Tag Archives: route 248

New Blocks on the Grid

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Construction continues on the latest phase of Tajimi Station area redevelopment, the new Tohtetsu Building adjacent to the Tohtetsu bus terminal in front of the station.

Orange County

Meanwhile, many parts of the area behind (north of) the station, encompassing a wide swath, have finally taken shape after years of looking (and traversing) like a mild war zone. It’s seemed to be in a permanent state of disarray or abandon, with orange striped sawhorses, flashing yellow reflector lights, day-glo traffic cones, do-not-cross tape, courteously bowing flagpeople, detour signs, piles of earth, vacant lots, and heavy equipment strewn about and impeding traffic seemingly since I first moved here.* Tax yen aside, I wouldn’t mind seeing a model or rendering of what it’s actually supposed to eventually look like.

Built to Last – Filling in the Blanks

Farther north, the diagonal spur connecting routes 19 and 248 was finally completed a couple of months ago, also after many years. We got so used to the construction that at first we subconsciously imagined it still going on as we drove unnecessarily cautiously by.

*What will we do without them? I propose setting aside one block as a permanent “under construction theme park,” perhaps called “Koujichuuen,” “Jikatabinotabi,” “Juutainosato,” or “MawarimichiLand.” Visitors can take part in engaging interactive simulated sit-in-traffic-and-wait-for-the-right-of-way exhibits, run a gauntlet of ever-changing obstacle courses, compete to evict buy out find common ground with holdout homeowners, lose kilograms sweltering at construction jobs under the Tajimi summer sun, operate bulldozers and steamrollers (this one actually exists!), and generally appreciate all aspects urban uglification. Bring your own hardhat.

Not a Player

Fate led me to pachinko last weekend. Nothing else was going to, that’s for sure.

Parlor Games

I was asked to appear Sunday on FM Pipi’s (76.3 mHz) weekly live broadcast from Zent pachinko center, to talk a bit about the business I work for. It’s a segment of the Sunday show that introduces local businesses to listeners.

Driving into the sprawling new complex at the corner of routes 19 and 248, I was struck, though I was already well aware of it, by what I have to say is the questionable use of human potential and money represented by the vast tonnage of cars parked and stacked outside.

On entering the building, the indescribable (like all sounds ever made blasted at once, or maybe something Mephistopheles would have on his mp3 player?) arcade cacophony followed me into the multi-purpose studio, though apparently not across the airwaves.

Regarding another reason I’ve avoided the parlors since trying one at someone’s insistence decades ago, I actually noticed a “smoking area,” which makes me think, goodness forbid, smoking may actually be banned?

After the show, the boss and I (it was a joint appearance) had lunch at the Nagoya-based Sugakiya ramen outlet in the building (smoking allowed there), which also has its own Circle K convenience store and (how convenient) ATMs. Sugakiya also has branches at Valor supermarkets. This bowl was ¥580 and not as burdensomely filling as a lot of ramen. I thought the photo deserved its own memery (my word, “memery,” as far as I know, though I wouldn’t be surpised if someone else long ere planted a flag there).

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Something From Nothing

And another excuse to slap block letters on an otherwise inferior foodie photo and call it macaroni: These “tofu donuts” sold at Sun Mall supermarket in Toki were pretty darn good. The words basically refer to leaving only the center of an image in focus to draw attention there.

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Somewhere Under the Rainbow

A scene from the live jazz beer garden this year at the Sakazuki Art Museum in Ichinokura, framed by umbrellas hanging on tent poles. From left to right in the distance, that’s a sax, stand-up bass, keyboards and guitar. Clear enough to me, but then again I was there. Never forget the end user, yeah?

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Intermittent rain couldn’t dampen spirits, as cups of beer and sake were raised and good cheer grew by candlelight in this annual garden of rhythm and cool, just minutes south of daily care and strife, right off route routine.

Another Indian

I finally got to Chandni Indian restaurant the other day.

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It’s been on my mental list for some time, but I hadn’t gotten around to it until this week. I’d wanted to take advantage of their lunch special, but ended up going for an early à la carte dinner, without much time to do anything other than gobble down the first thing I saw on the menu (this chicken curry and naan) before I had to run.

