菊水 Kikusui 

One of our first sakes, and still one of our favourites, 菊水 Kikusui is a 純米吟醸 junmai ginjo. This means it is a pure, premium sake, with no distilled alcohol added. It is crisp and fresh and not dissimilar to a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris. It is not expensive and is a very…

Sake Master Class 

(Or The Continuing Adventures of Super Sake Boy and Nihonshu Girl) So, a couple of months ago Super Sake Boy and I attended a Sake Master Class at Maedaya in Richmond, Melbourne. Maedaya is a sake bar and Izakaya style restaurant, where the food is really delicious and the sake selection is impressive. Maedaya is…

The Adventures of Super Sake Boy and Nihonshu Girl…

So, I have been very slack with posting blogs recently …. this is due, in part, to the fact that I have found a sake partner in crime…. an accomplice who is as obsessed with Japanese culture, language, travel, movies, books, food, cooking and Nihonshu (sake) as I am. We are currently exploring the delectable…

Bento Wars

I love to make bento box lunches for, and with, my daughter when I have the time. It is fun and strangely satisfying, to put together a cute and edible creation which tastes yummy and looks super appealing. When I am able, it is for fun, and she likes to show her school friends what…

Calligraphy

Have you ever wondered at why every Japanese person has exquisite handwriting, when writing in English? I believe it is because they have finely honed fine motor skills, due to the fact that they practice calligraphy throughout their schooling life. Last time we were in Kyoto we were fortunate enough to experience a calligraphy homework…

Mighty Matcha

So, there is a lot of hype about matcha, lately. Personally, I totally get it. I love matcha. My kids love matcha. We make matcha cheesecake, matcha protein balls and matcha icecream. Yum. But matcha is not for everyone. The flavour is a unique blend of bitter and umami. Not for the faint of heart….

Uniquely Japanese- Tsundoku

Some Japanese words have no English equivalent. This is the case for many languages, where there is no literal translation, or if there was, it would not make sense. Many of the Japanese words, that are not in the English language are beautiful, some tragically so. Today, I am going to talk about my favourite…

Searching for Sengoku Samurai

Japanese history is amazing, long and not really taught at all in Australian schools. The more I read, the more I am pulled into the fascinating world of feudal Japan. Samurai and ninja, castles, battles and shoguns. It’s such a rich tale of violence and beauty. I studied history all the way through school and…

Me, Japan and Suicide

Suicide is a hard subject to talk about. Especially when your Western culture has very little idea on how to talk about it, or anything else related to death. The English stiff upper lip has lead to many subjects being deemed as taboo. However, when you find yourself in a situation where you have to…

Well, well, well…. Japanese wells, actually

What is the significance of the humble well in Japanese imagery? I had not even realised that there was a significance until I was reading Peter Carey’s Wrong About Japan. Toward the end of the book, which follows Peter Carey and his son on their trip to Japan, the father and son watch a DVD…

Japanese Etiquette 101- Honorifics

Before I went to Japan I had seen old movies where the foreigners called the restaurant owners Mama-San, and had a vague understanding that San was something like Mrs. I had no idea that honorifics are part of everyday life in Japan, and that I would one day answer to both カイリさん (kairi-san-my name- Kylie-san) カイリ先生(kairi…