Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finding Sushi. . . or yes we have Uni !

Fabulous paper fish in the outside wall waiting area for a
restaurant at The Nishinomiya Gardens Mall, Japan.
I fell in love with the purple Sea Urchin ( Uni )

photos by mollybot

Sushi !

Sushi !, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Outside waiting area at one of the fabulous restaurants at The
Nishinomiya Gardens a new mall near sleepytako's home.

While you wait, you can pick out what fish you wanted ! Made out of
paper folded and twisted into shape these fish were
absolutely perfect, outstanding and beyond gorgeous ! The
backlighting made them just glow.

Forget the food I wanted to rip these origami fish out of the wall.
The only thing stopping me was I was with daughter mollybot and the
fact my get away would be hampered by my lack of mobility.
Maybe Santa needs need to put one of those motorized scooters under
my Christmas Tree !

hungry. . . parsnip
music. . . Complicated Decision, ost The Last Exile

Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter in Tucson

Winter in Tucson, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Sunday winter blew in and today Monday it is cold !
The photo doesn't show it but it was a double rainbow.

cold. . . parsnip
music. . . Rainy Day, Tatsu Yamashita

Sun Shower in Tucson

Sun Shower in Tucson, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

It was lightly raining, the sun was out, the clouds blowing in from
the north and a light dusting of snow on Mt. Lemmon.

Winter has come to Tucson. The high today 50 and the low 28.
Hope my old citrus grove will survive, I may run out and pick up some
lights to keep them warm but later this week it will be in the 70 +
They are loaded with fruit. If we have a wind tonight they will be fine.
I usually leave them in the hands of the weather gods ! and hope for
the best.

dithering . . . parsnip
music. . Suddenly The Trees are Giving Way, Ulrich Schnauss

p.s. the weather warning just came on with a hard freeze tonight...
just might go out and pick up some lights... the small amount of heat
coming off from the light bulb usually is enough to help the trees.
Off to the hardware store !

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Buddha, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

The worlds largest statue of the Buddha, Daibutsu.
It is 30 meters tall and weighs 250 tons.
When you walk into the Great Buddha Hall at the Todai-ji Temple and
you see this large, beautiful Buddha before you, is to be engulfed by

I picked this photo so you can see the wonderful workmanship in this
This Temple complex was started in 735, re-build twice after fires and
The current building was finished in 1709.

Thanks to g-mail/internet this post has taken two day and the order
has been messed up.
The photo of the Todia-Ji Temple should be first but I am happy most
of the photos made it to the blog !

wishing. . . parsnip
music. . . Silk, Ryuichi Sakamoto

Guardian King

Guardian King, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

One of the Kings who protect the Four Directions.
Carved wood extremely tall and beyond Beautiful.

p.s. Thanks to internet (comcast) problems my posts are all messed up and not in the correct order. This photo goes after Todia-Ji Temple and the Buddha, Daibutsu which is still floating around cyber space somewhere.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

The Todia-Ji Buddhist Temple in Nara is the Eastern Great Temple.

The Great Buddha Hall is the Largest Wooden building in the world.
It houses the worlds largest Bronze statue of the Buddha, Daibutsu.
This Temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This photo does not convey how huge, beautiful this temple is and it
is all made of wood !

overwhelmed. . . parsnip
music. . . The Sheltering Sky, Ryuchi Sakamoto

Guaranteed a place in Heaven

One of the rear support pillars of the temple has a hole through the
bottom, if you are successful in squeezing through you are guaranteed
a place in Heaven.

This is very small, children and teens get through, adults will try
and usually have to back out.
One of my sons was going to try and we all knew he could have done it
but it was a weekend and the line was really long.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Deer of Nara.

The Deer of Nara., originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Sika Deer, are regarded as messengers of the Gods in the Shinto Religion.

They roam the grounds of the Todai-ji Temple and parts of the city of
Nara freely.

You will see them cross the busy intersection in the crosswalk with
the tourists and the people who live and work in the area.
Sometimes they will cross the street by themselves but they don't pay attention to
Red and Green lights. So even if it is your time to drive,
you must wait for the deers to cross the road and they can take their sweet
time. After all it is their City and Temple !

Photos by sleepytako and mollybot

running. . . parsnip
music. . . Vanishing World, Final Fantasy


Bowing., originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

If you bow to a Nara Deer they will bow back.

