Haba-tan flies to the Theo Chocolate factory
Hi! I’m Haba-tan! Today, I went to Fremont. It was sunny! Good for flying!
There were many unique things. I was surprised!
I saw a strange statue and a rocket. And I heard there is a big troll.
I want to share my experience at the Theo Chocolate factory today! As you know, there are many famous companies headquartered in Washington State, like Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft… Theo Chocolate is also started in WA. Theo Chocolate was founded in Seattle, WA in 1994. It is famous for producing organic chocolate. I heard it is the only company importing, fair-trade organic cacao.
In the store, it smelled very sweet! It made me hungry.
I tried many chocolates with flavors like chai tee, coffee, orange, almond and cherry. Even curry! Yummy!
By Natsumi Tsukuda and Kaz Hirayama
Uploaded by Shinichiro Oku
It’s rare that I get a chance to meet the wonderful men and women from the Japanese Self Defense Forces. So I was so excited when the Kashima docked at Pier 66 in Seattle 2 weeks ago.
The Kashima is the flagship of the JMSDF “Japan Training Squadron.” My first surprise was to learn that the captain of this fine vessel, Captain Masatoshi Kashihara, is from Hyogo Prefecture! He is from Takarazuka, just outside of Kobe. A city famous for the Takarazuka Revue.
The first event was organized by many different community groups in Seattle. We welcomed the sailors of the Kashima to the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Church for a nice evening of food and entertainment. Many different Kenjinkais (prefectural organizations) were in attendence, and invited sailors from their prefecture to sit with them! I flew around and was excited to have so many sailors from Hyogo Prefecture to sit with. I sat next to Electronics Technician Minamide, from Himeiji City.
The Kashima has sailors that play in both a brass band and also a taiko group! We all enjoyed listening to the good music!
The following day, there was a reception on the boat. The weather was perfect, and I knew it was going to be a great Seattle summer evening.
The event was very fun. The sailors put together a great feast. When it was all down, I was honored to meet the commander of the training squadron, Rear Admiral Umio Otsuka.
I was sad to see the Kashima go, but they men and women who are on the boat today left a great impression on Seattle and those they met. Thank you Kashima!
Haba-tan Diary 5-25-2011
As you probably know, Boeing is the top airplane manufacturer in the aerospace business, but did you know that it first started up in Washington State? Though its headquarters are currently located in Chicago, its main factories are still here in Washington, and one is open for tours. Boeing Tour, here I come!
Boeing’s Future of Flight tours are held in its Mukilteo factory, about 30 minutes by car from Seattle. Before the tour even started, I had a field day in the exhibit of airplane parts, liftoff experience corner and cockpit exhibit.
Reading the explanation on the parts exhibit, I discovered that Boeing uses parts from Japanese manufacturers. I felt proud that Japanese technology was supporting this world-famous company. I was also deeply impressed with the fact that Boeing is working on the development of biofuels in an effort to help solve environmental issues.
Well, it’s now time for the tour! However, photography is strictly prohibited on the tour, so I won’t be able to show you any pictures, unfortunately.
After watching a video about the history of Boeing, it was off to the factory. The factory is the largest building in the world in terms of volume with a capacity of 13,385,378 m3. That’s 27 times the size of the Tokyo Dome. It’s too large to even really comprehend. It’s so large that employees use bikes to get around. There were bikes all over the factory, with 1300 in total.
We saw 747s, 777s, and Boeing’s newest model, the 787, being manufactured. The 787 is loaded with the newest technology, including electric curtains that you can lower with the push of a button. That, combined with the LEDs installed over each seat means that passengers can freely adjust their own lighting level and possibly avoid jetlag. Awesome!
We also heard a rumor that both an inspector and the test pilot who is planned to deliver ANA’s first 787 had visited from Japan recently. It seems like they’ve entered into final negotiations. I can’t wait for the 787’s early debut!
With the factory receding behind us, we returned to the Future of Flight museum, ending the roughly 90-minute tour. It was a tour of huge scale, with impressive sights at every turn. I recommend that everyone take this tour and take the chance to take a peek into the airplanes we usually just ride in.
※Haba-tan’s previous visit to Future of Flight Museum, 10/26/2010 (Japanese):
For a little pick-me-up after the tour, I stopped in at one of Mukilteo’s few sit-down espresso places: The Red Cup Cafe. My first impression was, “Wow, what a view!” The little coffee shop has a wall of windows overlooking the ferry terminal, so patrons can sip their joe and watch the big boats come and go in the Puget Sound.
