Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

If you’ve been to Kyoto, chances are that you’ve been to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺). It is one of most visited places in the ancient capital of Japan.

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The Golden Pavilion has three levels, each carrying a distinctive architecture style: shinden (11th century aristocracy) on the first level, buke-zukuri (warrior residence on the second, and Chinese Zen (Buddhist temple) on the third. Continue reading “Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto”

Root Vegetables Farro Salad

For someone who get most of her produce from an outdoor farmers market, I have to admit, this time of the year in the Pacific Northwest isn’t all that exciting. My favorite vendor of wild mushrooms and other foraged food is on a three-month hiatus. And there aren’t many choices of green vegetables, if any at all, to choose from.

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But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a delicious healthy meal. I made this salad over the weekend. I love the nutty flavor and the chewy texture of the farro and the natural sweetness from the caramelized root vegetables. I highly recommend it. Continue reading “Root Vegetables Farro Salad”

Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto

Kitano Tenmangu (北野天満宮) is a Shinto shrine located in northwest Kyoto. It is built in 947AD to honor Sugawara no Michizane.

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An important scholar, poet and politician of the Heian period, Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道眞) read poems at the age of five and wrote Chinese poems at the age of eleven.  Continue reading “Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto”

Gion Kawakami, Kyoto

After making a brief stop in the snow laden Kanazawa, we arrived in Kyoto late afternoon to a brilliant sunset.

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For dinner, we went to Gion Kawakami (祇園川上). It turned out to be one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in Japan this time around. Continue reading “Gion Kawakami, Kyoto”

Kanazawa in the Snow

I did not finish writing about our Japan trip last year because by the time I got to this post, it was already the beginning of May. With spring in the air and tulips in full bloom, it simply felt out of context to recount snow flurries in this city of gold marsh.

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We visited Kanazawa (金沢) during a three-hour layover on our way from Shirakawa-go to Kyoto. Continue reading “Kanazawa in the Snow”

Daebak Wang Mandoo

Tucked away in a strip mall in the Korean neighborhood of Federal Way, Daebak Wang Mandoo is a family-owned restaurant that specializes in Wang Mandoo.

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Mandoo (만두) or mandu is dumplings in Korean. Wang (meaning king) mandoo (왕만두) refers to buns.  Continue reading “Daebak Wang Mandoo”

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Did you know that, just an hour drive south of Seattle there is a National Wildlife Refuge? It is one of my favorite places to visit all year round.

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Upon entering the refuge you are first greeted with a duck pond. Continue reading “Nisqually Wildlife Refuge”

Dough Zone

Chinese restaurants in America (except those in L.A, New York and San Francisco) oftentimes try to serve everything on their menu, from stir-fries to hot-pots, from rice dishes to dumplings and noodles. Unless you know the chef’s specialty before hand and order accordingly, you are likely to be disappointed…that is, if authentic Chinese is what your are after.

Dough Zone is different and that is why they’ve been successful since opening in 2014. As the name indicates, they specialize in all things made with a dough, for instance these Shanghai-style soup dumplings, served piping hot at the table

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Juicy Jian Buns (I order them to-go and eat them as breakfast the next day – twenty seconds in the microwave, they are good as new 🙂 ) Continue reading “Dough Zone”