Is a JR Pass worth it?

the information section of a Japan Rail Pass

JR Value? Lots of people ask me this question. On the surface, a JR Pass, or Japan Rail Pass can seem expensive. At this time a 7 day pass is $345, a 14 day is $550 and a 21 day $703AUD. If you are intending to explore Japan beyond Tokyo, the pass is exceptional value … Continue reading Is a JR Pass worth it?

In Conversation with Erin Lindwall

Premium Matcha Importer and fellow Japanophile Erin Lindwall is an Australian who, like me, has a deep affinity with Japan. She is also a self-confessed Matcha addict. Matcha is finely ground green tea, grown in the shade which makes it vibrant green in colour. It was historically served in Japanese Tea Ceremony (Cha No Yu in … Continue reading In Conversation with Erin Lindwall

Tokyo Book and Bed

Have you ever wished you could stow away in a bookshop over night? I have always been a bookworm. Intrinsically able to navigate my way to and from the train station without taking my eyes away from the words. I could read for hours at a time, in the bath, under the blanket with a … Continue reading Tokyo Book and Bed

Uniquely Japanese- Ōsōji お掃除

Ōsōji 大掃除 is “New Year’s Cleaning”. More literally it means big cleaning. It is a custom observed by most people in Japan, sometime in December. Often in the last few days of the year. Usually around three days cleaning, not dissimilar to a "spring clean". This allows the space to be purified in order to … Continue reading Uniquely Japanese- Ōsōji お掃除

Why do they eat KFC for Christmas in Japan?

Exterior of KFC store at Christmas in Japan

Have you ever wondered why KFC is the traditional Christmas meal in Japan? I spent Christmas of 2015 in Japan. I am not sure why, but I was surprised by the fact that Christmas is not really celebrated in Japan. Of course, Japan is not a Christian country. In fact only around 1% of the … Continue reading Why do they eat KFC for Christmas in Japan?

The Master…of Meshi

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

Midnight Diner Meshi 飯 means food in Japanese. More literally, rice. However the words rice and food are almost interchangeable in meaning in Japan. Meshiya 飯屋 means food shop, or diner. Midnight Diner, is a Japanese tv show available on Netflix in Australia. The title in Japanese is Shinya Shokudo 深夜食堂. The show is about … Continue reading The Master…of Meshi

In Conversation with Maki Ueta, owner of a Kyoto Guesthouse

Maki and I met in April 2015 when my kids and I stayed in her exceptional guesthouse in Higashiyama in Kyoto. I had a feeling while I was booking Guesthouse Soi and reading reviews that something very special was going to eventuate. I was right. We stayed four nights in Kyoto and I made a … Continue reading In Conversation with Maki Ueta, owner of a Kyoto Guesthouse

In Conversation with Cindy Bissig, a Digital Nomad

All of the photos contained in this article are Cindy's own photos. Cindy Bissig is a multi-faceted content creator. She writes and makes videos about travel, food, art and sake. She is a brilliant photographer and artist in her own right. I met Cindy through the Taste with the Toji online sake group. We became … Continue reading In Conversation with Cindy Bissig, a Digital Nomad

Amabie, the cute way Japan is fighting COVID

Yokai are "monsters" of Japanese Folklore. Though previously considered scary, many are now regarded as cute and friendly, and often benevolent. They take many forms and are seen as a way of processing difficult feelings and unpleasant situations. Superstition is not uncommon in Japan and many believe there is a thin veil between this world … Continue reading Amabie, the cute way Japan is fighting COVID

Japanese Names

Name Conventions When I started reading a lot of Japanese history, I initially found the names a little confusing. Although having some understanding, there are a number of practices that I still find really intriguing. I wanted to write about myōseki, the passing down of a family name to someone who is not necessarily related. … Continue reading Japanese Names