Uniquely Japanese- Yoshoku 洋食

Yoshoku is Japanese western style cooking. In my experience, every dish that the Japanese adopt and alter ends up being more delicious than the dish they started with. Yoshoku translates literally as “Western style cuisine”, as opposed to Washoku 和食 which translates to Japanese style cuisine. During the Meiji period (1868-1912) after more than 200…

Travel and the Coronavirus

As a young person, probably in my late teens, I became somewhat obsessed with epidemiology and read voraciously about viruses, the CDC and Ebola, in particular. The Hot Zone, Virus X and The Coming Plague still sit on the shelf in our study. I feel like I have been waiting for the Coronavirus, without knowing…

Uniquely Japanese- Shinrinyoku 森林浴

Shinrinyoku literally means “forest bathing” in Japanese. I live in a magical part of the world, surrounded by lush forest. I live in amongst the National Park and I work on the edge of Sherbrooke Forest. Not a day goes by when I am not grateful for my amazing environment. I walk in the forest….

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…

The Only Gaijin in the Village (Or, How the Onsen Changed my Life)

On my recent trip to Japan, my fourth, I finally tried an onsen. We stayed in a traditional, and very beautiful ryokan on Lake Chuzenji, just out of Nikko. We spent three nights eating, sleeping and bathing in the traditional way. All the traditional ways of living in Japan are surrounded with layers of etiquette…

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…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo….. Part 4

Our last full day in Tokyo we started by dropping Ewan in Akihabara. He was on a mission to find a figurine, and the rest of us were not keen for the noise and crazyness of Akiba. We continued on to Asakusa. Senso-Ji temple is amazing, and I wanted to show Harper. We started at…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo…… part 3

The only thing driving me out the door on our third day in Tokyo was coffee. We found a very cool little cafe, but sadly their coffee machine was broken. The owner, was however, making drip filter coffee, which is very popular in Japan. It takes an extrodinary amount of time to make, and is…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo with Four Kids… part 2

Our second day in Tokyo was crazy busy and fun. We started out the day catching the train to Harajuku station. I love Harajuku. It is right next to Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine, the station is old and quaint, and the shopping is bonkers. Our first port of call was Takeshita Dori. This…

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…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo with Four Kids…. Part 1

At the end of our last trip we spent five days in Tokyo. I didn’t blog at all during that time as we were crazy busy, exhausted and trying to squeeze a lot into a few days. Tokyo is busy at the best of times, and when you are trying to cater to everyone’s wishes,…