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Everything posted by torakris

  1. I'm pretty sure the Sumida River Fireworks Festival is a nighttime event. I not think it is a typical all day long kind of festival. I would plan for an early dinner before the fireworks rather than after. In those crowds a 15 minute train ride can turn to 2 hours. One tip I have is that if you plan on buying train tickets (rather than using a pass) is to buy your return ticket before for you leave the station as the lines after the fireworks will be nothing like you have ever seen. I onthave words to describe the crowds you will experience that night. I've done it once and will never do it again.
  2. Day 7 (Wednesday) Either go to a sumo match (if there is one to go to during the trip or attend a practice match at the Isenoumi Stable Eat lunch at Chanko Tomoegata (巴潟), 2-17-6 Ryogoku (3 min south from JR Ryogoku West exit), ☎ 03-3632-5600, [6]. Take a boat ride on the Sumida River from Asakusa. Top of the World Trade Center Building at dusk for great view. Day 9 (Friday) Tour Edo-Tokyo Museum Tour Akihabara, the gadget/anime district. Sushi dinner at Fukuzushi, 5-7-8, Roppongi (behind Hard Rock Cafe), ☎+8103-3402-4116. Just a comment on your Day 7 and Day 9, the Edo-Tokyo Museum is also in Ryogoku, so I would combine it with a trip to the stables/chanko restaurant. For the boat ride on the river I highly recommend Himiko, the kids will love this boat. It goes between Asakusa and Odaiba, an area the kids will also love. You could make a full day of this. Spend the morning wandering around the Asakusa area board the boat and head to Odaiba. You get let off at Odaiba Seaside Park and the kids may enjoy walking the "beach". Then you can head to one of the shopping malls dotting the area. There is also a ferris wheel, 2 museums, a Sega Joypolis, a Toyota exhibition Hall where the kids can "drive" a hybrid. It is all walkable but there is also a monorail that connects everything. If you stay until evening you can get some beautiful views of Rainbow bridge lit up. A little more about Odaiba Information about the Himiko boat It's under Odaiba Seaside Park The Palace cycling course I mentioned earlier
  3. Oops I forgot to add my favorite day trip, the Hakone Loop. This is one of the first things I do whenever someone visits me. Rather then explain it I found this one guys description complete with pictures: Hakone Loop Since I'm in Yokohama, I don't start in Shinjuku but normally drive to Odawara and start from there. Odawara also has a nice castle complete with an elephant in front...it makes a nice starting point. There is so much to see in the area that I would recommend making a an overnight trip out of it. The kids would also love Yunnesun a bathing suit required hot spring with over 25 different kids of baths. Including wine, coffee, green tea,sake, etc. My kids can spend the entire day there. Yunnesun Another side note, end of August is still summer vacation so any place you go will be packed with kids. Although September 1 is normally the official start of school, the schools in my area start back on August 29. If at all possible I recommend going to kid heavy places (Disney Sea, Yunnesun) after those dates for a much more pleasurable experience.
  4. Day 1 (for discussion sake assuming this is a Thursday just so I can separate activities that are better done on weekends or week days). Land at Narita airport Take Airport Limosuine (actually a bus) to Park Hyatt Tokyo. Hato Bus tour of Tokyo Dinner at Gonpachi Are you flying from the US or are you coming from Singapore? Most flights from the US arrive mid to late afternoon. Even if you arrived at 2pm after getting through immigration, waiting for the next airport limousine and then the 100 minute trip into Tokyo, you'd be lucky to be checked in by 6pm. Most bus tours are either morning or early afternoon. As someone who takes international trip with 3 kids 2 or more times a year, I would suggest a dinner as close to the hotel as possible and then call it a night. I don't like to plan tours the day the of arrival as there are just too many things that can go wrong before you even arrive. Flight cancellations, delays, lost luggage, incredible traffic jams, the list goes on. I would plan an early tour for the next day. Adults can force themselves to adjust to the time differences but kids have a much harder time. If you are coming from the US expect them to lose their steam around 4pm. I would plan pretty simple things for the first couple days and keep the 'must sees' for later in the trip. Another thing to remember is that August can be unbearably hot, 90+ and dangerously high humidity. So you might not be able to stay outside for very long periods. I noticed your second Sunday is open, a wonderful thing that is only offered on Sunday that my kids love are free bicycle rentals around the Imperial Palace. On Sundays only from 10 to 3, you are only allowed on a specified course around the outside of the temple but you are allowed to go around as many times as you'd like and then can wander to the inner grounds on foot afterwards (or before).
