Thursday, September 29, 2022



    さて、10月2日(日曜日)は恒例のイザナミランチをご用意します。お天気も良いようですし、ゆっくりお昼ご飯を楽しんでいただければと思います。ご予約お願いします。(0749-48-0186) 写真は前回のものです。 多賀あさひや

 イザナミランチ(+お汁)+コーヒー 1700円  
 イザナミランチ(+お汁)+コーヒー+もち粉ケーキ 1800円 
 お持ち帰り(汁なし) 1000円  
 白玉クリームあんみつ 750円

    It was a beautiful autumn day. We have only one day left in September. The previous big typhoon attacked some places in Japan and people there were forced to live in an inconvenient way even now. I haven't heard of any damage in Shiga fortunately and we will welcome October peacefully.

    Well, we will prepare a special lunch coming first Sunday, Oct. 2nd. We hope the guests will enjoy the lunch on a fine autumn day.

    Please make a reservation. (0749-48-0186)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022





    I don't remember how many days have passed since I did my morning walk last time. The reasons for that were because I was busy or there were many rainy days, but I made it again this morning because I was encouraged by the beautiful autumn fine day.

    The leaves of the maple tree in Taga taisha started turning color into red and it reminded me that the season has been changing.

    When I entered the woods after worship at the shrine, I felt so good! I smelled moist autumn trees in the woods and heard birds singing. It certainly made me calm and peaceful.

    Walking along rice fields, I saw that most of them were after harvesting but some were not done yet. I saw that rice plants were damaged by the previous strong typhoon and sympathized with farmers how hard it is to harvest those rice. Cluster amaryllis were not very vivid this year. School kids were walking in groups to the school, so I said "Hello!" to them. Only the guardian returned the greeting clearly to me and the kids were rather quiet. I don't blame them because kids' lives must be complicated and each one must have their own reason.

Saturday, September 17, 2022




    I went to the local elementary school for storytelling for kids after a long time. I was wondering about choosing a book for third graders and looked around my bookshelf, then found the perfect book. It was one of a series of folk tales of Shiga named "Chikubu Island under the full moon". The length of the story was less than ten minutes which was perfect.

    After entering the classroom and doing morning greetings, I asked the kids which prefecture you are in now. They responded it was Shiga prefecture. "What is the name of the lake in Shiga? " "Biwako! " "Why do people say Biwako?" "...........". Then I started talking about Biwa which is a string instrument and the name of the lake came from it because of the shape of the lake just like Biwa. I introduced Benten, who is the goddess of arts and wisdom, holding Biwa and playing it. She is living in Chikubushima (Chikubu island in the lake). After telling these simple introductions, I started telling the story of the picture book. When I turned the page on which a big black fish was drawn, some kid said " Ah! That is catfish!". I was glad to know that kids were interested in my reading and concentrated on looking into the picture book.

    It seems most of the kids haven't visited Chikubu-shima yet. I am glad that I could introduce Biwa, goddess Benten and Chikubu-shima.

Monday, September 12, 2022






    We were able to hold Fumito Nunoya's Marimba concert for the first time in 3 years.

    I was surprised by the number and weight of the boxes holding the marimba parts which were delivered to my house the day before Mr. Nunoya's arrival. Despite having not seen each other in a long time, without pause Mr. Nunoya immediately started to construct his marimba. Once the marimba was put together, he began his rehearsal. The whole house and front street were filled with sound and created a wonderful atmosphere.

    The 1-hour program started with Ilijas, followed by Bach's Chaconne, then Japanese pieces and ended with a rhythmical Piazolla piece. The performance was dream-like and impressive. In the middle of the concert, Mr. Nunoya described the instrument and received insightful and interesting questions from the audience. I was touched by the audience members' focus on the marimba and Mr. Nunoya, and the overall friendly environment.

    It was a full house for 1pm.and 5pm concerts. Even with three AC and 4 rotating fans, it was difficult to control the heat and I sincerely apologize for the discomfort that this caused the audience. It is an issue that we will take care of next time.


(photo by Yuka Yokoyama)

Thursday, September 8, 2022



     The weather conditions have been unstable, for example it was cloudy, then rainy after a sunny day. Today, I looked up at the sky and judged that it would not rain, so I went to some shops in Hikone. When I came back, Mr. and Mrs. M came to me holding a bunch of tall pampas grass. They said that Sep.9th is the day of the annual fall festival of Taga Taisha and the 11th is F.Nunoya's marimba concert day and I need some decoration in the cafe. What a thoughtful gift they gave!

