Musings from Kyoto Japan, mostly on Mushrooms, Food, Travel and the like

Archive for January, 1970

The Nuyen Sinh French Restaurant in Hanoi & The Road Warrior

Hi John E, you might like to check out this place on Pho Nha Chung street near Hoan kim lake. That street is quite touristy, but still fun, and the restaurant is great. f:id:Johnnobi:20110223123132j:image

I didn’ have any problems with electricity, but then I always carry one of these, and a triple adapter.


New Cut-Price Airline Starts Operations from Kansai International Airport 激安!大共栄圏航空KIX-HRB初便

Greater Co-Prosperity Airlines has announced a new service to Harbin, with one-way tickets starting at 500 sen. It is proving especially popular with young female ‘OL’ office workers, looking for an inexpensive getaway, and the opportunity ‘to meet and colonise new Asiatic peoples’.




Whilst initial flights have experienced certain ‘operational difficulties’, the safety apparatus is the finest modern technology can offer.





Me, Gazzer and BB . Tbe Goon, the Pretender, and the King

B.B King says “You are hot tonight, young man”, to Gary Moore, and this ensues:

Don’t get much better than this.


BTW, some years ago, in the bowels of Yokohama Arena, I met B.B King (backstage at a U2 gig; thanks forever for that, Lucy). He walked down a long fluorescent-lit corridor, flanked by three ladies of his own build and general demeanour. As he came near me I felt I had to say something. It was just the five of us there, you understand, in that long, antiseptic blue-white space.

I said “Mr King, I really respect your music”.

He said ‘Thankyou young man”.

And off he and his three escorts went.

Ye Gods…

In this vid, I especially like it when BB looks at the keyboard player to see if Gary Moore is going to back down, and it becomes clearly evident that the yout got balls AND ability, and they have a fight on their hands.

Big cred to BB for being a gracious king.

Big cred to Gary Moore for being that good.

Good Sisters from the Past Cocerned about the Doodles




Happy birthday. We love you, not only on boxing day.


10年W杯南アフリカ大会抽選 Here we go, Here we go, Here we go. Again.


And so, the feverish, wildly over-expectant dreaming begins again. Has four years really passed so quickly? And do we really have to go through all that agony again so soon?



World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

England vs USA; Algeria; Slovenia.

Japan vs Holland; Denmark; Cameroon.



This, posted on the BBC website, is typical of the reaction that you will find in many a pub and fish-and-chip shop in England today. These people need professional help. And yet…

“England will win the World Cup by finishing top of their group with nine points! We will then beat Serbia, France, Brazil and Spain on our way to World Cup victory! Wayne Rooney will finish with the Golden Boot and the Government will declare a national holiday! Already counting down to South Africa 2010! Come on England!”


Here’s the full draw:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, Those Cheating Froggies

Group B: Fat Diego’s Barmy Army, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: The Hun, Australia, Serbia, Ghana


Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia (they must be well-chuffed in Rome)

Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR, Côte d’Ivoire, Portugal (The Group of Death)

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile


England have got an easy draw, though the USA game will bring back memories of the 1950 defeat (which the then England captain, Billy Wright, famously compared to ‘the MCC getting beaten by Germany at cricket’). And if I am not mistaken, didn’t the Yanks do for Spain in the Confederations Cup and only go out in the final to Brazil?



Things look a lot tougher for the Blue Samurai (what a daft nickname). The Dutch are no slouches (if England don’t win, I hope they do), and Cameroon are no pushovers at all. Along with Ghana and the Ivory Coast, they are tipped as potential winners. One commentator described them as ‘the Germany of Africa’. Yikes.



Japan Manager Okada described it as a ‘so-so’ group, but I reckon he’s just putting a brave face on things. The bookies rate the Dutch above France and Portugal, and the Indomitable Lions can count on plenty of partisan support. Oh, and of course they do have this fellow in their squad:



If you don’t know, it’s Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona FC and Inter Milan fame. He da man. Sorry to say it but I think he’ll take the samurai to the コイン・ランドリー.


Some bookmakers in England, drinking of the font of blind faith, now put England above Brazil (and second only to Spain) as contenders to carry off the cup. However, us England old-hands know only too well how it might end up:


Iain, Kev, are you reading this?


