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IMG: Lining up for ramen (lamen) in Paris.

There's an article in Food and Wine called 7 Reasons Why Tokyo Is the New Paris, and a post that follows up on that on the Wall Street Journal's Japan RealTime blog titled Paris vs. Tokyo: Which Has Better Food and Drink?. As a Tokyo native who currently lives in France (although not in Paris), I thought I have some qualifications for adding my 2 cents on the subject. While the focus of both articles is on which city is "better" for an American tourist who is interested in food to visit, I'll like to expand on that a bit.

Filed under:  food travel france japan travel
IMG: sushi counter

I never ran a restaurant myself, so most of my knowledge on this matter is second hand. My mother ran a very successful restaurant in midtown Manhattan called Tsukiji Sushisay. In addition my stepfather was the accountant for several Japanese restaurants in NYC. I did however work the front desk for a few months, and helped out over the years with things like translating legal documents, making brochures, or creating their website. I translated the menu to English, and even taught basic 'sushi-counter customer-service English' to many of the chefs. "I'm sorry, we don't have spicy tuna." is one phrase I remember teaching them.

I also want to note, that I feel OK writing this because the restaurant closed its doors in 2002, and various statutes of limitations or whatever have run out. ^^;

Filed under:  essays restaurants sushi new york personal
IMG: Masataka Takateru

Whiskey first became widely available in Japan (least amongst the wealthy) in the 19th century, mostly in and after the 1870s, although it seems to have been introduced in the 1850s. Whiskey distilling in Japan did not get going until the 20th century though. The establishment of distilleries in Japan was spearheaded by a small group of men who fell in love with whiskey, and wanted to establish distilleries in Japan.

Filed under:  drink japan cool stuff from japan food history history

The Mystery of Japanese "Sauce"

Bulldog sauce bottles

Miso, soy sauce, bonito flakes...these are the kinds of ingredients you'd expect to be used in Japanese recipes. But there's another ingredient that appears very often, and it's usually just called "sauce" or so-su (ソース). What is this "sauce" anyway?

Type:  feature Filed under:  japanese ingredients yohshoku
IMG: Nerikiri wagashi

Kyoto, the former imperial capital, is the top tourist destination in Japan for many good reasons. A lot has been written about this city already, and it's impossible to describe in a few sentences - so I'm not going to try to. Instead, I'll share some of my favorite destinations in a series of pictures and short descriptions -- as postcards if you will. Here's my first postcard from Kyoto.

Kyoto is a city that hits the sweet spot for me in more ways than one. It is dripping with history, has fantastic shops, great art and craft galleries, and so many places to have a wonderful meal. It also has a lot of literal sweet spots. Perhaps because of its history as the seat of the imperial court, where ladies influenced much of the culture, there are many amami dokoro, or places to enjoy a bite of something sweet, both traditional and modern.

Filed under:  food travel shopping japan kyoto
Onigirazu (rice sandwiches)

A new Japanese Kitchen article in The Japan Times, about the influence of social media on Japanese food in the 2010s.

Filed under:  japan times social media writing elsewhere onigiri onigirazu food history
Book cover: The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook

I have been translating a lot of Japanese books lately, such as the Asian Salads and Asian Noodles ones I mentioned previously. This is the latest one to come out, called The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook, by Wataru Yokota (Tuttle Publishing). I didn't just translate it; I also wrote the introduction (which is why my name is on the cover), as well the detailed explanations of all the Japanese ingredients that readers may not be familiar with.

Filed under:  cookbooks japanese izakaya translations
Asian Salads and Asian Noodles Cookbook Covers

Two Japanese cookbooks about Asian cuisines that I was involved in.

Filed under:  cookbooks asian translations
Tenshinhan

About Chinese-Japanese cuisine or chuuka, a not-quite Chinese but very popular in Japan egg dish, and more.

Filed under:  japan times chuuka eggs dragon ball
A bento box

The long neglected sister site of Just Hungry is finally back!

Filed under:  just bento just bento cookbook writing elsewhere

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