If You Want To Try a Japanese Style Cafe

When you travel to Tokyo and look around the city all day long, you will probably need to take a rest at a cafe. But going to Starbucks is a little waste of your limited time in Tokyo because they are everywhere around the world, serving exactly the same taste of coffee.

Since you have come all the way to Tokyo from your country, you should have some more unique experiences in Japan even when you just drop by a cafe, right?

In that case, I recommend this cafe.


TORAYA CAFE - AN STAND

  

Toraya was originally found in Kyoto in the Muromachi period, which lasted approximately from 1336 to 1573 in the history of Japan. Toraya has served traditional confectionery for the Emperor of the time as early as 1586. Now this company has moved to Tokyo and serves a various kinds of traditional confectionary and some original products. They also opened some Japanese modern style cafes in Tokyo.

If you would like to enjoy Japan-style afternoon tea, Toraya Cafe – AN Stand might be the best choice.  It serves original confectionary mainly using “AN” which in Japanese means the red bean (adzuki) paste. This time, I have tried Kita-Aoyama shop.

 
A pile of AN Jars displayed at the entrance of the shop.

 

On the first floor, you can order cafe menu and buy some AN bottles and other products for your family and friends.  That animal on the wall is a “tora” meaning a tiger in Japanese. They have more tables on the 2nd floor where you can relax and enjoy the cafe.

This time, I had one of their specialty called “AN-Bun” with hot hojicha. As it looks, AN-Bun is simply AN on a steamed bun. The bun is very soft and chewy and the AN tastes very sweet but yet smooth. The simple combination of AN and bun is very good and also the roasty flavor of hojicha goes very well with it.

 

They say that AN paste also goes well with breads. ice creams, yogurt, granolas, and so on. You should definitely buy some AN jars on the first floor and make your original menu at home.

Toraya Cafe AN Stand also opens in Shinjuku. When you have a chance to go to Aoyama or Shinjuku, you must try this cafe!

Please visit their website for more information.

Thanks,

TED

This Is How I Fell In Love With Hawaii.

Last week, I went to Hawaii on business and vacation just for a week, which was too short to do everything that I wanted to do, but was long enough to fell in love with this small island. The weather was always good and the sky and the ocean were so blue, so here I would like to share some highlights of my one week stay in Hawaii.

Just Relaxed at Hilton Waikiki Village

This is the hotel I stayed at;

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort | Honolulu Hotels

Stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village® Waikiki Beach Resort, a Honolulu hotel, situated on 22 oceanfront acres of Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach.

My room was like this;



The quality of the room was as good as other Hilton resorts,but the view from the balcony was exquisite!

Isn't this quite a view?

I was doing my work and writing this blog with the sound of ripples and the view of Diamond Head. I have spent a precious time in my hotel room.

Played golf at Waialae County Club

During my one week stay in Honolulu, I was very lucky because I had a chance to play golf at Waialae Conutry Club.

Home – Waialae Country Club

Waialae Country Club | 4997 Kahala Ave. | Honolulu, HI 96816 Phone: (808) 734-2151 | US Toll Free: (855) 734-2151

The reason I say that it’s very lucky to play at this golf club is that the only members of this club are allowed to play and it’s actually very very hard to get the membership of this club since you need at least two sponsors and four current members’ recommendations to just apply to the membership.

No matter how much money you can pay for the membership, you never get it unless you meet this strong requirements, and furthermore they say the judgement process could sometimes take more than a year!

Also, Waialae Country Club is the place where Sony Open in Hawaii 2018 was just held two weeks ago. Many of the world’s top players virtually start their seasons here and it’s the only PGA official tour held in Hawaii.

The only way for non-members like me to play at this golf club is to get to know a current club member in some way and ask him/her to invite you to play together. And that’s actually the way I got a chance to play at this beautiful club this time.

Please check below how beautiful the club is;


    

Driving around the island

The next day, I decided to drive to Kualoa Ranch.

Best Oahu Tours & Activities | Kualoa Ranch | Eco Tours

Video by DevinSuperTramp Book Your Adventure with Kualoa Explore Our All-Inclusive Packages “Best of Kualoa” Experience Includes the Hollywood Movie Sites Tour, the Jurassic Jungle Jeep Expedition, Taste of Kualoa Farm Tour & Ranch Buffet Lunch Reserve Now Includes the one hour Horseback tour, Hollywood Movie Site Tour, Taste of Kualoa Farm tour & Ranch Buffet Lunch.

Kualoa Ranch is known for the place where the movie “Jurassic Park” was shot. You can also enjoy horseback riding, cycling, or trekking.


it looks like a T.Rex hiding in the bush!

On the way back to my hotel, We dropped by the turtle bay resort.

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Unfortunately, it was a little cloudy and rainy. but the beach was still beautiful.


The bay was very beautiful and has different atmosphere than the Waikiki beach. This place is best for surfing and snorkelling.

Through the 150km driving around the island, I realized that the island of Oafu is much larger and more diverse than I thought it was. The climate changes from place to place and the weather also changes day by day, which was actually one of the reasons I never got bored in this island.

Just hanging around at the beach

After I have done a lot of activities in Hawaii, I came to realize that the best thing to do here in Hawaii is just hanging around at the beach.

Since I suffered from Jet-lug for the first three days in Hawaii, I usually woke up at like eleven a.m. and had brunch at Tropics Waikiki Bar & Grill and chatted with my friends for a while. When I looked at my watch, it was already 2 p.m., so was too late to go somewhere outside the city, so we just decided hang around at the Waikiki beach, which turned out the best way to spend much time in Hawaii.

Tropics Waikiki Bar & Grill

Experience Hawaiian beach cuisine at Tropics Bar & Grill, offering daily Happy Hour specials on Waikiki Beach. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

 

Just lying down on the beach made me feel like I was in heaven.


I can't believe I'm writing this in Tokyo where it snowed hard last week and still terribly cold.

Enjoyed shopping at Kalakaua Avenue

After I soaked up the sun on the beach for a while, I suddenly remember an important thing; that is to buy some souvenirs for my family and friends! so, I changed my cloths quickly at my hotel room and jumped in a taxi to the Waikiki shopping center.

By taxi It was just 5 minutes from my hotel to the Kalakaua Avenue and I was suddenly in the noise of the traffics and the waives of people. Kalakaua Avenue may be like 5th Avenue in Manhattan, you can see all the national and international brands’ shops on this avenue.


Kalakaua & Seaside, now I feel like I'm back in the U.S..

Jamba Juice always reminds me of SoCal.

A famous Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama's exhibit at the International Market Place.

a short break at a cafe after looking around the all shopping centers.

After I got all things for my family and friends, I took a walk to my hotel. On the way, I saw an interesting exihibits.

 

  
Those are the tanks displayed in front of Fort DeRussy,US Army Museum. I still can't believe that Japan and the U.S were once at war. I strongly hope this peace will last forever.

When I got back to my hotel, it was already the time of sunset and its view was beyond description!

The last day of my staying in Hawaii, the hotel gave me something exiting which was..


Fireworks on the beach!!

My visit to Hawaii this time was so great and perfect that I would definitely come visit here again!

Mahalo to Hawaii and all the people I met there.

Thanks,

TED