Buying Deer Cookies with interested bystanders.

If you buy the cookies they will come !

Feeding the Deer !

Feeding the Deer !, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

The trick to feeding the Nara Deer is to keep moving till all the
cookies are gone.

Surviving the Deer !

Surviving the Deer !, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

If you don't keep moving while feeding the deer. . . they will double
team you to get at the cookies. You must keep moving till all the
cookies are gone.
Then show your empty hands, hopefully with all your fingers !

The Deer are very polite till it comes to the cookies !

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Space Ship visits Tucson !

Space Ship visits Tucson !, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

On Saturday the big news in Tucson was the Tour de Tucson, a 109 mile
Bike race around Tucson Arizona. The evening news said 9000 people
rode in this race.
It comes right by my street so I was able to see some of the riders.
Quite amazing !


Later that day at sunset an Alien Space Ship arrived with two smaller
ships in tow.


What a fabulous sky !
I didn't play with the colors, they where changing as I was shooting
these photos but the red had more of a rose hue and with the gray blue
of the rest of the cloud it was beyond beautiful.


one of the two moons from Tatooine ? must ask Luke.

amazed. . . parsnip
music. . . Pink Moon, Nick Drake

Cloud # 2

Cloud # 2, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Close up of the mother cloud ship

cloud #3

cloud #3, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Mother cloud ship with baby scout ship

cloud #4

cloud #4, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Baby cloud scout ship

Friday, November 19, 2010

One reason why I love Japanese Vending Machines !

On a trip to visit sleepytako who was living and teaching in Sanda
Japan at the time, I came to realize how much I love vending machines.

Sanda Is about 35 kilometers beyond the Rokko Mountain range from
This is a big agricultural area known for fabulous Strawberries and
the famous Kobe Beef.
It is about a hour train ride into Osaka through some of the most
beautiful mountains, tree covered tunnels (each tunnel has a name) to
bridges over rocky, crystal clear rivers.

It is visual heaven to this desert dweller.

Sanda is a commuter family town and has a vibrant city area and train
station but I was living out in the countryside so I had a charming
but very small train station.
Next to the train station, there were fields of rice and vegetables
along both sides of the road I walked to get to the apartment I was
staying at.
You never see a plot of land that is empty in Japan if it is flat
there is always something growing on it from rice, vegetables or

Late one evening after we left the lights of the train station, parking lot, taxi
station and a few late night riders, it was just me and the mollybot
walking down this very dark and quiet road. There were a few homes and
street lights but it was dark and so quiet I swear that you could hear
the rice growing.

Then right before us glowing in the dark standing all by itself next
to an electrical pole and a rice field, lighting our way down the road
was a soft drink vending machine. Softly glowing in the dark all by
itself, just standing there lighting our way.

I came to really love seeing that vending machine on those late night
walks home.
I miss that walk, I miss that vending machine and I can't believe I
don't have a picture !

But I remember it all, like I was just there walking down that road
again late last night !

glowing. . . parsnip
music. . . A Place We Must Return To, Final Fantasy OST

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Japanese vending machines !

Japanese vending machines !, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

There are many things I adore about Japan...
One of my top favorite things besides Oshibori (the warm soft towels
you get before you eat) are Vending Machines !

They are everywhere (thank goodness) they sell everything and I mean
almost everything
from soft drinks, beer, coffee/tea, liquor, rice, books, toys,
clothing and food.

Above vending machine is from my favorite car ferry, the Tako Ferry.
They sell the expected soft drinks but also 24 Hour Hot Food !
This photo was taken on the covered deck at the front of the ferry.
Someone near me had bought the #5 and although I don't know how it
tasted ? but it looked really good.

drinking. . . parsnip
music. . .Loopy, Loopy, Takuya Ohashi

photos by mollybot and angryparsnip

Soft drink vending machine.

Soft drink vending machine., originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Coke, lemon, flavored water, green tea, barley tea and udon.

Yummy vending machine

Yummy vending machine, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Hot, really hot, Udon (noodles) in a can. Cold coffee and green tea in
the space below.

Beer vending machine

Beer vending machine, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

For late night beer runs. . . A glowing light of goodness in the dark.

Friday, November 12, 2010

More Mochi Goodness !

More Mochi Goodness !, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

Display of the all the wonderful Mochi packages designed by Taro Gomi.
Ack ! the cuteness of this display is killing me !

