Love in the Time of Coronavirus… or The Quiet Ryokan

Twenty five days ago I wrote a blog about our impending trip to Japan. It feels like a year ago. Needless to say our plans have been completely disbanded and even if we wanted to leave the country, we could not. I am somewhat relieved we were not stuck in a difficult situation of being…

Kansai Style Sukiyaki Don Recipe

This sukiyaki don is another staple meal in our house. Don is short for donburi which simply indicates it is a meat, fish or vegetable dish served over rice, in one bowl. It is super easy, super, super quick and very delicious. It is a couple of minutes of preparation and then very quick to…

Uniquely Japanese- Gochisousamadesu ご馳走様です

When people finish eating in Japan they will usually say ご馳走様です(gochisousamadesu) or ご馳走様でした (gochisousamadeshita) as a way of saying thank you for the food. Like itadakimasu, (read about that here) this saying is a way of showing gratitude to all involved in the preparation of your meal. Again, the farmers, fisherman and so forth. The kanji…

Uniquely Japanese- Itadakimasu 頂きます

Anywhere you are in Japan, at any meal, with any person, you will hear them clap their hands together and say itadakimasu 頂きます which translates, roughly, to “I humbly receive” before they begin eating. This is such an ingrained aspect of their culture that you will see people do it even when alone. These days…

Chotto Motto, a little more…..

Walking through the door at Chotto Motto is like stepping through a time tunnel. An incredible space that looks like it is straight out of Tokyo in the Showa Era, maybe circa 1975? There is Ultra-man, Godzilla and retro pop-culture everywhere you look. So many Peko-chan and Anpanman, a haven for lovers of Japanese collectables….

Tamura Sake Bar- A Haven in Fitzroy

Earlier this year, a wonderful little bar opened near the top end of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Dark and mysterious, but cleverly illuminated with a welcoming glow from inside, Tamura Sake Bar has all the wonderful things a sake bar in Japan has, namely great sake, great food and wonderfully generous hospitality, here in Melbourne….

Japan Fan in New York

Last week I was lucky enough to spend four days in New York on the way home from visiting relatives in Canada. What a crazy city. I am used to busy, I travel to Tokyo a bit, but this was different. Manhattan is so condensed and the buildings are so tall, it was a little…

Headed for Kyushu

Monday morning we were booked to take three shinkansen from Kyoto to Nagasaki. I woke up feeling very less than average and had been coughing and spluttering all night. I always feel sad about leaving Kyoto, but this time I was feeling so unwell, it was overpowering my impending dread. I got up early and…

Revisiting a Couple of Old Favourites in Fushimi

Tuesday night we decided to take Mum and Ted to our favourite little brewery and also our favourite yakitori place in Fushimi, a district in Kyoto famous for it’s sake. We jumped in a cab and set off for Fujioka, or Bar En. This brewery is so aesthetically amazing, I would visit even if the…

WOW…. Ramen

Tuesday morning we had a bit of a lie in and Mum and Ted set off to do some more exploring alone. We took Mya, Abby and Ewan into Teramachi (read shopping heaven) and decided food was our first priority. After being distracted by many things, including a K-Pop shop, we began searching in earnest…

Takashimaya, Daimaru and Tokugawa Ieyasu

On Sunday, Mum and Ted decided they wanted to explore a bit and do some shopping. The boys decided to accompany them in to the Kyoto Station area. The girls were off on an adventure with Senki and Lancy, to Osaka, to the K-Pop town. We decided to head into Kawaramachi and get some lunch….

Ebisu Yokocho

Many areas of Tokyo have awesome “yokocho”. Yokocho means alley and these alleyways are busy and bustling and full of amazing little bars and restaurants. They are loud and vibrant and narrow and a writhing mass of humanity, in the nicest possible way. We love these yokocho and they often have excellent yakitori places with…