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Re[1]: WWII War Brides & Enka
from WebmasterOkaTue, 08.05.2018 - 09:40:51 JSTReply

I am very sorry, but I cannot identify the enka singer Chita with this nickname or shortened name only. Do you have any further information about her, such as titles of her songs and her age?
WWII War Brides & Enka
from Yayoi WinfreyMon, 07.05.2018 - 20:27:26 JSTReply
aloha, Oka-san. i‘m in post-production on a film about WWII Japanese war brides. you seem very knowledgable about enka music and i wonder if you‘ve ever heard of a singer named Chita? one of the people i filmed talked about her, but i can‘t find any information--unless i‘m spelling the name wrong. i really enjoy reading your website. i, too, was born in Tokyo, Machida-shi, and recently visited the clinic where i began my life. arrigatou gozaimasu, mata ne. my email is also, i‘m a total rekijo and love taiga drama and jidaigeki.
Re[1]: I like your site
from WebmasterOkaMon, 12.03.2018 - 18:50:13 JSTReply
I very much feel sympathy for your intention to have a house in Boso.

I originally came from Chiba city and it was my long-cherished dream to have a house, not on such a high mountain like Amagi where I have my second house now, but on a low hill in Boso with ocean view. When I tried to realize my dream, I first searched for a suitable land in Boso. But, Boso was not much developed in the 1980s and I could not find any area of holiday houses. Boso was also not much open for outsiders at the time and I was afraid of being bothered by intensive community life, if I would buy an old farmhouse and live in a village. Therefore, I built a house in Izu.

Now, things have changed a lot. my old friend Naoto has a paddy field near Otaki and I met many people who immigrated from Tokyo to the nearby area or acquired a second house to enjoy country life. You can surely enjoy life in Boso. Congratulations for your second life!
I like your site
from James CorbettMon, 12.03.2018 - 16:49:52 JSTReply
Dear Sir,

I am a British citizen and permanent resident of Japan. I came here in 1995. I really enjoy reading your site, especially about your holiday house in Izu. It is my dream to buy some land in Boso Hanto and live there when I retire. Thank you.
Re[5]: A delightful read
from WebmasterOkaTue, 21.11.2017 - 21:13:13 JSTReply
Dear Florence-san,

Yes, we visited Da Casetta as well. By the way, it was recommended by the hostess of Comedor Salud. I should not be too blunt. But, unfortunately we were not much impressed by their dishes. We want more surprise and I do not feel comfortable in confined spaces.

In fact, I wonder why we do not have good open restaurants along the Zempukuji-gawa, so we can relax in the outdoor space. Only Musashino-en is there. It has its own atmosphere and I don’t dislike it. But, there should be more modern restaurants or coffee shops. In particular during the cherry blossom season, I miss such kind of places. Bistro Le Vin makes some trials. But, I want more!

As for Sushi, I visited a few in Hamadayama, but I do not dare to go there again. Foreigners might think that Sushi is the representative food of Japan and the Japanese people eat sushi every day. That’s not true. Sushi used to be a special menu for special occasions. So, even now, I do not eat sushi so often, maybe once in several months. And, I do not want to eat endangered spices such as tuna and eel. I like the so called “ao-zakana” (blue-skin fish) such as sardine, mackerel, horse mackerel, saury and “kohada” and they are cheap and usually very tasteful even in the popular sushi chain restaurants.
Re[4]: A delightful read
from FlorenceFri, 17.11.2017 - 15:40:57 JSTReply
Dear Oka-san

It looks like we go to very much the same restaurants in this area. In fact, we also share your view about Fukunoya, which means we have not been back since our first time there.

Viccolino is actually one of our favourites and is on our rotation list for Saturday dinners. Another Italian restaurant on our list that we would highly recommend is Da Casetta. Not only is the quality of the food on par with a lot of the more famous (and often overrated) Italian restaurants in, say, Minato-ku, the prices are very reasonable. What I am most impressed about is the fact that the chef, Sato-san, is extremely passionate about his cooking. He frequently experiments with different recipes and seasonal ingredients, so the restaurant menu is never static, and a food order is often accompanied by a friendly explanation on how a particular dish on the menu came about. Both Sato-san and his assistant, Sahoda-san, are sommeliers, so they boast of a pretty good Italian wine selection as well.

I also have a sushi restaurant recommendation to share with you. Given that I’m not Japanese, I am probably not qualified to comment too much on sushi, but I must say that there is one sushi restaurant in Hamadayama that I go to every week (in fact, I just had lunch there today) and which I invariably bring all my family and friends to when they visit Tokyo, and that is Sushi Naito. Naito is not as famous as Kyubei in Ginza or ranked as highly on Tabelog as Murase in Roppongi, and its regular fan base is probably relatively small compared to the older players Iroha, Asahi and Kanroku in our area, but I find that Naito has a very unique style that agrees with my palate, and now that I’m used to the sushi there (particularly the “shari”), I can’t go to most regular sushi restaurants anymore. Naito may not suit everyone, and this is a gaikokujin commenting on a traditional Japanese cuisine, but if you have time, do try it out and let me know what you think.

And finally, if you ask me, I wish we had a Seiyu DIY centre and not a Seijo Ishii! No doubt the rent there requires a lucrative business like Seijo Ishii though. What a pity.


Re[3]: A delightful read
from WebmasterOkaThu, 16.11.2017 - 14:34:15 JSTReply
Dear Florence-san,

I am very surprised and impressed to know that you are so well informed about the recent changes of Hamadayama.

