Hanami: cherry-blossom viewing!!

We, Japanese call cherry trees/blooms “sakura” (さくら, 桜). As you know, Japanese are particularly fond of “sakura” and have planted it throughout the country.     During Cherry-blossom viewing called “hanami” (はなみ, 花見) season (from the end of March to the beginning of April in Tokyo), many people can be seen enjoying the cherry blossoms […]


Fuji-yama Glass for Mt. Fuji and Beer lovers!

Mount Fuji (富士山 Fuji-san, Fuji-yama) is the highest mountain in Japan located in the border between “Shizuoka” prefecture and “Yamanashi” Prefecture. On clear day (especially in winner) we can see Mt.Fuji from Tokyo. Since no other high mountains are around Mt.fuji, Mt. Fuji shows off its beautiful shape (exceptionally symmetrical cone). The top is covered […]


Ready for Hanami? 2012

Hi guys, sorry for long time no update. Finally getting warm and we will have “Hanami” (Cherry-blossom viewing) season soon!         The blossom forecast of this year is here. Tokyo are expecting the blossoms to bloom on March 30th, and full bloom on April 6th.       “Sakura”(Cherry-blossom) Limited-edition beer cans […]


Korea in Tokyo!

Shin-Okubo (しんおおくぼ, 新大久保) is a Korean town in Tokyo, located near Shinjuku. The nearest station is “shin-Okubo” station (Yamanote-line) or “Okubo” station (Sobu-line); both are just 1 station from Shinjuku. Or we can visit there on foot form Shinjuku station. We walk straight through Kabuki-cho, about 10 minutes walk. In this area, there are a […]


Japanese are made from…

  What is a commonality in them?       Yeah, they are Japanese food product, and then…. They are made from “soybeans”!!     (1) Soy sauce: “しょうゆ, 醤油, Shoyu”. As you know, it’s a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans. (2) Miso: “みそ, 味噌” The precursor for soy sauce, is also a fermented Japanese […]


Useful? Useless? Japanese Products

Do you like Japanese products? They are produced by industriousness of Japanese and supported by our mass consumer society :) We always try to find more comfortable products and life. That’s why that many new products are always produced. Some of them are very useful, but some are very useless and unique. Today I’ll introduce […]

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Ramen! Ramen! Ramen!

Autumn has come and we want to take warm foods. One of Japanese dishes is “Ramen” (ラーメン), noodle dishes that are the most popular among Japanese. Actually it’s not seasonal food, “ramen” lovers eat them in all seasons ;) Chinese-style wheat noodles with topping such as sliced pork called “Chashu”(チャーシュー), fish cakes called “Naruto”(Naruto), seaweed […]


Tokyo Fireworks 2011 and Senko hanabi

What is a fun in summer, in Japan? One is “Fireworks”! We call them “Hanabi” (はなび, 花火).       They color the night sky beautifully. Fireworks displays and events are held at many places in Japan. This summer, some fireworks have been canceled or postponed in consideration of the hardship of the Tohoku Earthquake […]


Public bathhouses, don’t miss it!

  One of Japanese cultures I’m proud of is “public bathhouses”. We call a public bath “Sento” (せんとう, 銭湯) or “Furoya” (ふろや, 風呂屋) in Japanese. A long time ago, temples made bathes to cleanse Buddhists before praying in front of God statue. And later, temples offered bathes for people. It’s said that it was the […]


Weird food in Japan? vol.1: Unagi

”Unagi” (うなぎ, 鰻) means freshwater eels in Japanese.   Unagi is a common ingredient, served as part of “Unadon” (うなどん, 鰻丼), a donburi dish (Rice ball dish) with sliced eel grilled with soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), sugar and sake.     Unagi is often eaten during the hot summers in Japan. There […]


Teru Teru bozu: an amulet for bring good weather

We have an amulet for bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy day. We call it “Teru Teru bozu” (てるてるぼうず, てるてる坊主) in Japanese. “Teru” is a Japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a “bozu” is a Buddhist monk or “bald-headed”.     It’s said that at first Farmer started making this amulets, […]


Plastic umbrellas & plastic bags for umbrellas!

  The rainy season, known as Tsuyu(つゆ, 梅雨) in Japan, has begun in Tokyo. Not every day, but we have many rainy days for about 1 month. An umbrella is “Kasa” (かさ, 傘) in Japanese. Today’s topic is this “Kasa” ! I think Japanese people hate getting wet more than other nationalities. People bring umbrellas […]


A local “real Izakaya”!

Today I introduce a “Izakaya” in Nakano, 1 station from Shinjuku on JR Chuo Line. I really love and recommend this local Izakaya!          Compared to chain cheap Izakayas, the price is a little higher and the customers are older, but this Izakaya offers very fresh seafood. Well, check foods pics out! […]


Sakura: full blooming and after photos

The blooming period of cherry blossoms is short.     Although the period depends on the weather, normally, it takes 1 week from starting blooming to full bloom. And then, cherry blossoms are gone in a week. I took some photos of full blooming and 10 days later :)             […]

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Rice bowl dish: Oyako-don

    We have a lot of “Rice bowl dishes” in Japan, consisting of fish, meat, vestables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. We call them “Donburi” (どんぶり, 丼), and we called them “ingredients” + “Don” (“Don” is short for “Donbiri”). For example, Gyu-don (Beef bowl dish), Kaisen-don (Seafood bowl dish), Katsu-don […]