    I hung the artwork by K.Noda in the alcove at the beginning of September. Mr. Noda, who was a dye artist in Eigenji passed away three years ago. The design of this artwork is the moon, so I just wanted to put pampas grass beside it. Indeed, it was perfect timing. I hope that many people will enjoy autumn and this decoration.

Monday, September 5, 2022





    Although it is getting cool and the weather is more autumnal in the morning and evening after entering September, the summer heat still remains in the day time. The fourth was the first Sunday of September. Since it was a beautiful day, many people visited Taga Taisha.
    I served a special lunch (Izanami Lunch) on this day. The menu was as follows. Grilled pork and green vegetable dressed with mustard soy sauce, marinated eggplant, Choregi Salad of wasabi greens, Fried egg, Pork&beans, pumpkin croquette, Chinese sticky rice mix with vegetables, and Seaweed and egg soup. This time, I tried Chinese sticky rice with vegetables for the first time.
    I thank the customers who made reservations for this lunch!

Saturday, September 3, 2022






     イザナミランチ(+お汁)+コーヒー 1700円  
  イザナミランチ(+お汁)+コーヒー+もち粉ケーキ 1800円 
  お持ち帰り(汁なし) 1000円  
  白玉クリームあんみつ 750円

    Mr. O who has amazing knowledge about insects and animals, stopped by my cafe after a long period of time. We greeted each other shortly and soon he started talking about insects which chirp in autumn which include Hierodula patellifera he found in Ise, Umaoi (Hexacentrus japonicus) and grasshopper in Takamiya, and others. He showed beautiful photos which he took of all of them. He also let me hear chirping bell cricket and pine cricket with a movie clip which he found on the way back home in Taga after he finished his work at midnight. His explanation was very detailed and I sometimes couldn't catch up with him but somehow I nodded and asked some questions.

There is a fossil in my house which I bought in Brazil about forty years ago.When I showed it to him, he was amazed at it and looked closely. Then he researched about it on his cell phone and said that it is probably the fossil of Lower Cretaceous from Santana formations in South America. It is now prohibited for both mining and bringing out from Brazil. When I got it, there was no rule there, therefore it became very valuable.

Well, we will serve Izanami lunch this Sunday. Please make a reservation (0749-48-0186).

Saturday, August 27, 2022


 (写真3枚はRone & Gigi facebook より)

    I apologize for this late report. On Aug. 13, I went to Tokyo to watch Clown Rone & Gigi live. There was bad weather during the typhoon and I was worried about the delay of the Shinkansen to Tokyo, but eventually caught the time and arrived at the live hall named "LAPIN ET HALOT" in Aoyama, Tokyo with my friends. They showed us new clowning one after the other and we were overwhelmed. They also looked so cool singing songs and dancing. It was a really rich and dreamy two hours.

Friday, August 26, 2022



    Summer heat and moisture make our body and mind exhausted. Monzen-ichi is the vegetable market run by local farmers every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday morning. Yesterday, I found a bouquet of sunflower and cockscomb for 250 yen. It attracted me and I brought them home. I put them in the vase and placed them in an alcove in the guest room. Both the sunflower which looked so energetic and red cockscombs became a nice accent of the room. I got a lot of energy from the sunflower. The Marimba concert is coming up in September and I am having much anxiety and problems to solve such as having a certain number of audience members, protection from the summer heat, etc. However, it seemed that these flowers encouraged me a lot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022






    Marimbist, Fumito Nunoya who lives in Germany is coming to Japan two years after the last time.

    Marimba is a pitched percussion instrument where the wooden tone plates that are lined up like piano keys are struck to produce sounds. Many marimbists play marimba with dramatical action holding many mallets but Mr. Nunoya who is tall and has a gifted form plays marimba like singing. It is the sounds made by striking the tone plates which flow gently in the world which Nunoya creates, and sometimes they bounce hard and strongly. His excellent technique and deeply pursued his musical expression overwhelms listeners. Why are we moved by his marimba? It is easy to get the answer if you listen to his marimba playing.

 Now, Mr. Nunoya leads the international marimba world, but he has been so humble and sincere since he had started marimba and it is one of the reasons people praise him.

