Top 10 Cute Japanese Desserts: Too eat or not to, that is a question.

Now and then, Japanese desserts(Wagashi) amaze people with refreshing design. Yet, the side effect is — you dare not to eating them because they are so cute.

Check out the artistic creations below. Keep that in mind: They are food!

No.1 Daifuku mochi

Daifuku is one of Japanese confection which filled a piece of glutinous rice cake (mochi) with various sweet stuff.

Daifuku mochi may come in different favor and shape. The image shows the classic strawberry daifuku.
sexy ichigo
Longitudinal section of daifuku containing red bean jam and strawberry, Feb. 10, 2008.


Photo Credit: janineomg

No. 2  Manju

The outside of Manju is made of flour or rice powder. Most of the time, the filling is red bean jam.
DSC_6799
Manju comes in pink rabbit shape, Oct. 17, 2009.

Photo Credit:  yoppy

No.3 Taiyaki

Taiyaki gets its name form the Tai (a kind of fish) shape it comes in. The outside is crispy  waffle; and the inside can be sweet jam of various flavors.  It sometimes serve with tea.
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Taiyaki, Oct.4,2008.

Photo Credit:  yoppy

N0.4 Amanatsukan

It is a kind of Japanese fruit dessert made of Watson pomelo.
甘夏羹 / amanatsukan
Japanese orange “Amanatsu”in Wakanaya (京栗菓匠若菜屋, Japanese dessert store in Kyoto),  Jul. 20, 2007.


Photo Credit:  yomi955

No.5 Dorayaki

It is similar to pancake. The classic dorayaki usually consists of two round pancake piece and red bean jam in between.


dorayaki
Maple pudding dorayaki in Hokkaido Food Fair at Mitsuwa, Sep. 25, 2010.

Photo Credit:  michaelvito

No.6 Dango

It is a kind of Japanese dumpling made of sticky rice cake. It is an important part in Japanese tea party.
Yomogi dango
Yomogi dango, Feb. 14, 2010.

Photo Credit:  norwichnuts

No.7 Rice Cake

It is made of rice and sticky rice. It is served in Spring Festival praying for good luck in the new year.
rice cake / 柏餅
Rice cake, Apr. 24,2006.

Photo Credit:  Kanko*

No.8 Kuzumanjuu

It is made from bean powder and water with a kudzu starch glaze.  It’s Shun mono (food of the season) in summer.
japanese-style confectionery / 葛饅頭
Kuzumanjuu, Aug.12, 2008.

Photo Credit: [puamelia]

No.9 Monaka

It is made of azuki bean jam filled between two mochi pieces.
Monaka
Monaka, Jun.27,2009.

Photo Credit:  Tamago Moffle

No.10 Yokan

It looks and tastes like jelly, but much more thicker.
水ようかん / youkan

Yokan made of sweet bean paste, water, sugar and  agar, June 29, 2007.

Photo Credit:  yomi955

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Digital Reflections

This semester has been both incredibly challenging and rewarding for me. Maybe I just hadn’t thought it through, but I did not anticipate that I would have to work with so much different software and talk to so many people for assignments. As a result, I wasn’t fully prepared for the class: I did not have a Facebook account, I had never read a “tweet,” and I hadn’t used most of the programs that were put before me.

But I prevailed and, as it turned out, the software was the easy part. Audio and video editing wasn’t much of a challenge once the basic controls were mastered, though technical difficulties via internet malfunctions proved to be a constant plague for myself and the class. Other than that, the biggest issue for me was getting out into the world and talking to people.

I don’t necessarily consider myself and especially outgoing person, and talking to strangers is not my favorite thing to do. Assignments like the man on the street were absolute nightmares for me, but I was forced to do them and, as a result, got out of my comfort zone. The results were mixed. Though I still don’t like it, I have learned to put on a facade and report by sheer force of will. This will be a valuable ability in the futre.