I would have bought every box there but I knew how much space was left
in my luggage.

This is a link to their shop. See the Fabulous !

woo hoo. . . parsnip
music. . . Gimme Some Lovin', Spencer Davis Group
photo by, mollybot

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great packaging for Mochi

Great packaging for Mochi, originally uploaded by angryparsnip.

I bought this box of Mochi because I loved the box it came in.

sweet. . . parsnip
music. . . Kiki's Delivery Service, Joe Hisaishi

My Goodness... Tasty and Cute

Little two bite Mochi
Mochi is made of glutinous rice pounded into a paste molded into
shapes and cooked. You can buy Mochi flour now and skip the pounding
These little sweets were plain Mochi.

Daifuku is a soft round mochi filled with sweet Red Bean paste.
If your lucky you can find Shiominama Daifuku, that have Red Bean
Paste with Cream filling rolled in Sea Salt. Fabulous !

Mochi can also be wrapped around Ice Cream.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Takoyaki Stand

smIMG_5591, originally uploaded by Mollybot.

While looking for escape routes just in case I accidentally found myself in possession of a Fugu Lantern. . . a busy Takoyaki stand in old Osaka.
Thanks to mollybot again for use of her photo as I was somewhat busy that day.

hungry. . . parsnip
music. . . Unwavering Decision, Nobuo Uematsu

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fugu restaurant

smIMG_5590, originally uploaded by Mollybot.

Fabulous !
These lanterns/lights are hanging everywhere in the old town of Osaka.

It is all my children can do to keep me from ripping off these fabulous Fugu lanterns and evading the police. I want ! ! !

Fugu story follows below.

Fugu sushi

smIMG_5582, originally uploaded by Mollybot.

I missed this charming lunch.
Photos and comments were taken from the victims errrr, diners who thew themselves on the whim of the dinning Gods to bring us this story below.

Fugu sashimi

smIMG_5580, originally uploaded by Mollybot.

River Pig, Pufferfish or Fugu is lethally poisonous if not prepared right.
Well let me tell you forget that, Fugu is rather bland.
Lethal is what you are suppose to drink with it. A lovely concoction of fried
Fugu skin, fins, tail and hot spirits. If the smell doesn't kill you the taste will !

drowning. . . parsnip
music. . . Mad World, Michael Andrew, Gary Jules.

Thanks to mollybot for the use of her photos. I was to busy casing escape routes in case I accidentally found myself in possession of a Fugu lantern.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Osaka Tower

smIMG_5594, originally uploaded by Mollybot.

I adore Osaka Tower ! It is in the old downtown area of Osaka.
It is much loved by the people and was called when first built "The Tower Reaching Heaven"

It is famous for it's neon lights and has a wonderful big clock. One side of the tower also has public service announcements.
I think it has a charm all it's own and I love the retro sci fi look. Unlike the more well known Tokyo Tower that is painted painted red and white, looks like the Eiffel tower and is much taller, I really like the Osaka Tower better ! Very Kawaii !

This photo was taken by mollybot (Daughter) on our last trip to Osaka and it was a super busy day. Right below and around the tower there is a little open space and the best takoyaki stand ever !
I love this older area of Osaka it is vibrant, fun, exciting, a feast for the eyes and of course the food !

Add-on.... I forgot to write that this was festival week all over Japan, so lots of days off from work and school so everyone was out and about ! Fun !

osaka. . . parsnip
music. . . Cloud Age Symphony, Okino, Shuntaro

Kyoto Tower

20080310-KyotoTower-02, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

Many major cities in Japan seem to need a tower.
I think with the older towers they were used as Radio and later TV towers. They also are featured to boost city pride and recognition. There is usually a viewing area, omiyage (small gifts) shop, even a restaurant and bar in several.

Many are designed to look like the Eiffel Tower and one of my favorite clones is Nagoya Tower. It is featured in the 1992 movie Godzilla vs Mothra where the tower is destroyed in a battle . . . ACK ! NOOOOO !
Big Godzilla fan here ! Big reason why Japanese family and friends call me mumzilla.

This is one of my favorite sleepytako (Japanese Son) photo of Kyoto Tower.
Not many people seem to like it's retro look and it is largely ignored in Kyoto.
Both he and I really like this tower and it reminds us of the "Cloud City"
from "The Empire Strikes Back"