Looking for the Master

As a follower of Japanese culture, if you have never seen Midnight Diner on Netflix, you need to stop reading this blog for a moment and queue it up. It is one of Nihonshu Girl’s and my favourite television shows – ever. It is set in a diner in the backstreets of Shinjuku which opens…

“How long do I need in Kyoto?”

This is a question people ask me on an almost weekly basis. “I have four nights booked in Kyoto. Is this long enough?” I find this question really difficult to answer. For a number of reasons. Firstly, I have spent around a month, all together, in Kyoto. I am about to return for just 3…

Uniquely Japanese-Sakoku

Featured image credit The final shogun family in Japan was the Tokugawa Shogunate, also called the Bakafu. Under the rule of the Tokugawa, Japan entered into a period of isolation, called the Sakoku Jidai, translating to time of national isolation or exclusion of foreigners. The policy was enacted between 1633-39 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, and relations…

Uniquely Japanese- Kintsugi 金継ぎ or Kintsukuroi 金繕い

One of my favourite uniquely Japanese words is Kintsugi. The first kanji (syllable) means gold, and the direct translation is “gold splicing”… when a piece of pottery gets broken, the Japanese fix it, not trying to make the repair invisible, but by making the repair gold, and very noticeable. The reasoning is that they believe…

Japanese Pet Store Surprises

Last time we were in Kyoto, our friend Maki-san took us to a pet store. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was definitely not what we encountered. I was blown away, amazed with the cuteness, slightly disconcerted by the types of pets for sale and amused by some of the services available…. The…

Sake Matsuri…..Seriously Super Sake Fun

  So, Super Sake Boy was put in charge of writing this blog, but he has been dragging his feet and this event was too awesome not to write about. So, I, Nihonshu Girl, aka Blossomkitty, will attempt to do this event justice. My memory is somewhat faded and perhaps slightly hampered by the fifty-ish…

100 Things I Love About Japan

So, this is my 100th blog published, and I thought it would be fun to list 100 things I love about Japan…. maybe with a few pictures, here and there. Food- the food in Japan is insanely good, even from the convenience stores. Sake (Nihon-shu) – a no brainer for anyone who knows me and…

Uniquely Japanese- Hikikomori 引きこもり

Feature image credit: http://www.ejcrim.com The Japanese word Hikikomori, which literally means “pulling inwards” is used as a noun, as well as a verb, to describe adolescents or adults who choose to withdraw from society and lead reclusive and isolated lives. This is quite a big social problem in Japan, where it is estimated that as…

The Old Town

Many of the buildings in Takayama’s Old Town have been preserved from the Edo Period (1600-1868). It is like walking through a historical drama movie set. Only it is beautifully maintained and many of the buildings are working sake breweries, so it was a little like Disneyland for Super Sake Boy and I. When we…

Sake, Shrines and Shopping…..

Despite what the children think, we have had opportunity to drink sake, but little time to explore it any further. Today we headed out early-ish to check out the Gekkeikan Sake Brewery Museum. Fushimi, in Kyoto is an area where sake has been brewed for hundreds of years, as the quality of the water is…

Gion, Ponto-cho, Sake and Gin

Written by Super Sake Boy As the evening fell, Nihonshu Girl (aka Blossomkitty) and I set out for a little exploration on our own. Our plan was to wander the back streets and laneways of Gion and Ponto-cho, spot some Maiko (aka Geisha), sneak in some street photography, and settle down in a small timeless…

Valentine’s Day… Japanese Style

Photo credit here Valentine’s Day in Japan is celebrated differently than anywhere else in the world. It is a day that women gift men, usually chocolate. There are several different types of chocolate given, for a multitude of reasons. There is, of course, etiquette involved, and as with all gift giving in Japan, it is…