Food

Lunch, Sweets, Coffee and Naramachi (Nara)

Lunch, Sweets, Coffee and Naramachi (Nara)

Lunch, Sweets, Coffee and Naramachi (Nara) Naramachi is the former traditional merchant’s quarter in Nara – the old capital of Japan. Spending time, slowly walking around its narrow streets is evocative, like stepping back in time. Many of what were previously merchant stores and warehouses have been sympathetically rennovated; repurposed into a charming tapestry of boutiques, cafes, restuarants and craft shops – most of which are either family-run or solopreneur businesses. There’s no Starbucks or…

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Making Taiyaki, Daimaru Department Store, Ashiya

Making Taiyaki, Daimaru Department Store, Ashiya

Making Taiyaki, Daimaru Department Store In this short film, we see how the popular fish-shaped snack taiyaki are made. Taiyaki (literally “baked sea bream”) are Japanese fish-shaped cakes, made using pancake or waffle batter. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other common fillings include custard, chocolate, cheese, and sweet potato. In this film, shot in the food hall of Daimaru department store in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture,…

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This Is How You Make Okonomiyaki! – Ajinoya Restaurant Osaka

This Is How You Make Okonomiyaki! – Ajinoya Restaurant Osaka

  Ajinoya is a go-to restaurant in Osaka specialising in okonomiyaki and yakisoba dishes. Staff prepare, mix and then cook the food on a hotplate at your table in front of you. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “how you like” or “what you like”, and yaki meaning “grill”. Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan….

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Stardust Vegan Cafe & Boutique, Kyoto

Stardust Vegan Cafe & Boutique, Kyoto

Most people come to bustling Kyoto for the incredible wealth of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and perhaps the hope of catching a Geisha or two walking elegantly in their geta to their next booking. Kyoto is also a good city for shopping. With the main shopping areas relatively compact and within a quick cab ride, short bus journey or a little longer but still pleasant stroll on foot from the main train station. As…

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Boiling Eggs at Japan’s Oldest Hotspring – Yunomine Onsen

Boiling Eggs at Japan’s Oldest Hotspring – Yunomine Onsen

  Yunomine Onsen village, commonly referred to as Japan’ s oldest spa, can be found nestled in the sacred mountains of Kumano in Wakayama Prefecture, Honshu. The village was built on a natural hotspring where the waters are naturally heated up to 90 degrees. High quantities of sulpher in the water creates myriad colours on the rocks. The sulpher also adds to the water’s medicinal properties. Along the riverside, just below the Yunomine Onsen bus…

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Unboxing Cake in Commemorative Shimakaze Train Packaging

Unboxing Cake in Commemorative Shimakaze Train Packaging

Knowing I’m a bit of a train geek, a friend kindly bought me a gift commmorating the launch of the Shimakaze train service. Its pieces of sponge cake presented in a commemorative box – shaped like the Shimakaze train itself! The box also functions as a children’s toy. In this film you’ll see that the back of the box opens, revealing an inner box that is decorated with symbols of the Shima region including sea…

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Period Charms of Aburaya Ryokan, Takahashi

Period Charms of Aburaya Ryokan, Takahashi

Aburaya ryokan can be found in Takahashi – a small city in Okayama Prefecture, towards the southern end of the main island Honshu. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains, Takahashi is often used as a base for those visiting the nearby Bitchū Matsuyama Castle. We were here mid-winter, in early January, as an overnight stop before heading up Mount Gagyu early the following morning to explore Bitchū Matsuyama Castle – Japan’s highest castle.  …

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Review: Cafe Keshipearl, Kobe

Review: Cafe Keshipearl, Kobe

Not far from the business district in the harbour city Kobe, and 5 minutes or so walk from Sannomiya JR station, unassumingly tucked away on a first floor you can find Cafe Keshipearl. We discovered it just as they were celebrating their 5th Anniversary of opening. The understated signage at street level was stylishly attractive. When I first walked in I loved the look of the place. The interior design was minimal but certainly designed,…

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12 Reasons Japan Is A Tourist Paradise

12 Reasons Japan Is A Tourist Paradise

  There are hundreds of reasons why Japan is a tourist paradise. And they go beyond the robots, geisha and neon lights we’re used to seeing in the media. Not that there’s anything wrong with robots, geisha or neon lights of course. ;-) Whether you’re staying in a hotel or a traditional ryokan, catching a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyushu or jumping on a long-distance bus, eating out in a high-end restaurant or a…

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Cat Sushi!

Cat Sushi!

Cat sushi – I have no words of wisdom to add to this. It just is. Source: http://www.988.com.my/ I’ve written a detailed guide including links to websites and resources so you can plan and book your own adventures in The Real Japan. If you’d like to download your copy, just pop in your email address below and I’ll send you my Guide To 5 Amazing Adventures in The Real Japan.

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