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Japan is beguiling, a place where hi-tech modern cities juxtapose with a rich history, fascinating culture and delicious cuisine. It’s also our favourite country in the world.

  • Recipe: Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms
    Shiitake mushrooms are packed with umami flavour. Here’s our delicious recipe for Japanese simmered shiitake mushrooms, which make an amazing side dish. Continue reading
  • How to Use Public Transport in Japan
    Japan is a brilliant country to travel through, especially if you are using its fantastic public transport system. Here are some travelling in Japan tips. Continue reading
  • RECIPE Oyakodon Donburi
    Oyakodon – literally ‘mother and child’ – is a hug in a bowl. Simmered chicken and egg served over rice, here’s our recipe for oyakodon. Continue reading
  • Planning a Trip to Japan
    Japan is a country that is both fascinating and fun – where hi-tech cities contrast with a rich history. Here’s our guide to planning a trip to Japan. Continue reading
  • The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House
    Director: Koreeda Hirokazu(是枝 裕和) From the manga by Aiko Koyama Starring: Nana Mori,Natsuki Deguchi,Aju Makita Cuisine: Japanese IMDB Link Netflix Link  Country (of film origin): Japan TV Rating: 9/10 Foodie Rating: 9/10 Review: Cuisine and culture combine in an emotional and educational entertainment about Kyoto life, friends, futures and food. There’s a line in anarchic 80s British TV show The Young Ones when punk student Vivyan, talking about a TV show, yells, “It’s so bloody nice!” Whereas his character despised feelgood TV, you just can’t help falling for the voie de vivre while watching The Makanai, a charming and quite … Continue reading
  • Setsubun Food – Bean Throwing Day
    Setsubun is on the 3rd February. It is a bean throwing celebration festival marking the coming of spring. It also has a setsubun food tradition. Continue reading
  • The Gassho Farmhouses of Rural Japan
    Staying in a gassho farmhouse in rural Japan offers a fantastic glimpse into traditional life in the Japanese countryside. Continue reading
  • Recipe: Japanese Simmered Pork Belly – Buta no Kakuni
    Buta no kakuni is a rich, indulgent dish made from pork belly – it’s sweet, sticky and scrumptious. Here’s our Japanese simmered pork belly recipe. Continue reading
  • RECIPE: How to Make Umeboshi
    Have you tried umeboshi – Japanese pickled plums? You can make them at home. Continue reading
  • Osaka Restaurants Japan – Kuidaore on Dotonbori
    Looking for Osaka restaurants, Japan? The Dotonburi area of the city has a plethora of amazing eateries offering local specialities. Continue reading
  • RECIPE: Japanese Fried Chicken Karaage
    Japanese fried chicken – karaage – is a real treat. It’s delicious and simple to make. Here’s our recipe for the very best JFC. Continue reading
  • Visit Yakushima Island in Japan
    As fans of Japanese animation Studio Ghibli we were inspired to visit Yakushima island, the inspiration for the setting of Princess Mononoke. Continue reading
  • How Hot Is Wasabi?
    Did you know that most of the wasabi that you eat with sushi doesn’t actually contain much wasabi? Fresh wasabi is a very different experience Continue reading
  • Japanese New Year Food and Traditions – New Year in Tokyo
    Visiting in Tokyo in December is a great way of understanding Japanese New Year food and traditions, one of the country’s most important celebrations. While Christmas Day is a normal working day in Japan (albeit one where it has become a custom to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken of all things – there’s a really interesting programme on the BBC World Service about this tradition), many businesses tend to close down for the new year period, usually from around the 28th December to the 4th January. Certainly most will be closed on the 1st to the 3rd January but some businesses … Continue reading
  • Visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum
    A Place of Awe and Wonder The animations of Studio Ghibli, by founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and their protegees, are amongst the very best in the world. If you haven’t seen a Ghibli film we can’t emphasise enough quite how magical they are. For fans of anime (Japanese animation) and films in general, the Studio Ghibli Museum is top of the list of places to see when visiting Tokyo. A teenage witch, her hair ruffled by the wind, rides her mother’s broom through the open skies. A giant robot unleashes molten destruction on the soldiers who have awakened … Continue reading
  • RECIPE – Kabocha Korroke – Pumpkin Croquettes
    Kabocha is a type of squash, often called a Japanese pumpkin. It is small-medium in size (around 25-30cm diameter). Its flesh is bright orange which contrasts beautifully with its dark green skin. They are also pretty easy to grow. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that home-grown vegetables are always more delicious than shop bought ones. This year we grew three of the beauties in our little garden and the very first thing we wanted to make once harvested, was ‘korroke’, a Japanese version of croquettes (the word is spelled in katakana, the phonetic alphabet used for words of … Continue reading
  • Japanese Horror Houses
    Japanese horror houses are like a ghost train without the train. But they are a lot scarier – as well as being loads of fun! Continue reading
  • Sumo Tokyo Tickets – Big In Japan
    Sumo wrestling is Japan’s national sport. There are six tournaments a year. Here’s a guide to watching a basho and how to get sumo Tokyo tickets. Continue reading
  • Noodle Nirvana at the Yokohama Ramen (Raumen) Museum
    Visiting the Yokohama Ramen Museum in Japan offers an interesting history of the popular noodles as well as regional tasty treats. Continue reading
  • RECIPE: How to Make Japanese Dashi stock
    Dashi is fundamental to Japanese cooking -a stock that is absolutely packed full of umami flavour. Here’s our Japanese dashi stock recipe. Continue reading
  • World’s Best Breakfasts -Breakfast of Champions!
