2017年

Matcha flavored desserts

What is “matcha”? 抹茶(matcha) is powdered green tea leaves. Both the powder itself and drinks made with the powder are called matcha. There are two types of traditional matcha drinks called 濃茶(koicha) and 薄茶(usucha) in Japan. 濃茶(koicha) literally means thick(strong) tea and it has dark green color. On the other hand, 薄茶(usucha) literally means thin(weak)…

My short trip to Hokuriku! Kenroku-en, one of the three great gardens in Japan

There are three traditional gardens which are called “the three great gardens in Japan.” Kairaku-en in Ibaraki, Kouraku-en in Okayama, and Kenroku-en in Kanazawa. It’s a mystery that there’s no record why those three were chosen from many Japanese traditional gardens. However, there are some common things among the three gardens. (1) All of three…

Japanese honorifics (A tip for you to enjoy Japanese manga and anime more)

If you have watched Japanese anime with other language’s subtitles, you would hear “san”, “kun”, or “sama” with someone’s name. That is actually one of honorifics in Japanese. Politeness has always been very important part when we talk about Japanese culture. Ever since 封建時代(houken-jidai, the feudal era), when Japan was highly stratified society, use of…

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST EXHIBITION at Tokyo Dome City

What is Fullmetal Alchemist? Fullmetal Alchemist (abbreviated as FMA or FA) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa, and it was serialized in the magazine called “少年ガンガン(=Shonen Gangan)” from August 2001 to June 2010. The first anime series were broadcasted in Japan from 2003 to 2004, and the second series were…

Kanazawa city and gold leaf

金沢市(Kanazawa-city) is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. 金 means gold, and 沢 means dale/marsh. It is said that the name, 金沢(Kanazawa), came from the legend of the peasant 芋掘り藤五郎(Potato-digger,Togoto) found small flakes of gold when he was washing yam-potatoes in a dale. After that, the place was called the dale of washing gold,…

Soumen, the thinnest Japanese noodle

素麺/索麺(Soumen) is a type of very thin white Japanese noodles made from wheat flour. The diameter of soumen is under 1.3 mm, and it is usually served cold with a light flavored dipping sauce. You might imagine ‘udon’ if you heard Japanese noodles made from wheat flour. Soumen’s main ingredients are the same as that…

‘Omiyage’ in Kanazawa

What is お土産(omiyage) in the first place? I’d like to write what お土産(omiyage) is before I tell you about omiyage in Kanazawa. I think it is one of Japanese cultures that people buy some souvenirs for their family, friends or co-workers when they go on a trip. When I take a vacation and go on…

My short trip to Hokuriku! A special beach you can drive on?!

千里浜なぎさドライブウェイ(Chirihama nagisa driveway) is a only place in Japan that people can drive along the beach. According to Wikipedia, there are three beaches that people can drive in the world including Chirihama nagisa driveway. The other two are Daytona Beach in the US and 90 mile Beach(Waitarere Beach) in New Zealand. Chirihama nagisa driveway is…

The day that people eat eels!      

土用の丑の日(Doyou no ushi no hi=the day of the ox in the term called doyou) July 25th and August 6th, 2017 are days called “Doyou no ushi no hi” in Japan. If you asked Japanese people “What is Doyou no ushi no hi?”, most of them would answer that “It’s a day that we eat unagi(=eel…

My short trip to Hokuriku! Eihei-ji, a famous Buddhist temple for severe training

永平寺(Eihei-ji) is one of two main temples of Soto school of Zen Buddhism, the largest single religious denomination in Japan. The name literally means “temple of eternal peace” in English. In Japanese, 永(Ei) means “eternal”, 平(Hei) means “peaceful”, and 寺(Ji) means “Buddhist temple”. It named after the designation of an era “永平(Eihei)”, when Buddhism came…

Cute animal-shaped desserts

I hadn’t noticed that there are many animal-shaped desserts in Japan until one of my friends from the US told me so. It seems like Japanese people like cute desserts. I’d like to tell you about cute animal-motif desserts today. Ikumi Mama’s animal donuts I was surprised when I saw their donuts! They are so…

A rare chance to get Victini for your Pokémon Sun&Moon!

Pokémon’s official website announced that they have a special present for customers who visit any Pokémon center or store in Japan from June 30th to September 3rd this year. The special present is… Victini, a rare Pokémon that you cannot get in Pokémon game! They announced that this is a memorial present for the relocation…

Useful and unique vending machines!

One of the things I was surprised about when I traveled abroad was that vending machines are not very common like in Japan. There are vending machines at almost every corner in the center of Tokyo, and they are very familiar for me since I often buy beverages from vending machines. The first vending machine…