscientist says the number of synapse hits its peak between 9th month to 11th month. That's around the age the baby learns the necessary information to live, one of which is language. Also they had the case of mouse test, that the synapses of 3 months old mouse decreased 40% as the day goes by, but 30% of new synapses were created meanwhile. Brain chooses what's vital, and unnecessary parts disappear and replaced with the other vital information.

Baby is born with full capability to fit to the society, gathering information through the interaction. Brain controls the action by will and choice. It's a well designed program, amazing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


大阪寿司@梅好, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Monday, October 16, 2006


BD GIFT, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Got a package from Aunt Emy today. Thank you!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


!?, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Got an invitation for free Kabuki ticket from Miho, and went to Kabuki za in Ginza to see the show at 16:30.

We left after a show, then realized we could have seen the second show too....

Had some fish dinner with her, as she has less chance of having great fish dishes in Boston.

Great surprising birthday event for the evening.


FREE BREAD!, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Organic store opened in the neighbor today, and they had a offering of free bread of 300. Why not. Went 5 min before the opening, but saw a line of about 50 people waiting in the outside. The power of FREE stuff.


DS LITE, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

My BD gift from my husband, Nintendo DS Lite!

Monday, October 02, 2006


お好み焼き, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Went to Okonomi Yaki with Daboo and Niki for dinner.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Baby underwear

060925-200126.jpg, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Spent an entire day sewing this made of the belt clothe I got from Suitengu. Minor mistakes, but baby won't care....?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


焼きおにぎり, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

After renewal of my drivers license, went over to Mukawa (actually, now Ishihara) household. Ordered sandwiches for lunch and here's a grilled rice ball for Milli. She was baning her forehead quite often while playing with her toys, but never cried. If adults stay calm and don't make it such a big deal, they keep going without crying.

Her way of raising a child really gives me a courage in every direction.  

Got some used stuff and a gift from Ishihbara dad from Germany, left before the evening rush started. And I noticed, not many people give me a seat to pregnancies on the train, even though they're in the priority seats, even though I beam them... they simply ignore my existence.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


メロンパン, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Went to the antique market in Yurakucho International Forum. They had melon bread van opened and we had one for snack. Nothing really calling so we moved on to Bic Camera, purchased electric shaver for the man. Had lunch at Muji café, bought some clothes and sofa cover. Break at THE Starbucks we exchanged our marriage rings back then, then went back home.

Friday, September 15, 2006


060918-113614.jpg, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Last day in the office. My boss tried to surprised me by gathering around the all staff (which I really hate those kind of get-together-and-say-farewell-although-I-don’t-think-we’ll-see-again), and this is what I got. I don’t know what to do with this one, but just gave faint smile to everyone, wishing this would be over soon…. I’m so bitter….

Sunday, September 10, 2006


DINNER, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Monday, September 04, 2006


なると, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Went to Hokkaido fair in Shinjuku Isetan, and got THE fried chicken at Wakadori Naruto from Otaru. We've been to this place when we traveled to Hokkaido last year. Ohhhh, it tastes SO Good!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


カボチャソフト, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

While waiting for THE fried chicken, had pumpkin ice cream with seed sprinkled over it. Sugar for my blood!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


DINNER, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Had left over of crab last night, made crab fried rice for dinner with some veggies.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


蟹!, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Made crab don with crabs we got from Hokkaido. Happy!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


アマエビ, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

My favorite raw pink shrimp from Hokkaido! Yam yam.


牡蛎, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

A friend of mine sent us a bunch of sea food from Hokkaido - scallops, crabs, shrimps, and oysters. Since we don't eat oysters, I grilled them and fed to my mother. Well enjoyed with beer.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


PRACTICING, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.


Kobayashi family came over. R was practicing feeding bottled milk and how to ease a baby, with a help and patience by Daisuke.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


ジャーン, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Inside of it were: Juicy (rice with veggie and pork bits), black rice, fried bitter melon, fu-iri-chi, gobo chikuwa, so-ki (pork lib), purple sweet potato, and green with sesame seed. Was pretty a lot we couldn't finish.


母娘弁当, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Instead of buying Tofuyo, my favorite fermented Tofu in Awamori (Okinwan liquor), bought this lunch box for our dinner.


きしもと食堂, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.


Went to Shinjuku Isetan to check out Okinawa Fes. Had some pork products, dragon fruit juice, and this Oknawa Suba after we waited in line for about 15 min. It was gooood!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Peach & Pa

可愛い!, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Met up with Peach & Stevie, after shopping in Omotesando with Z. They're busy preparing for their wedding in Nov. We're so glad Peach is commited to look after Stevie!!


