Japanese prayer plaques are hung on a tree to ask for wishes.
In Tokyo, or in all of Japan, if you visit a Buddhist temple you will see many prayer plaques. Especially around certain times of the year, like New Year, when people are asking to be blessed these wishes adorn the largest and most prominent trees.
Yum! What delicious Japanese food do we want to eat this evening?
Don’t you just love a Japanese restaurant? There’s no place on earth that makes picking your dinner without the language as easy as in Japan. Just bow, get up from your table, and drag the waiter or waitress outside…then point! Easy!
The problem begins, however, when you are not always in a larger city where they can afford the pricey plastic food for every dish on their menu. Traveling in some of the smaller, off the beaten path, types of places that I love, there is not [...]
When I first moved to Japan, this is one of the first sights I visited. The Showa Daibutsu, or Big Buddha, is an impressive 20 meter statue of the Buddha. Perched on a rounded hill, and clearly visible for miles around, the green patina shines over the city of Aomori.
The Japanese people view religion as a social norm, but do not necessariy subscribe to only one religion as most westerners do. Many claim to be both Shinto (a naturalistic reverence of kami or gods). There are plenty Buddhist temples and plenty Shinto shrines, sometimes standing right next to one [...]
When we lived in Japan for three years, we spent all our winters skiing on the fantastic slopes of northern Honshu and we spent all our summers traveling. We just never seemed to make the time to do the sumo tournament. Stupid us!
Instead, we flew in for just a few days, during the [...]
Japanese Street Food…sooooo good! Taiyaki, Yakisoba, and Okonomiyaki…oh my!
Even these ladies stop to have a snack at one of the many street food vendors in the Asakusa District of Tokyo.
Usually the best street food is found in festivals, and this is true as well in Japan. However, there are some districts in Tokyo that always have that festival feel and the best street food can be found there any day of the week. All of the snacks I mention here were had in the Asakusa district of Tokyo.
Delicious little cakes in cute litte fish shapes. The perfect way to keep the [...]
Traveling to Asia, start in Tokyo! Traveling to Asia the first time can be a daunting prospect for many people, because we know that the Asian cultures are so much different than ours. In my opinion, Tokyo is a great place to start exploring Asia. It’s clean, many people speak English, it’s organized, and just easy.
And there is plenty to do in Tokyo. It is a fascinating city with plenty of sights, culture, and great food! Here are my top 6 things to do in Tokyo, either as a start to seeing Japan as a whole, or just for [...]
Meandering around the Asakusa district in Tokyo, you see all kinds of Japanese culture at its best. We were there to see the shrine, eat some tempura, and gawk at the vendors and other buskers trying to make a few yen for the day. On a Sunday, the area around the shrine is teeming with pilgrims, tourists, and families out for the afternoon. It’s one of my favorite places in Tokyo.
This pretty Tokyo geisha was being photographed and followed around by a woman that kept fixing her hair, her dress, the way she stood. The modern [...]
Sign girl hoping you’ll enter the cat establishment! It’s cold and only 1,000 yen per hour, why not?
My daughter loves cats. She’s a cat lady. A young cat lady, but still a cat lady.
So, it made purrfect sense, along with some of the other Tokyo gems we were visiting like Roppongi Hills, The Grand Sumo Tournament, and the Tsukiji Fish Market, to head to a cat café when we met up with her in Tokyo. Devon had it all planned; it was on her i-phone. We walked, and walked, and walked…around and around, because guess what? Tokyo [...]
Tuna lined up and ready for auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
Visiting the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market is on everyone’s top to do list for Tokyo. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a real fish auction as the night’s catch are delivered early in the morning to the market, auctioned off to middlemen, then sold in the outer market to either fish shops or restaurants. Frenetic and somewhat mysterious, sellers and buyers rush around inspecting the wares and waiting to bid on the best of the best.
Why am I posting about sushi today? Because chances are when you see this I’ll be in a plane heading to Tokyo. There are many reasons for the trip, all will be revealed in good time…but one, one very important reason is that I need some sushi. Good sushi. Fresh sushi. Real sushi. Japanese sushi. I love me some sushi! Sushi is not the only Japanese food I love, but it’s my ichiban (number one), and I intend to take full advantage of the fresh availability of it during the next few days!
Jim and I are an American married couple who have had the opportunity to live all over the world thanks to our work. We are both teachers, and currently we're working in Schweinfurt, Germany where we plan to stay for the next few years. Continue reading... Follow @corinnevail