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Showing posts from March, 2009

Hakkaisan or 八海山

This nihonshu, Hakkaisan, is one of the single most recognized sake in Japan.  Born in Niigata she was raised by toji, sake masters, who refined her and made  her what she is today; a fine elegant and beautiful sake.  When it comes to taste there are all types and kinds  One link I’d like to recommend is this one, which was written up by John Gauntner over at his website here.


The small bottle is this years sake, so it’s only 180ml and is usually available at specialty stores through-out Japan.  Initial taste is strong, then it gracefully fades down in to something pleasant.  Strong rice taste, which for this sake makes it a junmai.

The Approach!

Stereotypes are wrong.  I hate them, but sometimes I feel I contradict myself whenever I express myself on different topics.  Not on this.  One thing I never fail to deliver clearly on is sake, good food, onsen, and Jukujo.  I won’t fail. I never fail.



There are a lot of things lacking in Japanese society today.  Things like wholesome communication, good sleep, good sex( not the obligatory kind), expensive nihonshu and a good three square meals a day.  I learned that the best way to enjoy Japan is to do more of the things that people in Japan do less ofLess brain.  More balls should be a spiritual mantra for this country.   And then some….




I met a lovely Jukujo a year ago on bus #110 bound for Yokohama Station.  She was one of the most fantastic human beings I had ever met.  44 and in great shape.  I was staring at her on the bus from the back seat.  From time to time she would steal glances back at me and I took this to mean she was interested in me, but as you know , looks can be d…

Her Name is Called Kanazawa

Every year, Kanazawa, in Ishikawa prefecture releases a sake called “Kanazawa.”  The city’s name sake.  But why post about?  Simple.  It’s a jizake, local sake,地酒, and it’s rare because it’s only sold locally, not nationally.   And they sell out quickly. 

It’s a fantastic thing when you live in Japan because you have access to so many local sake and you never have to look far and wide for good ones either.    Living in North Americans have very little to no access to rare jizake at all, as most are never exported that far.   Typically, what one can expect are the big name brands like Masumi or Kubota….
I had to come back the next day in order to get a bottle of this Kanazawa.  A good flavor characteristic for this sake is its very delicate fruit nose, which never fades.  Like most sake you leave exposed to air, the flavors change.   Not the case in this one.  Even after leaving it stashed away in my suitcase for 2 months! 

Gold chips are what you are looking at in a sake cup.   Ver…

Plum Blossoms of Kairakuen

Finally, and with a joy that I can't exactly describe, I made it to the third most beautiful garden in Japan, Kairakuen in Ibaraki Prefecture. So why the sentimentality? It's just a garden.
From the outset of my own blog I sat out to merge certain elements that have a spiritual (not concerned with material values or pursuits), and an existential congruity. I'm not trying to be deep or profound, actually. What I'm attempting to merge here are the things in my life which drew me to Japan first, in order to make sense out of why I came here, even down to the so-called symbiotic nature of blood types and also at times its antibiosis to how it relates to personality traits (…i.e. there are just some people who absolutely abhor me just because I'm me, but I believe that it has something to do with blood type).
Everything about people and life came together for me when I finally arrived here in Japan, and even more so after I paid a visit to Kairakuen. The thi…

Tastier Than a Fuji Apple!

I met her when she was a senior in high school. She was petite and unusually tall for a Japanese girl, and trendy for her age, too. She had a type 3 square face with strong defined lines, which can be seen in famous people like Demi Moore, Joan Crawford, Sandra Bullock and even Julia Roberts. A. Fuji had good overall looks and was very desirable to look at. She looked more like a Japanese Demi Moore than all the rest with a bob cut lightly dyed brown and beautiful skin.======================================================I remember random strangers approaching me and paying me both curt ‘back-handed’ and ‘double-edged’ compliments all at the same time with comments like : ”she makes you look young” or “ you did pretty good for an ugly guy.” I would just shake my head and take it as them being envious of me.======================================================She was fashion conscious at all times, and made sure that everything matched from the top of her head to the soles of h…

Yabaton’s of Ginza!

I need to give you the direction to this place now, otherwise I’ll forget!  On the Hibya line get off at Higashi-Ginza and take the first exit after exiting the gate off to your right – exite(1).This is actually a Nagoya specialty, which has been gaining fame for a number of years now for its  mildly sweet red miso on pork cutlet.   If you like premium pork with strong miso flavor then I recommend this.  I was first introduced to this chain shop a few years ago by a Nagoyan who swore up and down this was one of the best eats in Nagoya, and now with several chains located  in Japan, and now in the Ginza, I believe him.  Great stuff!  Especially over a heap of hot white rice with red miso pork oozing over the rice was fantastic.  Before that though, I ordered black tiger shrimp which are about 12 inches long each, and are cut in halves – don’t let the picture food you, these things are huge!  Everything cost me around 3600 yen, plus I downed a whole pitcher of ice cold green tea – bloo…

