Birthday French dinner at Yanaka Sugiura

As of today, June 7th 2020, Tokyo is still under “Tokyo Alert”, by which Tokyo metropolitan government asks us to be careful of the COVID-19 virus. Nevertheless restaurants in Tokyo, which suffered seriously from the pandemic of the virus, slowly and carefully reopened. Today we celebrated the birthday of my wife at a French restaurant nearby, Yanaka Sugiura.

Sugiura is a small bistro in Yanaka Tokyo owned by Mr./Mrs. Sugiura. The bistro serves French dishes made of ingredients in Japan with reasonable prices.

This is jelly of firefly squid, crab and sea urchin with paprika source as an appetizer.

Shrimp with white asparagus.

As a fish dish, grilled red snapper and pike conger with source of short-necked clams.

As a meat dish, steak of Hitachi beef. Hitachi in Ibaraki prefecture is famous for beef production.

Today we had dinner with our 1.5 year old baby. The bistro served him bread and potato soup specially. And they didn’t mind when the baby sometimes shouted. We highly appreciated the bistro and other customers for having a great time. Thank you very much!

The first boy’s day for our baby

May 5th is the boy’s day in Japan. And today May 5th in 2019 is the first boy’s day for our baby ! Let me explain about Japanese’s boy’s day on this post.

On the body’s day in Japan there are several tradition to pray for healthy growth of boys. When we are young boys, our parents displayed a doll of young samurai and a samurai helmet. This year they displayed them for the first time after more than 20 years. But they still looked like new.

The doll and helmet are decorated with katana (Japanese sword), horse doll and arrows. Around 30 years ago in the country side of Japan, many families with young boys had such dolls.

Also another typical tradition is Koi-nobori, streamer with the shape of carp. In east Asia carp is considered as a symbol of good promotion deriving from an old legend in China that carp climbed up a steep waterfall to become a dragon. And in Japan as well for several hundred years the paper carps have been flying in the sky to pray for good promotion and health of boys.

However recently when more and more young families live in apartments of big cities, it becomes more and more difficult to display dolls or to make carps fly due to space limitation.

Nevertheless, we can celebrate the boy’s day with other traditions. At least we can eat Kashiwa-mochi, special rice cake wrapped in oak leaf. In this season we can buy the cake in many Japanese style confectionery stores and even supermarkets. The oak leaf add a bitter taste on the sweet cake and and it’s very delicious.

You might be yet concerned that you cannot see Koi-nobori carps in Tokyo. For such people at Tokyo’s two big towers, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Sky Tree, they displayed a lot of small carps at the entrances. When I visited Tokyo Tower, many carps were flying in the night sky of Tokyo.

Even if the lifestyle in Japan changes, the parent’s wishes for healthy growth of their kids are unchanged. We wishes health of our baby and babies of friends !!!