Ultimately, I found this experience to be rewarding. I’m sure I will benefit from being exposed to the various forms of media that I encountered in this class, and I will certainly benefit from being able to navigate various software and programs for news purposes. I only wish the technology was a little more reliable.

The End.

Got Surf?

Surfing is a great way to get comfortable in the ocean, stay in shape, and enjoy the outdoors. However, there are also some downsides. Some people hate it, but most can’t ever seem to get enough.

Why Surf?

Sure, it may be the most difficult thing you’ll ever try to learn, but just ask a surfer: it’s worth it. Some find relaxation in the open ocean, while others find solace or challenge. The adrenaline rush of riding a monster wave appeals to some. Others enjoy small, peeling waves, gracefully “hanging ten” (ten toes over the nose) as the more advanced surfers do, or wobbling around trying to keep balance as those of us who begin do.
Although surfing brings great joy and satisfaction to many a surfer, there are some negative aspects. It is important to know these factors well, and if you do end up falling in love with wave riding, please do your best to help change them!

Localism

What is localism, you ask? It is the intense guarding of surf breaks by folks (usually considered “locals”) who surf there almost, if not every day.
This phenomenon is rarely experienced unless one enters the surfing world. If you’ve never surfed, and don’t know anyone who does, the notion might seem absurd. In fact, it is not only very real, but can lead from confrontation to violence.

Surfing is probably one of the most selfish sports out there. “Team” isn’t the mentality often associated with your run of the mill surfers. Each wave is a priceless gem and every surfer longs for the thrill of dropping down the face of wave, leaving a trail of salty spray behind.
Some surfers are so territorial about their “spots” that an unrecognizable person will most likely get yelled out of the water. If this unlucky individual doesn’t listen the first time around, threats and violence may ensue.
Any surfer that is not pretty damn good is called a “kook.” This term is thrown around lightly, but can also be a bitter word of hate if crossing the wrong person’s path.
Best advice: surf friendly beginner spots when you’re a beginner. Learn about the area your surfing before just charging out there. Girls have the advantage on this one, but even we aren’t totally in the clear. Chances are you’ll be fine, but it never hurts to be cautious. If there’s one thing surfer’s care about above all else, it’s catching endless amounts of waves. You don’t want get in their way. To be a smarter surfer, learn more about localism.

Sharks

Forget about it. According to National Geographic, “the United States averages just 16 shark attacks each year and slightly less than one shark-attack fatality every two years. Meanwhile, in the coastal U.S. states alone, lightning strikes and kills more than 41 people each year.”
Take a minute to think about that one. If you are attacked, fate had it out for you and it would’ve happened one way or another.

Degraded Water Quality

Poo water stinks.
Nobody wants to paddle around in a murky, bacteria-rich cesspool. Each winter, heavy rains bring all sorts of toxics and chemicals from our vapid wasteland into the unwelcoming sea. Everyone suffers.

“You can get sick from all the run-off coming out of overflowing sewage systems,” said Josh Berry, Environmental Director for Save The Waves Coalition.

San Francisco is no exception.

Overcrowded Breaks

This, unfortunately, leads to hyper-localism. With the increase in the worldwide surf population over the past 50 years, you can forget about all that “sharing is caring” B.S.

Most surfers dream about finding a perfect, barreling wave. Deserted.
In reality, this rarely happens.
So, we do what we can. Beginner’s breaks are always the worst, so learn your defensive strategies first. You may be a beginner, but there are lots of us out there, and someone could be uncontrollably headed straight for you.
Remember how mom and dad always told you to “never turn your back on the ocean?” Well never turn your back on a slew of surfers either. Stay alert. Perhaps wear a helmet.

Surfing Is Perfection

Some believe that all of the factors above are a pittance compared to the ultimate joy of surfing. And as with most things in life, surfing is a give and take situation.
It’s important to stay positive, towards others and yourself. Be conscious where and what you dump because remember: “all street drains lead to the sea.”
As far as overcrowding and localism go— we must all learn to deal with it. Be a good sport and remember to share the ocean.