Thursday, June 29, 2006


Although there is no Japanese restaurant in Macedonia, there is this restaurant "Harmonija" as a macrobiotics restaurant. I had never heard the word "macrobiotics", and I still do not know how to explain what it is, but it is like, I would say, "a style of eating Japanese based healthy food". So, if you want to eat ordinary Japanese food, unlike sushi or some fancy stuff for non-Japanese, Harmonija offers regular-Japanese-life kind of food. What I ate at that time was something fresh that the chef offers that day as like Teishoku menu, which were fried tofu, fried mushroom and fresh vegetables, and miso soup and rice (of course). These are like exactly what we eat at home everyday... or you can find this kind of restaurant in a small street in Kanda or wherever in the old town of Tokyo. So, when I do not feel like cooking, which is most of the time, there is this restaurant from now on. Good for me. It was a quite discovery. The only problem is that it is a bit far from my house. It is in the other side of the city.

そしてどんなごはんがそこで食べられるかというと、その日その時新鮮な材料でシェフ(マケドニア人のマクロビオティックの権威。ただのおかあさんみたいなんですけどね)が作ってくれるメニューがいいらしいのですが、その日のメニューは、シイタケとかのフライと野菜塩もみ、ごはんと味噌汁、というコンビネーションでした。いわゆる日本食レストランのスシとか天ぷらとかの外人用ごはんではなく、これってまじで普通の日本の家庭で食べてるごはんだよ、みたいな内容。神田の裏道とかにある定食屋のようなカンジとでもいいましょうか。こういうごはん屋って近所にあると、重宝するんだよねえ。。。料理自分で作る気がしない時とかに(私の場合ほとんどいつもですが)、ちちっと行けると助かるんだよねえ。。。でも問題は家から遠いところにあるんだよねえ。。。 ちちっとは行けないのがちょっと残念。

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


....and Shanghai is for anybody who wants to eat Asian food, whether beginners or advanced, foreigners or Macedonian. It is easy to find the place since it is on the one of the main streets, Partisanska. Everybody knows the restaurant, but there are many Macedonian who have never had Chinese food in their life. For all Japanese in Skopje, it is an important site for dining out, since there is no Japanese restaurant in Skopje, we go there (or Bombay) to eat Asian foods instead. Food there, eh, ok. Especially the sauteed green vegetable is super. Shanghai is the best one compared to 2 other Chinese restaurants in Skopje. But it is good for them that the Thai restaurant in Prilep is not in Skopje, otherwise foreigners who like Asian food would go for the Thai restaurant.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


If Dal Met Fu is for a Skopje-beginner, this Tiglio is for more advanced people, because to find this place for the first time takes some time even you know Skopje well. It is an Italian restaurant with a concept of a "hideaway." It is on a small street in a quiet residential area. The atmosphere there is like one of those in Bali; cozy, little, secret garden place only for the people who know the place. It is definitely not for public. I like the concept and air they make, but it is a pity that their food is not so fabulous. I would try for dinner next time, though. I guess that dusk and candle light at summer night would create nice air worth to try.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

dal met fu

This is a cafe and restaurant good for Skopje-beginners. Anybody can find this place easily since it is right there in the Macedonian Square, so it is a very suitable place when organizing a meeting with a foreigner who just came yesterday. And it serves ok "international" food, which is sometimes difficult to find if you do not know Skopje, and all waitresses there speak English, besides wearing mini-skirts(and a friend says it is a part of "good" service). No wonder it is always full with "international" people.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

garbage collection system in skopje

Speaking of garbage dumps, this is how it looks. These cans are placed at almost every 2-3 corner and people bring own garbage by small plastic bags. Collection trucks come everyday. There is no such a restriction as "separation" of garbage by types, so all kinds of garbage are mixed up in the can. And some family like yesterday's story collect cardboards, and plastic bottles and cans from the garbage cans to bring them somewhere (to change them to some money, I guess). Some people call it "automatic" separation.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

donkey at work

In Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, you still see donkeys at work. I have seen horses in NY around the central park, but that's for more like tourists' entertainment. But this one is serious, I mean, for some local family, this donkey is seriously "a car." He is helping to carry cardboards, which are usually collected from garbage dumps on the streets. Sometimes, he works as a family car too.


