Wellington New Zealand - New sushi/bento takeaway!

Friends of mine are opening a take out shop in Featherston St, Wellington (New Zealand) on Tuesday 17th August. It's called Yoshi's Sushi and Bento, which is great, because a lot of sushi places here sell 'bento' but there is not a lot of variety. Yoshi is a Japanese chef who has worked in several great Japanese restaurants in Wellington, so the food will defintely be authentic. If you're from Wellington or passing through (New Zealand is a great holiday destination) check it out.
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Japanese Cookbook question

Do you have a recommendation for a cookbook in Japanese that has all the basics of Japanese home cooking plus lots of recipes - a sort of Japanese equivalent of Mrs Beeton's cookbook? Pref with some pictures, to help me with my fairly basic Japanese language skills, whicn I'm currently trying to brush up again. A few years ago I spent 4 months in a homestay in Sapporo and have kept a note of the tasty meals we ate most days - I'd like to re-create some of them, but haven't got a clue where to start.
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I dont know what is nice..?

Well. I dont really like Japanese food that much and I dont like Plain rice... or cold rice. I tried Japanese food because I thought that in the end I will find something nice. But Whatever I taste except 4 Pocky..I dont like it! So Im trying to find somethinghere but Im sort of struggled.... So Im asking 4 help.. Im looking 4 something Japanese. Only! And something that will be good to eat cold too. And that dont need to much ingredients and time... I know its robably impossible to find something..but plz! I want to give Japanese. Food a chance! ARIGATO!
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Otedama (Japanese Juggling and Jacks Game) Sets Available

I've started offering otedama sets again. The first of the improved sets is a cute spring green, white, and eggplant purple with tiny flowers, geometric shapes and ginkgo leaves. If you're not familiar with otedama - it's a traditional Japanese juggling and jacks type game.

Otedama set available for sale here.

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Adventures in Udon Making

Before I scare anyone away from udon, the link Stephanie includes below shows a MUCH easier way to make them. single bento boy's link in this thread: http://www.justbento.com/forum/foodie-movies got me watching the movie "Udon" Within minutes I started drooling and hankering after the kind of udon I'd eaten in Takamatsu. I went back to a recipe I'd used before: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fg20010701rl.html - worth reading to get an idea on how the weather affects the amount of salt you should use
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what is tori no renjinseeji?

I got a Japanese cooking magazine for the bento stuff in it (magazine is called "renusuhurabu", I think, blocky katakana throws me) I can't really read much Japanese, but I can recognize the characters and the pictures work - but there was one thing called "tori no renjinseeji" (I may have the spaces wrong). It kind of looks like sort of hot-dog shaped rolls of ground chicken? or something, I don't know. Help? What is it?
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What's the name of this?

I have a feeling this will get long, sorry in advance. Maki, I'm looking for the name of a certain type of soup. I work (and live) in Japan and my boss made me a soup of potato, carrot, sausage, a generous hunk of ham, daikon, and some other vegetables in hearty chunks. It was a simple taste but I enjoyed it. A few weeks later my Japanese mom e-mailed me this recipe for "Vegetable Potof" (WARNING: After living in America for over 30 years, my mom still cannot speak or write in English)
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