  5. Do you know what month you will be here? That can help find events you might be interested in. Catching a yabusame tournament will be difficult, Kamakura's Hachimangu Shrine has festivals twice a year in April and September. Kamakura's is a great side trip and for such a short trip I would recommend skipping Kyoto and visit some of the closer areas. Disneyland and DisneySea require separate tickets and trying to see both in one day wouldn't really let you be able to see either. I've been on the Pooh ride and maybe I'm not easily impressed but it's nothing I would wait more than 15 minutes more. If possible avoid a Friday for Disney and try to hit it mid week, unless you are here during a holiday. Meijijingu, in itself is not that much to look at ( again I guess I'm not easily impressed) but if you go on a Sunday there is a chance you will see a wedding or some other sort of ceremony. The walk to it is quite nice though. If you head here on a Sunday you can get the double whammy of Harajuku on a Sunday, there aren't as many people out in cosplay as there used to be but a Sunday is your best chance of seeing them. The Edo Toyo Musuem in Ryogoku is one of my favorites, the kids should really like it. Definitely stop by if you are in the area to see sumo. Tsukiji is a nice oe time experience ( the actual fish market part) but hold on to the kids because the people driving those funky carts will not heed for you. The area with the restaurants is crowded all the time, but I have had decent meals with little wait. I don't really see any reason to go there so early, I usually head there mid morning. If you do want to do the 6am thing, I would definitely do your first morning here if you are coming from an area that will leave you jet lagged. I also recommend the Zanmai restaurant with the conveyer belt, this was probably the best meals I've had in the area. Just be careful because there are a couple Sushi Zanmai shops in the area but I believe only one is revolving sushi.
  6. Kerry, those cinnamon rolls look amazing! Do they get a smokey flavor to them?
  7. Good timing for reviving this thread! I'm going to be in Ongunquit for 3 days with my 3 kids and my sister and her family, does anyone have any suggestions for child friendly places for lunches and dinners? Nothing too expensive as this is just one stop on a 20 day east coast tour, but I don't mind splurging for good seafood.
  8. torakris

    Kaki Fruit

    Kaki is the Japanese word for persimmon. They are a wonderful fruit and I prefer to just eat them raw, but I have poached them with great success.
  9. I was having a similar experience, it's better now because I have been mostly buying local shin-tamanegi (new spring onions), but the price of regular onions has been quite high for some time now. I used to be able to buy a bag of 3 to 4 onions for 99 yen ($1.20) but now it is double that and they never go on sale any more.
  10. I think the thought of summer lunches for kids makes every parent cringe. My 3 are between the ages of 10 and 15, so they are pretty much responsible for their own lunches now but we spend most of the summer vacation (5 to 6 weeks) in Cleveland with my family. This means lunch for a minimum of seven kids in the same age range (depending on how many siblings are visiting with their families. Our lunches tend to rotate around 3 things, sandwiches, pizza and quesadillas. For sandwiches we usually set everything out buffet style and the kids can make their own. We usually have 3 kinds of meat and 3 kinds of cheese, so there is something for everyone. For quesadillas, it's sort of similar, we have the tortillas and a variety of fillings/topping and the kids can make their own. When I'm doing quesadillas just for my kids I usually just use a can of refried beans, cheddar cheese and jalapenos with yogurt and salsa for a topping. Pizza is also done in a similar style with all the ingredients set out and the kids pick their own toppings. We make pizza out of absolutely anything, bagels, english muffins, hamburger buns, flat breads, pita, tortillas,etc. Really any kind of bread we have in the house. I also purposely make leftovers, if we are having rice with dinner, I make extras for fried rice the next day. If I am roasting chickens I make an extra one for either eating as is or for a filling for quesadillas or chicken sandwiches. Likewise with dishes such as pasta, lasagne, macaroni and cheese or other casseroles, I always make more than we need to save for lunch the next day. Extra meatballs can become meatball subs, etc. Extra hamburger patties can be used in a patty melt or a loco moco (Hawaiian dish of a hamburger patty on rice and topped with gravy-jarred is fine).
  11. There is no substitute for myoga, the closest approximation I would use would be to mix some chopped scallions with some grated ginger. Myoga is far from essential for this dish, there is no one way to make hiyajiru (cold miso soup served over rice). If you google pictures of it you'll see most recipes don't even include it. It does add a nice flavor if you have it but not necessary, I personally prefer the taste of shiso (perilla) in these kinds of soups.
  12. Though the count is right, you have rooftop1000+1twice on the list. As to the kids thing, these events have always welcomed everyone. There have been kids of varying ages at every gathering from infants to teens. The parents have always exercised excellent judgement as to what parts of the weekend are young child appropriate, the main event on Saturday and Sunday brunch tend to see the most kids. I will always be against a ban on children of any age, I have been to 6 gatherings and we have never had a problem with any kids but there were a couple adults that I would like to see banned....
  13. Leftover hoagies maybe the way to go! Any suggestions for ones that keep up the best or might even be better the next day? Thanks for the Chinatown suggestion, I was getting worried about what to do for that first dinner. It's good to know it isn't just Chinese, we had a great Burmese meal in SF and everything we ate in Malaysia two years ago was wonderful. I'll take a look in that area.
