Tasty Japanese food and Statue of Liberty Park (yes, in Japan)

One of my favorite places to eat when I am in Tokyo is Soup Stock.  They have the most amazing soups and for the most part they are on the healthy side (some are cream based).  The quality is wonderful and flavors are so amazing.  In fact, I love it so much you can find it featured in my Eat Well Japan.  

Imagine my surprise to learn that I can order frozen soup online and have it delivered to my door!  I was all over that!  Seriously, I HAD to have my soup.  I love that it came delivered to my door, frozen, and so nicely packaged.
Inside I was not surprised to see that the care in packaging continued.  These were well frozen and very nicely packed.  I love that they can fit so easily into my freezer.  I ordered a variety of soups, both vegetarian and non vegetarian, which Ryan could enjoy.
A few weeks back, before I went to the US, Ryan and I headed to the nearby town of Hachinohe.  We go here often.  Now, since we go here often, I was shocked to find out that Hachinohe has a downtown area.  We have been all over (except the port/beach area) and never managed to actually realize that there was a decent downtown area.  In 2 years we did not come across this!  OK, we actually crossed over the street once, but never looked down the street to realize that there were all these hotels and restaurants, plus a ton of shopping options.  Boy was I glad we finally discovered this.

We stumbled into an awesome Japanese restaurant.  This is the kind of traditional place where no one speaks English, you take your shoes off at the door, and you sit in a tiny private room on the floor.  Seriously a fun way to dine!

We started off with a salad. 
And I also started off with some tofu.  Yes, just some plain tofu covered with dried bonito flakes.  Pretty fresh tofu too and it was awesome!
Ryan had this dish, with I don't know what, but he liked it!
Some edamame, of course.  This is Japan, right?!?!
Then I had some tomatoes and mozzarella.
Next came Ryan's okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese pancake.  He said it was awesome.
I had some shrimp.  No idea what this really is, but the picture in the menu looked good.
Ryan also ordered these, which had meat in it, but beyond that I couldn't tell you what these are.  Gotta love menus with no English and a server that doesn't speak English either.  Good thing we are somewhat adventurous!
After dinner we walked around a bit.  We found a museum of all things local, but it was closing up.  We took a quick peek inside and found this fun "vending machine".  You take out the soda, drink it, and then put the glass bottle in the crate for recycling.  I believe the soda is made locally.  Actually, I have had this kind before.  Pretty good.
Well, that was it for our fun night out discovering downtown Hach.  Can't wait to go back there again and explore some more.

Next up is dinner I shared with one of my best friends here in Japan.  Actually, this was our farewell dinner because she is moving.  There are pros and cons to military life and this covers both.  The pro is meeting awesome people you would not have met otherwise, but the con is always having to say farewell.  Kathryn worked with me at WIC and even after the birth of her cute little boy, we stayed friends.  One of our favorite places to eat is at an Indian restaurant near the base, so we headed there for our final dinner date.

We went all out, ordering a bunch of stuff, splitting it, and then each taking some leftover home.

These are the tandoori fish pieces we tried out.  I think we let them sit there a little too long waiting for other food and chatting away.  They had cooled off by the time we got to them.  Not bad, but I probably won't order this again.
These are pakora veggies.  Yummy spices.
Also some cheese pakora, which I always love to get.
I had never had their vegetable biryani before, so I thought this was a good dish to try.  I was right!  Definitely ordering this again.
Of course no Indian meal is complete without the naan.  Yum!
And then we also shared the vegetable curry dish.
A wonderful with a wonderful person.  I will really miss having Kathryn around, but hopefully I will go visit her in her new location...cause she is headed to Italy!  Maybe we can follow her there.  I can dream, right?!?!

On one of the last really great days I got to experience here before it got too cold (today was way too cold, but mostly because of the wind), Ryan and I visited Statue of Liberty Park.  This is not too far from where we live and is a nice park area, with what is apparently the largest Statue of Liberty replica in Japan.  Here you can see it in the distance.
It really was a beautiful day to be outside.
The sun was shining and the lake was glittering.
Yep, there is a Statue of Liberty here.
We took a nice long walk around the park, passing by the lake.

Getting closer to the Statue of Liberty.
Some info about the statue...in Japanese of course!
Alright, here we are as close as we can get.  Right at the bottom of the statue.  Pretty interesting to see that they have this here.
There is also a great view of the lake from the base of the statue.
And here I am enjoying the nice weather and great scenery.
Looking forward to more fun times in Japan...but the winter is quickly approaching.  Maybe I will learn to ski this year.  

I still have pictures from my US trip to share, which includes sharing my story with everyone about getting caught in a typhoon trying to make it back to the states.  Not something I thought I would ever get to say!  Crazy!

QUESTIONS:  Do you live near a "downtown" area?  Any unexpected replicas in your town?  What's your weather like this time of year?

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