DUDE!, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Walking around Harajuku with Z, found this sign board and immediately reminded me of Stevie and Joel.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


LUNCH, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Had lunch in Ginza with my man and mother. She ordered Soba Zushi - sushi made with soba instead of rice.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Hiroko woke up at two in the morning suddenly. She was kicked. However, it wasn't the usual kicking suspect, but was in fact Tonchan giving her a nice kick from the inside.
Instead of being excited at this new development, though, she was just tired and didn't like her abdominal muscles being stretched and now kicked from the inside!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sushi Yohei

Went to Nishi Ojima with Jen and Renfield to check out the sushi place that I've been wanting to go to. It serves Edomae Sushi, but nothing is raw.

The meal started with entree: Zuke Maguro (marinade tuna), abalone and its liver, pate of horse mackerel and liver of sole fish, squid, and shrimp head. Pate was awesome. You might can't imagine the combination of head meat of horse mackerel and liver or sole fish, boiled with water and garlic to mix together, then cooled to be a pate. Too bad I couldn't drink, it was a perfect accompaniment for sake!

After wooing-ahhing of entree, the master started making sushi. Zuke Maguro (marinade tuna), marbled sole marinade in sweet vinegar, marbled sole marinade in sesame oil and soy sauce, with a spice of mater's bad jokes here and there, red squid, marinade and lightly grilled horse mackerel, squid lightly cooked in soy sauce, giant clam, shrimp, Sayori (Japanese needlefish) marinade in sweet vinegar with sweet shrimp crumb underneath (awesome!), lightly grilled Ayu (sweet fish), by now Jen's mind is swept by the delicacy of sushi, forgot a few shots of sushi photos, red squid with sweet soy sauce on top, marinade and lightly grilled sardine, clam cooked in sweet soy sauce, conger eel with sweet soy sauce on top (melts in your mouth!), and fried egg with grated scallop eyes mixed. We were stuffed!

The distinction of his sushi is that each peace is designed to be completed. The blend of neta (fish on top of rice) and rice perfectly matches to make one. Ordinary sushi is rather easy to imagine its taste: it's a fish on top of rice. As long as the fish is good, it should taste good. So, some people might be disappointed by the difference of his sushi and regular sushi that we believe what it is.

It wasn't a happy night despite of the wonderful meat we had; Renfield got sick on the way back....

Sunday, June 18, 2006


RED BULL MINI, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.
Shopping with Jen, saw 6 of these Red Bull Mini cars in Omotesando.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Went out with Jen for dinner at Komugi, a Okonomi yaki restaurant in the neighborhood. Filled ourselves with Okonomiyaki and Monja. Although she had a small blood blister on her toe, she was happy with her Yuzu Sour Shochu.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Commuting Bus

Crowded commuting bus in a hot and humid morning. One of those so called "mentally challenged" people who suddenly bursts out, sings, mumbles, regardless of the surroundings but, assuming, be in one's own world which is far, far beyond our understandings. Repeating the same phrase over and over and over in the crowded bus.

Next to it, a mother with a daughter of age 4 to 5, with picture cards, trying to teach her how to count. Mother's voice was loud, not sure if she was aware of the tone, maybe competing with the "special" one's shout, or was devoted to teach her daughter intensely. But it somehow didn't look heartwarming scene at all. Mother's voice sounded so tired, just like a machine repeating. Not pleasant at all.

"How many apples do you see?" "Three." "Which is larger, 6 or 4?" "Six." Behind the dialogue, the "special" one shouts whatever doesn't make sense to no one but himself.

No other conversations were heard on the bus, even though it was packed.

It's just insane. Drive me nuts. Get me out here.

Was not a great beginning of my morning, but it was only a dawn of my miserable day...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Had Singapore chicken rice for lunch with Aki in Azabu Juban. So good, had another cup o' rice for myself...!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


あき&はるか, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Haruka came to town for her visa at US embassy. Went out dinner with her and Aki at Turkish restaurant in Shibuya.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


IKEA, originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Went to IKEA in Minami Funabashi with my mother on Sun. Crowded with family with kids, super cheap stuff. Dangerous...

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Sky was gray and windy this morning, we borrowed umbrellas from Yoyokaku, and head to the famous Karatsu castle, so called Maizurujo (dancing crain castle). It had elevator (is it a trend these days? Good for elders/challenged people for sure) up to the top of the castle at 100 yen. Took a look around inside of the castle, with some swords that Renfield was keenly taking photos.

