soba restaurant

Octopus Garden, Okinawa

Okinawa amazed us!

For a number of reasons.

We knew going in that there’d be beautiful beaches, we just didn’t realize how secluded and empty they would be. It’s the complete opposite of Hawaii or the Caribbean where you need to get to any beach or pool at the crack of dawn to secure a good location, but are soon surrounded by thousands of other sun-loving tourists. However, any beach we went to here, no matter the size or location, had only a couple dozen other people on it, if that many. Ever. And it was peak season! Like Aharen beach on Tokashiki Island…

Tokashiki is about an hour ferry ride from Naha, Okinawa’s main city. And once you land on this off-shoot island, you need to take a public bus (there are no taxis) to Aharen Beach, about a 15 minute drive over the mountains on the other side of the island…

There’s another big difference between Aharen and other beaches we’ve been too… the food served in the beachside restaurants here was homemade and cheap! There are maybe only four restaurants near Aharen and we chose Octopus Garden, as I liked the name and the vibe…

We started with large mugs of Okinawa’s Orion lager for 500 yen (about five bucks) each…

Shima rakkyo, an island “onion” (but more like a scallion IMO,) is a local favorite and was the first dish to hit the table…

Next up was another Okinawan staple, freshly-made “jimami tofu”, or peanut tofu, which doesn’t taste anything like peanuts and has the consistency of burrata cheese…

Soba is to Okinawa what meatballs are to Sweden or tacos are to Mexico; it’s the food the islands are most noted for. And it’s everywhere.

There are two main kinds of Okinawan soba, one version topped with pork belly, the other topped with pork ribs. We went for “soki soba”, the version with braised ribs…

The thing is, while they says “ribs”, there are no bones in this bowl. They’ve actually been removed and you can eat all the meat at the tendon that’s served on top of the noodles…

These lovely, toothsome, chewy soba noodles…

We also ordered up a plate of chicken karaage, because how can you not order friend chicken if it’s on the menu? It was good, but the weakest item served at this lunch…

If you do go to Octopus Garden, be sure to score a seat on their upstairs rooftop deck, but only after you order and pay downstairs first…

If you’re lucky to get one of the stools at the front bar there, you can have lunch with a partial view of that blue, blue ocean…

I’ll see if I can google up an address for you, but Octopus Garden is easy to find; once you get off the bus at Aharen Beach, it will be right in front of you!


Shimbashi Soba, Paragon B1-41, Singapore - Unofficial Soba Shokugeki

Since Shokugeki no Souma has been all about soba for the last month or so, @hungryleow and I decided to taste what it could possibly taste like, without having to grind the buckwheat ourselves.

Hence, we went to soba specialty restaurant Shimbashi Soba in one of the most expensive shopping centres in Singapore, Paragon, stereotyped as where all the rich housewives go to shop. Surprisingly, the food there is middle-range - be prepared to spend around S$25-30 (US$18-22) for a basic meal here - since all the really bank-breaking restaurants have all gone to where the casinos are.

The following mangacaps are from Mangastream.

We wanted to choose dishes that were as close to the ones made by Souma and Nene, which was a traditional style with a sakura ebi kakiage:

And Souma’s, which was fried with duck and leek.

For Nene’s, we went with the classic tempura soba pictured at the top. (you can have it either with hot or cold soba), because they didn’t have kakiage. The noodles were really smooth, and I could literally see the manga sound effect ‘tsuru tsuru’ appearing besides my mouth as I slurped it up. (Ok, not literally, but I should have brought a cardboard cut-out with that sound effect.) However, the noodles didn’t have much bite, and so we suspect that it was made with the first flour mentioned in the manga.

Truth to be told, we found it a bit bland, and if the flavour couldn’t stand out in a country with a coolest point higher than the temperature of a British heatwave and constant humidity levels higher than 70%, no wonder such a meal would not taste as nice in the middle of Hokkaido’s winter. (Low temperatures and low humidity are bad for soba, according to one of the judges.) The tempura was fried well though, crispy and not oil-soaked, though even alternating the bites between tempura and soba didn’t do much to relieve the feeling of the soba’s tepid texture.

In contrast, the duck and leek soup soba that we picked as the closest to Souma’s creation (last 2 pictures) was rather tasty, even though the noodles were the same as the previous tempura one. So, perhaps ingredient choice played a role in his


eventual victory over Nene.


The duck was tender and tasty, and I also enjoyed the abuurage (tofu puffs) that soaked up the flavours like a sponge. I’m not sure if it was due to localization, but there was also a dish of chopped chilli peppers that you could dip the ingredients into that was really spicy. (And hungryleow wanted to pour all the chilli into the soup but I stopped her in time.) The waiters also came by with some nutrient-packed water used to boil the noodles that I mixed with the remaining soup and finished with gusto.

