Egrets' noble gliding.

Suddenly, a pair of egrets took wing to seek next feeding site from a rice field in my home town. However this flight is their behavioral activity, I've deeply moved by its esthetics.
They flew very smoothly and quietly at a couple of feet altitude for minutes, then rushed away.


Over 100 degrees F for 5 days in a row

The people who lives in Japan has been parched by the Sun for these days.
Very stable high pressure widely covers the Pacific Ocean and Japan Islands.
The lulling of the wind never cools the land, the temperature goes up and people gets an insomnia.

According to the Japan Almanac, tomorrow, July 26th 2010, is the "Doyou Ushi no Hi" which means the hottest day in the year.
A tsukudani, thick finished simmered fish, shop sells eel tsukudani ONLY tomorrow.
Japanese believes eel is the very effective ingredient for building energy to fight it out against the heat exhaustion.

# 100 degrees F: I described it with a feeling temperature because there must exist the reflected heat from the paved ground. The weather center reports yesterday was the forth day in a raw which records over 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), it was a tie-record. The center reports today's highest temperature was 93.92 degrees F, It's ALMOST a new record!


Umeboshi, the astringent preservation

What is this?

There's no exception, this picture makes Japanese mouse-watering in the literal meaning.
This is an umeboshi––ripped plum fruit preserved with salt.

The modus operandi of making umeboshi is ultimately simple.
Firstly, clean down the surface of very ripped plum fruits then give around 20% of coarse salt to the ingredient's weigh, that's all.

Japanese prepares the umeboshi in the middle of rainy season in June and finalize the preservation in the early summer days just after the rainy days.
After 7-8 weeks from the preparation, umeboshi will nearly finished in a container.
Japanese is very wiling to do the final dehydration for the umeboshi under the blue summer sky.
Because, the new umeboshi is kind of a metaphor for the good feeling of what the dark and humid rainy season has gone and very stable and bright summer days has come.

4kg Nanko Ume (ripped enough, bigger is better)
800g Coarse salt


Tsujiki, my place

You can taste so-so yummy sushi, if you could accept the patience––standing in a very very long line.

You can see the blue fin tuna auction before the dawn from a no-elbowroom alley––if you were the person who arrived the place as the 140th visitor or earlier.

However most of the people who comes from overseas knows well about what happens in the morning at the biggest fish market in the world, only a few of them looks around the outside of the market.

I'd like to recommend you to walk around Tsukiji and surroundings for a couple of hours. There are so many awesome views I love and you must be enjoyed the other side of Tsukiji.

How about boarding a "Suijo bus" boat from Hamarikyu, which locates next to the market place, for Asakusa. This 45 minutes passage is one of the greatest plan to leave from Tsukiji. Bon Voyage!

Shinsoba, 2010's new soba crop

Under normal circumstance, we're able to get the earliest soba new crop in the late August from Hokkaido, which is the biggest produce center and locates the northern most part of Japan.

It must be lucky, I've got this year's "Shinsoba; new crop" today.
The grains are rather small and the skin color is just a little bit dull.
No surprise, it's been fighting with vicious weed and finally won and survive.

I like it, the new soba year goes up now anyhow.