Of the many special events that are taking place in Asakusa, one is going on these days on the grounds of Senso-ji: the year-end market Toshi no Ichi (歳の市), where traditionally New Year’s decorations were sold. It coincides and with the Hagoita Ichi (羽子板市), where decorated wooden rackets (battledores) are on sale.Continue Reading »
The season is fast coming to a close and I promise to those getting terribly bored of tinted leaves that this is my last post on them (for this year). But I just couldn’t resist sharing some more impressions from our stay in Kyoto last week!
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While Kyoto lacks the consistent good weather and mild temperatures of late autumn in Tokyo, autumn in the setting of Japan’s old capital is infused with the special Kyoto magic. If you can look past or avoid the crowds it attracts, autumn in Kyoto is a wonderful experience. Continue Reading »
It’s again this time of year when much of Europe labors under grey fog, rains and first snows while around Tokyo, the skies are a brilliant blue day after day and crowds take to the gardens for a picnic under the fiery blaze of the autumn leaves. Just like I never tire of looking at the cherry blossoms, I return year after year to admire the autumn palette of the filigree of maple leaves against the autumn skies. Continue Reading »
Anyone from the Western world is familiar with cookie cutters – they make us think of Christmas season and the baked delights that come with it. Also in Japan, these metal implements can be found in every household store, even though the traditional Japanese shapes like sakura and plum blossom don’t really fit our Christmas imagery. But upon closer inspection, it turns out that most of the cutters available are actually tiny. It would be difficult to cut the cookie dough neatly with them, let alone not turn the tiny cookie into a carbonized brick in the oven. So what’s up with that? The answer can be found in almost any fancy bento lunch: these cutters are not meant for cookies at all! Continue Reading »