I guess we were not really used to eating this kind of smooth and non-chewy soba - even when we went to Japan for our graduation trip, we didn’t encounter it. Hungryleow mentioned that she would rather eat the soba you can get from Daiso that retails at S$2 for 4 servings - a sentiment shared by a couple at the next table whom we overheard. So yes, we would definitely vote for Souma too! Oh, and I guess we’ll save money by eating from Daiso - it’s worth a try but unless I’m in the mood for some cold, smooth soba, I wouldnt’ go back again, especially since there’s a half-hour queue.


[ New Event Announcement ]

The fate of the soba restaurant boils down to the part-timers NEETs’ hand!?

Gather all the chopstick wrappers for the new [ Galatic Restaurant Vol.1 Event ], following immediately after the Drag Queen Event on June 30th, 5:00 EST! What does it mean by Vol.1, will there be more?  Are they really wearing those shoes in space? When will Jyushimatsu’s hands get justice? Nobody knows. Find out in the next event! Perhaps, Totoko will sing Interstellar Flight!


Zarusoba by banzainetsurfer
Via Flickr:
Togakushido Soba Noodle Restaurant Togakushi Shrine 戸隠神社 Nagano, Japan

Yukke’s Line Blog translation

Ishioka hometown ambassador, Mito ambassador letter of appointment receiving ceremony!
2017/5/1 19:22

Experiencing it for the first time, I was excited and nervous. With the major of Mito and Ishioka! What a great picture!
Well! Since we become ambadassors we wish to spread wordwide the charm we find in Ishioka, Mito and Ibaraki overall. I can’t wait to start it, so let’s hope we will be succesfull!

We even got business cards!

Right after that we exchanged business cards, since I’m a business card exchange virgin, my face turned bright red. Business card, business card, business card, such a nice echo. Make me feel powerfull.

The collaboration wall with Mito, Ishioka and MUCC is also pretty cool, right?

After the ceremony, I, the freshly choosen ambassador became the lonely Fukuno near the prefectural office.

I went to an azumaan! [t/n.: kind of a restaurant]

The soba was really tasty, and the tempura also! And what about the kaibashira you ask? [t/n.: literal translation is: adductor muscle of a bivalve] It was also delicious!

And it seems like we will be on NHK news! Don’t miss out!
Me? I also talk a lot….

Weeell!!! Let’s do our best as ambassadors! (◎∀◎//)

Yamada Ryosuke x Murakami Nijiro x Kanichiro Crosstalk (Translation)

Popolo 2017.10 & An excerpt from TV Guide 2017.10

OK, this translation is more iffy than the others since I couldn’t find something to beta against.  There are a couple of spots I’m not too sure about, although, I don’t think it affected the context too much even if I got it wrong.  So, please let me know if you see any glaring errors. I bumped the scanned crosstalk in the post below.  I can’t remember where I got the scans from, but they are most likely from MoMozzz32 and/or 草莓要配白巧克力 on weibo.

<Kanichiro is also getting a lesson in how to post with chibis.>

“Big brother” Yamada and his cute little brothers’ real talk!

“I will do this? This is my first experience!”
Just like brothers.  The 3 buddies’ “Childhood friends” TALK

The “Childhood friends” trio  gather thoughtful feelings!

During the film, “letters” were used to connect the “feelings” of various people. This time, we arranged for a letter exchange to strengthen the bonds of this “reborn” trio.

✍️To Yamada-kun:

Let’s “communicate” in the game! Let’s talk!

From Kanichiro

Okay (laughs)!

By Ryosuke

✍️To Yamada-kun:

On set, Yamada-kun and Kanichiro-kun had been talking about games the whole time. I had not been able to join in for a long time (laughs). Recently I also got into game, so please put me in a group.

From Nijiro

Nijiro, you were always reading books (laughs). I’m very happy. Let’s do it now!

By Ryosuke

✍️To Kanichiro:

I do not want Kan-chan to have a friction mark. To be dignified, there is only goodness in Kanichiro, I want you to keep that goodness forever!

From Ryosuke

I will keep it!

By Kanichiro

✍️To Nijiro:

Please act more childish (laughs). You are 20 years old but is unexpectedly like an adult. I want you to act more like a child (laughs)!

From Ryosuke

When Yamada-kun was twenty years old, weren’t you also like an adult (laughs)?

By Nijiro

Busted (laughs)!

