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Okonomiyaki お好み焼き

A postcard from Hiroshima showing the layering of an okonomiyaki, in the Hiroshima style. A manga illustration with characters for each ingredient and a description in Japanese and English.

Okonomiyaki translates roughly to "as you like it" but more literally as "your preference grilled". Some people think of okonomiyaki as a Japanese pancake. There are similarities. However, in my opinion, okonomiyaki is so much more delicious as you can chose what to put in and it is savoury. It is a great recipe when … Continue reading Okonomiyaki お好み焼き

Eating in Japan-Konbini

Lawson konbini store front with school children with umbrellas out the front. The Lawson is in Umamachi in Kyoto.

When we can travel again, which hopefully will be in the not too distant future, I look forward to eating. Eating is one of my favourite aspects of travelling. Eating in Japan is something for which I yearn desperately. I miss Japan and its delicious food, viscerally. We have many really amazing Japanese restaurants in … Continue reading Eating in Japan-Konbini

Eating in Japan-Ekiben

The exterior of an ekiben (station bento) shop in Japan. There are various lunch boxes displayed and the display window is surrounded by descriptions in Japanese on wooden tablets, hung vertically.

I love trains. I particularly love Japanese trains. Shinkansen, or bullet trains, are my favourite. Travelling on shinkansen is like flying. You have allocated seats with fold down tables and you can buy drinks and snacks from an onboard trolley. One of the most wonderful parts about travelling on shinkansen is ekiben. Ekiben is a … Continue reading Eating in Japan-Ekiben

Eating in Japan- Depato Food Floors

Exterior of restaurant within a shopping mall in Japan. A noren with a fish and kanji hang across the door. There are windows through which you can see diners eating.

Eating in Japan is one of my favourite things to do. Wherever you eat the food is good. Even in the convenience stores. In fact, convenience store onigiri and arabiki sausage on a stick are some of the things I yearn for when I think about Japan. Something I worked out quite quickly on our … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Depato Food Floors

Tokyo Olympics and Lockdown Fatigue

Tokyo 2020 logo surrounded by the pictograms of the sports included in the Olympics. Blue and white logo and Olympic Rings with blue and white sports pictograms in a scattered pattern around the logo.

As of 8pm last night Melbourne entered its 6th lockdown. We only emerged from number 5 eight days prior. My lockdown fatigue is oppressive. It is being made infinitely more difficult by a number of factors. Foremost, the Tokyo Olympics. We started seeing the preparations for the Olympics in Japan from 2018. The very cute … Continue reading Tokyo Olympics and Lockdown Fatigue

Sansankudo 三三九度

Three red flat sake vessels, sakazuki, of descending size, sit inside each other. They are red lacquerware with gold around the rim. They are made in Japan and used for the sansankudo ritual in a Shinto wedding ceremony.

Three three nine times is the literal translation of sansankudo. An integral part of a Shinto wedding ceremony involving drinking sake. As you can imagine, Super Sake Boy and I were quite enamoured with the concept of building this ancient ritual into our own wedding ceremony. Trying very hard not to culturally appropriate, I have … Continue reading Sansankudo 三三九度

The Mothers of Invention

Three sake bottles, a Fujita Shuzo, a Moriki Shuzo and a Mukai Shuzo, set up with Sake Mistress tasting glasses and two sets of Japanese ceramic guinomi sake cups. One set is metallic black and the other is matte black.

"Our need will be the real creator" Plato Monday night is sake night at our house. (Well, some other nights may be sake nights, too...) However, Monday night is Taste with the Toji night. Some of you may remember me writing about Taste with the Toji sessions last year, when our gorgeous friend the Sake … Continue reading The Mothers of Invention

The Red Thread of Fate

A heart shaped ball of red yarn.

Unmei No Akai Ito 運命の赤い糸, the red thread of fate, connects you from your pinky finger to your destined lover's pinky finger. It is a magical, invisible cord that can stretch around the world. It can tangle but can not break. The cord will eventually bring you together regardless of place, time or circumstance. It … Continue reading The Red Thread of Fate

Romance in Japan

A traditional Shinto wedding ceremony in front of a temple in Japan. There is a large vermillion tori gate in the foreground.

"Japanese are born Buddhist, marry Shinto and die Buddhist" is the old adage about religious tradition in Japan. However, these days it would probably be more appropriate to say "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist". Ritual is popular in Japan. Religion not so much. Most Japanese consider themselves not to be religious, but they … Continue reading Romance in Japan

The Kimono Police

Two girls in very vibrant kimonos walking in front of traditional Japanese homes in Sannenzaka Ninenzaka area in Kyoto, in Japan

"The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don't know"Albert Einstein Last week I had coffee with a very lovely friend of mine. We used to work together and share many interests including mushrooms and moss. She is Japanese, and I am always amazed that after every conversation we have, I walk … Continue reading The Kimono Police