Monday, June 19, 2006

world cup in skopje 2

I found a World Cup-related promotional campaign in Skopje. This is a cute one, even me as a person who has no-interest in the World Cup felt like buying the mineral water. I am sure there are more World Cup goods and campaigns around in town if I pay more attention.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

world cup in skopje

Just because I do not talk much about the World Cup does not mean people in Macedonia are not enjoying the World Cup. Well, they are pretty much. As much as the Government sets the election date not to conflict with the final game of the World Cup. There are sports betting places and cafes in my neighborhood, and whenever there are games, people are gathering at the places and watching games together and shouting together. And being at home, I can hear them well... Now, every cafe equips a large screen TV, so that they do not miss the business opportunity during the World Cup because not having TV at a cafe could have its regular customers away from the cafe to the other cafes that have TVs.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

leskovacika at skopje saem

Another reason of the high score for the Skopje Saem: there is a "leskovacika" in front of the Skopje Saem. Leskovacika is a place that offers Serbian style burger, which is very simple, meat (sometimes with cheese) and lebce (bread), and you put mustard or ketchup or piperki, whatever as you wish. Actually, the simple, grilled burger tastes really good. I do not know what is inside, but apparently same ingredients with kebapce, I guess.... And the shop is facing outside like the counter at Iseya (grilled chicken place) in Kichijoji, Tokyo, so once you are coming out from the Skopje Saem after the concert, you will find the very juicy smell. You can not go home without eating at the leskovacika. It is the same phenomenan with stopping at a Ramen noodle shop after a drink at midnight in Tokyo. Irresistible, you know.... Stopping there after a concert, which usually finishes after midnight in Skopje, will become my "must" item at the Skopje Saem.


Monday, June 12, 2006

skopje saem

There was a live of Massive Attack in Skopje this weekend. The venue was at the Skopje Saem, where the book fair was held in May. Skopje Saem is like a multi purpose convention center. It could be said Skopje version of "Tokyo Big Sight". This time, the stage was set at one of the large rooms, and the space was turned into a big live house. It was actually very casual setting, all space are for standing, and it was full with people. Massive energy and excitement. I think it is an appropriate setting for music live event like this, especially compared to Universal Sala, where seating and standing settings are mixed and people who are seated do not look like enjoying the very lively music. So, Skopje Saem got a high score from me as a live music venue. But, one thing to complain about the Skopje Saem is that it allows smoking on the premises. Very unpleasant.

今週末はスコピエで「Massive Attack(なつかしー)」のライブがありました。その会場に使われたのは「スコピエフェア」といういわゆる多目的コンベンションセンターみたいなところで、5月にあったブックフェアとかもここで開催されていました。今回は、ひとつの広めの部屋にステージを立てて大きなライブハウスのようなセッティングが出来ていたんですけど、オールスタンディングで大きなスペースに満員となっているカンジはけっこう圧巻でした。ライブはこうじゃなくっちゃね。ここと比べると、スコピエにもうひとつある音楽会場のユニバーサルホールは、座席とスタンディングと混ざっていて、実はライブイベントなんかには不向きかも。なんか座っている人たちがしらけて見えるんだよねー、スタンディング側から見ると。というわけで、スコピエフェアの「ライブ会場」としての評価は高かったんだけど、唯一難点は、会場内が禁煙ではないこと。タバコの匂いで気持ち悪くなるんだよねー、ああいう密集したところで吸われると。

Saturday, June 10, 2006

macedonian style architecture

I heard that the white wall and dark wooden framed windows are one of characteristics of Macedonian style architecture. I have seen several buildings like this especially in monasteries and in the old town of Ohrid. It has a taste, doesn't it?


Friday, June 09, 2006

the monastery of St. Gabriel Lesnovski

Near Probistip town, on the mountain side, there is the monastery of St. Gabriel Lesnovski(900 m above sea level). The church was built in 1341 and, like many of the other churches in Macedonia, there are old frescoes and icons inside. You can see some on the wall outside too.