One of the allure of Hamadayama is certainly ts abundance in privately owned shops and restaurants. Regrettably, as the case of Marusho shows us, they are gradually disappearing. Hamanoyu (check Hamadayama) was the first case for me. The public bath with its nice traditional design, disappeared several years ago and Aeon now occupies the place. After “Marusho” a nice tofu-shop “Kawakami” was recently closed. (If you are looking for a good butchery, you can try “Shimura” in the Itsukaichi-Kaido near the Ozaki Bridge. Shimura is privately owned and as old as Marusho.)

But, it is also true that, as far as restaurants are concerned, new ones open one after another. I especially appreciate that we can now enjoy Chinese foods at very reasonable price in “Ran” as well as Vietnamese foods in “Cyclo”. “Viccolino” offers an interesting Italian food menu and “Vin and Sake 33” owned by the liquor shop Iseya is a nice French bistro with good Bourgogne wine. It’s also a good idea to sit at the counter of “Comedor Salud” and last not but least “Hamayama” in Kamakura-Kaido is a comfortable izakaya with plenty sorts of tidbits with creative idea. “Fumiyama-Seika” grocery next to the BMW showroom offers non-standard but good quality vegetables at bargain prices.

The tempura restaurant you mentioned is surely better than Tsuna-Hachi in Shinjuku, which is now crowded by foreign tourists, though I cannot assure you that it offers the best quality tempura. But, surely it is good enough for a residential area such as Hamadayama. Maybe, you should try it once and check with your own tongue! Another old restaurant in Hamadayama, Fukunoya, specialized in oden, is highly evaluated by many people, but their style does not fit my taste.

Ando is a good soba restaurant. Compared with Korin it offers more conventional style soba in a traditional-looking interior. I rather prefer Ando’s soba, though sakura-soba of Korin is attractive. Ando is closed on Tuesdays and Fridays.

I should also add that the old DIY section of SEIYU was where now SeijoIshii stands.

I still go to Nankai-Kitchen in Suzuran-dori in Kanda, to enjoy its Katsu-Curry! Maybe, I may have sat next to your husband one day.
Re[2]: A delightful read
from FlorenceWed, 15.11.2017 - 10:41:14 JSTReply
Dear Oka-san

Thank you for your reply.

You are certainly right that Hamadayama has been changing rapidly. In the 2 years or so that we have been here, we have witnessed Baskin-Robbins being replaced by a yakitori restaurant, a new Italian bistro opening along the shopping street, the car park next to Seiyu (presumably the old DIY part of Seiyu that your articles refer to?) being turned into an apartment building, Seiyu itself undergoing a renovation, the Morinaga employee dormitory transforming into an empty lot in the space of a few weeks (though it seems we can expect a new apartment building there soon), a new Japanese restaurant Asano (now one of our favourites) opening, and my beloved butcher Marusho being replaced by Origin Bento. In addition, on the way to work recently, I have noticed that the building which used to be a dry cleaner along the shopping street is in the process of being demolished. Too many changes to keep track of!

The Zenpukujigawa green belt is a very nice area. My husband does his jogging there all the time!

By the way, you have talked about Fujiyoshi the tempura restaurant in one of your articles. My husband and I were curious about that restaurant when we first moved to Hamadayama. On a couple of occasions, we tried to walk in but were told that a booking was required. Eventually, we kind of forgot about it and started frequenting other restaurants in the area. In light of your article though, I think we will actually make a booking and try it out. As for the soba restaurants Ando and Korin, we go to Korin from time to time, but we have noticed that Ando seems to be closed all the time? We both love eating out, so we have been reading your restaurant recommendations with great interest. In fact, my husband is impressed that you know about the katsu curry restaurant in Jinbocho. Apparently he used to go there all the time when he was a student!

No doubt you must be busy with Hana-chan and with your music, but we look forward to future updates on your website!

Re[1]: A delightful read
from WebmasterOkaTue, 14.11.2017 - 07:42:32 JSTReply
Dear Florence-san,

Welcome to Hamadayama and thank you for your entry.
Yes, I also find Hamadayama a very comfortable place to live. But, it is also changing rapidly and the information I wrote some years ago are already outdated. I am sorry that I am not much active recently in updating this site.

Our black coated Shiba, Hana, does not go to the shopping area. She goes for a walk twice a day to the Zempukuji-gawa green belt. It is a large green and really suited for dogs’ stroll. Every time Hana enjoys the feeling of grass-covered land and meets many dog friends, and we often go as far as Omiya-Hachiman.

Anyhow, please enjoy the life in Hamadayama.
A delightful read
from Florence Sun, 12.11.2017 - 14:08:16 JSTReply
Dear Oka-san

I am very thankful that you have taken the effort to detail the many aspects of your life in Japan on this website. My (Japanese) husband and I moved to Hamadayama in February 2016. It is our first time living in this area and we have grown to really enjoy the quiet yet cheerful and convenient surroundings. We recently stumbled across your blog by chance while randomly googling “Hamadayama” and must say that it has been a source of great delight to us. Not only have we learnt a lot about the Hamadayama area and the different aspects of living in Japan through your informative articles, we thoroughly enjoy your witty and engaging writing style.

We will look out for a black coated shiba inu called Hana when we walk along the shopping streets of Hamadayama and will come up and say hi. :)