Mushroom Music This Coming Saturday w/Kotaro Iizawa 飯沢耕太郎のキノコ狩ルチャー in KYOTO

Kotaro Iizawa is a famous photographic art critic, and full-time mushroom nerd. He will be giving a talk at Coccon Karasuma on Saturday at 7pm. There will be ‘mushroom music’, and catering by Juri Suzuka’s ‘Cafe Millet’. I shall be there. Why don’t you come too?







(By the way, this picture in no way meant to represent Mr Roman Polanski, Film Director. See blog entry above).

飯沢耕太郎のキノコ狩ルチャー in KYOTO


飯沢氏が作詩、京都を拠点に活動するrimacona(リマコナ)が作曲を担当した「新しいきのこ音楽」ライブとの二部構成。さらに今回は京都静原のCAFE MILLETによるきのこ料理のケータリングもあり、充実のきのこ狩りラインナップでお届けします。




   京都市下京区烏丸通四条下ル水銀屋町620番地 COCON烏丸 3F


rimacona (

ケータリング:CAFE MILLET (





【往復はがき】〒600-8411 京都市下京区烏丸通四条下ル水銀屋町620番地 COCON烏丸 3F shin-bi




父方の祖母レベッカ My Grandmother, Rebecca

She was very clever, and very tough, and she remembered Queen Victoria. She was the first woman to win a scholarship at Salt’s Grammar School. She worked in the jam factory in Windhill, just outside Shipley, West Yorkshire. I always called her Nan.


大昔から持っている愛車 Mi Old Wheels: New Wheels Comin’ Soon


It’s a trek Y-22 carbon-fibre stealth bomber. Much fun has been had on this machine, not least the first-ever off-road descent of Mount Hiei, and my never-to-be-forgotton cryptomeria face-plant.

Should you so wish, try to unearth this tome and read my story ‘High on Hiei’:


I was somewhat mad back then, but not THIS mad:

Having catapulted himself over the Tour De France peleton, Dave Watson wiped out somewhat spectacularly, emerging with a ‘separated shoulder’ and ‘severely bruised groin’. Full story here:

Now time to return to my cycling roots. This my new girl. About to arrive soon. Hope she comes with handlebars and a seat. My days of bruised groins are surely over.


Ludmilla ああ~今でも愛しています

本家尾張屋でお昼 Lunch at Owariya

本家尾張屋 京蕎麦処


●座席数60席●ラストオーダー:午後9時●営業時間:午前11時~午後10時 高島屋京都支店7F





Oariya have been serving soba in Kyoto for roughly the last 540 years. pretty good it is too. Sash and I ate at the Takashimaya department store branch, 7F, the other day. Above is the Tenseiro Soba; below the Imoseiro.

By the way, the 7th floor of Takashimaya has some neat decor, including a massive rock (how did they get that in there?) and a ‘flying garden)’.





Mohindas K Inoue of the Indian National Fruitbat Party ヘルハウス復活!インドのゲイ政治家をお招きして。

On a rare visit to Kyoto.

f:id:Johnnobi:20090526001816j:image f:id:Johnnobi:20090526155858j:image

My iPod was in Feisty Mood this Morning ”すべて、偶然に任せよう。(Enjoy uncertainty.)” ”Life is random.”


This is what the iPod ‘Shuffle Songs’ mode came up with. Cool!

f:id:Johnnobi:20090522121706j:image Shores of California by the Dresden Dolls

Check out the video here:

f:id:Johnnobi:20090522121708j:image W.A.Y.U.H by the Rapture

Check out the video here:

f:id:Johnnobi:20090522121707j:image Sheela Na Gig by PJ Harvey

Check out the video here:

Some Things That Have Shaped My Life, Part 53. 私の人生を変えるようなもの代53番


I still haven’t quite got over it. And it was 32 years ago.



NB: (watch the youtube video and all will become clear). I was 16 at the time.

注意せよ:是非このビデオを見て下さい。それで「デトロイト」の魅力が分かり易いになるでしょうか? あの時代では私は16才のにきび面の若造でした


My Small Family Car and Fumio’s Mum うちの径車とふみおくんのかわいいお母さん


Yesterday we drove up to Kutsuki-mura to visit my friend Fumio’s mum. She is 84 and incredibly cute. That is her in the foreground, with the lovely silver hair. 昨日私達は朽木村までバーキン7でドライブしました。友達ふみおくんのお母さん会いに行きました。八十四歳のおばあちゃんはすごくかわいいです。ふみおとえらいちがう!

