2015-Robot-Show-029 International Robot Exhibition  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Tech Robots Japan Cool

International Robot Exhibition – Tokyo, Japan

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International Robot Exhibition

Tokyo Big Sight
11-1 Ariake, Koto,
Tokyo 135-0063, Japan

http://biz.nikkan.co.jp/eve/irex

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If you are in Japan, GO to the International Robot Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight!!  You are witnessing the future of humanity (and not-humanity) at the beginning of its era – perhaps one day to get its own scientific classification?  The Robotolithic age ?

Check the website for dates, as these change every year.  In 2015 the show ran Dec 2nd – 5th.  It was held at Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) on Tokyo Bay waterfront.  The complex is worth the visit just for the experience of being in a futuristic city on the set of a Sci-Fi movie.  It reminded us of Caprica from the modern Battlestar Galactica !

The International Robot Exhibition is the largest robot trade show in the World.  If you find yourself in Japan try to attend, a window into the future.  This is the reason you are in Japan!

IREX brings together roughly 500 domestic robot manufacturers and related businesses with over 50 international exhibitors.  Participating are 100,000 domestic technicians and professionals.

IREX divides itself into two parts.  Large Industrial robots (IR) and then the smaller, cuter service robots (SR), along side small production systems and robots deriving from R&D activities of government, industry and academia, Medicine, manufacturing, security, etc.

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Toraya-006 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan

Toraya – Tokyo, Japan

Toraya-002 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
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Toraya at Tokyo Midtown

Toraya  Tokyo Midtown

(81)  35.413.3541
Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku; Tokyo 107-0052, Japan

www.toraya-group.co.jp

Open Hours:
11:00 – 21:00    Daily

Toraya  is the oldest existing wagashi (Japanese  confections) store.  Dating back to the mid sixteenth century in Kyoto, where it became a purveyor to the imperial court under the reign of Emperor Go-Yōzei (1571-1617).  Towards the end of the Edo period Toraya moved their center of operations to Tokyo, leaving  behind the orginal store in Kyoto.

Currently, The flagship store  is in Akasaka, and  other locations in the main luxury department stores around Tokyo.

The Toraya store in the lower lever of Tokyo midtown,  a commercial, business and residential complex in Roppongi, is a great example of the modern life of this 400+ year old business.  It is an excellent location to go for delicious Japanese sweets.  This Toraya location also serves as an art gallery and a cafe as well as an amazing  wagashi  related souvenir shop

Wagashi  are Japanese  confections) in which main element is azuki bean paste.  This is made by cooking the beans with sugar, mashing them and finally straining the mix through a fine sieve to produce a smooth paste called gozen an (koshi an).  When  the paste is not strained it is called ogura an (tsubu an).

In addition to bean pastes,  other wagashi ingredients can be  agar-agar, rice flour, Kanten (a fiber rich gelatin  made from seaweed) and oldest domestic sugar which is made with rare kind of sugar cane from Tokushima prefecture, commonly made into molded dried sweets (higashi)

Wagashi confections are based on the principle to appeal the five senses; appearance, taste, texture, scent and sound

In Kyoto there are two locations:

The principal store, combined with decent sized tea house, is on a street west of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and garden.  The teahouse holds a lovely small library and some of the tables have a picteresque  garden view.
Address: Karasuma-Nishi-iru, Ichijo-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto

The other is next to the Fujii Daimaru department store on Shijo-dori – the road that connects the Gion district with  wetern Kyoto.
Address: Gokomachi-Nishi-iru, Shijo-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

There are many wonderful Wagashi shops in all of Japan and trying the different styles and specially Toraya!

Toraya-0011 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0012 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0013 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0014 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0015 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0016 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0017 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0018 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0019 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
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LesCols_Hisao_00 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food

Les Cols – Olot, Spain

LesCols_Hisao_00 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols

Les Cols

(34) 69 – 981 3817
Avinguda de les Cols, 2
17800 Olot, Girona, Spain

www.lescols.com

Open Hours:
13:00 – 15:30    Lunch  – Tuesday to Sunday
20:30 – 22:30    Diner  – Tuesday to Saturday

In the remote town of Olot  in la Garrotxa, a volcanic area in the north of Catalonia; chef Fina Puigdevall – with the help of RCR Architects –  put forth  Les Cols;  a stunning two star Michelin restaurant; voted most beautiful in the world by a handful of publications.

Puigdevall’s culinary proposals are rooted in the surrounding landscape.  The majority of the ingredients are grown and raised at the restaurant, maintaining an ultra local and organic practices.  It is beyond “farm to table” as the table is at this beautiful 13th century farm.

Our three hour long meal started with a glass of cava and mini hot cheese buckwheat crust sandwiches in the garden, them we where guided to our table

Dishes were paraded through the golden room to vanish soon after!

Buckwheat spaghetti in a smoked broth turned out to be a gelatinous signature dish.
Early spring brought us calçots in a charcoal tempura with beetroot romesco (Catalan nut and red pepper based sauce).  This is a Catalan delicacy – and truthfully we coud have repeated this for a few more plates!

