If I need to pick up my top 3 favorite musicians, they would be Mozart, Beatles ( or John and Paul) and Bill Evans. They all never die in my mind. I actually already lived longer than some of them, but they are still my great music mentors.
It's my little tribute to Bill Evans.
I like playing the piano and the guitar, actually my main part in my band is piano, though. I try to take my stress away by playing music for DTM works.
Today I completed a new Jazz tune because today was a little moody enough for me to enjoy lazy jazz music. Usually Jazz music is also bound by chord works for playing improvisation melody, but as Miles Davis started Modal Jazz Music, I also like playing free style Jazz like Modal Jazz.
For a Japanese like me, it's hard to reach the level of top players because I was not raised in Jazz music environment. Interestringly as I grow older, my ears get accustomed to Jazz feeling music, which makes me to try new Jazz music world recently.
Today's song title is literally " Jazzy Day".
In my experience, I would rank Ise Jingu shrine, Isawano miya shrine, Omiwa Shrine, and hibara shrine as the top class of importance of existance. Some would choose the other shrines as their top favorites, but I could feel the sprit of ancient people of Japan at those my favorite places.
They are located around Ise, Nara, and some are in Kyoto area too. This year, I would love to visit more.
Now we can produce music by desk top music software. It's amazingly cheap compared to the past time recording system. We needed to go to a rental studio and it cost more than 1000 dollars at least to record some muisc then. Now with only 500 dollar software, we can build up home music studio for PC recordiong.
Anyway, I play the piano with my jazz band. Two newly recorded demo songs are ready for play with the band. Improvisation music is not for band type but for my own pleasure, though. Also drums and bass guitar are hard for me to play although I tried both of them in the demo recordings.
Have you ever tried Natto ? If yes, do you like Natto ?
Probably most of the foreigners don't like or hate Natto because it's smelly and sticky. It's true that many of Japanese like Natto. For example, Natto is offered at any Ryokan Inns ( traditioanl Japanese Inn) at breakfast together with raw eggs and Nori seaweeds. Yes, Japanese breakfast used to be very simple although recent ones are more westernized. So you might think all of us Japanese like it, which is not true.
Talking about myself, I can't eat it. I tried some times to overcome my weakness on this food, but never succeeded. After many trials, I already gave up eating Natto. Am I a specail person in Japan on Natto ? No, there are Japaese who don't like it. Especially in the Western Part of Japan like in Osaka, Natto has long been left behind. Recently some seem to eat Natto in Osaka area, but it's not majority of the people yet.
I really don't like Natto although I'm Japanese. But I would like to pick up a good thing from this strange food, Natto. I need to promote Japanese food more ...??
Anyway, Natto is reported by medical reserch groups as a very healthy food. The biggest merit of having Natto is that it can reduce the risk of cerebral thrombosis dramatically. Reports say that a pack of Natto a day can melt the cerebral thrombosis clearly after a week or two. Actually, people having Natto offen has good blood test results comparatively.
I don't like Natto, but I believe this fact. So I take Natto essence pills everyday for my health. Then I don't have to have Natto !
Yesterday I went to Tokyo for my band work.
Whenever I go to Tokyo, I make it a rule to eat a new ramen during my stay. This time, I tried Kyushu Jangara Ramen.
This is a tonkotsu ( pork base broth ) type ramen and its taste was fabulous with only 600 yen for a simple ramen. Kyushu ramen or Hakata ramen are already popular anywhere in Japan but the competition is very hard in Tokyo, which makes many of the ramens in Tokyo really tasty.
Jangara Ramen has some branches in Tokyo like Ginza, Harajuku, Akasaka, Akihabara,and Ikebukuro. I went to the Ikebukuro branch which is located on the top floor of SEIBU department store at Ikebukuro station.
I slightly remember I once tried this Jangara ramen more than 10 years ago in Tokyo. If my memory is correct, the Jangara restaurant was not so popular then. But this time I recognized this ramen is good. Survival game of Tokyo ramen battle is always severe. Jangara ramen successfully servived the ramen wars in Tokyo ans it has fans for its ramen. At my last time trial, I didn't especailly want to come back again. But this time, Jangara ramen taste gave me good motive to explore more about Tokyo ramen market.
I will gladly come back again to Jangara ramen shop.
