Eating in Japan- Omurice

Window display of wax models of omurice dishes in a restaurant in Aeon Mall in Hinode in Tokyo. The omurice, omelette stuffed with tomato rice served with various sauces.

My first time in Japan I was really surprised restaurants were so specialised. Rather than having a selection of assorted dishes on their menu, most places specialise in one type of food. Often, they offer many different iterations, or variations on a theme (or flavour). One of my favourite types of places to eat is … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Omurice

In Conversation with Van Milton, a Kyoto Tour Guide

Last week I had an enlightening conversation with Van Milton. A tour guide in Kyoto, without customers to guide at the present time. In addition to tour guiding, Van is a botanist, a teacher, a keen hiker and cyclist and a fellow sake lover. We met through the Taste with the Toji online sake group. … Continue reading In Conversation with Van Milton, a Kyoto Tour Guide

Eating in Japan- Yokochō

Yokochō means "alleyway" in Japanese, and the busy alleyways of Tokyo, Osaka, and other large cities in Japan, are an opportunity to connect with the past. Bustling and crowded alleyways are packed with small izakaya, bars, ramen joints and other cheap and delicious eateries. Many of these establishments seat only 4-10 people. They are very … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Yokochō

Eating in Japan- Kaiseki

Kaiseki is an elegant, stylised and ritualised multi-course set meal served in ryokan and restaurants in Japan. The highly trained chefs present the food in such a way as to embellish but not detract from the natural beauty and freshness of the ingredients. There is always a seasonal element to the meal and the local … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Kaiseki

Eating in Japan- Depato Food Floors

Exterior of restaurant within a shopping mall in Japan. A noren with a fish and kanji hang across the door. There are windows through which you can see diners eating.

Eating in Japan is one of my favourite things to do. Wherever you eat the food is good. Even in the convenience stores. In fact, convenience store onigiri and arabiki sausage on a stick are some of the things I yearn for when I think about Japan. Something I worked out quite quickly on our … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Depato Food Floors

The Mothers of Invention

Three sake bottles, a Fujita Shuzo, a Moriki Shuzo and a Mukai Shuzo, set up with Sake Mistress tasting glasses and two sets of Japanese ceramic guinomi sake cups. One set is metallic black and the other is matte black.

"Our need will be the real creator" Plato Monday night is sake night at our house. (Well, some other nights may be sake nights, too...) However, Monday night is Taste with the Toji night. Some of you may remember me writing about Taste with the Toji sessions last year, when our gorgeous friend the Sake … Continue reading The Mothers of Invention

The Red Thread of Fate

A heart shaped ball of red yarn.

Unmei No Akai Ito 運命の赤い糸, the red thread of fate, connects you from your pinky finger to your destined lover's pinky finger. It is a magical, invisible cord that can stretch around the world. It can tangle but can not break. The cord will eventually bring you together regardless of place, time or circumstance. It … Continue reading The Red Thread of Fate

Romance in Japan

A traditional Shinto wedding ceremony in front of a temple in Japan. There is a large vermillion tori gate in the foreground.

"Japanese are born Buddhist, marry Shinto and die Buddhist" is the old adage about religious tradition in Japan. However, these days it would probably be more appropriate to say "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist". Ritual is popular in Japan. Religion not so much. Most Japanese consider themselves not to be religious, but they … Continue reading Romance in Japan

Osaka Obachan

Osakaobachan, a group of women from Osaka who sing popular songs. They are women in their 60s, all dressed in animal print and lycra.

Every country has its own subcultures and quirks. Some more than others. Japan has many, and I think it is one of the things that make the culture of Japan so very intriguing. One subculture I find particularly interesting is the “Osaka Obachan”. I believe it is rare to find such a trend in older … Continue reading Osaka Obachan