#826 “bicerin” ~historical cafe in Italy loved by celebrities~


The other day I went to the Hankyu department store at Umeda. There was an event about world-wide cookies. It was quite interesting. As I was going through the wide selections of amazing cookies from around the world, I saw a staff promoting a new coffee drink called “bicerin”.

It was loved by many celebrities.

He told me that this coffee drink was loved by many celebrities such as Giacomo Puccini (Italian opera composer), Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher) and Ernest Hemingway (American journalist and a Nobel Laureate).

It is made of espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk served layered.

The drink is made of espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk served layered in a small cup.
I tried it at this event-limited coffee bar and it was delicious!
At first, I tasted the cold milk (or cream?). Then the warm mixture of coffee and hot chocolate came into my mouth. I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and taste of this fantastic drink, because I’ve never had such an experience before. It was wonderful!

The “bicerin” came with a biscotti. I was told to dip the drink with it. The biscotti was great too!

I hope I can try “bicerin” in Osaka in the near future.

“Bicerin” is also the name of a cafe in Italy. The cafe is 255 years old. It is said that Hemingway chose this drink as one of the 100 things that has to be preserved in the world.

Unfortunately, this coffee stand does not have branch in Osaka. There are 4 shops in Tokyo, and one in Nagoya.

I hope I can try “bicerin” in Osaka in the near future.
I just want to have another cup!

Small joy!!(2019.3.8)

2019-03-20 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#827 I love my mom’s “kusamochi”. ~It was the smell of spring~


I got a package from my mother today.
In the box, some food and two shawls which my mom weaved by a handloom.

One of items was my mom’s handmade “kusamochi”. Kusamochi is a rice-flour dumpling mixed with Japanese mugwort(yomogi herbs). I love my mom’s kusamochi.

My parents picked yomogi herbs at the river bank.

I called my mom on the phone to say thank you. She said that she picked the mugwort at the river bank with my father few days ago.
When I opened the box of kusamochi, I could smell the mugwort. It was the smell of spring.

I was imagining my parents picking the mugwort together at the bank, when I was eating the kusamochi.

Yomogi tastes like spring.

My mom used to take my brother and I to the river bank and picked the mugwort together when we were still kids. It was a lat of fun. She only took us there once a year and it was always the beginning of spring.

Every time when I see this mugwort, it reminds me that spring is just around the corner.

↑These are two shawls which my mom weaved by a handloom.

Small joy!!!(2019.3.7)

2019-03-14 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#828 Bed time story

My secret pleasure

Before going to bed every night, I have a secret pleasure.
I like to read a chapter of a book before going to sleep. Recently, I am reading a book called “Unmei no e”(Paintings of fate).

The book explains the story of famous paintings in Europe. Since most of the paintings are quite scary, the stories behind them are just equally frightening. But I’m fan of the author Kyoko Nakano because I like her writing.

Paperback or e-books?

Recently when I buy books, I don’t know whether to choose paperback or e-books. I usually decide depending on the contents of books. For example if the book has many pictures, I would buy paper book.

In this case, since the book has many color pictures I bought the paper book. I think I made the right choice.

Even though the stories are scary, I enjoy immersing myself in them when I fall asleep, at the same time warring about seeing them in my dream. What a strange person myself!

Small joy!!(2019.3.7)

2019-03-07 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#829 It’s hay fever season!

The hay fever season is finally here!

I have hay fever and a runny nose. Since I’m taking allergy medicine, my mind is less clear than usual.

The hay fever medicine turned me into a liar, maybe.

I had an English class for 6th grade children at cram school yesterday. I was wearing a mask.
The students were gathering around me, and one of them asked, “Why are you wearing a mask? Did you catch a cold?”
I wanted to say that I had hay fever, but for some reason, I said “I have the flu”.
Then, the kids stopped smiling, stepped away from me and screamed “Yuck!”, “Ugh!”, “Waaaaa!”.
One of them said “You shouldn’t come!”
I panicked and immediately corrected my sentence that it was not the flu but hay fever.

The hay fever medicine turned me into a liar, maybe.
However it was fun to see their panicked faces.

Small joy!!(2019.2.21)

2019-02-28 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#830 Do you have things that you cannot live without?

↑Excuse me for showing my worn out sandals.(#1)

Do you have things that you cannot live without?

For me one of things is my indoor sandals.
I have used the same pair of sandals for about 20 years!?
l love how they fit on my feet perfectly. I have flat feet and a little hallux valgus.
The sandals help me walk comfortably at home.
I also like the pink color.

I broke my sandals.

Unfortunately, I broke my sandals last Sunday. Since I used it for a long time, it is understandable that they cannot last forever. I’m very satisfied with them. This pair of sandals has supported and helped me in the last 20 years.
Thank you my sandals! It’s time to say good-bye to you.