The lovely Pumpkin 5 different ways, was educational and delicious!  It turns out the five was are: grated, cold xantana, crouton, soup, & a sliced with black olive oil !

Overall service was good, attentive, and knowledgeable … not to mention patient!  We asked all the questions and  they indulged our curiosity, even letting us explore the entire place, including the kitchen.

Keep in mind this is a really large meal, so don’t eat a big lunch!  Afterwords, we couldn’t move much and sort of rolled back to our hotel!  (Also beware the herbal liquor if you are not used to it .. it is where curiosity crosses to indigestion!)

Les-Cols_010 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   truffles in chanterelle mushroom royal sauce
Les-Cols_012 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   grilled lettuce with lemon- apple vinegar
Les-Cols_005 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   artichoke with tangerine mayonnaise and artichoke chips
Les-Cols_011 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   grilled Brussels sprouts with olive oil and potato puree
Les-Cols_008 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   sweet onion crumble from Croscat, with cheese from Farró and fried herbs
  Les-Cols_018 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   vanilla, thyme, rosemary and orange ice cream
Les-Cols_019 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food
Les-Cols_027 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food
Les-Cols_029 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food
Les-Cols_030 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food
LesCols_Hisao_01 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols
LesCols_Hisao_03 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols
Les-Cols_035 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food
Les-Cols_040 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_043 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_047 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_049 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_042 Les Cols  -  Olot, Spain Barcelona Spain  Vegetarian Friendly Spain Olot Michelin Garrotxa Food   Les Cols event space

 

 

Le-Grand-Bleu-003 Le Grand Bleu  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Shop Japan Cool

Le Grand Bleu – Tokyo, Japan

ll Le Grand Bleu  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Shop Japan Cool
above photo © Le Grand Bleu

Le Grand Bleu

(81)  33.585.5650
Minato-ku
Tokyo , Japan

www.maniac-co.jp/boutique

Open Hours:
11:00 – 22:00    Daily

Le Grand Bleu is one of those shops, that unless you are on the inside ultra-hip fashion Industry you would never find or even take a second glance at if you happened to stroll past.

On a quiet street, not far from the Reiyukai Shakaden Temple, sits a true rock fashion boutique.  Complete with new and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from all over the world.  Every world rockstar touring Japan makes a stop here.  The US based equivalent would be LA’s Maxfield., though, Le Grand Blue gives off a much more authentic vibe.

Le grand Bleu is part f a Maniac Corporation group of stores including  Circus,  Forbiden Fruit and BEDROCK in Omotesando, well worth the visit, if you are into this type of thing.

 

Le-Grand-Bleu-003 Le Grand Bleu  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Shop Japan Cool

 

Le-Grand-Bleu-001 Le Grand Bleu  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Shop Japan Cool     

 

Tapas-Molecular-Bar-020 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food

Tapas Molecular Bar – Tokyo, Japan

Tapas-Molecular-Bar-100 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-101 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-102 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
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above photo © Mandarin Oriental

Tapas Molecular Bar

(81)  33.270.8188
Mandarin Orintal Hotel
2-1-1 Nihonbashi-Muromachi

Tokyo 102-8328, Japan

www.mandarinoriental.com

Open Hours:
11:00 – 15:30     Lunch
18:00 – 00:00    Dinner

While highly-touted, we found Tokyo’s Tapas Molecular Bar more Vegas entertainment than Michelin Star-worthy.  Usually we would not review a restaurant that does not excite us, but here we do as it is so heavily marketed.

Chef Ngan Ping Chow, originally from Hong Kong, is rather entertaining, a very good performer with knowledge of different languages  and the main attraction.  He creates decent examples of current modernist techniques.  This is a good introduction for people not immersed in modernist cuisine, a.k.a. tourists.  Tapas Molecular bar is definitely not for gourmets, as the food is not breathtaking in flavor at all.

Tapas-Molecular-Bar-020 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-022 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-031 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-018 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-009 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-016 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-015 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
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On top of  the food quality, the service not to the Japanese high standards.  When you are paying $100’s for a meal, small gaff’s become more noticeable; like most high end restaurants with multiple course menus, TMB hands you a menu at the end of your meal,  the beauty and form in-line with the artistic expression of the restaurant.  Here, we received a simple printout that did not even reflect the meal  we had.

Ok – enough of that – now onto the meal (which admittedly photographs beautifully!)

Dinner commences with a small toolbox containing a small hammer, mini shovel, tweezers, saw and a tape measure  with the menu printed on it (which was pretty slick).  This is followed with a series of dishes.

 

Tapas-Molecular-Bar-039 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-033 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
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Tapas-Molecular-Bar-028 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
Tapas-Molecular-Bar-038 Tapas Molecular Bar  -  Tokyo, Japan Japan Tokyo  Tokyo Japan Food
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