 Most of Nunoya's performances in Japan are held at a music hall which has an excellent facility of acoustic effect, but Taga Asahiya is just an old Japanese house and has no such facility. However, you will watch the performer playing closely and you must feel it is very powerful. It is also a space in which the player and audience feel closely connected, and Nunoya loves it. This year will be his fourth concert at Taga Asahiya.

Monday, August 8, 2022





    Lanterns of the summer festival at Taga taisha which were illuminating precincts of the shrine were removed the next day, leaving only electric wires and poles. It is returning to a normal site rapidly.
I made a summery menu for yesterday's special lunch so as not to be too heavy.

    Vinegared seaweed and cucumber, Deep-fried tofu with tiny cut vegetables, Saute of Eggplants and tomatoes with oregano, Seasoned boiled egg wrapped with fried tofu, Broccoli, Mashed potato, Salmon steak with lemon butter soy sauce, Pickled plum rice, and Gazpacho (chilled tomato soup)

    I thank the guests who ordered this special menu.

Friday, August 5, 2022




 イザナミランチ(+お汁)+コーヒー 1700円  
 イザナミランチ(+お汁)+コーヒー+もち粉ケーキ 1800円 
 お持ち帰り(汁なし) 1000円  
 白玉クリームあんみつ 750円
 冷やし白玉ぜんざい  600円


    Taga taisha Summer Festival (3rd ~5th) is over. The middle day was rainy but both the first and the final day were fine. I closed the cafe early and visited a shrine to watch the festival last night. The entrance area was so crowded with family and young people although the Covid-19 catastrophe is still continuing. Everybody put the mask on but looked open and filled with happiness. Since I couldn't approach the front of the shrine because of the crowded people, I greeted God from afar and walked along lanterns. These were dedicated to believers which were not only from local people but also from all over Japan. I felt that Taga taisha is a peaceful and important place to those people as their heart's place.

    Well, 7th is the first Sunday of August and I will prepare a special lunch called Izanami Lunch. Please make a reservation! (0749-48-0186)

Tuesday, August 2, 2022





    Since I had an appointment, I visited Wellesley College where I used to work after many years. Almost no students and staff were on campus because it was during the summer vacation, I only saw a group sitting in the yard and listening someone's talk ( probably it was a summer program for highschool students). I also saw a couple of small family groups who visited campus for the college selection before the application.

    Wellesley College is located western part of Massatusetts and in the suburbs of Boston. Wellesley College is a women's college with no graduate program which has about 2300 students. I worked for this college for 20 years and little more before. I took only a few photos because of the time limit, but you will see how beautiful the college is surrounded by lots of green. There is also a man-made lake in a vast area. It is a dreamy campus for most Japanese.

    In the late 80's, the Japanese economy was in good health, and it made a Japanese language boom in US colleges. Many Japanese programs were short of teaching staff. Although I was not in the field of linguistics or language education, professor T. Monane in Harvard was interested in my background. I was in a Japanese theatrical company and had been trained in basic Japanese vocalization, so she hired me as a language instructor. After teaching Japanese at Harvard for eight years, I moved to Wellesley College. Receiving the benefit of a good Japanese economy, I spent precious and joyful days among US college students who were full of energy and talent and those were my happiest days in my memories.


    アメリカと日本の違いは数え上げたらキリがありませんが、皆がよく言うのはサイズと量と種類でしょう。全てが大きく量が多く色々あるのがアメリカです。ミルクも皆がよく買うのは1ガロン(約3.8リットル)。1/2ガロンや1/4ガロンも売られていますが、手に取りやすい場所にズラリと並ぶのは大きいミルク。種類も色々。Whole Milk(全乳), 2% Milk, 1% Milk, Skim Milkと脂肪分の割合で分けられ、Homogenized Milk (成分が分離しないように処理したもの)、Lactose Free Milk (乳糖(Lactose)を分解する酵素が含まれ「お腹を壊しにくい牛乳」)、rBST Free Milk (成長ホルモンの入っていない牛乳)、他殺菌温度によって分けられた牛乳、オーガニック(無農薬)、ビタミン入り、カルシウム入り、いろいろな味入り豆乳。前はあまり目立たなかったけど結構な存在感で棚に並んでいたのはアーモンドミルクです。ココナツミルク、カシューナッツミルクなどもありました。我が家の冷蔵庫には全乳と2%牛乳があります。2%が定番だったのにどうして全乳があるのかと買った本人に聞くと、ヨーグルト作りには脂肪分の多いのが良いのだそうです。アメリカのオレンジジュースは果汁100%で美味しいのですが、これも各社1ガロンのものを多く並べていました。


    If you count up the difference between US vs JPN, there is no end, but many people often point to the size, amount and kinds of things. Indeed most products in the US are big, sold in large amounts and are of various kinds. For example, many people buy 1 gallon milk. You can also get 1/2 gallon or 1/4 gallon but large ones are located in a place where people could pick easily.