    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here are some of the world’s best breakfasts. And why it’s often okay to go off-menu. Continue reading
  • Japanese Business Hotels – Cheap Accommodation
    Japanese business hotels are a good option if you are looking for decent budget accommodation. Here’s a guide. Continue reading
  • How To Make Miso Paste
    One of the great things about travelling around Japan is getting to sample the regional variations in the food. We had visited a miso/soy sauce factory in the western city of Kanazawa but, on our way, we had taken a detour to visit the snow monkeys at Yudanaka and also had the opportunity to visit the nearby town of Obuse in Nagano prefecture. And we also wanted to learn how to make miso paste. Obuse is a pretty little town with some interesting museums – notably an exhibition space dedicated to artist and printmaker Hokusai who was famous for his … Continue reading
  • Recipe: Miso Soup
    Miso soup is a traditional Japanese broth made with miso (fermented soy bean paste), dashi (a simple but delicious stock) and a variety of other ingredients of your choice. It’s the perfect accompaniment to so many Japanese dishes. Here’s our miso soup recipe. Ingredients 3 sheets of  kelp seaweed (kombu) 1 packet of bonito flakes (40g) 1 litre water  1 tbs miso paste (home made or shop-bought)   Optional: spring onions block of silken tofu wakame seaweed enoki mushrooms Method It should be possible to buy kombu (kelp) and bonito flakes from Asian supermarkets. The dashi really adds to the deliciousness … Continue reading
  • Making Miso Happy Part 1
    Miso is the very essence of the fifth flavour umami, that enigmatic taste of ‘savouriness’ or ‘deliciousness’ and forms the flavour base of so many Japanese dishes. At its heart it is basically a fermented mix of soy beans, rice, koji (aspergillus oryzae, the national mould of Japan – really!), salt, water and time… Like many Japanese foodstuffs, miso has regional variations. As a general rule (and there are always exceptions) the colour of finished miso is darker in the north, and lighter in the south of the country. Kyoto is famous for sweet white miso, for example. This means … Continue reading
  • The Very Best Views in Scenic Japan
    Three is a Magic Number Of the many, many beautiful places to visit in scenic Japan, there are three that have been officially designated to be the most celebrated. Hayashi Gahō, a philosopher and Confucian scholar, declared the Nihon Sankeiin, or Three Views of Japan, in 1643. These places were considered to be both beautiful and representative of Japan’s cultural heritage. The views are located in very different regions of the country and, as Japan is an island nation, they all have a setting by the sea. It is possible to visit them using public transport and they are emphatically … Continue reading
  • Sweet Treats in Candy Alley, Kawagoe, Japan
    There are loads of cool and interesting districts to visit that are just a (relatively) short train journey from central Tokyo. Kawagoe is one such place for a day trip. It is just half an hour to one hour’s train ride away, depending on where in Tokyo you are staying, in Saitama prefecture. You can get there directly from Shinjuku on the Seibu line. It’s known as Little Edo because of its old warehouses and merchant homes, called Kurazukuri. It has a charming old world feel, albeit with lots of shops for tourists, and there are loads of foodie attractions … Continue reading
  • A Day Trip Around Lake Akan Hokkaido
    Japan’s northernmost main island is a nature-lover’s paradise. A day trip to Lake Akan Hokkaido offers beautiful scenery, a crane sanctuary & delicious noodles. Continue reading
  • Hokkaido’s Red Crowned Crane ‘Eggs’
    Half of the world’s population of the distinctive and beautiful red crowned cranes reside on Japan’s northern island Hokkaido. Continue reading
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