Archive for the ‘restaurant’ Category


A set of shots from a night out with friends at one of my favorite local izakaya, 楽.  楽 (raku) means ‘enjoyment’ in Japanese, and is part of two of my favorite kanji compounds: 音楽 (ongaku) and 楽ちん (rakuchin).  音楽 means ‘music,’ but since it’s made up of the kanji for ‘sound’ and ‘enjoyment’ I […]

Distance traveled: 671 miles (1,080 kilometers) Route: From Bradford, north on Highway 219, then east on Interstate 86 until Binghamton, then switch to I-88 and transfer to 90, eastbound, at Schenectady.    Over on Interstate 90 until it crosses I-495, then north on I-495 until I-95, then north on I-95 until Portland, Maine. At Portland, take […]

Every city in Japan has its own specialty foods, and Nagoya is no exception.  The list of regional specialties includes miso-katsu (pork cutlets with miso sauce), tenmusu (rice balls with tempura inside), and ogura toast (anko — red bean paste — on toast).  I think my favorite of all must be hitsumabushi — grilled eel […]

the tanuki zone


The tanuki (狸) is an indigenous Japanese mammal that is sometimes referred to in English as a “badger” or a “raccoon dog.”  Since the tanuki doesn’t actually resemble either closely, I think it’s best to stick to the local nomenclature.  Tanuki have been a part of Japanese folklore since ancient times and are one of […]

This year’s Tenjin Matsuri was really a lovely time. I left the boat behind and my friend Marié “The Fantastic” Abe and I decided to walk around, eat street-food delights, people watch, and check out the hanabi (fireworks). (Please note: The photo at the top of the page was taken at the very end of […]

The Setsubun festival, which is linked with risshun, the traditional start of spring according to the Japanese lunar calendar, is celebrated on the 3rd and 4th of February every year by the throwing of beans and the driving out of the demons. Setsubun is closely associated with the lunar New Year and, like so many […]

After sojourning in Kyoto, and then spending a fun-filled evening in Osaka, The Crew and I headed to Arima so we could enjoy the highly civilized pursuit of bathing in hot springs. According to Margaret Price’s Classic Japanese Inns and Country Getaways, a book that has been very kind to me not a few times, […]