Skip to main content

Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings

I enjoyed my second visit to Sendai.   This time around I attended a drinking party with some lovelies and a good sake buddy of mine where we sampled dozens of great nihonshu.   The food for the evening was your typical standard Japanese fair: sashimi, tempura, and baked fish.   What I really enjoyed though was the Chawannmushi, a type of hot egg soup in a cup.     The chef that evening added spinach paste to it and I enjoyed the extra texture I got from the chawannmushi.    The name of the izekaya is called "Shonan Chigasakimichi Kokubunjoten"   in Sendai.     Surprisingly, no seared cow tongue was served; I have an aversion to tongue meat.   The sake for the evening was Mutsu Hassen from Aomori Prefecture.   

I met a lot of interesting characters that evening who were from all over Japan.   Sake really does lubricate the wheels of social interaction and surprisingly even after becoming sober good relationships are made.     A while ago I did a write up on Sendai and about my impressions of this city.    My opinions have not changed, but I feel that I like Sendai now.   The people are still a bit more reserved, but friendly nevertheless.    Also, when I asked for directions everybody  knew exactly where everything was, unlike Tokyo where nobody knows where anything is.   Sendai folks know their city very well and provided me very reliable directions.   Of course I asked a Jukujo mom for directions, go figure.  

Mao Asada, world renowned figure skater, sells her own line of accessories, namely wallets.   My Jukujo asked me to get her one for her birthday so I went to the Daiei in Yokohama and much to my disappointment they didn't have the color she wanted.   I searched around and couldn't find it, so on this last trip I went to the Daiei in Sendai and to my surprise they had exactly the one she wanted, and it was the last one!   Daiei is a department store, by the way.   I did good, plus I was able to pick up a packet of Sasakamaboku, a fish cake that's famous in Sendai.    

The hotel where I stayed is here:   Apa Hotel is a deluxe business hotel with locations all over Japan.   I chose this hotel because of its natural hot spa and affordability.   Another reason is because it's located next to a 24 hour convenience store.    For those who have never been to Sendai and are curious then just know that it's the gateway city to Tohoku and it's the capital.   Sendai Station is a major hub for the Shinkansen and Super Komachi Express.    

Sendai is a very busy city with lots of traffic.   There are major chain stores and eateries like you would find in Tokyo, and in some cases, like with the wallet I found, will be in stock.    Sendai is also located in Miyagi Prefecture which has many great natural hot spas and temples for your enjoyment.    The mass transit network is well organized  and you can go just about anywhere by city bus and local rail lines.    The nightlife is there, just like you would find in any major city.   

I was invited to a snack shop, which is a place often frequented by Japanese salarymen.   Another name could be a hostess bar, but on a much smaller scale.   Here the lovely ladies serve you drinks and keep your glass filled with ice.   They talk to you and sing along with you.   They treat you well.    I do not recommend going to these places without a Japanese man.   The guy I was with knew the place well and we could enjoy the ladies, drinks, and music.   We drank shochu, a distilled Japanese spirit for a set price.    

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…