Grape Daifuku

It’s the dead of summer in Fukuoka so I tried to cool off with this beautiful grape, white bean daifuku and iced matcha. I really do prefer the summer over winter (Canadian or Japanese) but my first summer in Fukuoka is quite…warm. I need to constantly remind myself not to go do groceries on my lunch break because its a bit draining even to be out a short while. I’lll take refuge from the heat where I can.

Hiking in Kitakyushu: Hiraodai・平尾台 Edition

There are a few summer holidays in July so a few friends and I escaped north of the city to Kitakyushu. Just east of there is a place I’ve had my eye on for ages: Hiraodai. It isn’t so mountainous but is more gorgeous rolling green hills and beautiful views. This group is a big on sunrises so we started our day around 3:30am and were not disappointed. I could not get enough of the morning light.

It was just like out of a dream. On the way to the summit it was a little cloudy but cleared up beautifully later in the hike.

Sometimes (every time) sunrise hikes are a bit challenging but they are so worth it. I wouldn’t be supr keen to try an 8 hour hike on so little sleep but its a great time to do smaller, less physical hikes; especially in the summer heat.

The grass was really up to my waist at some points! It was a lot of fun to go around and play around in.

Believe it or not, I did manage to find some sweets. Matcha kakigōri・かき氷 and anmitsu・あんみつ at a really old school style shop and they were beyond heaven.

Here is my hike on Yamap!

Leaving the House: Bread Edition

A little different from my usual vibe, but a wonderful place I really enjoy going to is Bread & Cafe. It’s a great place to bring your laptop and work but even better for bread and design.

This thick sliced toast with textured red bean paste and a healthy pad of butter is a classic Nagoya snack and is one of my all time favourite foods. The bread, called shoku pan・食パン was fluffy and perfect and the azuki beans were jammy and rich. Impossible not to love it.

A Spool to Tie Fates

This little sweet from Kichi Zoh・吉蔵 is in the style of a Shigoto Musubi Omamori・仕事結びお守り which is shaped like a spool of thread. Omamori, or amulets can be bought at almost any shrine. Here are some examples of amulets you can buy in Dazaifu, where I often go hiking.

The Shigoto Musubi Omamori is a little spool of thread and the color of the thread and the manner that its knotted has different meanings. Overall, they help you through your work, daily tasks and livelihood. I have only seen them in Fukuoka, and I think they are quite popular from Kamado shrine in Dazaifu but I could be mistaken.

Either way is was a lovely little sweet! It definitely helped with my work tasks today.

Rainy Day Castella Cake

I pickup up this castella in Nagasaki when I was there a little while ago. It was nice and dense but not too sweet. Castella is very popular all around Japan but it most famous in Nagasaki. It obviously has Portuguese influence and is not what come to mind when you think of wagashi. I also re-stocked my favourite matcha, but I might have to switch to iced matchas pretty soon.