I’ve already found the same pair on the internet.
I’ll buy a new one just like you.

↑Excuse me for showing my worn out sandals.(#2)

Small joy!!(2019.2.15)

2019-02-20 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#831 A new flavored of Valentine’s chocolate is now released.

Valentine’s chocolate events

I’m checking around a lot of Valentine’s chocolate events at department stores recently.
I bought many chocolates for my relatives and myself but actually most are for me.

“VALU MISS” chocolate

I’d like to show you one of my chocolates which is called “VALU MISS.”
It is made by a famous pastry chef. He has won the champion in the popular TV show called “TV champion.”

The “VALU MISS” chocolates contain lemon paste inside it. The lemon paste was made from lemon trees in my living area. In here, we are having a project to revitalize the local community through the lemon trees, it is gradually becoming a lemon town.
Because of this, the pastry chef used the lemons from there to make us the unique chocolates.
I am proud that I have a lemon tree in my home too!

↑Lemon paste inside the white chocolate

I have already tasted the chocolate. It was a lemon chocolate.
I like it that I had four boxes already!
This chocolate is a limited item and it only sells at Senboku Takashimaya department.

Small joy!!(2019.2.8)

2019-02-11 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#832 The story of lemons and students

The 6th grade students clapped for my message!!

I was sad because my grade 6 students at the cram school graduated from my class last week.

Just as last year, I wrote a proverb “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” on the whiteboard and I explained it to the students in the last lesson.
This class was a smart class. After I explained it, all the students looked like they understood what it meant and clapped for my message.
I was surprised that a grade 6 students would do that. I was very happy about it.
In order to explain it easily, I had brought a lemon from home to show them.

I believe they will be a great person in the future!!

Since one of the students wanted the lemon, I gave it to her. She was the most active girl in the class. I knew that someone would interested in the lemon were those smart and active students.

After the lesson, there was another girl came to me and said thanks for the teaching and the experience of performing at the stage the other day. I was given motivation for teaching by her many times.

I was happy to have them as my students.
I believe they will be a great person in the future.

Small joy!!(2019.2.1)

↓Here is my previous post about the last year’s lemon and students.

2019-02-06 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#833 Finally I used the Starbucks coupon.

I went to the Starbucks Reserve to use a customer voice coupon receipt from Starbucks. You can use it as a free drink coupon that you can order any drinks.

I asked the barista if I can use the coupon for the most expensive coffee beans.
She smiled and said “Yes, you can do it.”
Then, I’ve decided to order a tall “Hawaii Kau” coffee. That’s 1360 yen.

↑I picked pour-over, a one type of brewing methods.

↑It was good but it’s not as good as I expected. The size was too big that I couldn’t finish it.

↑It was interesting to see a barista making me a coffee right in front of me.

It’s expensive to try this out, but it’s worth to taste such most expensive coffee by using the Starbucks coupon.

Small joy!(2019.1.18)

↓Here is my previous post about a special receipt from Starbucks.

↓Here is my previous post about the coffee called “Geisha”

2019-01-31 | Posted in English4 Comments » 


#834 Three girls performed at the stage.

A huge annual performance

Last Saturday, the cram school that I am working at had a huge annual performance for students. This event had about 300 children performed the classical Japanese performing arts at stage in front of their families. 

The wind and the sun

In my class, I had 3 girls’ students who performed a story called “The wind and the sun” from Aesop’s Fables. They were the only 3 who performed it in English with gestures as special participants while the others were performed their own programs in Japanese. 

While they were performing, I was watching them carefully at the back stage in case they forgot the words. I was so excited standing there for the entire 3 minutes of their performance.

They made it!

Their performance was awesome! Finally they made it! They received many warm applause from audiences.

I was proud of them. It was moved that I thought I would cry after they performed. But I didn’t. Maybe, I was too nervous and I forgot to cry. 

Children always have the miracle and strong power to do thing. They always give me the motivation to teach better.

Small joy!!!(2019.1.12)

2019-01-24 | Posted in English2 Comments » 


#835 Marilyn Monroe and Mikimoto pearls

I saw a pearl necklace at Mikimoto exhibition. 

The necklace was owned by Marilyn Monroe once. When baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe came to Japan on their honeymoon, he gave the necklace to her. 

According to the description, although she rarely wore any jewelry, she loved the pearl necklace. There are many photographs of her wearing it. 

I asked an usher “Why did this necklace come back to Mikimoto?”

He said “Mikimoto got it through an auction in N.Y.. About 10 years ago.”

I looked carefully at each pearl of the necklace.

They were shining gracefully and gently. 

Imagining her wearing it fascinated me.

Small joy!!(2018.12.7)

2019-01-16 | Posted in English2 Comments »