In his mum’s field for the spinach harvest. お母さんの田んぼでほうれん草大豊作


Fumio and Mum. Fortunately he’s a bit blurry. ふみおとお母さん。ふみおはちょっとピンぼけの方がいいでしょうか?


See what I mean? あああ… 証明されるべきこと、証明終わり


Mind you, come to think of it I am no oil painting myself. まあ、考えてみると、私もパリッとした紳士ではないね…


異常な低血糖値 What Happens When the Blood Sugar Levels Have Plummeted

要注意人物 Stay clear of this man at all costs.




ああ、やばい!Fortunately most of the other regular customers are relatively civilized. This is Kyoichi Ramen at Shijo-Omiya. Some like it, some don’t. I have been going for years.

肉じゃがの話+刺青+温泉男: What Happens When You Google Yourself

Have you ever Googled your own name? I just did, and a page about tattoos, in Spanish, came up! (


Actually, I took the photo. It is Horiyoshi 3rd, master tattooist, working on a Yakuza gentleman at his studio in Yokohama. This is the art of ‘tebori’, tattooing by hand rather than by machine.

I also found out that one of my photographs is on sale at A naked man in a bath in Nagano, no less. I wonder if he’s aware that his unclothed self is on sale around the world?


And this:


Yer common spud (jaga-imo) is much appreciated in Japan, not least in Hokkaido where the splendidly titled danshaku (“the Baron”) is preferred. It is originally arrived at the other end of the archipelago in Kyushu, in the early 17th century, when the Dutch brought it to Nagasaki. Sometimes called the bareisho (“horse-bell potato”), it is used in sunomono, aemono, nimono, oden and furai (deep fried; at McDonald’s termed furenchi-furai). A favorite with foreigners is niku-jaga – stewed beef and potatoes with onion and carrot, in shoyu with mirin and dashi. Not only is this izakaya staple tasty, it is easy to order – just ask for a rubber-lipped Rolling Stones vocalist. Works every time.

Quoted from P.61, “World Food – JAPAN”, John Ashburne and Yoshi Abe, Lonely Planet, Australia, 2002.



上のガイドブックをうろ覚えした外人さんが、日本の居酒屋で『う~ん、確か唇が特徴的なロックボーカリストだったよなぁ、あのポテト料理の名前。唇、唇~っと...Oh!! スミマッセ~ン、すてぃーぶん・たいらー、ヲ、ヒトツ、クラッサ~イ』と注文したのを、若い店員さんが『は? スティーなんとかタイラー? スティーなんとかタイラー... あっ! スチームド・タイラだ! 板長! タイラ貝の蒸し物できますか!?』と叫んで、その過程を最初から見ていた板長さん(団塊の世代でロック好き)が『そりゃストーンズじゃなくてエアロスミスのボーカルだ。まったくどいつもこいつも...』と嘆いたりする、なんてことがあると楽しいんですが。

ちなみに、これを書いている今現在、Googleで『肉じゃが ミック・ジャガー』を検索すると、なんと約1600件もヒットします。一方、『nikujaga “mick jagger”』で英文ページだけ検索すると、1件しかヒットしません。でも、『nikujaga』だけで英文ページを検索すると1000件近くヒットするので、肉じゃが自体が海外で全く無名だというわけでもなさそうですが、ミック・ジャガーに引っ掛けるなんていう発想は、ガイジンさんには非常に少ないようです。


それから、このガイドブックにこう書いてあるからって、『うィ~ッ、これがアメリカ風の注文のしかたなんだよ~、おねぇちゃんっ!! ミック・ジャガーひとつぅ!! なんてな! なんてな!』と注文しても無視されるだけですからね、そこのお・じ・さ・ま。

まぁ、飲み会のおやじギャグとして元上司がよく使っていたのが、新人歓迎会などで血液型を聞かれると(今やタブー?)『おれ? おれはねぇ、おれはねぇ、新潟!!』ってやつでした。まぁ、新人は喜ぶんですが、勤続十ウン年にもなると『血液型聞くなよ、聞くんじゃないぞ。課長言いたくてウズウズしてんぞ。リアクションめんどくさいんだよ。もう、これ聞くの何回目だよ~』と心の中で突っ込んでいたもんです。

By the way, the folk who translated my stuff into Japanese didn’t ask permission. They just went ahead and did it. Which is fine by me. I like their Steamed Tyler joke. Not sure how Lonely Planet felt about it though.