died in the wool ______

To have no set purpose in one's life is the harlotry of the will -Stephen Mackenna-

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


so my new year was quiet good. On the eve, I went to a little countdown in marubiru, the landmark building of the redevelopment of the marunouchi area outside of Tokyo station. There was an orchestra and huge womens choir singing, among other things, Canon. They chit-chatted with the conuctor and other people, and I noticed that there was a huge line of people waiting for the unlit millenario adjacent to the building. When the clock struck 12, the whole thing lit up, and the masses drove through for one last time (it's not happening next year) . The trains were running late that night, so I just hoped back home.

New years day was a visit to Meiji shrine, something that has become a tradition of mine. The huge droves which make people shy away are part of the whole experience for me. When you visit a temple normally, you go up to the front of the shrine, jingle a little 'bell' throw some coins in the money box, clap your hands, pray, etc.

Not on shogatsu at Meiji shrine. The amount of people visiting requires them to block off the actual temple. They let about 200 or so people at a time go up to the edge, and throw there coins on a huge tarp. Policemen in the front have acrylic faceguards and helmets, and some precocious temple goers where hooded sweatshirts in the hopes that some misguided coins will land there.

After the coin tossing is fun too; Pick up an arrow to put in your house for the next yera, and all kinds of other fun temple nick nacks. The next part is the food, which is great; amazake, yakisoba, meat sticks. etc. I bumped into an italian couple visiting from london that had just gotten off the plane and come to the temple. And I showed them what was what, and they were nice enough to purchase some festival food for me. A little Karma goes along way.

I also stopped by the temple near my house on the way home, Nogi temple. They had clam chowder and stick bread among their other goods. There was gagaku playing as well, a favorite of mine (this temple sponsers a gagaku concert once year that I went to in october)

Shopping is the big thing here the day after new years, and I half heartedly participated in that, somewhat inadvertantly. The ac adaptor for my mac broke, and the people at softmap weren't being helpful. I decided to go to the mac store in ginza. Well they were nice enough to charge my laptop for me, and while I waited, I went across the road to the Beautiful Matsuya. With my apetite somehwat whetted, I remember seeing a jacket I quite liked a t a different department store elsewhere in Tokyo, so I decided to go and see if it was on sale.

Of course it wasn't. But luckily not all was lost, I was near one of the only stores in Tokyo I know that sells gluten burger.

Now, I don't normally really get into the whole 'meat substitute' kind of thing, because I think there are plenty of wonderful non-imitation vegetarian things to eat. But I really like the tast of tacos/taco meat. Go figure. And a Cafe Brenda in Minneapolis used to have these great mock duck tacos that I would get all the time. I miss them.

Well now I make the most gringoest taco you've ever had, and it's very fusiony.

800 grams gluten burger

appropriate amounts of spices and seasonings for making tacos (taco sauce, seasoning packets etc)

mizuna, cut into 1inch sticks

1 tomato, seeded and cubed

goat cheese crumbled

taco shells or soft tacos in the desired amount

saute gluten burger in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, add taco spice and sauce. add water to allow simmering without boiling until it comes to a proper consistency. Place desired amount of taco 'meat' on taco, with tomatoes mizuna, and goat cheese. eat.

super good.


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