    I will list some of the various kinds of milk. Whole Milk, 2% Milk, 1% Milk, Skim Milk, Homogenized Milk, Lactose Free Milk, rBST Free Milk, different pasteurizing temperature of Milk, Organic Milk, Vitamin added Milk, Calcium added Milk, different taste of Soy Milk, etc. I was surprised that many kinds of Almond Milk were on the shelf. Coconut Milk, Cashew nuts Milk and more and more.

    There are two kinds of milk, whole and 2% milk in my refrigerator. I wonder why whole milk is there because we used to drink 2% milk every day, so I asked the reason to the person who chose it. He said that he can make better homemade yogurt with whole milk rather than less fat product.
I also would like to mention about orange juice in the US. It is so good because it is 100% juice. I saw 1 gallon orange juice produced by several companies.

    It seems that the prices are increasing rapidly in the US but I was overwhelmed by all the products in a big American supermarket. I guess people are buying their necessities by controlling their tough budget but still I felt that the US government put more economic priority than preventing Covid-19.





    It has been several years since I didn't keep my car in Boston. Since then, I rent a car when I need it such as going away from Boston but usually I take a bus or walk to the mall for shopping. ( My husband who doesn't drive uses Instacart for his usual necessity.)

    The bus stop which we had been using was taken away a few months ago, and we needed to walk to another bus stop which is about one block away.

    The other day, I had a little bit of an embarrassing experience related to this bus stop. I was waiting for the bus at "the new bus stop". There are times that the bus driver doesn't pay attention to the people at the stop and passes by without letting them ride, so I waved my hand to the driver when the bus approached. The bus stopped and I could get into the bus. A couple days after, I was also waiting for the bus, there I saw another bus stop sign which I passed by from my home. I got confused and looked at the sign where I was waiting. It was not a bus stop but the sign of "LEFT LANE MUST TURN LEFT". I hurried up to the right bus stop and got on the bus. My mistake occurred because all the signs faced the drivers and only the back side of the signs came in our sight. I laughed at myself because I was waiting for the bus at the place which was not related to the bus stop but the bus driver stopped for me and let me get on the bus without saying any warning. What an open minded bus driver he was! I thanked him very much. 

Monday, July 25, 2022





    Since there is a little pond near by my house, water birds such as ducks often come up to the road. This time, I saw a very rare animal passing by my house. They were wild turkeys. Male turkeys were almost twice as big as female ones and looked very heavy. Male one's face was red and covered with feathers which overlap complicatedly. It was the first time for me to see them in such a short distance.

    When we hear "turkey", we know that people get together with family and eat roasted turkey at the occasion of Thanksgiving or Christmas in the US. We also buy turkey which are separated into parts and eat it regularly. They are less expensive compared to chicken. 

    Seeing these wild turkeys so vividly made me scared. When I approached to take a photo, a male turkey was coming toward me, so I stepped back. They have gorgeous feathers but I guess they are not able to fly any more. I was wondering what was the relationship within this turkey group and wanted to ask them.

Sunday, July 24, 2022



    I came to Boston after five months since I visted last time. Right now, I am in jetlag which makes the day and night opposite and I feel tired both in my body and brain. Today I put my shoes on for a walk after three days since I arrived in Boston.

    It was before dawn and the air was cool and fresh, nobody was outside yet. I could hear the watering sound from the sprinkler in the yard and car noise which came from far away. Passing by the houses which don't care about the water bill for the sprinkler, I found a different view from the past that there were some houses with Ukraine flags for support. While I was walking, a bird suddenly jumped up from the bushes on the sidewalk, squirrel ran through the yard and this surprised me a little. When I was approaching my house, the sun was rising up and the view of a small pond nearby was beautiful with water birds. Ducks were walking with their slow pace on the big road, and a hare stayed quietly in my yard.

    I was happy to share the time of this calm beautiful morning with those animals before the temperature of the air rose up.