  14. Ok, it didn't work. I had it going at 225 and came back out and it had dropped to 140. So back to the drawing board. I put about 10 pieces of foil cut into a circle in between two grates an placed those under the main grate. It has slowly made it's way up to 225. Do you think this will be too strong for indirect heat? It is only 8:30am and the home center store doesn't open until 10.
  15. I think I'll send my husband to the home center when it opens this morning. What I just did is take an old round cooking grate and put it in the fire box. It is just above the coals about halfway down, I have put the bowl on top of that upside down and there is now a good three inches all the way around. The upturned bowl is about 2 inches below the actual cooking grate, I'm hoping this will work for now...
  16. I'm now realizing Philadelphia has way too much food to try for only 5 meals... How late are the places in the Italian Market area open at night? Would this be a long? safe? walk. My kids and I walked from the Union Square Hilton (SF) through the tenderloin area quite a few times last summer and had no problems. It looks like the places we want to visit (Old City area) and the places we want to eat at are all grouped in 2 different areas. Looking at mapquest it's showing me about 10 to 15 minutes (walking) between some of the sights and the Italian Market, is this accurate? If so we could sort of go back and forth. Are the sandwich places in the Reading Terminal Market open early? Say I wanted to be at the visitors center (Old City) by 9am would we be able to get a sandwich before that? Friday morning we are taking either a 5am Amtrak to Providence, is there anywhere to pick up something to eat before we get on the train? one last sandwich before we leave?
  17. I didn't realize they were that heavy. I looked at shipping one from the US but the shipping rate alone was $70... I just measured it and the fire bowl and screen are both 19 inches. I have another idea. I have and old bullet style smoker that has a round metal charcoal bowl, do you think this could be used? If so, which way? bowl style? upside down? This is what it looks like in the kamado
  18. While I'm on that train of thought.... are there any 'must have' accessories for cooking on the BGE/kamados?
  19. The Kamado does have a raised rack that I can put on top of the main grate. Should I use that and then put some type of barrier on the main grate? By the way, how heavy are the plate setters and are they one size fits all? I'm going to be ordering both a plate setter and a pizza stone and have my daughter bring them when she comes back from the US in June. I really don't want to fill up her suitcase with stuff that's going to take her over the weight limit...
  20. Another quick question. Us there sort of a central place, indoors or out, to eat at? My plan is to hit a couple shops getting a couple sandwiches and then sitting down to eat.
  21. Quick question, we'll be coming into Philadelphia on a Wednesday afternoon. After visiting Eastern State Penitentiary I'll turn return the rental car and then head to the hotel to check in. Im thinking that by the time we get checked in and then settled it will be about 5. I was thinking of heading over to Reading to grab a quick and easy dinner but just noticed on the website that it closes at 6. Do some places shut down early? We will probably also head there the next day for breakfast, any breakfast recommendations?
  22. Wow! What a response! I think on our full day we are going to do a sandwich crawl while taking in some of the historic sites. Thanks for including both bang mi and tacos, I hadn't thought of looking for them in Philadelphia. They will definitely be included as I can't get good versions in either Tokyo or Cleveland...
  23. This is an incredible thread! I've never seen such beautiful sandwiches. I've just recently decided to take a quick 2 day/2 might trip to Philadelphia as part of a road trip the kids and I will be taking this summer. After reading this thread I think we are going to eat sandwiches 3 meals a day. I'm going to need some recommendations please! We will be in Philadelphia from a Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning, so we really only have 5 meals and want to get the best the city has to offer. I originally had a cheesesteak meal planned but after reading this thread I'm not sure if I should even bother, those pork Italianos look incredible. We don't have a hotel yet but I am probably going to book the Hilton Garden Inn by Reading Terminal Market as I have a feeling we will be there quite a bit and I have Hilton points. I would love to hear about great places within walking distance, walking distance for us is about 2km (1 1/2 miles?). How big are the sandwiches, I can't stand throwing food away and I don't want leftovers (as this takes away from the number of restaurants we can try ). My kids all eat more than I can so we are talking 4 adults sharing sandwiches. I was thinking of ordering 3 different kinds and sharing, we usually share as my kids want to try a little of everything...Would this be too much? not enough? If they are still hungry we can always pick up a snack somewhere.
  24. I have now spent a couple hours going through this thread and the various links and have a couple questions. I bought 3 racks of ribs I want to cook tomorrow, I've looked at a couple recipes and they basically say a couple hours over indirect heat, a couple wrapped in foil and some more time over indirect heat unwrapped. My question is my kamado doesn't have a plate setter like the BGE, so how do I make indirect heat? I've also noticed in some recipes that they wrap the cooked meat and then put it in a cooler box, Kerry has also mentioned this a couple times. Really stupid question, but is the cooler cold? And what is the purpose of this step?
  25. Fill the firebox all the way up? Wow that's a lot of charcoal, we weren't even close, we barely had a layer on the bottom. If we just want to do some quick searing do we still need that much?
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