Rain started, and we walked around the city, hit Hikiyama Museum that exhibits (actually, it's a storage in show case style) the carts used in the Karatsu Kunchi Festival. Most of these are made late Edo era, more than 150 years old, made with many layers of papers and Japanese lacquers, and still used at the festival every year.

Kept walking toward the station, we had lunch at arcade, and checked out some pottery stores of Karatsu Yaki. Purchased very simple 2 sake cups.

Returned to Yoyokaku, hit bath before the dinner of Shabushabu of Saga beef for the night. Delicious!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Iki Island Day 2

Woke up around 7:00, hit onsen before breakfast.

Typically ryokan's breakfast tends to huge. At this Hirayama Ryokan, they had huge TOFU called Shima dofu sitting on the table, among the other dishes from the island, including organic vegetable salad from Okami's firm.

After the breakfast, Okami gave us a ride to a Katsumoto cho port via picking up her 3 grandchildren and a friend, to take a boat to an island called Tatunoshima.

Elder grandchild, Koto chan looked interested to Renfield, as he didn't look like a local at all, she became a friend of his since then, and we took the boat to the island together.

In 10 min, we arrived a small island with beautiful beach and water. Sand was so smooth and water was emerald green, unlike the other beach of Japan. Hung around for a couple of hours, got on the boat to get back to the port.

Said good by to Koto chan and Okami's camp, took taxi to the other side of the Iki Island to take a ferry to the main Kyushu Island.

Walked around Yobuko port after got off the ferry, snacked some local goodies, took bus to Karatsu heading to a ryokan called Yoyokaku. This is the main reason we came to Karatsu!

Tired from the all travels, I was glad to see the bath with iris leaves. It was a boy's day/iris festival according to an old event calendar of Japan.

Dinner was off course fabulous. Stuffed ourselves, again, we went to lounge to read for a couple of hours.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Iki Island

Pigeon woke me up around 5 in the morning, didn't expect I heard coo in such city area of Nagasaki.

Took morning bath, had big breakfast, then checked out and went to Nagasaki Station to catch a train, Kamome (seagull). It had big leather seats, and slippers (!?), and a drink free of charge. Could be a better train than Shinkansen (bullet train).

Arrived Hakata before noon, the city was already crowded since it was the local huge festival day, Hakata Dontaku. Escaped by bus to the port, we got on board of Jet Wheel to Iki Island. The water was calm and in 1 hour, we got to the port of Ashinobe. Really Genki Okami (owner) of Hirayama Ryokan was waiting for us at the port, and gave us ride back to the Ryokan. Heard it was a stormy day the previous day, and so bad that the ships had to change the course to come in the island. How lucky we are, and I am such a fair weather woman!

Hit Onsen first, relaxed, read some, and we moved on to a dining room for dinner. Okami was telling on the way to Ryokan that her husband was on a ship to catch fish and they had many Japanese flounders and the other kind. Surely our expectation rose, the dinner started with apricot liqueur and sea urchin in a shell!!. Sashimi was also good, no fishy smell at all. They had fresh squid sashimi, which was so fresh it was clistal, and still faintly moving!! We were so full I couldn't finish the sea urchin rice at the end.... This island can grow rice, oats, fruits, vegitables, and off course rich in sea food.

Crawled back to the room, waited for stomach to digest the dinner, we went to a special massage of leg/feet for myself, and the dead sea mud pack for the man.

Hit Onsen before going to bed, and the night was over.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Left home early to Haneda Airport to catch a flight to Nagasaki. Got there before noon, left laggage at Ryokan Sakamotoya . First we went to China town (very small compare to the Yokohama one), and had lunch of Chanpon for myself, and Sweet and Sour Pork for the man at Kouzanrou.

Took tram up to the final stop close to Glover Garden, and took incline elevator. Hung around the garden for a while, checking out the houses the foreigners used to live back in the days. These are all in Western style, but interestingly they used the Japanese roof tiles, so the overall figure is quite unique. The weather was nice, almost 30C degrees.

Got a little tired from the sun, we went back to the Ryokan, took bath, and waited for the local gourmet, Shippoku course meal for dinner. Off course we stuffed ourselves, and went to bed a lot earlier than we usually do.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Tonight's special pizza with prosciutto ham, rocket, and parmigiana. Yum-yum!


Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Ginza hotdog

Ginza hotdog
Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by piroko_kuroda.