Tsukiji is a famous fish market in Tokyo, where is also famous for the everyday's auction for tuna and many more fish of the day.
The new year auction was held on 5th of January, 2013.
And the 1st tuna of the year from the most popular fishing area of Japan, Ohma bay, was auctioned.
The price of the tuna was about a hundred & fifty million JPY or nearly 2 million US dollars for just ONE tuna !! Not a total auction price but it's just ONE tuna fish price !!
We could buy a house or anything, if we had that much money, instead of the tuna. But it's a kind of celebrating purchase price of new year trading. Also, many Japanese media try to report the price and the buyer of the tuna as a big news. Some say it's such a big promotional action to invest such big money, rather than paying the same money on advertising in papers or on TV.
The news says that the buyer is a Japanese big sushi restaurat company which runs a famous sushi chain restaurant called Sushi Zammai in Tokyo. I also love this restaurant of Tokyo. It's a nice place for enjoying good sushi with very reasonable price.
Can you imagine a body of tuna costs nearly 2 million US dollars in Japan ?
Sushi or Sashimi is always on sale at any department stores' food floor. Especially on such special holidays like New Years Day, those bento boxes are sold well because many people take rest at home and eat at home rather than dinig out.
I also bought a lot of bento boxes for New Year Holidays and enjoyed small family party. Sushi is beautifully displayed and at this occassion, we often see a party plates ( like photo below). It's packed with various food for party time.
Autually seafood is more popular than meat in Japan as far as watching the bento boxes. What I miss most when I go abroad is the real fresh seafood. Japan is surrounded by ocean with small land space. It's natural for us to have seafood in this situation. Also eating meat was prohibited for a long time up unitl about 100 years ago. We grow with seafood.
Japanese people often arrange foreign style foods into Japanese favorite style. If you first come to Japan, I'm sure you will easily find so many Japanized Western Foods.
For example, Japanese curry dish is apparently imported from Indian Curry Dish, correctly it came by way of UK, and it's already Japanese Curry with different taste and different cooking stuff. But some foreign people like Japanese curry too. I love both Japanese curry and Indian curry, though. Like that, we have so many Japanized imported foods.
Today, my wife and I went to such a Western food restaurant and we had pasta and humberg steak plate. To be honest, we love both dish. But maybe Italian people and German people would not agree that these are real spagetti and humberg steak because the taste is different. Pasta looks a little similar to real dish of Italy as the photo with rightly boiled pasta and beautiful tomato sauce. But humberg steak is totally Japanese style with ginger soysauce taste. Now we find soy sauce at many steak restaurants in USA because soysauce goes well with meat dish, so you might think this humberg steak could taste OK. Yes, its taste is really good ( at least for me ).
Not only these two things, but there also are many Japanese flavored food by idea of Western food. I will try to introduce more.
Today is the New Year's Day of 2013.
In Japan, most of the shops and businesses are closed except some all year running shops like Seven Eleven. It's just a relaxing day and we often go to shrines to pray with our wish for the new year, which is called Hatsu Moude in Japanese, and this custom is a long remaining Japanese life heritage probably since the birth of the religion, Shinto in Japan.
Yesterday, what we usually do is having Soba. This is also an old traditoin of Japan. For the time of changing the years, we have Soba. This Soba eating custom is called Toshikoshi Soba, which should be translated like Year Passing Soba.
The Photo is my Toshikoshi Soba at home by my wife's cooking. It's really simple, I added Shirimp Tempura on the top of hot Soba ( some like cold soba better even in the Winter). Taste is also very simple but I like it so much. We enjoy the flavor of Soba with the taste, so we don't change the essence of the food by arranging much.
I had Toshikoshi Soba at home, but many people also have it at Soba restaurants. Famous Soba restaurats have the busiest time in the year on 31st of December.
Also, today I went for shopping to a electric equipment store nearmy house without thinking something especially to buy in my mind. As I wrote, most of the stores are closed, but occassionally some try to sell even on the New Year's Day in Japan. So I went to see something new at one of the running shops today.
Cameras were impressive. I like taking photos and I've been working on photo taking since the 35mm analog film cameras were top share models. Recent cameras are really fantastic with easy handling functions and high quality photo result. In addition, the price is amazingly low in comparison with the quality. I have some cameras but new ones displayed at shops make me feel like trying them.