By Ryosuke

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Game: Hesokuri Wars

Name: Karamatsu: Soba Restaurant

Character: Karamatsu Matsuno

Set: Soba Restaurant
Event: Japanese Restaurant Galaxy VOL.1

Rarity: ☆☆☆
AP: 68
Attack Type: Ground
Base Max Level: 30
Top Max Level: 60

Voice Clips:
2. Raise the total amount of AP you can charge to Lv.7
3. Raise the total amount of AP you can charge to Lv.3
4. Raise the Mega-NEET Cannon recharge speed to Lv.10
5. N/A
6. Get 7 different kinds of Karamatsu
7. Get Soba Restaurant Karamatsu from the Gacha 3 times

50 Twice Fun Facts (5)
  1. At the CGV Smile Shop, Chaeyoung did her work with no expression. She wanted to act like a real part-timer. Later for an event during Like OOH-AHH promotions, she handed out fish cakes and ddeokbokki with the same face.
  2. When Nayeon is happy, she raises one arm.
  3. On “Today’s Room”, Momo tried to fry an egg without greasing / putting oil on the pan first. She said herself that she was nervous, but Jungyeon was glaring at her.
  4. At a fansign, Mina got a homemade Heinz Ketchup plushie. She hugged it & didn’t let anyone take it.
  5. Sana got casted while she was shopping with her friends.
  6. Mina got casted while shopping with her mom. She fortunately took the audition on the last day.
  7. There was a time where Nayeon entered a child model contest and got casted by JYP. At the time, her mom refused, but 10 years later, she secretly entered a JYP open audition and passed in second.
  8. When Jungyeon was young, she failed the JYP audition. She did it again and won the Ivy Star Award. She passed several auditions but chose JYP.
  9. Jihyo was picked as 2nd place for a child role for a contest on Naver Junior. She was casted in JYPE then. When she first went into JYP, she was more on the acting side.
  10. In middle school, Dahyun went to a youth dance festival by herself. She got casted there.
  11. Tzuyu wakes up the earliest. Sleeps around 1AM. She wants to be the first to get makeup done.
  12. Chaeyoung once ate udon while hiding under a desk. It got caught on camera. She got scolded for it.
  13. When Sana and Momo were trainees, they ordered jokbal. Got caught because they forgot to clean up 1 leaf of lettuce. They lied saying they ordered soba, but soba restaurants don’t deliver and don’t come with lettuce. Got scolded in the end.
  14. At Dahyun’s first trainee assessment, she shook so much while singing. She failed and cried a lot.
  15. Tzuyu and Jungyeon admitted that they played fake-sick to miss school.
  16. Jungyeon once made a mess out of a staff member’s desk without anyone knowing.
  17. There’s no member in Twice who cooks well.
  18. Jungyeon got accepted into college in 2015 so she wasn’t planning on debuting. She wanted to model.
  19. Jungyeon, in contrast to Nayeon, likes loud/noisy movies.
  20. Jungyeon is in charge of cleaning the dorm. She likes cleaning.
  21. The members sleep an average of 4 hours. Around 6 for Tzuyu.
  22. Chaeyoung sleeps the most. She usually sleeps without even eating.
  23. The member with the best fanservice is Dahyun. Once, Dahyun received a message book from her fans as a debut commemoration gift. She cried in the car from Jamsil to Cheongdamdong (about a 30 minute ride).  Even in the car, a g.o.d. ballad played.
  24. The member who is always and most aware is Mina. She is very smart.
  25. Dahyun hates being alone in dark places.  
  26. After Weekly Idol, Jihyo’s mother told her “You have to get married soon”. Her mother was probably worried about the makchoom (random dancing).
  27. At Everland at the wishing tree, Tzuyu wished for Twice to continue for a long time.
  28. Jungyeon has 2 dogs. A White Pomeranian named 뽀송이 (Bbosongie) and a poodle named Nanan.
  29. In Japan, Sana and Mina are the same age, so when Mina first called her “unnie”, Sana told her not to because it was awkward.
  30. Sana’s mother has very neat/pretty handwriting.
  31. Chaeyoung likes Disney cartoons.  
  32. Mina’s nails are small and complex.
  33. Jungyeon has lived in Anyang for a bit, but now lives in Suwon. Her dad’s hometown is Cheonan.
  34. Jungyeon said she wants to learn how to play the piano.
  35. Before debut, Jungyeon got a case of enteritis from eating green onion pancakes. She went to the hospital alone, and she said it hurt so much she thought she was going to die.
  36. On Jihyo’s phone, every member is saved as their name. But Tzuyu’s is named “Tzuyu Unnie”.
  37. When Chaeyoung was young, she totally loved strawberries, so she got the nickname Strawberry Princess.
  38. Dahyun plays a lot of orchestral pieces on the piano. She often plays Canon and “Only You” by TTS.
  39. For overseas/foreign singers, Jungyeon likes Jessie J.
  40. When Sana converses, she tilts her head and listens closely. This is an old habit. She tilted her head even more when she was young.
  41. Nayeon’s girl crush hierarchy: Her > Jungyeon > Chaeyoung > Jihyo > Momo > Mina > Tzuyu > Dahyun > Sana.
  42. When Jungyeon was in kindergarten, she rode the disco-spin ride and cried because she wanted off.
  43. Jihyo and Nayeon have rhinitis (most likely allergic rhinitis).
  44. Chaeyoung’s religion is Catholic. Her Baptismal name is Katarina. She didn’t go to church after becoming a trainee.
  45. Momo recommends going to Kinkaku-ji (a temple) in Kyoto.
  46. Chaeyoung doesn’t use neck pillows because it keeps falling out.
  47. Mina who can’t ride rollercoasters said she can ride the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey at Universal Studios Japan.
  48. Twice’s “Marilyn Monroe Dance” was made by themselves. Parts of choreo to “Crazy” and “Do It Again” were made by themselves. Chaeyoung says Nayeon is good at making choreography.
  49. The crazy version of Ice Cream Cake that Jungyeon does was originally Nayeon’s idea.
  50. Sana’s favorite ride at Everland was the T-Express.

