Dining out in Tokyo Post Coronavirus

Jul 01, 2020 By Jason Gatewood

Starting with the State of Emergency that went into effect for Tokyo and surrounding areas at the beginning of April, many restaurants went into a "takeout and delivery only" mode along with drastic cuts in hours and menus. Now that Japan has started reopening, many are in a hurry to...[ Click to read more ]

Let’s Tour: Western Tokyo’s “backcountry”

By Jason Gatewood

I’ll be the first to admit that 2020 has not been kind to we who like to explore, trek, and wander outdoors. We’ve all become more adept at video conferencing apps, picking out the most stylish face coverings, and knowing which restaurants in our area. But nothing can replace the...[ Click to read more ]

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Hiroshima’s Onomichi and Tomonoura: Cruise the Inland Sea

Jun 29, 2020 By Hugh Cann

Most residents of Hiroshima have at least heard of Onomichi, if not had the opportunity to visit. Onomichi is a small shipbuilding town nestled on the edge of the Seto Inland Sea, aka Seto Naikai, to the East of Hiroshima. Among Japanese people of a certain vintage, it is probably...[ Click to read more ]

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Umeshu: A Tangy Plum Liquor and Japanese Tradition

By Hugh Cann

If you live in Japan, you have almost certainly tried, or at least seen, "ume." These hard, reddish, berry-like and squishy looking pale prune-like plums on a plate, or seen one or garnishing a bowl of rice. Ume, or "prunus mume," in Japanese ume, is actually an apricot but is...[ Click to read more ]

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Cold Noodles in Hiroshima

By Hugh Cann

Cold noodles are just what the doctor ordered in the sweltering Japanese Summer! Noodles are an essential staple of Japanese cuisine, eaten by people of all ages in every part of the country. The first bowl of noodles arrived in Japan via Buddhist monks who brought them back from China more...[ Click to read more ]

Beaches Around Tokyo

Jun 27, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

As the summer heat rises it’s tempting to retire to your air-conditioned room with your necktie fan on full blast. However, with Japan being an island nation we are completely surrounded by the sea, and thus, beaches. So get out from that darkened room and head for the coast. Beaches...[ Click to read more ]

Mitaki Temple

Jun 26, 2020 By Matt Mangham

Mitaki Temple (or Mitaki-dera) isn’t as off the beaten path as it once was. All the online references to a “hidden gem” seem to have had their inevitable effect, and the last few times I’ve been there I’ve had plenty of company. Still, except for sunny weekends in cherry blossom...[ Click to read more ]

Buying Summer Yukata in Tokyo

Jun 20, 2020 By Mark Guthrie

  If you have ever been to a summer fireworks festival around Tokyo you may have noticed many people wearing traditional Japanese dress and wondered what was going on. Well, summer festivals are a time when Japanese and foreigners alike can wear yukata, a summer, and informal variant of the famous kimono. What...[ Click to read more ]

Ice, Ice Baby – Chillin’ This Summer at Nagoya’s Best Ice Cream Shops

By Mark Guthrie

It's started. The summer is swelling, the heat is ramping up, and the humidity is already off the charts. Needless to say, that's par for the course in Aichi. Fortunately, there are a number of ways of beating the heat, but nothing quite trumps getting an ice cold ice cream...[ Click to read more ]

Practicing Shibori in Kyoto

Jun 17, 2020 By Justin Hanus

Although most people associate tie-dye with 60s hippie fashion, it’s also a traditional art in Japan. However, shibori is quite different from Western tie-dye. For one thing, pieces are often far more detailed. For another, it has a much longer history. Shibori dates back to at least the 8th century,...[ Click to read more ]