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Probistip area is located in the eastern part of Macedonia, where has been famous for its mineral wealth and mining industry since Roman times. It is nestled in the southwest corner of the Osogovo Mountains (another hiking attraction). Quite a view, isn't it? It is from a mountain with strange shape of rocks. It is amazing that there is no golf course in Macedonia at all, in such a unique, wide variety of geographical environment. Which is maybe a good thing in terms of conservation, I think. But, not so good in terms of missing a chance of earning foreign currency or other economic effect from golf ;-p


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

suli an

Speaking of nice old buildings like Kurshumli An, there is another one in the Old Town of Skopje, Suli An. It was also built as a Turkish hotel, and is currently used for Faculty of Art. It has a nice courtyard. It must be nice feeling to work on art with such a nice garden view. Found some information site in UK, which shows nice photos of the Old Town of Skopje:


Sunday, June 04, 2006

albanian macedonian rock festival

On Saturday, there was this Rock Festival with Albanian Macedonian rock bands in the Old Town of Skopje. It was actually very cool event in terms of its set-ups and the venue. I did not expect that Albanian Macedonian rock bands can be that cool. I saw "Blla-Blla-Blla", "Shekulli i Drequit" and "Babuka." But the most notable thing about the event was the venue, which is at the Museum of Macedonia - Kurshumli An, the old Turkish building in the Old Town. It was an open-air stage in the garden of the Kurshumli An, which looks very cool with the lighted-up setting. I like the idea of having the live concert in the open air, very good feeling in a summer night with the moon.

昨日の土曜日はアルバニア系マケドニア人のロックフェスティバルなるものに行ってきました。意外にかっこよかったんですよ、アルバニア系のロックバンド。私が見たのはいくつか出場していた中の"Blla-Blla-Blla", "Shekulli i Drequit" "Babuka" という3つのバンド。でもそれよりもなによりも、一番よかったのは、そのイベントが開催された場所。オールドタウンにあるマケドニア美術館の中の古いトルコ時代の建物「クルシュムリ・アン」の中庭にステージが立てられていたんですけど、そのオープンエアの中でやるライブといい、古い建物がライトアップされた感じといい、すごいクールなセットアップでした。夏の夜の外ライブ、気持ちいいですね。これから夏本番に向けてスコピエではもっとつぎつぎ外ライブが開催されるらしいです。

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Other country scene you can find in Macedonia is beehives. Well, I thought these beehives are, first, a strange kind of a cemetery (for human), because I had never seen bee culture place before. See, I am learning country life in Macedonia.


Friday, June 02, 2006

wheat field

Another country scene of Macedonia, wheat field. Green, green, green everywhere. Nice season. And the long wheel looking stuff is a sprinkler. For a city bred girl, it was the first time to see it. How dinamic or simlple way of watering. Funny.


Thursday, June 01, 2006


Just for those who do not know, Macedonia is famous for its wine production (exporting to Serbia and other European countries and, I heard even to Japan as a bulk producer). When driving the countryside, you will not miss the green vineyards everywhere. Like Tga za Jug, which is my favorite Macedonian red wine, there are some wine brands that can beat Italian wine. It is just, like other things in Macedonia, needed to work a bit more on marketing and branding. Now is the good season to visit wineries as a tourist, which I would do soon.

マケドニアはワインの生産地で一応有名なのですが、この時期田舎に行くと、緑のワイン畑が延々と続くすばらしい景色が見渡せます。私のお気に入りのマケドニアワイン「Tga za Jug」みたいに、そこら辺のイタリアンワイン並みにおいしいブランドも実はあったりするんです。まあ、マケドニアにある他のものもそうなんですけど、もうちょっとマーケティングとかブランディングとかがんばると、けっこうもっとイケるようになるのになあ、なんて。日本にも実は輸入されているらしいですよ、マケドニアワイン。そろそろワイナリーツアーにいい季節となってきました。近いうちに様子見に行ってきます。