Inside the shop, my attention was drawn up to the man crashing through the ceiling in pursuit of coffee. I understood his urgency—I needed some espresso stat!
After ordering a latte, I noticed that the shop also sells delicious looking sandwiches, pastries, and soup. It’s too bad I wasn’t hungry. Besides that crazy piece of art, the cafe has a homey feel and is filled with locals doing homework, eating with friends, and even doing Spanish lessons.
Next time I’m in Mukilteo I think I’ll stop here again for a nice cup of coffee, perhaps before hopping on the ferry to see the Puget Sound or exploring the beach. Mukilteo, until we meet again!
This was my first SakuraCon, and I was a little overwhelmed with all the amazing people and activities. There were booths full of cool figurines, manga, and other goods as well as panels with voice actors, concerts, and video-game tournaments. There was really too much to do all at once.
Ooh! Suzumiya Haruhi, the manga set in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo!!
Booth full of cute items.
I made some new like-bodied friends at this party.
Even our booth was full of action! We rotated between an informational video about the Osamu Tezuka Museum in Takarazuka City, Hyogo and a video of my dance! (Check it out here). A lot of people really wanted to know what the dance was (the Haba-tan Dance of course!) and some even danced with us.
The Haba-tan Dance
It's quite a workout, I hear.
More than a couple visitors also were interested in buying some of Hyogo Prefecture’s yuru kyara that we had displayed. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough to sell, but we are working on it. We also gave a pretty tough Anime & Manga Timeline Challenge, but nobody got 100%. Next year we’ll make it easier, sorry!!
Some of our visitors who had never been to Japan but really want to visit were interested in traveling around Hyogo and Kansai. Not only is there the Osamu Tezuka Museum, but the Hanshin area has awesome desserts, baseball, views and hot springs! I really hope they choose Hyogo as their first stop in Japan.
I’m so grateful to all the people who showed interest in our booth and learned even a little bit about Hyogo!
Of course I didn’t stay at the booth the entire time. Walking around the Convention Center I got the chance to meet a lot of cool characters. I took pictures with some of my favorite ones, but some of them turned out a little dangerous!
The attendees spilled out into downtown as well, giving the metropolitan streets a dash of fantasy. It would be so cool to walk the streets with these guys everyday! Well, I guess I’ll just have to wait until next year.
On April 4th, 2011 I tried out Issian Stone Grill, which offers both sushi and ishiyaki (roasting on a stone grill).
There is so much on the menu here that it took us ten minutes of indecision before we finally made our order. The sake section was decked out in Hyogo sake. When we asked, it turned out that the owner had lived in Hyogo Prefecture’s Nishinomiya City (where Koushien Stadium is) up until six years ago. Our waitress was also a Hyogo native! Surprisingly enough, her elementary school teacher was the one who designed Haba-tan and was right in the middle of designing him while she was there. (My real dad!) This isn’t a Disney song, but it really is “a small world, after all.”
Now for the long awaited food description. The sashimi was delicious and the salad dressed with an addictive soy sauce and mayo dressing. The house sake, Hyogo’s “Hakushika,” went down smooth and the grilled salmon collar was cooked just right. Last but not least, we enjoyed a tasty and conscientious miso soup. That is, all proceeds from Issian’s miso soup sales go to an earthquake aid relief project for Eastern Japan called “Red, White, and Unite” which donates funds to victims through Peace Winds America.
With a relaxed atmosphere and retro Hakushika posters on the walls, you could say it feels like a stylish izayaka.
After all of that goodness, we somehow still had room for Molly Moon Ice Cream, just one store down. The store seems to always have a line running out of it in the evenings — no doubt drawn by the cute half Boston Terrier, half French Bulldog mascot; their handmade waffle cones; and even more likely, their abundant variety ice cream itself. The inside of the shop is cute as well, with small items like T-shirts displayed for sale.
At the end of the day, I was a very satiated and satisfied Haba-tan.
Hakushika Sake goods decorating the walls of Issian Stone Grill.
A peek into the kitchen at Issian.
A bowl of charitable miso soup.
- Retro Hakushika Sake posters from Kobe.
- Flying to Molly Moon Ice Cream under their cute mascot.
At last, a taste of their famous salted caramel ice cream!