Latest Blog Posts

Latest Blog Posts

Awesome Cats and Colorful Tools for Culinary Professionals in Tokyo

ScheduleFlirting with the oldest temple in Tokyo (Sensoji) is Kappabashi-dori. The street crammed with specialty stores serves culinary professionals, home cooks and foodies from abroad. (No special invites needed.) Restaurants all over Japan rely on Kappabashi-dori vendors to provide them with plastic food. Yes. Plastic replicas of what a restaurant serves are often showcased. After getting my fill of gawking at the expensive fake soba and... Read Full Article

Secrets to Popular Japanese Dorayaki Pancake Perfection

Japanese dorayaki pancakes are my go-to when traveling in Japan. The golden almost-cake pancakes filled with red bean paste are perfect for breakfast on the go. Dorayaki are inexpensive, wrapped beautifully and easily slipped into a purse or backpack. Usagiya in Tokyo is where you’ll find premium dorayaki. (Their doors have been open from 1940. You know they're doing something very right!)  In Osaka, the Akanemaru dorayaki... Read Full Article

Healthy Quinoa Japanese Donburi Bowl #SundaySupper

Do specific foods contain magic powers? New Year’s Day in Japan brings feasts of osechi ryori: Layers of lacquered bento boxes filled with foods promise good fortune and longevity.  Inspired by the Japanese New Year feast and Southern Living’s promise that black-eyed beans will bring prosperity, I created a healthy quinoa Japanese donburi bowl. (Donburi in Japanese basically means a bowl of rice topped with “fixings.... Read Full Article

Amazing Tips for WiFi and Easy Japan Travel

Joy buzzed through my body. 15 years of marriage later, I was taking my husband on a dream trip to Japan. Nervous energy kicked in too as I packed suitcases. For the first time I was going to meet Japanese friends I’d spoken to on Skype. (iTalki.com and CaféTalk.com are inexpensive ways to learn and practice Japanese. Discernment of whom you choose to befriend is a definite plus.)  Upon arrival in Osaka’s Kansai Airport... Read Full Article

Ina Garten’s Pound Cake, Chocolate, Matcha, Marriage and Compromise

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa’s latest cookbook is dedicated to her husband. It’s all about the recipes her spouse loves. Ina Garten’s fantastic recipes have always been inspirational. So have her elegant parties. As much as I love my husband, I find it hard to be selfless like the Barefoot... Read Full Article

Ninja Diary, The Royal Antidote for the Blues

Haply I think on thee, and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hyms at heaven’s gate -Sonnet 29, William Shakespeare In the midst of blessings, sometimes the blues come a-calling. But then I remember my heroes... Emperor Meiji of Japan (1852-1912) was the ultimate multitasker. He cast aside criticism. He persevered in propelling Japan in a positive direction. After 200 years of isolation... Read Full Article

Powerful Peppermint Magic in Japan and in Chocolate Cupcakes

Ancient Japanese knew the secrets of peppermint. (The miracles of chocolate and cupcakes came to Japan a few centuries later.) Alongside their Egyptian counterparts Japanese healers were prescribing peppermint leaves, teas and oils for digestive and respiratory issues. Toothaches and headaches were also cured with the perfect mint. The current interest in the natural medicines has put the restorative qualities of peppermint back in the spotlight... Read Full Article

Amazing Twists on Traditional Tea, Shuhari Matcha Cafe

Amazing Twists on Traditional Tea, Shuhari Matcha Café ヴェニスおしゃれな守破離(Shuhari)抹茶カフェ Centuries of traditional Japanese tea craft mingle with modern treats at Shuhari Matcha Café. Japanese high-quality tea ceremony matcha is whisked and served. Just like the kind that is served by kimono-clad beauties in Kyoto. However, the café also adds creative twists on classic Japanese and American comfort foods. Coconut milk swirls in... Read Full Article

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