Sakura 2011 report vol.1: Start blooming in Tokyo

Finally “Sakura”, cherry flowers start blooming in Tokyo! They began blooming 5 days later than in last year. And this weekend is the best for “Cherry-blossom viewing” :)         I took these photo at “Meguro” riverside near Osaki station. I’ll upload photos as much as possible. if you are not japan, enjoy […]


Support us with your smiling :)

  Hi all, how are you? As you know, we had terrible earthquakes and aweful tunami and then got big damages, and still now have big worry about nuclear plants. In this situation, so many people are trying to help & care suffering people with their love. When we overcome this difficulty with working altogether, […]


Taste Spring! vol.1: Nanohana

Spring is coming soon in Tokyo. We are looking forward to Cherry and other many blossoms :) “Field mustard” called “Nanohana” (なのはな, 菜の花) is one of major spring flowers in Japan. We rarely see “Field mustard” fields in the city, but we can enjoy beautiful yellow fields in the suburbs.     And we, Japanese […]


Masks!! Hay fever in Japan!

You can see a lot people wearing masks in winter and spring, in Japan.     One reason is to prevent colds or flue. The other reason is “Hay fever“, allergy to pollens. (Kafun-sho, かふんしょう, 花粉症). Hay fever is an allergic reaction to the pollen of certain plants such as cedar and Japanese cypress. Shortly […]


Yakiimo (grilled sweet potato) truck!

“Yakiimo” (やきいも, 焼き芋) is a Japanese grilled sweet potato. “Yakiimo” are a popular winter snack in Japan. The potatos are cooked over an open flame or on stones heated by fire.     They are often sold from a “Yakiimo truck”, which drives around cities playing music and a Japanese lantern written “Yakiimo” to get […]


February 3rd, Setsubun: Bean throwing

“Setsubun” (せつぶん, 節分) literally means “the day between two seasons”. Although It’s not a public holiday, it’s one of annual events in Japan and “Bean throwing”, called “mame-maki” (まめまき, 豆まき), is done at home on the day of “Setsubun” (the 3rd or sometimes 4th of February) between winter and spring according to the lunisolar calendar. […]


Kushi-age: Japanese deep-fried kebab

  “Kushi-age” (くしあげ, 串揚げ) is Japanese deep-fried Kebab. In Japanese, “Kushi” (くし, 串) means skewers (mainly made of bamboo) and “Age” (あげ, 揚げ) means “deep-fried”. It’s also called “Kushi-kastu” in the “Kansai” region around Osaka. “Kushi-age” can be made with chicken, pork, seafood, and seasonal vegetables. These are skewered on bamboo kushi; dipped in egg, […]


Setagaya Boro-ichi: the oldest flea market in Tokyo

“Setagaya Boro-ichi” (せたがやぼろいち) takes place in Setagaya on 15th, 16th December and 15th, 16th January every year.     This market has taken place since 16th century and the oldest flea market in Tokyo. This area “Setagaya” was one of thriving area as a post station of a road between Kamakura and Edo (Tokyo). People […]


Japanese Lesson 1: What is a similarity?

Today I have some questions about Japanese for you! What do you think is a similarity between these photos?     First!   “Candy” and “Rain”     Second one!   “Bridge” and “Chopsticks”     The last!   “Japanese persimmon” and “Oyster”     Easy? You know the answer?!     The answer is […]

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Kotatsu: a unique electronic heater in Japan

Do you know “Kotatsu” (こたつ, 炬燵)? “Kotatsu” is a unique electronic heater in Japan.     It’s a low table with an electric heater attached to the underside. Japanese place it on a quilted mat and cover it with a blanket or quilt to keep the heat in. They then put a square board on […]


Order touch panel @ Izakaya

  There are many Izakaya Chains in Tokyo. (Izakaya is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks)   And Some chains has touch panels for guests to order food and drinks.     Furthermore, some touch panels has multiple languages!     Using “Order touch panels” is for […]


Nice Origami kits

I wrote about origami, the traditional Japanese folk paper art before. I found nice origami kits at a “Itoya” branch, Haneda International terminal.      One is “Airplane Origami “, the other is “Sushi boats Origami”. Each sheet has lines that we fold, therefore easy to make them!        “Airplane Origami” has advertising […]


New “Haneda International terminal”

We have 2 airports in Tokyo Area. One is “Narita” and the other is “Haneda”. “Narita” airport handles the vast majority of international flights and “Haneda” handles almost all domestic flights to and from Tokyo. But recently “Haneda” shares that role with “Narita” International airport. Therefore “Haneda” made a new International terminal last October, 2010. […]


Tako-yaki: Octopus balls

  “Tako-yaki” (たこやき, たこ焼) is a popular Japanese dumpling with diced or whole baby octopus, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori), and katsuobushi (flaked fish). “Tako” means octopus in Japanese, and takoyaki are known as “octopus balls”. It was first popular in Osaka, but we can eat “Tako-yaki” everywhere in Japan. You can […]


Japan Restaurant Guide on the web

When we Japanese have a party at restaurants, we sometimes use sites for searching a good place. These sites are called “gourmet sites” (グルメサイト, ぐるめさいと) in Japan. “Guru-navi” (ぐるなび), short for “gourmet navigation” is a site, we can search good restaurant by locations, food, price. And each restaurant has useful coupons (ex one free beer, […]