Translation: @_tzumato / @peachymomo96
Source: @allaboutTWICE_

All I Want For Christmas (Headcanon KBTBB/MPD/HLITF)

Characters: Eisuke, Mamoru, Baba, Hiroshi,
Summary: How we spend xmas with voltage men
NOTES: It’s a bit short and rusty but Merry Christmas ladies ^3^

The others have been wondering what Eisuke has planned for Christmas but the King’s schedule seems to be packed with work, work and work. “It’s Christmas, perfect timing to meet some potential business partners.” It’d be a lie if you aren’t disappointed at his words but you are not entirely surprised either, it’s Eisuke after all. Business is business, no matter what day it is.

All your friends are either busy with work or spending it with families / love ones, even your parents are going on a hot spring vacation. Sometimes you no longer know what to expect with Eisuke, he’d buy expensive gifts and takes you to fancy restaurants out of a blue, his way of showing his love. There’s one way of putting it, the other would be making up the time he couldn’t be with you. Like your birthday, anniversary, valentine and now Christmas. “It’s just holiday”, he would always say, “But since you care SO much then I’ll …….” Making it sounds like you are the only one who give a damn about spending some significant time together, sometimes you do wonder is this what would happen to you for the rest of your life now? Is this all there is to date Eisuke Ichinomiya?

Finally Christmas is here, someone calls in sick so you step up and cover the shift since you are spending it alone anyway, at least you can get away from attending some boring Christmas ball with Eisuke. Of course you haven’t got away with it. Not the way you want to anyway, Baba has found him some blonde to attend the party while you- his actual girlfriend has to SERVE them at the party. He’s giving his fake smiles all night as he meets and greets everyone but once his eyes meet yours, he gives you the “You made me get another chick” look, irritating you more than necessary.

As soon as the banquet is over, you run to the changing room and head to the hotel’s entrance to only find Eisuke waiting for you in his limousine. “Where are we going?” You ask curiously, “Don’t you need to go to the after party?” He keeps his eyes closed without saying a single word, he needs some peace and quiet and that’s the least you can do. Knowing Eisuke, he must be taking you somewhere to spend “Christmas”, squeezing the little time he has through out the day. And he never likes explaining himself, it’s a waste of time he often says. By the time the car stops and door’s opened to send you a wonderful surprise, you’re at Tokyo Disneyland. “Oh my god, Eisuke, I thought you hate…”
The King steps out behind you, letting out a sigh. “I sure do but you like it.”

Wrapping your hand around his arm, you walk down the Disney main street with your man. Standing under the magnificent Christmas tree and watch the fireworks with him hugging you from behind, just like any normal couples. “Is this what you want for Christmas?” He asks quietly, you nod. “What about you? What do you want for Christmas. Eisuke?” He kisses your earlobe which makes you squirm, answering your question in his head, all he wants for Christmas is obviously-

“You” He whispers then starts licking your ear, knowing that would turn you on.


“I want you for Christmas and everyday in my life.” His left hand wanders inside your coat, “Wait….we…”

People greet each other Merry Christmas as the fireworks end, you turn to look him in the eyes and he seals your lips with a long and passionate kiss before …. well before he finishes some more pressing “business” in his limousine.

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