Category: Food and Drink

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Sitting Around the Nabe Pot

November 10, 2010 | Food and Drink | No Comments

The snow is falling in the mountains and the temperatures are dropping. It is that time of year when we struggle to find comfort in our uninsulated Gunma apartments.  If you are not already spending each evening snuggled beneath the kotatsu grasping for any small amount of warmth, then it is certainly time to open your storage closets (or wallets) and get your apartment set up for the long cold winter months ahead. (more…)

Around the world, konnyaku is known by many names: devil’s tongue, konjac, 蒟蒻, konjar, voodoo lily, snake palm, but to 45 people (since 1995), it is better known as the cause of death! Perhaps we should get to know this potential menace lurking in the (brightly lit) shadows of our local supermarkets and convenience stores a little bit better.
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Come What Ume

June 24, 2010 | Food and Drink | No Comments

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With the sun rising at some ungodly hour and then beating down on me all day it is no wonder that after a hard day of work I feel like a refreshing tipple.   And with the summers warmth comes a great fruit; the ume. It is from this very fruit that comes a traditional, fragrant delight: 梅酒 or Umeshū. It just so happens to be the season to throw together this delicious alcoholic beverage, and that is precisely what I did. (more…)

Hanami-zake

April 3, 2010 | Food and Drink | 1 Comment

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According to Philip Harper, author of “The Book of Sake: A Connoisseur’s Guide”, former JET Programme participant (1988-1991), and now the sake brewmaster (toji) at Daimon Shuzo in Osaka Prefecture:

“Enjoying whatever flowers are in bloom is one of the seasonal pleasures of Japanese life. Flower-viewing revelries are not complete without sake—a drink affectionately referred to as hanami-zake.” (more…)

Yakitori shop: Torikomachi Maebashi

November 9, 2009 | Food and Drink | No Comments

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Yakitori: who can resist salty, smoky bits of grilled chicken on a stick? Well, maybe a vegetarian could, but for the rest of us, it is likely irresistible. I suppose most of us have found a local yakitori shop to park at for a nibble on warm summer evenings or chilly winter nights alike. If you haven’t found yours yet, look around for their red lanterns hanging by the door and don’t hold back. (more…)