Mining in to Hashima’s History

Wednesday morning saw us enjoying another delightful Japanese style breakfast, cooked by Fujiwara-san’s wife. The breakfast room was very pretty with shoji screens, tatami and shiny black furniture. The day out the window looked positively miserable. We have been quite lucky with the weather, with only short periods of rain. It’s the wet season here,…

Gunkanjima, the Battleship Island

Tuesday morning we were up early for a traditional ryokan breakfast. Not nearly quite as terrifying as our previous ryokan experience, a much more homely Japanese breakfast of saba (mackerel), rice, miso, tofu, pickles and green tea, the meal was delicious and satisfying. Fujiwara-san, the owner of the ryokan, is so cute, and his family…

An Unexpected Cultural Adventure

On Sunday, Super Sake Boy and I had arranged to meet up with the very lovely Fujimoris, the couple we met at Shu Kura sake bar in Ponto-cho. Our conversation on the evening was very broken English/Japanese and somewhat sake fuelled, but fun and interesting, none-the-less. Super Sake Boy had painstakingly written his emails in…

Matcha, Sushi, Fairy Floss and Echoes of Murasaki

Saturday morning we decided to have a bit of a lazy and slow start to the day, as we had arranged to go to Uji with Maki and Senki and Sen-chan had track and field club in the morning. It was a good reason to have some down time. We did a bunch of washing…

A Day of Excellent Temples and Even More Excellent Sake

On Friday morning we headed out early after a reasonably early night. We had decided on a temple on the other side of town. Daitoku-Ji is a large temple complex, a branch of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen Buddhism. There are around six buildings of the main temple and then around 22 sub-temples. Established…

A Message of Peace and Reality

Monday morning we were up early and out the door to Hiroshima, for a day trip. There is a sense of responsibility of ensuring that the message that the people of Hiroshima want to be shared, be experienced by as many people as possible. Our third visit to the “City of Water” was as confronting,…

Kunoichi… female ninja

When I think of female ninja, a picture pops into my head of a badass women, all in black, wearing tabi boots and carrying shuriken stars and swords. Sadly, this is not the reality of these women. They were definitely badass, but usually a little more understated and certainly less recognisable than their male counterparts,…

Women, criminals and other subversions in Japanese sub-culture….

Last night I watched a documentary made by a woman, a well-educated and intelligent woman, who was raped by a well respected Japanese journalist. Her story was very sad and her outcome was not satisfactory. The case was dismissed, at the last minute, as there was insufficient evidence. The man was the biographer of Shinzo…

Super Easy Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken is a staple in our house. It is quick and super easy and very delicious. It is loved by everyone and is my no-brainer “go to” meal. I make my sauce from scratch and have tweaked several different recipes, as I often find Japanese sauces to be ever so slightly too sweet, sometimes….

Top 15 Things to see in Tokyo and Kyoto Part TWO

A little later than I had hoped, but better late than never. Part two of the very difficult to narrow down list of my favourite places to visit in Tokyo and Kyoto. Gion and Ponto-cho Gion is the most famous of the 花街 hanamachi, the geisha districts of Kyoto. (Although in Kyoto they are called geiko…

Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA

I am not sure how old I was the first time I watched Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence. Quite young, I think. I remember being traumatised by the scene where David Bowie is buried in sand up to his neck. My Dad loves David Bowie. He also loves movies. Good movies, old movies, art house movies….

Japanese Jizo

Jizo are ubiquitous in Japan. They are lovely little statues, usually made of stone, and many have knitted bonnets and shawls of red wool. In Japan it is believed that when a baby is miscarried or dies early it has not had an opportunity to build the good karma required to enter the afterlife. In…