Archive for the ‘Life in Japan’ Category
While everyone has already seen a dog that was wearing a cover in rainy or cold weather, in urban Japan, dog-wear is not a matter of temperature, but a matter of fashion. Just like humans don’t go out naked, the four-legged mini-human friends go out dressed and with their hair done. A dog in its natural state is hard to come by in Tokyo. And the choices for the fashion-conscious dog are endless. From a mere T-shirt to a full-blown outfit with several pieces, everything can be found. And, hey, you’re in luck: because it’s dog fashion week! (more…)
A while ago, I ran a post on Japanese Sweets which turned out quite popular. So during our last stay in Japan, I made it my duty to “research” the topic more thoroughly (which, given my sweet tooth and my general appreciation for Japanese sweets, wasn’t such a very big sacrifice). Also in taking pictures of my food, I was in good company in Japan, since it’s essentially the standard thing to do when eating out.
Looking at the pictures I took, it seems the main property of Japanese sweets is that they’re green. What kind of desert would it be without matcha flavor? (more…)
Hot spring resort towns often have the word “onsen” added to their name, such as for example Beppu Onsen. Going to the onsen is integral part of the experience of traveling in Japan. Nothing is more restorative after a train ride or a hike than soaking in the mineral waters of a hot spring. (more…)
After having concluded my 3-year stay in Japan, it seems fitting to summarize my experience which has been an extremely positive one. Japan has been very good to us. The last three years have been among the best and most interesting in my life.
I was very regretful to leave and have often thought that it’s a real pity to leave now that we are finally figuring out how to do things best, how to deal with Japanese weather, where to go and what to eat, etc. I’ll be definitely missing Japan and hope to come back for visits or even for longer stays.
So what should a foreigner expect when moving to Japan? (more…)
It is June, and in most of Japan, the rainy season is in full swing. There’s this big cloud stretching over Japan and it just doesn’t go away for six weeks. It is a result of moist Pacific air colliding with the cooler continental air.
In the last two years we had always been away for the month of June, so this rainy season is actually my first. Surprisingly, it’s not half as bad as feared. It is true that it rains almost every day. But it doesn’t rain all day long. There are quite long dry periods in between. And the temperature is actually quite pleasant. (more…)
The specimen shown above is a good example for this phenomenon: white strawberries with the fancy name “Fragrance of First Love” (初恋の香り), spotted at Mitsukoshi. In case you can’t read the price tags on the picture, the box with 12 strawberries on the left costs 6300 Y (also known as EUR 55.74 or 76.12 US$). One of the large strawberries below only sets you back by 1050 Y (EUR 9.29 or 12.69 US$). The unusual color has its price!
Despite their appearance, these strawberries are perfectly ripe, they came into being as the chance product of multiple crossings about 20 years ago. After years of breeding, a stable and overall pleasing cultivar has been produced. By now, these strawberries aren’t even such a novelty anymore, this is already the third season they are for sale. But it is clear that they are not a mainstream product that can be found in the supermarket at the corner, more a way to impress with a choice present.
And all I get is snow?
Just now, the plum trees have burst into full bloom and the little Japanese White Eyes excitedly look for nectar to drink, filling the air with their chirping. (In fact, they used to be kept as pets for their song.) But for the next two days, snowfall is forecast for much of Japan, a rare occurrence in Kanto. I guess these blossoms don’t mean that spring is already here, they are more of a promise of what’s to come.