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It was good, and I look forward to more leisurely times there as time permits. They have an easy-to-understand menu with plenty of options. Dinner starts at 5:30. Open year-round. They have a branch in Kasugai as well.

New York, New Pork

One recent night, I gave in and ordered a delivery pizza from Aoki’s Pizza in Toki.

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This was their medium-size New York style grilled pork (and bacon) pizza (though I’ve never had pork on my pizza in New York) with a thin and crispy crust. ¥1980 (no tips, at least, and a memorable year at that) including French fried potato wedges for two, and two cans of Coke. They apparently have a discount if you pick it up there (across the street in back of the Toki McDonald’s) yourself. In fact, it’s on my way home from work, but this particular night I was already home when hit by the need to feed.

I’ve been something of a pizzaholic recently, having Jazz Inn Papa’s “C” lunch special today, a ¥1050 set including arugula & shaved parmesan pizza, salt & pepper-sprinkled salad, and a drink.

There seemed to be an endless stream of dump trucks and cement mixers going by Papa’s, which I thought might be headed toward the Amazon distribution center that’s been under construction. But maybe it was some other destination, the trucks simply avoiding the delays now experienced on the nameless/numberless road that functions as a diagonal shortcut between route 248 proper and route 19, around the Autobacks intersection (don’t blame me for the lack of road names in this country!). I think this may show up on some maps as a fork of route 248. Anyway, beware of traffic holdups in this perpetually sawhorse-strewn, flagperson-festooned area. The city’s got to keep those contractors suckled.

On the subject of pork in all its forms, someone told me today about a new style of pork originated and sold in Mizunami. Called bouno (maybe a linguistic meatball of Touno and buono?), it’s a combination of foreign pork (which apparently comes from black pigs) and Japanese pork, which I guess comes from white ones. Supposed to be very good, and possibly poised to become a big seller nationwide.

Moon Hits Your Eye

I had a real nice time last week at Moon wood-fired pizza (formerly Coupe de Cinnamon) off route 248 in Ichinokura.

Before sitting down to eat, we had a chance to walk around the courtyard of the neighboring Sakazuki Art Museum, and peruse the store where a wide variety of ceramic works are available at reasonable prices. The cherry blossom petals were falling all around as we pined about accidental tree deaths and I tried to avoid too many bad puns. The atmosphere was great. I’d never realized there was an outdoor deck looking out on what honestly looks like a drained pond with shidarezakura weeping cherry trees, but is just a recessed area you can use your imagination to fill. I thought maybe a Kyoto Ryoanji-like pebble sea treatment might work.

We had two pizzas: ikasumi (squid’s ink), with black olive slices placed on spherical squid bits to look (I can’t imagine intentionally) like nothing if not, well, eyes. The ink was somehow poured on the crust before baking, so didn’t stain the lips. And a Japanese style burdock root pizza that’s just been on the menu since April 16th. It was definitely a Japanese taste.

Afterward we went to check out Shiomi no Mori Park, though ran into rain. The park is easy to reach from the restaurant.

Two Bowls Down, One to Go

For lunch today some of us ate at Sukiya in Tajimi.  I don’t think I’d eaten at a Sukiya in eight years.  No special reason for that.  The branches on route 19 in Toki and Tajimi didn’t open until recently for one thing.  I had the regular size ponzu oroshi gyuudon for ¥380.  One of us had the three cheese gyuudon (¥380) with the oshinko (pickles) set adding another ¥70.  Another had regular gyuudon as part of an egg set, and another just regular gyuudon.  We sort of came to the conclusion that Sukiya’s beef is suited to pouring things on, while Yoshinoya is better as is.

Not Just for Businessmen Anymore

We also thought this place might be the most woman-by-herself-friendly of the big three, given the decor and seating layout. Even a young family of four with a very active toddler was beside/around/under/on our table.  The restroom was roomy and quite clean.  Getting out of the parking lot can be a problem if you’re headed East on route 19 or south on route 248.  We simply started out Nagoya-bound on route 19 and turned off at the first left instead of trying to wait for an opening to cross southbound on 248.

No one had the memma rayuu (pickled bamboo shoot with taberu rayuu) gyuudon, which had been recommended. Only because of the garlic in it, and the Halloween party later tonight.  It’s only for a limited time, so try it while you can.  They say it’s really good.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture this time.