plum blossomsI returned from Japan in late March. Jet-lag combined with a few problems on the flight back, which I plan to let Delta know about, left me out-of-commission for two days. That being said, here are some of my Far East experiences.

In Tokyo, I re-visited Tsukiji market where they auction tuna and other fish at 5am. I love the sushi and yes, I had some that morning, but my real mission was to get Japanese pottery. For my pocketbook, Tsukiji market has the best ceramics in Tokyo, but guidebooks might make other suggestions. #yourcall
ceramics1ceramics2One of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo is Kojimachi Café, which serves fabulous organic food. I know the chefs. Every morning they pick up produce at farms in Yokohama and fresh fish from the sea. Never would I have thought turnip soup to be delicious! This Witch has changed her mind and wants the recipe. The pastry chef even made a special dessert for me with the Fat Witch logo! Yes, the photo is a little blurry, but you get the sense of how much fun it was!
kojimachiI then traveled via bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. I was proud as a Witch can be that I bought a ticket and got on the right train ALL BY MYSELF. I did practice the Japanese word for bullet train (shinkansen) the night before. When a train comes into a major station it gets scrubbed. Pay attention, Amtrak! The bullet train is as clean on the inside as it is on the outside.
bullettrain1In Osaka, I was taken for an okonomiyaki lunch at a famous restaurant. Okonomiyaki is a kind of pancake loaded with fresh vegetables. Delicious! It is one of my favorite Japanese dishes.
okonomiyakiI took a 25-minute train ride to Kyoto with a Japanese friend who lives in Osaka.
housesFamous for its beautiful temples, Kyoto is also known for tofu and it is delicious! Pictured here are the chefs of the restaurant where we had lunch.
kyotochefsFor dinner, I was lucky to be invited to a club where a geisha-in-training (maiko) entertained us with dance and drinking games.
geisha2 geisha1After Japan, I went to Guam. My niece lives on this American territory in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The flight is only 3.5 hours from Tokyo, which is considered a hop-skip-and-a-jump in this part of the world.

Late Saturday afternoon was spent sitting in the shallows of the Pacific Ocean on a plastic chair reaching for a drink from a floating flotilla of wine. While enjoying the moment, I unthinkingly said, “You ex-pats do it right.”

OOPs. I was quickly reminded that they are American citizens living in an American territory. My error and faux-pas! Pardon my French and my mistake. I hope I will be let back into Guam in the near future.

If you’ve already filed your taxes and (hopefully) gotten a refund, that is the sweet smell of success. Try baking Lavender Bars featured this month in our Recipe File.

And, when all is said and done, check out your April witchscope.

</:) The Witch
Fat Witch Bakery: fun starts here