Leonard Foujita

I was going to add links about this great painter, but I decided that I would do him better justice if I just write about him myself and try to show you something that most Japanese try to conceal. Leonard Foujita was first and foremost a Japanese, who later died a French.
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The fatalist and pacifist were the ones responsible for stripping him of his nationality, only to reward it back to him posthumously after almost 50 years, and after he revolutionized French painting and eventually the whole art world. So many of Japan’s great men and women are the unsung heroes in this day and age whose works have been overlooked and only briefly discussed in so-called academia. Tonight I briefly discuss Mr. Foujita.
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A few months ago, I visited an art gallery in Ueno with one of my Favorites for an evening out together. For me, it was absolutely essential I too…

Confessions

Okay.  So here's my confession.  I was a bully.  The last confrontation I had was with a sixty five year old Japanese man I ran into over at a shopping mall here in Yokohama.I remember him approaching me and asking me what I  thought about his new U.S. Navy cap.  I hate being bothered by stupidity when I'm on my way to work.  He was pointing to the wording on the hat with this stupid little grimace on his ugly little unshaven face.And then he smiled and the only teeth he had in his mouth were  molars, and no others teeth ladies and gentleman.  Hideous looking man!  I went for the first insult by first telling him in Japanese at how stupid he looked for sporting a U.S. Navy hat with pride in spite of  the dark history of thousands of his own people who were raped, murdered and brutalized way back in HIS generation.  I had asked him to remove it because I felt that not only was it an insult and an affront to the thousands of sailors who died fighting against YOUR people in the P…

In Hot Water!

Sitting in a hot bath is always a nice experience, but it’s even nicer when it’s shared with the opposite sex.  For me, though, I rarely invite anybody to join me in a hot tub simply because I don’t like to talk the experience away, like most people do.  Most times just sitting in silence is good enough and it’s even better when you are sitting in silence in a nice open air hot tub on a Monday morning when most people are out to work.  

On this occasion though, I decided to accept an invitation by an awesome looking jukujo named Ms. Isogo( not her real name).  She was 178cm tall; 46;single;and no kids.  She had unevenly proportioned creamy mochi colored legs that were long with over developed calf muscles that accentuated her black pumps and knee high silk skirt.  Her hamstrings weren’t as developed as I’d have liked, but still all in all she had a wonderful pair of legs and a nice clean wrinkle free face and an excellent waist line.



I met her on the Keihin Tohoku line bound for Isog…

Rokumeiken of Tsukijii

One of my favorite little eats around Tsukijii is a little place called Rokumeikan, which is famed for serving just about anything fried and with rice.  Everything fried!  This baloney( three slices) and lightly fried eggs( 3 large to be exact) covered in mayo and shoyu(soy sauce) and a huge mound of rice is a local favorite at this place.  I know what you are thinking…..But, even still this looked really good.  The guy who ate this made it look so delicious.  He ceremoniously rolled up his sleeves, cracked his knuckles and began carefully dissecting and moving everything around on the plate.  He poured a liberal amount of Kewpies mayo all over the meat and rice, and then he added a nice serving of shoyu, and as a final touch he burst the egg yokes so that they would run all over the baloney and rice.  I was watching all of this while eating this:Which wasn’t that bad, actually.  As a matter of fact it was quite good, so I couldn’t complain.  Ebi Fry!  and shredded cabbage and a servi…

Oden

Before I forget, I wanted to post this last winter dish which I never get enough of, and that’s oden.This picture was taken in Shikoku at one of my favorite oden shops called Jumbo Udon located in Takamatsu which is the capital of Kagawa on the island of Shikoku.   One of the nicest memories I have here is when I was on the road with coworkers.  We drove all the way from Okayama to Kagawa via the great Seto Ohashi Bridge, which stretches from the main land to the island of Shikoku .  We had a nice time.  In this dish I really enjoyed the egg and the octopus.  The mustard had a unique flavor, too.  I could probably eat here everyday if I lived over here.

Thin Line

What is going on with Westerners in Japan today?  We are a motley bunch, aren’t we?   We come from all over the place; U.S.A, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and even as far away as Africa.  What do we all have in common?   We are all foreigners.  Isn’t that beautiful?  The Japanese do not categorize foreigners according to social or economic status, we are all in the same pool called “non-Japanese.”  I love this!  Foreigners come here from all backgrounds and religions and lick each others wounds whenever they get down and out. Only in Japan!  Why?  Because we are in the same pool regardless of how we look or how well we speak Japanese.(N.B. Most Westerners only choose to be tolerant of other races in their OWN home countries.  In Japan, this is clearly different.  All foreigners experience the same pains of living in Japan on a mostly equal level and thus are able to find solace in one another, however, this cannot be duplicated in say, like the U.S.A. where everybody has a differen…

Curvilinear Limbs

On a beautiful sunny Yokohama morning; cheese fondu pizza heating in the microwave. The curvaceous contour of Japanese female limbs;curvature of a strong degree from the waist down, strong legs and bending.

And then gradually, and ever so gently stretching so straightly.

Faint smells of hair shampoo and tatami. There’s still some nihonshu left, licking a drop from a leg. Japan can be saved by these women.